February 20, 2018 10:15 pm

‘What will it take?’: North York businesses urge city to act on ‘dangerous’ intersection

WATCH ABOVE: Despite having a traffic signal a block away, companies say another one is needed at corner of Don Mills and Kern roads. Mark Carcasole reports.

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A group of businesses in North York say the City of Toronto needs to act to make changes to an intersection they say is unsafe.

The Toronto Real Estate Board, Don Mills Children’s Centre, North York Community Christian Church, Met-Scan, Commerce Press and Bernstein Diet Clinic said they’re worried the current design of the intersection at Don Mills and Kern roads, south of York Mills road, will eventually lead to fatal consequences.

A driver tries to turn left from Kern Road onto Don Mills Road during rush hour .

“My office is right there and I see it every day,” said Von Palmer of the Toronto Real Estate Board as he points to his office window on the building’s front facade.

“What we see are close calls.”

Pedestrians crossing the six-lane stretch of Don Mills Road mid-block have to deal with dodging speeding vehicles while vehicles making left turns onto Don Mills have trouble navigating the wide stretch, which can cause near misses.

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“We’re concerned that it could get tragic,” said Palmer.

The Toronto Police traffic services unit said there were 28 collisions of various types at the intersection in 2017. However they said they did not have road usage data available to give context to just how prevalent the collisions are.

Given their own observations, the businesses said they decided it is a serious enough problem to have created an online petition at NoMoreCloseCalls.ca. They’re asking the public to sign onto their effort to convince the city to do something about the situation.

Staff with the City of Toronto’s transportation services conducted a traffic study of the intersection in 2016. They said they analyzed three years worth of collision data, measuring vehicle delays to cross traffic and collision hazards. That study determined that the intersection did not meet the necessary criteria for a $180,000 signalized intersection.

“Those are numbers but we’re looking at the real stories,” said Palmer.

“Both pedestrians are getting clipped and cars. We’re talking serious accidents … What will it take?”

There is a signalized crossing just a block south of Kern Road at Mallard Road, but the group said the risks and delays are large enough that they feel their situation warrants another one.

City staff agreed to take an updated second look. They said that study should be completed and presented within the next two to three months.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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