Tuesday, October 24, 2017

LIGHTING ISSUES IN AND AROUND THE PARK

Recent report from local resident, Ian MacEachern, on lighting problems in and around Sam Smith Park.  This report, dated October 23rd, was sent to City Parks, Humber College, the TCDSB, TRCA, and Toronto Hydro.

To whom it may concern,

I wish to draw your attention to light and safety issues for night travelers on public walkways, paths, parking lots and roadways on City or School Board(s) properties on or surrounding Humber College campus and Colonel Samuel Smith Park and Colonel Samuel Smith Park Drive.

On the evening of October 20, I counted over 35 burned out or flickering street, path, parking lot lights on or abutting City of Toronto property (Parks, Public Works, TTC, Parking Authority) or TRCA, Humber College, TCDSB and/or TDSB properties. Below is a summary:

• 2 pole lights out in the Toronto Parking Authority lot at Power plant;
• 2 pole lights out in Toronto Parking Authority lot at bottom of Colonel Samuel Smith Drive;
• 5 pole lights out on path from Colonel Smith Drive to bottom of 23rd Street;
• 2 path lights out east of Lakshore Yacht Club towards point along promenade;  
• 21 lights out on both sides Colonel Samuel Smith Park Drive from Kipling Avenue and Lakeshore Boulevard to bottom of Colonel Samual Smith Park Drive - street lights and decorative lighting on TDSB and or TCDSB property and adhjoining mutiple TTC stops; 
• 4 lights on north and south side of Lakeshore Boulevard West from 23rd Street to 13th Street.
• Note that the lighting for the skating area was not in my count.

Many of these foot and vehicle traffic areas are already under illuminated even when the lights are functioning - and, I wager, fall well below the City’s own street lighting safety standards.   

My concerns about lighting safety in this area are not new.  All but one of the 10 or so decorative lights on the west side of Colonel Samual Smith Drive from Kipling to the Father Redmond property, installed at condiserable public expense, have been out for a number of years and reported several times by me to Toronto Hydro, 311, TCDSB, TTC and Parks – some (TCDSB) never bothered to acknowledge and others indicated that the lights, while in the public right-of-way were not their concern or that the problem was being worked on.  Several of the street and path lights on the east side of Colonel Sam Smith Park Drive - alongside the Assembly Hall, Tim Hortons, TTC stops and the HC securty office - have also been burned out for some time.  

I wrote to Humber College President’s office in 2010 with simialr concerns suggesting that HC lead (along 22 Division, Toronto Hydro, Parks, TPA and Water Plant) some form of annual or semi annual public lighting survey for the broader campus area to identify outages as well as areas where lighting needs to be improved for users. I even offered to volunteer to help organize. No acknowledgment or response as yet – but my offer to assist still stands.  

Reporting street light outages is normally done through Toronto Hydro.  But many of the decorative street or path lights I’ve mentioned do not fall within Toronto Hydro jursidiction and do not have numbers or identifiers, making timely repairs near impossible and discouraging reporting by regular users.  Nor is there any non-emergency, online information with basic information on how one reports outages or areas of concern or general locations within the broader HC campus area.  

My intent here is only to ensure all lights are operational but also remind Humber College and the City of Toronto and its agencies of a shared responsibility and accountability for reliable and suffient lighting levels on the abutting public properties where students and the public travel to and from classess and events.  Each light in the area bounding Lakeshore Boulevard West, 23rd Street, 13th Street and the water and can easily be identified, in order to enable reporting when a light is not working, and also be placed on a rudimentary map. The map can be placed on HC or Toronto websites or the Friends of Sam Smith Park – as long as people know and can conveniently report outages. 

All accountable and responsible agencies could be showing more leadership to provide timely responses to outages and to identify areas where lighting upgrades are needed.  I find it hard to believe that ligthing safety is not a demonstrable top-of-mind issue for agencies at this time of year for students, park goers, off leash users or LSYC members for that matter.     

Note to recipients – I could not find suitable email addresses, so please forward my concerns to appropriate officials in your agency.

Please and thank you for your attention to this matter.  I’m happy to accompany any officials on a walking audit if requested. 

Ian MacEachern

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