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< Trash removal from park | Problems 2006 | Field House washroom maintenance >

Description: Signage requested for laneway between park and Sylvan Avenue
Status: Closed
Department:
Opened: July 21, 2006
Closed: Sepetember 19, 2006
Next:

Laneway Between Park And Sylvan Ave

Request from Jutta Mason to Councillor Adam Giambrone, July 21, 2006

Hi Adam, Chris already noted this down during yesterday's walkabout, but I want to make sure -- could we please have a meeting very soon, with the parking signage people, about the dead end of Gladstone south of the park?

1. The current signage there is wrong. There needs to be a new post with correct signage, i.e. the "no parking" sign has to take distance from the corner into account. Also the signs need to be made much more obvious, through some tree pruning.

2. the "no stopping" signs on the west side of the street don't make sense, they should be "no parking." The signs need to be bigger and not partly hidden by leaves (Forestry?)

3. The cement barriers at the dead end should be removed -- the only thing they block is residents being able to get out of their laneway when the cars are parked too near. (Peter Leiss)

The reason why these things need to be done is that the volume of people at the playground has increased hugely.

Please let me know a date before the end of July, when the roads signage guy can come, so that I can put it in the newsletter. If you let them know that we are having our own non-regulation signs made and put up there in the interim, that might get them out a bit faster.

Illegally parked cars obstructing the road and the residents' laneway, August 5, 2006. Many park users don't realize that the laneway has only one exit, so that people can't drive out the other side if the near exit is blocked.

From Forestry supervisor Chris Plant, added information, July 21 2006

For tree pruning issues , the supervisor responsible for your area is Mr. Kevin Decooman. His phone # is 392-6629. I'm not aware of the inspector that he has assigned to the area.

Request to Chris Gallop, assistant to City Councillor Adam Giambrone, August 4 2006

Any progress on the parking signs at the Gladstone dead end? An artist will be painting a "no parking" sign sometime next week, for the staff to put up every day, but it would be nice if the City could get on it too. What kind of timing should I write in the August newsletter, on tha issue? (I need to follow up the July item).

And have you and Peter Leiss had a chance to talk about removing the cement bollards, so that until the problem is solved, residents could have an "escape route" for their cars if they're blocked in?

Response from Chris Gallop, assistant to City Councillor Adam Giambrone, August 4 2006

I think everyone is onboard with removing the concrete barriers. I left a message with Peter Leiss to confirm and as soon as I hear back from him I will email you again to confirm this is going to happen.

With respect to the parking signs, Transportation is reluctant to keep putting up more and more signs since they argue the standard ones in place already clearly indicate where people can and can't park. Basically their argument boils down to saying that even with the biggest, most clearly marked signs in the world, you are still going to get inconsiderate people who just don't care and park there any way, figuring the odds of getting a ticket is low and worth the gamble. I think they have a point, but I'm willing to push them to change the signs one last time if you and the rec staff really think it's going to make a difference.

Based on my notes from our site meeting the other day, you are requesting the following changes:

1) Move the pole on the east side of the lane south another metre (eliminating an additional parking spot) 2) add a "$200 fine for illegal parking" sign to this same post (I'll have to confirm that this is in fact the appropriate fine) 3) Get no parking signs on west side instead of no stopping (note this would mean people would then be legally allowed to stop on the west side momentarily to unload passengers or what not - or do you want no stopping signs AND no parking signs?)

If you could please clarify and confirm that these are the changes you want I will follow up with Transportation asap.

Response IN BOLD from Jutta Mason to Chris Gallop, assistant to City Councillor Adam Giambrone, August 4 2006

>I think everyone is onboard with removing the concrete barriers. I left a message with Peter Leiss to confirm and as soon as I hear back from him I will email you again to confirm this is going to happen. Great. Peter's foreperson Gus will be in the park doing some more sandpit work this coming week, so maybe his crew can removed the cement barrier at the same time.

> With respect to the parking signs, Transportation is reluctant to keep putting up more and more signs since they argue the standard ones in place already clearly indicate where people can and can't park. Basically their argument boils down to saying that even with the biggest, most clearly marked signs in the world they are far from being the biggest, most clearly marked signs in the world -- let's try bigger before we conclude they won't work you are still going to get inconsiderate people who just don't care and park there any way, figuring the odds of getting a ticket is low and worth the gamble. I think they have a point, but I'm willing to push them to change the signs one last time how many other times were there? if you and the rec staff really think it's going to make a difference.

> Based on my notes from our site meeting the other day, you are requesting the following changes:

1) Move the pole on the east side of the lane south another metre (eliminating an additional parking spot) My recollection is that there's a law requiring no parking 15 feet from a corner. That is a lot more than a meter.

2) add a "$200 fine for illegal parking" sign to this same post (I'll have to confirm that this is in fact the appropriate fine) we want this sign at the dead end, NOT on the side post. My understanding of the Highway Traffic Act is that parking up against a dead end carries a very high fine. Transportation will know how to get that information.

3) Get no parking signs on west side instead of no stopping (note this would mean people would then be legally allowed to stop on the west side momentarily to unload passengers or what not - or do you want no stopping signs AND no parking signs?) there is no need for "no stopping" signs -- it is obviously an unloading area for the park. What's needed is more prominent "no parking" signs. The ones there now are partly obscured by the trees.

> If you could please clarify and confirm that these are the changes you want I will follow up with Transportation asap.

I hope that Transportation can follow up on this quickly. It's my impression that the current signage on the east side doesn't conform to the 15-feet rule. Errors in signage should go to the top of their list, don't you think?

This is should also be a concern for Parks, since it's the park that creates the parking problem. That's just being a good corporate citizen.

Comment from Andy Di Cesare, August 8 2006

I would like to make one comment concerning the 'No Parking' versus the 'No Stopping' signs. While I don't see any specific problem with the change, I don't think this section of Gladstone is 'obviously' an unloading zone for the park, but it may be a fire route to service the back lane for homes on Sylvan Avenue in which case No Stopping is the right call. In any case, I do think that there should be no stopping at the end of street (15 feet-25 feet).

Response from Chris Gallop, assistant to City Councillor Adam Giambrone, August 8 2006

I talked to Peter, he is still concerned people will drive up into the park if the barriers are removed completely, the compromise we can up with is to move the concrete barriers about 4 meters northward into the park so someone leaving the laneway would have manoevering room but there would still be a barrier to driving into the park. Does this make sense to you?

The road signs are standard size signs, at this point we are starting to ask for custom signs, which they don't want to do (for budget and precedence reasons), see more info below.

The changes they made before: One that I am aware of, about a month ago, when they added the "no parking" sign to the top of the pole with the north pointing arrow, and I also believe they moved the pole south a foot or two at the same time.

There is actually a law that says no parking 15 metres (not feet) from the terminus of a dead end street. That would take the pole to roughly a third of the way down the street. Apparently this law wasn't being implemented on Gladstone to accomodate extra permit parking spots because the permit parking in this area is oversubscribed. We are prepared to push transportation to do this, it would mean loosing two existing permit parking spots. Thoughts?

Here Transportation is arguing that the existing signage is visible and the problem is lack of enforcement. This is also where we are getting into custom sign territory, apparently fines are not routinely posted. What we suggest as an alternative is to go through Parks for this instead of Transportation. We can ask Parks staff to order signs from the Parks sign shop and then we can have Parks add a pole in the park right at the dead end, facing south. What do you think?

To change signage from "no stopping" to "no parking" we would actually have to report to Council to get the authority to change the signs. Earliest this could be accomplished is roughly by the beginning of October. Transportation has agreed to review the visibility issue and post additional "no stopping" signs as needed. What I was thinking was to ask them to lower the existing signs by about a foot so they are less obscured by the trees. We can also arrange for the trees to be pruned. Would that be satisfactory for this item?

4) I also mentioned the idea of painting a line on the road at the boundary between the legal and illegal parking spots. No luck on that one, Transportation says they simply do not paint parking lines any more.

Response from Jutta Mason, Aug.11, 2006

1. cement barriers: the park can be driven into from many places already, and cement barriers are rare. And ugly. Anyone who wants to go through the park from the south end of Gladstone just needs to make a little jog to hop the curb all along the west side of the dead-end road. The main vehicles that do that are City and other service vehicles -- ordinary cars don't tend to. So the only thing the cement barriers are effective for at the moment is preventing residents from getting out of their laneway when the cars are jammed into there. Therefore I would recommend that Peter gets Gus to remove the barriers altogether, or arrange them in one neat section at the NW corner of the dead end.

2. custom signs: there are lots of custom signs all over the city e.g. odd no parking hours etc. If they feel they can't afford any more, no problem. Are there any standard signs that are bigger?

3. The Highway Traffic Act and Transportation having moved the pole south "a foot or two" -- interesting that the City can go against the Highway Traffic Act if they need to create more parking spaces. I'm glad there's some flexibility. I think a compromise would be good here -- lose ONE parking space. That means maneuverability for the residents but still being aware of nearby neighbours' needs to park their cars near their houses.

4. I think the custom sign from Parks at the dead end is a great idea, in the location where you said. It goes along with Sandy Straw's approach to by-law enforcement -- start out with good information! And it will look better and be more permanent than the big sign the park staff have painted and put up there for now.

5. Andy says that the "no stopping" might be a fire route access to the laneway, but that would be unusual if you compare it to other City laneways. Also I think the firetrucks wouldn't be able to get into the laneway anyway because of the cramped corner -- same problem as at the Rink House emergency access. My hunch is that the "no stopping" was put there to make it more obvious that cars can't park there -- but it hasn't worked. People will always tend to stop there to unload their kids, picnics, old mother-with-her-walker, etc. A car with a driver in it can move to let a resident out of the laneway. Rather than say that's illegal to unload people, it would be better to concentrate on NO PARKING. So my suggestion would be to get the change from no stopping onto the Community Council agenda for two months or six months from now. But that's not the big push here.

6. If Transportation doesn't do yellow paint, could you get us some?

7. How nice it will be when this laneway problem is solved. Everyone will be happy....including the folks who parked illegally without knowing it, and who will now be able to avoid getting a ticket for their outing to the park. Those folks who still park illegally afterwards should be ticketed pretty aggressively, and then the parking enforcement unit will be happy too, and so will City Council, for the extra parking ticket income. A win-win.

From Parks Supervisor Peter Leiss, August 14 2006

The concrete bariers will moved this week.

From Chris Gallop, assistant to City Councillor Adam Giambrone, August 15 2006

A quick follow up about the no stopping signs on the west side of

Gladstone: Transportation has pointed out that if we change the

regulation to no parking instead, it would severely weaken our enforcement options. With the current signage, police are able to ticket and tow a vehicle parked there immediately. If we change to no parking they could ticket but would not be authorized to tow a vehicle right away.

I'm under the impression that if cars are parked on both the east and west sides it does essentially block the street as there is not enough room to get down the middle? I think for now we'd like to leave the no stopping regulation in place while trying to improve visibility, e.g. prune trees and add additonal no stopping signs as needed. With the other measures we will be taking it may not be necessary to change the regulation to no parking. If moving the pole and the other measures we discussed don't get the job done we still have the option of asking Transportation to report to Council on changing the regulation to no parking. Let's see how things go on the ground first once the other changes are in place.

response from Jutta Mason to Chris Gallop, assistant to City Councillor Adam Giambrone, August 15 2006

hello Chris -- to my knowledge the City has never had a car towed from there during the day (i.e. when the illegal parking problem is there). They can't even get it together to ticket the cars more than once a month. There is no need to tow cars from there.

The "no stopping" signs are telling people that they can't drop a person or a picnic off at the park, at that access point. That makes no sense.

Parking signs are meant to give information to citizens to make things work better. People need to be educated that they can drop off their passengers on Gladstone and then go find a legal parking spot. Now that the park staff painted those huge "no parking" signs, that's already what most people do.

I would appreciate it if you could get this onto the September Community Council agenda, and stick to you guns.

Just my opinion -- it's the Councillor's call.

Chris Gallop, assistant to City Councillor Adam Giambrone, to Parks supervisor Peter Leiss, August 15 2006

Transportation has committed to doing the following with respect to the parking problem on Gladstone:

1) Move the pole on the east side south approximately 3 meters, eliminating one permit parking spot. They think they can probably have this done by the end of the month.

2) Rather than installing a "do not block laneway" sign, or wording to that effect, by the laneway entrance, which in Transportation's view "isn't enforceable and means very little to people," they have committed to installing 2 "tow away zone" signs, one on the pole on the east side, and the other on the west side under the no stopping signs. Transportation thinks these signs are likely to be the most effective deterrence signage can provide. This would likely happen at the same time that the pole is moved.

3) They will replace a bent no stopping sign on the west side to improve visibility.

Outstanding items:

4) While they are not willing to do the work themsleves, Transportation has no objections if Park and Rec went ahead and painted a line on the road marking the boundary between the legal and illegal parking areas, once the pole has been moved. In fact, they suggest you may want to "hatch" the road north of the parking spots, e.g. criss-crossing lines as is done in the intersections downtown, to maximize visibility and make it very clear where parking is not allowed. Personally, I think this is a great idea. Do you think Parks and Rec would be able to get this organized out of your budget?

5) Transportation will not add a new pole with signage at the northern terminus of the street facing south (i.e. around where the concrete barriers are). Parks and Rec may want to order a sign from your sign shop and have it installed here, something along the lines of the temporary sign the Rec staff have been putting out each day. What do you think?

6) It has been suggested that it makes more sense to rescind the no stopping regulation on the west side and replace it with a no parking regulation, because in reality people are using the west side to unload passengers in any case. This request is being debated actively and I'll keep you posted on further developments. Does Parks and Rec have any thoughts about this item?

Comments (from Jutta Mason) on the list sent by Chris Gallop, assistant to City Councillor Adam Giambrone, to Parks supervisor Peter Leiss, August 15 2006

1. As discussed. I think making the first 10 feet south of the laneway exit (east side) no parking will be a huge help.

2. Putting a tow-away sign on that east pole will also help. Putting one on the west side can only be done if it remains "no stopping," right?

3. replacing a bent sign will not do much to deter parking I think, if we take the evidence of the last few years. But straight poles are nicer than bent I'm sure.

4. This "hatching" on the street surface -- in what material? Paint? Why would Parks pay for that if it's right on the road?

5. As discussed, the Parks sign shop can do a nice sign. Please consult with the rec staff on text, since it's going to be custom-made anyway.

By the way, the nice, solid, tasteful signs made by rec casual staff Sandy Gribbin are fixed to the poles, not put out each day.

6. If the "no stopping" signs are staying, could there be another sign so nobody will have their visit to the park spoiled? The sign should say: "Stopping to unload passengers prohibited."

That's what "no stopping" means, but it's so counter-intuitive at that location that it needs additional emphasis showing that the City really means, "unless you want to break the law, you cannot unload your picnic group here, nor your grandmother and her walker, nor can you pick them up here after a nice day in the park, nor can a nursery school bus stop here to get kids from a park outing."

For myself, I'd rather not force people to disregard the law. There should be sensible rules and then every effort should be made for those rules to work, i.e. follow-up. That's what the rec staff have tried to do this month, impressively. I hope they're getting compliments.

Response from Parks supervisor Peter Leiss to Jutta Mason, August 16 2006

Thanks for your email. As you may know we have moved the concrete barriers to allow access to the laneway in the event that access is restricted due to vehicles parking. I am at loss to the comments in the previous email regarding painting the roadway as this is clearly not within Parks control.

We could have a sign made from the sign shop with "custom" wording however this would be advisory only. This may not be enforceable. The City bylaws are specific as to wording to ensure that enforcement can be carried out successfully.

Response from Jutta Mason to Parks supervisor Peter Leiss, August 16 2006

Hi Peter -- yes, the concrete barriers are moved for now and it looks good!


concrete barriers gone

good information

Re your comment about signs that allow enforcement: I like Sandy Straw's approach to enforcement -- let's incorporate public education too. A friendly but firm Parks Dept. sign (and continuing follow-up by the rec staff) will help make this situation better, even if the towing penalty is reserved for people ignoring the City signs.

Response from Parks supervisor Peter Leiss, August 16 2006

I prefer an approach that educates before enforcement as well. We will look at signs that can provide that. If you have suggestions towards that end please let me know.

Comment from resident using laneway, Aug.21, 2006

The resident says that since the new large hand-painted no parking signs were added, the parking problem has got so much better it's like night and day. She used to get up very early if she had to use her car that day, and get it out of the laneway and park it on the street, to make sure she could use it later in the day without being blocked in. Now she says she doesn't have to worry anymore.

From Chris Gallop, assistant to City Councillor Adam Giambrone, August 28, 2006

I am pleased to inform you that, during our ongoing negotiations with Transportation staff about this issue, we were able to secure a commitment from them to undertake a one-time "hatching" of the road north of the legal parking spots, without a report to Community Council being necessary. This work will be done after the pole on the east side has been moved south by one parking spot (or possibly even at the same time that the pole is moved) and ought to be completed by the end of September at the very latest.

Update, Sept. 18 2006

markings on road put on by Roads workers

Two roads workers spent a day in early September, painting these lines at the dead end. They were amazed to find out that this laneway has only the one exit. Now all that remains is to move the "no parking" sign so that there is a wider turning radius available for the residents.

Since it's unlikely that the City will permit extra-large "no parking" signs, park staff will remove the hand-painted signs after the last big event of the season (the "Night of Dread") and put them away until next spring, when the crowds return to the playground.

Update Sept.19, 2006

digging up the old sign

Councillor Adam Giambrone's assistant Chris Gallop called to say he had spoken to Roads about the sign. And here they are, digging it up.


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