Posts Tagged ‘bylaw’

Labatt Memorial Baseball Park & Noise By-laws

August 21, 2008

KevBo avatarThere has been a City By-Law in London, Ontario has has bothered me for as long as I can remember. It baffles my mind and I just can’t bring myself to understand how it even exists. There are numerous By-Laws that I may not agree with but I am sure they are for the greater good and although this might be one of them I really think that The City has taken the wrong approach to this situation.

As I said, there are many By-Laws that are implemented in The City that are needed on a daily basis; noise, open alcohol, laws dealing with pets, the list goes on, but then there are others that aren’t needed and the fact that they are laws makes me wonder how they became laws.

For example, why do we need a by-law saying you cant park on the public streets between 3-5am in the middle of summer? It makes no sense. In the winter Im ok with it because of snow removal, but in the summer, what a joke. This law certainly does not exist in the summer so that street cleaners can operate, because as we all know they work in the middle of the day and end up causing issues not only in the downtown area but across the city (I know they work in the evenings as well, but they do not exclusively have to). So that might just be a By-Law that we don’t need, and something that The City has been looking into. One that is good By-Law, in my honest opinion, is the one about parking cars on your front lawn, it just looks messy and junk yard like to have cars parked on your lawn, and I think that most people would argue that is not what lawns are for.

In any city there are good and bad laws, that is always going to be the case, but then there are stupid laws that were influenced by stupid people. I have two examples, one a local example the other from Toronto.

Labatt Memorial Baseball ParkLabatt Park

For those of you who don’t know, Labatt Memorial Park is in London, Ontario and it is the oldest operating baseball field/diamond in the world (this is an ongoing debate, but that is not the topic of discussion here). Currently is it used primarily by the London Majors Baseball team and on occasion for special events, in the past it was use more often with the London Tigers, London Warewolves and London Monarchs all taking their turn in the ballpark.

Although this is the worlds oldest ballpark in operation there is a city By-Law that prohibits it from operating as it should. The By-Law (a portion of it) reads as follow:For evening baseball, no inning is to begin after 11:00 pm and all field lighting is to be turned off by 11:30 pm., or something of that nature.

(NOTE: I had a link to the Labatt Ballpark User Guidelines from The City, but when they updated their site the link no longer worked, therefore I had to remove it)

This By-Law came into place (I can’t remember what year), because the residents in the area complaining about the lights and the noise that the ball park produced at night.

I find this to be somewhat of a joke for the following reasons

Labatt Park has been in its location for far longer than any of the residents have been. It is true that the ballpark has changed its orientation after the flood (1883) but the ballpark has still been there longer than any reisdent. For this reason those whom choose to purchase propery in the area should be aware of the ballpark and the business which happens there, they should respect the ballpark, its heritage and the heritage of the City of London. Take for example if someone were to move into a home next to a steel mill, the steel mill isn’t going to be shut down just because someone that just moved in doesn’t agree with its use.

Second, a person could argue that there was never any real noise or disturbance from the park and its use as the ball clubs that have played there have never brought in enough spectators to cause any noise. London isn’t a baseball town.

This is one By-Law that I think should not be in existance. Those who buy properties in such an area should be well aware of what is arround the. For this specific example I find it funny that people will buy a home in an area that has been known to flood (when subsequently lives were lost) and still do so with no complaints, yet they find it easy enough to complain about a heritage property that is promoting and supporting recreation. It blows my mind.

Now on to my second, somewhat related item.

Toronto Pearson International Airport

This law I don’t know too much about personally, but I find it to be a poor By-Law none the less.

Tell me this: What was there first, the airport or all of the houses that they have built around the airport in the last 20 years?? The Airport (1939) was there first, thank you very much.

If you want to buy a home right next to one of the busiest airports in the Country (if not the world) then that is your choice but you should be prepared to live with the sound of the airport for the rest of your life, not expect the planes to stop flying.

Currently Transport Canada has imposed a limit on all aircraft movements between 12:30am and 6:30am. This is one of the worst laws ever. It is one of the worlds busiest airports, Canada’s busiest airport and its not even open 24 hours. Think of all the money, business and tourism that The City is missing out on all because people think they should have priority over something that came 50 + years before they did.

Both of these examples just baffle my mind. I love the fact that Government bends over backwards to appease home buyers when they really shouldn’t have to. The home buyers should respect what has been historically in their neighbourhood and either deal with it or not move into the area. Changes on such scales as whats been outlined here should not take place, but apparently in these modern days cities across our nation have to compensate for the ignorance of the un-educated home buyers out there.

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Caranci Postures About Citizen Safety

June 9, 2008


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fowgre avatarAmazing! Astounding! Unbelievable! that Roger Caranci would have the nerve to say “If something were to happen to cause injury or death to someone — I’m very concerned about that.” 01

poster; Roger Caranci, missing in London, OntarioLet’s see what Councillor Caranci has to say about the proposed fence by-law that they’re going to vote on this evening. Better still, let’s see what (if anything) he’s going to say about my submission, given the way that he’s provided me with absolutely no assistance with respect to my efforts to make walkways safer.

And let’s not forget the total lack of assistance that I’ve had from him with respect to the intersection at Commissioners/Pond Mills which a police report verifies is dangerous to pedestrians.

Sources:
01. 2008/06/07 – LFP: London bridges keep falling down

Undermining the Cause

May 11, 2008

As much as it hurts to post this photo…

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Obstructed City Hall Sidewalk

May 10, 2008

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Should London politicians care that the sidewalk in front of City Hall is obstructed? They don’t seem to care about pedestrian-related problems anywhere else…

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Quebec Town Bans Plastic Bags

January 5, 2008

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A new Huntingdon P.Q. bylaw prohibits retail outlets from distributing plastic bags, advertisers from delivering fliers in plastic bags, and residents from lining their garbage bins with green plastic bags.

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Open-Air Clothes Drying

December 9, 2007

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On this week’s Planning Committee meeting agenda, a written submission titled “Use of Restrictive Covenants to Limit and/or Prohibit the Use of Clotheslines and Umbrella Clothes Dryers Within the City of London.”

My take on this issue? There ought to be a clothesline or umbrella dryer in every London yard. And the property owner ought to be able to choose which one to employ. Full stop.

In-Car Metered-Taxi Cameras

December 9, 2007

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Also on this week’s ETC meeting agenda, a proposal by Ward Four’s Councillor Stephen Orser for consideration of an addition to the Taxicab Licensing Bylaw. Click HERE to read the Councillor’s written submission.

As someone who operated a taxi in this city for many years, I have some concerns with respect to mandating lease-operators to bear the possibly prohibitive cost of this technology; that reservation does not extend to private plate owners and the taxi companies, however. Otherwise, I fully support this initiative.

Links:
2007/12/10 – LFP: Cabbie cams focus of push today

Accessible Parking Violators

December 9, 2007

It’s a pretty sad commentary about the nature of some people, but it’s the time of year when there’s a marked increase in the number vehicles unlawfully parked in Accessible Parking spaces.

On-street metered parking is free in London for those who display a disabled parking permit (for the maximum time permitted on that meter), and the City also permits free parking in City Municipal parking lots (two hours max).

74(c). No person shall use or permit the use of a current original identifying marker furnished by the Ministry of Transportation except the disabled person to whom the current original identifying marker is furnished; or a person transporting such disabled person.” (City of London; Traffic & Parking By-law)

27(2). A person who contravenes…is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not less than $300 and not more than $5,000.” (GovOnt; Highway Traffic Act)

Links:
MOT: Accessible Parking Permits
2007/12/14 – LFP: Disabled parking crackdown…

Wastewater Tax Increase

December 8, 2007

According to CLEAR: Shared AccountabilityThe storm drainage system in the city is extensive. Over 1,100 km of storm sewers help remove surface water and transport it to creeks and rivers… Eliminating roof downspout connections to the storm sewer system and ensuring that there are no connections to the sanitary sewer systems is another way to reduce the harmful affects to the river. The Drainage By-law has specific drainage related stipulations that require residents to handle storm water on their own property first by allowing it to infiltrate into the soil.”

When I tried to raise the subject of wastewater during the past municipal election campaign (click HERE and HERE), there didn’t appear to be much interest.

But wait! As part of the new water system budget, London’s City Council has just increased the wastewater tax by $40. You’ll now be paying about $478 next year for the water/wastewater services that you enjoy.

Perhaps more people will be interested in things like runoff diversion now. You think?

Links:
2007/08/10 – Globe&Mail: New system could halve water consumption
2007/10/27 – Globe&Mail: City proposal aims to divert runoff from sewer
2007/11/01 – Globe&Mail: Council urged to order downspouts disconnected
2007/11/03 – Ottawa Citizen: A quest for neighbourhood
2007/11/19 – Toronto Star: Downspouts top city agenda
2007/11/21 – CBC: Downspouts (audio that runs 11:26)
2007/11/21 – Globe&Mail: Downspout program swamped with requests
2007/11/21 – National Post: Unhooking Downspouts May Cost $65M
2007/11/22 – Toronto Star: 10-year wait for downspout disconnect
2007/11/23 – Toronto Star: Councillors need lesson on economy
2007/11/24 – Toronto Star: No wonder Toronto’s finances are in a mess
2007/11/24 – Toronto Star: High cost to protect residents and city
2007/11/24 – Toronto Star: Offensive for Star to print such hateful ruminations
2007/11/28 – Toronto Star: Cost of program defies common sense
2007/12/05 – The Londoner: $67 more a year for water and sewer services
2007/12/03 – Proposed Water Rates & Charges Bylaw
2007/12/03 – Proposed Schedule of Sewer System Fees and Charges Bylaw
2007/12/03 – Overview of 2008 Water & Wastewater & Treatment Budget
2007/12/05 – The Londoner: $67 more a year for water and sewer services

Butt Out When Cars Contain Children

December 7, 2007

In 2003/04, MPP Garfield Dunlop “floated a proposal…to snuff out smoking in cars occupied by children” but subsequently decided after “his office was deluged with a barrage of “nasty” e-mails from constituents” that “legislation banning the practice would have a better chance of success if spearheaded by the OMA, rather than as a private member’s bill” (‘Smoking Bans in Cars Carrying Children Gains Support‘; ASH; 2004/10/20).

In 2004 the OMA released a final report called “Exposure to second-hand smoke: are we protecting our kids?” It says that the risk of children contracting respiratory illness and SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is higher when they’re exposed to SHS (2nd-hand smoke) in vehicles. That’s because the toxicity of smoke in cars can be 23 times greater than in a house! SHS is also blamed for increased numbers of adult cancer and heart disease.

Just last month, Wolfville, N.S. became the first municipality in Canada to ban smoking in cars when they are carrying children. First-time offenders get a warning, but repeat offenders face a $50 fine.

Is Wolfville serious about the danger to children, or is it just making a token gesture? It seems to me that a $50 fine might be appropriate for the 1st offence, but there needs to be a stronger message sent to repeat offenders.

At the 2007/11/26 CAPS Committee meeting, Councillor Bernie MacDonald tabled a “No Smoking in Cars with Children Present” report (Town of Wolfville, N.S., 2007/09/25) and inquired about whether a bylaw could be implemented here. CAPS unanimously approved referral of the report “to the City Solicitor for report back at a future meeting of the CPSC as to how the City of London might implement restrictions on smoking in vehicles with children present.” After it returns to CAPS it’s expected to go before City Council.

Links:
1996/11 – OMA: SHS Position Paper
2003/02 – OMA: SHS Position Paper
2004/ – OMA: SHS Position Paper
2007/02/02 – Globe&Mail: Ontario rejects car-smoking ban
2007/11/27 – CBC: Councillor Bernie MacDonald interview (audio)
2007/11/28 – OMA: Time for Ontario to act to protect children’s health
2007/11/29 – LondonTopic: London applauded for initiative…
2007/12/06 – Toronto Star: ‘MPP: Ban smoking in cars with kids’
2007/12/06 – CTV: MPP bill calls for smoking ban in cars with minors
2007/12/06 – SooToday: Orazietti’s bill would let cops pull you over for smoking
2007/12/06 – OMA: …calls on all MPPs to support bill…

London Transportation – My Public Response to Paul Berton

January 6, 2007

Hold onto your hats… this is a long post…

Mr. Berton,

To begin with, a note of appreciation for today’s “Back transit plan before it’s too late” editorial. Public transit is hugely important towards safe and healthy cities, and as I’ve written to you before and despite all of City Hall’s posturing, sadly ignored (as evidenced by per-capita mode share stats). Had it not been for significant transfer payments from the province and the feds in recent years, I hate to think what sad shape public transit in London would now be in.

LTC ridership was 18,761,000 in 1988. But thanks to the political pressure of the 0%-tax increase coalition, Council’s attitude toward increased support of public transit and other necessary services became very negative. The result was that LTC made a decision to increase user rates, the results were predictable. Ridership decreased year after year for the next 8 years! From a ridership level of only 11,905,000 in 1996, we are only now in 2006 finally getting back to that 1988 level.

But even that stat is deceiving, because the city has grown considerably since then. Whereas the 18,761,000 riders in 1988 represented a very modest mode share of 10%, the 18,276,000 riders which the service attracted in 2005 only represent a mode share of 7%. In order to match projected population growth and simply recapture the 10% share, the TDM estimates that ridership has to grow an average 600,000 additional rides per year, every year, until 2024.

Along with community centres (which I also strongly support), let’s not forget the importance that public transit plays in the lives of marginalized citizens (OW, ODSP, minimum-wage earners, disabled, etc), the increasing disparity between rich/poor in our society, and the resultant societal problems and huge health/policing costs that go along with those.

Perhaps if this initiative succeeds, more citizens will have access to Fanshawe Pioneer Village (as one example of a less accessible but important community resource) and it’s consequent improved finances will in turn reduce pressure on City Council at budget time.

To borrow a phrase from Arlene Kennedy, “Our city must become the centre for innovative and creative thinking.” Contrary to statements from the developer-backed naysayers on City Council, increased municipal investment in public transit would move us in that direction.

Might I suggest a follow-up article which examines the true cost of private automobile usage, not only including such things as purchase price, insurance, maintenance, license… but also things like municipal road widening, road extensions, public parking, police enforcement, bylaw enforcement, collisions, environmental degradation (pollution, loss of farmland, etc), increased infrastructure and emergency service costs resulting from urban sprawl … ?

If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to read Ryan McGreal’s “The High Cost of Free Parking.

I must admit though, that I’m somewhat at a loss to understand the failure of the LFP to address London’s record-setting year with respect to vehicle/pedestrian incidents, in any of your year-end recaps that I’ve read. Did I miss something?

On another transportation-related note. Many months ago, when I notified you about the proposal that I had put to City Council with respect to a Pedestrian Subcommittee for London, you replied that you had a special interest in pedestrian/bicyclist safety and that you wished to be kept informed. That being the case, you may be interested in the correspondence which is attached (below). In addition to the highly questionable manner in which the proposal was handled by City Council and “city administration”, I note that I haven’t had a single contact from any elected member about this.

Continuing with the same theme, and my efforts to extract a copy of the Commissioners/Pond Mills safety study from London Police Services. I’ve now succeeded in doing so but only with the assistance of the Ontario Privacy Commissioner.

The unsafe intersection of Commissioners and Pond Mills has been the sight of several horrific vehicle/pedestrian incidents and is one that I have focused on as part of my political action towards improved pedestrian safety in the city of London. It employs pedestrian islands and channelization (dangerously rounded corners so that drivers don’t have to stop or even slow down).

Excerpt from Constable Riley’s 2006/05/29 “Police Witness Statement” which I only obtained 2007/01/04 under FOI:
“I have met with FOWLER and monitored this intersection both with him present and on my own…The following are things that I have noted:
– very high traffic intersection both pedestrian and vehicle
– right hand turn, merge lanes for all directions of travel
– vehicles turning right generally come at a quicker rate of speed but are not speeding
– vehicles turning right, if they stop do so in such a place that they are generally in the crosswalk
– there are no indicators for vehicles making right turns that pedestrians are present or about to cross
– for pedestrians wanting to cross any of the intersections, they must first make it to the island on the opposite side of all the right hand turn lanes in order to push the button to cross the major part of the intersection
– once pedestrians are on the islands they are pretty much blind to vehicles and there is a safety risk that vehicle may not see them”

Excerpt from Constable Riley’s 2006/08/10 “Case Summary” which I only obtained 2007/01/04 under FOI:
“FOWLER was contacted…and a request was made to meet with him and go over this complaint in detail at the intersection in question. Intersection was monitored for a couple of days. Very high traffic both pedestrian and vehicles. Crosswalks are not very safe as pedestrians are forced to cross the path of the turning lane to enter on to an island in order to depress the pedestrian walk button.”

In an email to me dated 2006/08/11, Sgt. Thomas O’Brien wrote:
“Constable Riley’s report acknowledges that Commissioners and Pond Mills is a busy intersection for both vehicles and pedestrians. He doesn’t like the configuration of the merge turns and how it impacts pedestrians. He indicates that local MPP were notified of the concerns… I had conversation with Mr. Shane Maguire of the City Traffic. We discussed this intersection and the unusual requirements for pedestrians to cross merge lanes to get to an “island” to further cross. He is fully aware of the concerns. I asked him to look at other similar intersection configurations within the city to see if they’re experiencing similar problems.”

Correspondence re: Proposal for a London Pedestrian Subcommittee

—————————————————————————————————

Date: Wed, 14 Jun 2006 12:36:26 -0400 (EDT)
From: “Gregory Fowler”
Subject: Update – Pedestrian Safety
To: SMaguire@london.ca
CC: “Sandy White”

Mr. Maguire,

In appreciation of your past demonstrated willingness to meet with me and discuss these issues, please be advised,

In response to several complaints by me, Sgt. Tom O’Brien has assigned Const. Riley (661-5545) to investigate the issue of pedestrian safety at the intersection of Commissioners Road East and Pond Mills Road.

I met with Const. Riley at said intersection this morning and discussed the situation with him at length. My impression following the meeting is a good one.

Const. Riley appeared to be very receptive to the perception which I expressed with respect to multiple pedestrian safety issues, and seems to appreciate the dangers imposed by the physical configuration of this particular intersection.

I’ve been promised by Contst. Riley that he will continue to monitor this situation, and that he will endeavour to have Sgt. O’Brien visit the location with him in order to explain/discuss the problems further. He also suggested the possibility of involving MPP Ramal, and he indicated to me that there will be a report available following his investigation.

Also,

As a result of my efforts toward the establishment of a Pedestrian Charter and a Pedestrian Subcommittee for the City of London, I have been informed by the Secretary of the Environment and Transportion Committee that the matter has been referred to the Board of Control for it’s consideration and reply.

I encourage you to follow these developments, and invite you to contact me at any time should you wish to discuss them further.

Respectfully,

Greg Fowler, Candidate Ward One
962 Eagle Crescent
London, Ontario; N5Z 3H7
(519) 649-0500

Date: Wed, 3 Jan 2007 22:20:59 -0500 (EST)
From: Gregory Fowler
Subject: Fwd: RE: Your Letter
To: kbain@london.ca
CC: rcaranci@london.ca, hlysynsk@london.ca

Mr. Bain,

Thank you for your letter dated 2006/12/19 which summarizes how my proposal for a Pedestrian Subcommittee and a Pedestrian Charter was “handled”.

According to the material which you provided, civic administration’s “review” and “report” simply consisted of the single simple sentence that “Pedestrian safety would be a logical fit with the CSCP mandate and it is therefore recommended that … the CSCP’s duties be amended by adding thereto after the words ‘injury prevention’ the words ‘pedestrian safety’ in order to incorporate the area of pedestrian safety within the mandate of the CSCP.”

Was there any background study? Any consultation with other municipalities? Any consultation with London Police Services or members of the public? Why didn’t “civic administration” contact me? Is this what Mr. Fielding means when he talks about “accessibility”?

Why was the “report” submitted to the Striking Committee meeting? Given the fact that my proposal was referred by ETC to Board of Control, shouldn’t any “report” have gone back to Board of Control and even perhaps ETC, for public review and discussion?

Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2006 14:41:31 -0500 (EST)
From: Gregory Fowler
Subject: RE: Your Letter
To: “Stein, Brett”
CC: hlysynsk@london.ca, kbain@london.ca, rcaranci@london.ca
In-Reply-To:

Mr. Stein,

My apology. The letter originated from Mr. Bain, and I apparently did not exercise sufficient care in responding. Thank you for forwarding it to Ms Lysynski.

Greg Fowler

“Stein, Brett” wrote:

Mr. Fowler
I am unaware of any letter regarding pedestrian safety sent to CSCP in my name on December 5, 2006. I have taken the liberty of forwarding your email to Heather Lysynski, who after reading all the attached emails, seems to be your contact on this subject.

Brett Stein
Manager of Licensing and Elections
City of London
(519) 661-2500 x 5884
bstein@london.ca

From: Gregory Fowler [mailto:fowgre@yahoo.ca]
Sent: Monday, December 11, 2006 1:29 PM
To: Stein, Brett
Cc: Caranci, Roger
Subject: Your Letter

Mr. Stein,

Thank you for copying me your 2006/12/05 letter to CSCP which indicates that the issue of pedestrian safety has been incorporated within the mandate of that committee.

It strikes me as being highly inappropriate to have taken this action, given the fact that I’ve been awaiting a response to my proposal for a Pedestrian Committee since last May.

Has staff reported back to Board of Control? Has a decision been made with respect to my proposal?

Greg Fowler

Subject: RE: Follow-up re Pedestrian Committee
Date: Tue, 5 Sep 2006 13:59:17 -0400
From: “Lysynski, Heather”
To: “Gregory Fowler”

My apologies, just what has been happening until this point.

Heather Lysynski
Committee Secretary
City Clerk’s Office
519-661-2500 x 4856

From: Gregory Fowler [mailto:fowgre@yahoo.ca]
Sent: Tuesday, September 05, 2006 1:40 PM
To: Lysynski, Heather
Subject: RE: Follow-up re Pedestrian Committee

Ms Lysynski,

> Pedestrian safety issues continue to be addressed by the
> Community Safety and Crime Prevention Advisory Committee.

Is this the response to my proposal for a Pedestrian Committee that I’ve been waiting for, or simply an explanation of how things have been done up until now?

Greg Fowler, Candidate Ward One

Subject: RE: Follow-up re Pedestrian Committee
Date: Tue, 5 Sep 2006 12:25:40 -0400
From: “Lysynski, Heather”
To: “Gregory Fowler”

Mr. Fowler,

In response to your inquiry, the Bicycle Advisory Committee was established with the mandate of assisting with the finalization of the Bicycle Master Plan, after which it would be integrated with the Transportation Advisory Committee. The Bicycle Master Plan has been completed, the Bicycle Advisory Committee has been disbanded and the terms of reference for the Transportation Advisory Committee have been amended to include representation from the cycling community. Pedestrian safety issues continue to be addressed by the Community Safety and Crime Prevention Advisory Committee.

Thank you,

Heather Lysynski
Committee Secretary
City Clerk’s Office
519-661-2500 x 4856

Date: Sun, 27 Aug 2006 00:20:10 -0400 (EDT)
From: “Gregory Fowler”
Subject: ETC Comments
To: “W. J. Bud Polhill”

Bud,

With respect to your remarks during the last ETC that “maybe if it was safer more people would ride a bike” and “I can understand a bicycle on the road but they have to have their own space.”

Perhaps, if you’re as concerned about the safety of alternate modes of transportation as your comments would suggest, you’ll explain to me why my proposal for a Pedestrian Committe was sloughed off to BoC and from there
to staff? And why my inquiry about the Bicycle Committee was simply ignored?

Greg Fowler, Candidate Ward One.

Date: Sat, 26 Aug 2006 23:25:26 -0400 (EDT)
From: “Gregory Fowler”
Subject: RE: Follow-up re Pedestrian Committee
To: “Lysynski, Heather”

Ms Lysynski,

I’m aware of the fact that BoC tossed my proposal for a Pedestrian Committee to staff like it was a hot potato, but can you explain to me why I’ve had no response to my inquiry about the disbandment of the Bicycle Committee?

Greg Fowler, Candidate Ward One.

Subject: RE: Follow-up re Pedestrian Committee
Date: Thu, 8 Jun 2006 13:29:18 -0400
From: “Lysynski, Heather”
To: “Gregory Fowler”

Mr. Fowler:

Your communication was referred to the Board of Control for its consideration. The ETC report will be going to the Municipal Council meeting on Monday (June 12th).

Hope this helps.

Heather

Heather Lysynski
Committee Secretary
City Clerk’s Office
661-2500 x 4856

From: Gregory Fowler [mailto:fowgre@yahoo.ca]
Sent: Thursday, June 08, 2006 1:23 PM
To: Lysynski, Heather
Subject: Follow-up re Pedestrian Committee

Ms Hlysynski,

Since I’ve had no response from anyone, and since the minutes of the 2006/05/29 ETC meeting are not yet online, perhaps you’d be kind enough to tell me how my communication (Agenda #9) was dealt with?

Respectfully,

Greg Fowler.

Date: Wed, 17 May 2006 15:45:20 -0400 (EDT)
From: Gregory Fowler
Subject: Inquiry
To: Hlysynski@london.ca
CC: Thomas O’Brien , lenlesser@hotmail.com,
pmcleod@thelondoner.ca, jsher@lfpress.com, garrison@cjbk.com,
newstalk1290today@cjbk.com, sewhite@london.ca, John.Wilsons@corusent.com,
jryan-lfp@rogers.com

Environment & Transportation Committee
City of London
c/o Heather Lysynski, Committee Secretary

May 17, 2006

Please be advised that I am interested in exploring the possibility of forming a pedestrian committee for the City of London , and the creation of a Pedestrian Charter, similar to those which already exist in the City of Toronto .

I understand from a recent agenda that the bicycle subcommittee has been disbanded. Might I receive some background information about what led to that decision, and whether it might negatively impact upon the creation of a pedestrian committee?

For more than a decade, I have been publicly active in advocating for things like increased police services, walkway lighting, etc. Pedestrian rights is simply the latest extension of that, and is driven by increased public environmental awareness, the city’s adoption of a Transportation Master Plan, the hiring of a TDM Co-ordinator (albeit with an insufficient budget), an aging population, and an alarming increase in the incidence of vehicle/pedestrian collisions.

I am attaching a recent communication to London Police Services which reflects that concern, and I ask that you give it your consideration and hopefully your support as well. I also note the excellent LFP May 16 column by Julie Ryan (“Give pedestrians ‘brake’ they deserve”) and I encourage you to read it if you have not already done so.

In the event that you might be receptive to the formation of a pedestrian committee, any recommendations from you would be very much appreciated.

Respectfully,

Mr. Gregory T. Fowler
962 Eagle Crescent
London , Ontario ; N5Z 3H7
(519) 649-0500

Date: Tue, 9 May 2006 14:08:59 -0400 (EDT)
From: Gregory Fowler
Subject: RE: Police Enforcement & Pedestrian Safety
To: Thomas O’Brien
CC: lenlesser@hotmail.com, pmcleod@thelondoner.ca, jsher@lfpress.com, garrison@cjbk.com, newstalk1290today@cjbk.com, sewhite@london.ca,
John.Wilsons@corusent.com

Sgt. O’Brien,

Thank you for your willingness to investigate my complaint.

I note with regret the article in today’s paper (“Cab hits senior in core”; Patrick Maloney; 2006/05/09), and I feel compelled to repeat the same warning that I’ve made many times before. London is headed too much in the same direction as Toronto and other large municipalities have gone, and vehicle/pedestrian incidents are inevitable unless we take aggressive measures to prevent it.

You are quoted as warning that “pedestrians need to be careful crossing city streets” and I have no problem with that. What bothers me is that you never seem to talk about the other side of the coin, and as a result I’m left with the impression that you have a bias against pedestrians.

Mr. Maloney attributes you as saying last month that “For the most part, pedestrians are at fault.”

I witness many incidents in which pedestrians behave in an unlawful and dangerous manner. I first started speaking out against that and other behaviours many years ago, when Chief Faulkner was still a Deputy. It’s one of the reasons that I publicly campaigned for an increased police budget so that more officers could be hired, something that even Chief Faulkner wasn’t doing.

But please. Let’s not try to pretend that drivers don’t share any responsibility for these incidents.

As I reminded you during our recent meeting at City Hall, walking is a natural right. Pedestrians don’t have to be licensed by the province, and the province can’t legislate against it.

Certainly, pedestrians are not at liberty to act with complete disregard. Hence, prohibitions such as R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 140 (4) with which I completely agree.

On the other hand, driving is not a right, it is a privilege (R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 31). And with that privilege, comes the legislated responsibility that drivers do everything possible to be in full control of their vehicles at all times, and those are so numerous that I feel it is unnecessary to cite them.

Until this city starts taking action to curb the seemingly insatiable selfish desire of people to use private automobiles to get to their destinations in the shortest possible time, and to curb our ever-increasing population, vehicle/pedestrian accidents will likely continue to increase. But London Police Services can try to keep it from becoming an epidemic.

I ask you again consider the possibility of conducting sting operations, similar to those which are employed by the Los Angeles Police Department (see: http://www.lapdonline.org/march_2002/news_view/22320).

Sincerely,

Greg Fowler, Ward One Municipal Candidate.

2006 Fowler Election Platform – Rain Barrels

October 10, 2006

as originally posted on my Election Website

I propose that homeowners be required to connect their eavestrough downspouts to rain barrels. Rather than allowing that water to run off into the sewer system, it can easily be collected and used.

As the amount of concrete in the city increases, and as green space which could otherwise absorb the rainfall decreases, rainfall can end up overflowing a city’s pipes. 1

“Capture rainwater for your garden using a cistern or a rain barrel. Make sure your barrel is covered with a tight-fitting lid or screen to keep disease-carrying mosquitoes from breeding there.” 2

“Disconnecting downspouts slows the flow of water into drains and sewers during heavy rainstorms. In some parts of the city, sewers back up during bad storms, flooding basements with filthy water.” 1

“During very heavy flows, water from sanitary sewers — which carry waste from baths and toilets — can get mixed with water from storm sewers, which are supposed to carry surface run-off.” 1

“During heavy rainfalls, the volume of stormwater in the combined sewer system can be as much as 75 times more than during dry-weather flows.” 3

“Water that comes to city dwellers in the form of rain is hurried–into storm sewer systems and away by asphalt, concrete, or the roof of your apartment, surfaces that don’t absorb water. Sewer systems in many cities combine household sewage with storm water in the same pipes. Because of population growth since these older sewer systems were installed, sewers overflow when it rains a lot. That means sewage gets dumped, untreated, into rivers and lakes.” 4

“Rain barrels are a great way to save water outdoors as is washing your car at a car wash that recycles their water.” 5

Sources:
1. “Downspouts must go, city says”; John Spears; Toronto Star; 2006/09/29
2. http://www.london.ca/Cityhall/…/OTC/One_Tonne_Challenge.htm
3. http://www.toronto.ca/water/…/stormwater_pollution/pdf/homefs.pdf
4. http://www.yougrowgirl.com/garden/rain_barrel.php
5. http://www.cityofbremerton.com/content/waterconservation.html

See also:
AMP: Harvesting Rainwater
AMP: Build Your Own Rain Barrel
http://www.cityofbremerton.com/content/sw_rainbarrelfacts.html

  • ©Gregory Fowler 2006 Municipal Election Campaign

Political Salaries

October 6, 2006

  I am entitled to my entitlements.”
– David Dingwall

In today’s paper (“Politicians entitled to their entitlements?”; Victoria Stirling (London); LFP “Letters”; 2006/10/07), a local citizen muses aloud about the financial gulf between politicians and many of the rest of us.

I have long suggested that the salaries of politicians at all levels of government should be directly tied to the minimum wage, or to what those who are on welfare receive. Perhaps then, the politicians would be more cognizant of the plight of those that they profess to serve, as opposed to their own “entitlements.”

As part of my Ward 1 Municipal Campaign, I’ve promised that if elected I will attempt to have bylaw A-9 (which covers salaries and expenses for members of Council) modified in that manner.