Posts Tagged ‘disabled’

LTC Items of Interest

September 26, 2008

“Adjusted for daily mix, 2008 ridership…is approximately double the budgeted growth rate…thought to be largely attributable to the sustained increase if fuel costs…should the trend continue, ridership would exceed budget by an estimated 447,000 riders, with corresponding revenue being approximately $575,000 greater than budget.”

[ed: where’s the fare decrease?]

“Since the beginning of the school year and in response to reports of overload conditions across the city, additional trippers have been assigned to at least 5 different routes. The majority of new trippers have been assigned along the Oxford and Adelaide corridors, predominantly during the morning rush hours.”

“A number of issues…relating to the development of various standards under the Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)…continue to lack committee consensus…requirements that remain unresolved…include: whether the operator should be required to ask someone to vacate a seat.”

[ed: seating policy re disabled is needed now!]

“Compared to the same timeframe in 2007 for the first three weeks of September, contacts regarding overcrowding and requests for additional service have increased by 217%.”

[ed: Like I’ve written here many times, LTC is a complaints-driven system. If you want it to improve, you’ve got to complain, and preferably in writing.]

“The public kick-off event originally anticipated for the middle of September has been delayed to early in October in anticipation of the first wayside sign installation which is expected over the next couple of weeks.”

[ed: I’d like to get an answer to my question about the cost of these electronic announcement signs and how they’re going to be protected from vandalism, esp. now that they’re proposing to jack up fares on us.]

“Over the next 5 years (2009-2013) the Commission-approved provisional budget calls for…$26.1M…to replace 56 buses.”

“Municipal Council…approved a by-law…to execute a Letter of Agreement…provides 1/3 provincial funding for replacement buses in 2008 (approx. $2.056M).”

[ed: Aren’t the feds kicking in anything? Isn’t Council budgeting for the rest?]

“In June of this year…informed…they were not interested in renewing the…shelter advertising contract… the Commission approved going to market…a Request for Proposals (RFP) was issued…qualified bids were received…”

[ed: Ad revenue is crucial, esp. considering the proposal to jack up fares. Why did they only receive 2 bids? How widely was the RFP circulated?]

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LTC ‘Courtesy’ Seating

September 7, 2008

From this week’s CAPS agenda, in a letter to the committee from LTC: “Courtesy seating for the elderly, persons with disabilities, those using mobility devices and strollers is on a volunteer basis. While operators request passengers give their seats to such passengers, the decision to do so rests with the individual. The number and location of such seating provides a balance between the needs of all customers as well as structure issues associated with the bus itself: noting the bus design is largely based on a North American standard.01

To begin with, that’s a lie. LTC operators do order certain users to surrender courtesy seats sometimes. Although it’s been my experience that they don’t do so when they should, and sometimes do so when they shouldn’t.

Should LTC be permitted to opt out of it’s responsibility to the disabled, or should there be a clear policy that is equitably and consistently enforced?

From: Gregory Fowler
To: Larry Ducharme
Sent: Saturday, September 6, 2008 5:13:24 PM
Subject: Inquiry re: Courtesy Seating

Chair and Members
London Transportation Commission

September 5, 2008

Please accept this inquiry with respect to courtesy seating aboard LTC buses.

Recently, I was required by one of your operators to vacate my position on one of the front-door bench seats which are advertised as being for elderly and disabled passengers. Be advised that I qualify under both categories.

The reason for my displacement was so that the bench seat could be raised in order to accomodate a large child buggy.

There is no good reason for the use of large non-collapsable buggies during summer months. In this particular case, it was apparent to me that it was being employed as much as a carrier for groceries as for it’s single infant occupant.

Does the LTC have an official policy with respect to child carriers (ie. size, type, etc)?

Does the LTC have an official policy which clearly identifies a hierarchy of need with respect to the use of courtesy seats?

According to Staff Report #6 of the 2008/09/03 LTC Agenda, an operator’s request that a passenger vacate a courtesy seat is not enforceable. That being the case, kindly explain to me why I was forced to vacate my seat? Is an operator deemed to have some kind of discretionary power over use of courtesy seats, or not? Kindly also indicate to me what procedure ought to be followed by a passenger when confronted by an operator in this situation?

Respectfully,

Mr. Gregory T. Fowler
962 Eagle Crescent
London, Ont; N5Z 3H7

I’ll let you know if I get a response from them this time.

Sources:
01. 2008/09/08 – City London: CAPS Agenda item #2

The Impersonal Voice of the LTC

May 17, 2008

So. The bus that I transferred to at Dundas/Adelaide this afternoon (after it finally arrived) had the much-anticipated “automatic in vehicle voice announcements” 01 in operation.

I’m hoping that the LTC listens to the feedback from it’s users for a change. Because, even though I fully support the concept of calling out stops, the implementation that I witnessed today could stand some improvement.

In the first place, why did they choose this particular voice? The woman sounds as if she’s totally bored, and I’m quite sure that having to listen to her drone on stop after stop on an extended trip will soon become extremely annoying. Surely there must be announcers with some personality in their voice?

More importantly, it was my impression that the approaching stops weren’t being announced soon enough. That’s certain to be problematic at the busiest (most crowded) times of the day for those vision-impaired individuals who would like to be able to to rely on the technology.

Time will tell.

Sources:
01. 2008/05/17 – LTC

ETC’s Accessible Taxi Licences Referral Motion

May 5, 2008

Home at last. Almost 4 hours of verbal presentations from members of the public, and in the end a deferral motion that, although unanimous, may (or may not) have been achieved by an illegal procedure.

It seems to me that, after an first motion by Controller Hume was clearly defeated, and with a subsequent motion by Councillor Orser on the floor, the Chair did allow the original motion to be re-argued. Despite the fact that those arguments were clearly contrary to the second motion.

I will have to carefully review my audio recording of the evening’s events and consult what legislation I can find online. Give me some time, but I will get back to you on that.

000003 000002 000001

 

Addendum 2008/05/06 06:00PM:

I’m a person with multiple disabilities who worked as a London taxi owner/operator for years. Forced out of the business that I loved because, after expenses, there was less left for me than what people on welfare receive. The money that I had to pay Jim Donnelly Sr. to lease that piece of tin, could have made all the difference.

Something else that occurred to me over the course of the 4 hours that I sat there listening, was the obviously significant increase in the number of immigrant taxi drivers since I left the business. Most importantly, I have to wonder how many of them got suckered into buying plates at monumentally inflated prices from long-time plate owners who could see the writing on the wall? Who have now probably moved south to live out the rest of their lives in luxury without the slightest concern for those who are faced with the risk/fear of losing such investment? As usual, it’s the little guy who takes it on the chin. Whatever happens, I don’t think the Donnelly’s are going to suffer.

Addendum 2008/05/06 06:45PM:

Read the comments to this blog post, particularly the electrifying one just posted. Where’s a municipal Ombudsman when you need one?

Addendum 2008/05/06 08:30PM:

Blog stats hit new highs today. I think I touched a nerve. Or three. Thanks very much for all the emails, and keep them coming. I promise that I’ll read each and every one and respond, but it may take a while.

Addendum 2008/05/08 05:30PM:

My apology for the delay. The response to my blog posts has been rather overwhelming the past couple of days. Here is my unedited audio recording of the decision portion of the meeting:

Evolution Part #2

March 24, 2008

Hard on the heels of the previous ‘toon which Clay Butler suggests is ‘proof that we didn’t evolve from apes,’ an A-Channel report and accompanying video which supports that premise. Apparently, our species is not evolved enough to deserve such intelligent anscestry.

(more…)

ODSP ‘Day Of Action’

March 5, 2008

OPSEU conducted a province-wide protest yesterday “to raise awareness of the stress faced by front line workers who handle more than 500 [ODSP] cases at a time.” 01

“The call for a Day of Action [resulted from] … severe understaffing and under funding that has caused a crisis in a provincial program that administers and distributes more than $2.6 billion in income support payments to disabled Ontarians living in poverty. Clients often go months before receiving benefit payments and service because of backlogs.” 02

Sources:
01. 2008/03/05 – The Spec: Disability workers exhausted
02. 2008/02/27 – Marketwire: OPSEU to Stage ODSP Information Pickets…

Other Links:
2007/07/14 – ODSP Google Group: Problems faced by employees …

In Toronto, Pedestrians Have a Voice

February 2, 2008

In London, my proposal for a Pedestrian Subcommittee was underhandedly dismissed without any public scrutiny. Which is why pedestrian issues only come forward periodically, presented one by one by affected individuals, where the issues and the individuals can be easily dispensed with by local politicians.

In Toronto, on the other hand, pedestrians are treated with some respect. Today’s news includes an article (‘Committee wants better snow removal on sidewalks‘; Toronto Star; 2008/02/02) about some of the recommendations just made by their Pedestrian Committee:

  • Plow sidewalks on all arterial roads.
  • staff should prepare a report on the cost and feasibility of plowing all residential sidewalks.
  • Provide improved service for older and disabled residents who can’t clear their own walks.
  • speed installation of chirping traffic signals to help blind and visually impaired pedestrians cross busy intersections.
  • an extra $1.35 million this year for pedestrian traffic signals that help people who don’t see well get across the street.
  • In London, where local politicians pretend to support TDM and a transportation hierarchy, snow clearing of pedestrian roads (sidewalks, walkways) is often just an afterthought. If there was any truth behind the Official Plan and the Transportation Master Plan, wouldn’t pedestrian streets get cleared first, before any consideration was given to the automobile?

    But whoever said that politicians have to be honest?

    Mayor’s Honour List – 2008

    January 1, 2008

    “The Mayor of London’s annual Honours List began in 1976 with recognition of contributions to the Arts. Since 1989, additional categories such as the Environment and Physically Challenged have provided tribute to the diversity of philanthropic work taking place in The Forest City.”

    Jonathan Sher identifies 8 people who have apparently been named to this year’s list (‘Inspiring Londoners honoured‘; London Free Press; 2008/01/01). According to the article, they are:

    CATEGORY RECIPIENT RECOMMENDER
    Arts Dr. Margaret Whitby London Arts Council
    Diversity and
    Race Relations
    Michelle Edwards LDRRAC
    Environment Thom McClenaghan ACE
    Heritage Stephen Harding LACH
    Housing Jeff Schlemmer LHAC
    Humanitarianism Henri Boyd LDRRAC
    Person with
    Disabilities
    Dr. Cathy Chovaz AAC
    Safety and
    Crime Prevention
    ??? CSCP
    Sports Todd Sargeant London Sports Council

    sshhhI’ve been unable to confirm the list, since there’s no mention of it anyplace on the city website where I would expect such information to appear, even as late as 11:00 am today. No mention on the Media Releases page… the Honours List link on the Mayor’s Office page still shows last year’s recipients… the Honours List Archive page doesn’t list the new additions… nothing on the Living in the City page… and to top it all off, the New Website Info page still hasn’t been updated since June.

    So much for London’s ‘accessible’ City Hall )-:

    I can’t wait to find out why there doesn’t appear to be a recipient in the Safety & Crime Prevention category. That absence should also tell you something about the city that we live in.

    Why is Robert Latimer still in jail?

    December 9, 2007

    In his 2007/12/06 blog post, LFP Editor Paul Berton writes, “Robert Latimer is clearly not a threat to anyone. Nor obviously was prison a deterrent for his crime. The judge and the prosecution (if not necessarily higher courts) agreed that he was acting in what he believed were the best interests of his severly handicapped daugher, who was in constant pain until he killed her. Surely, he’s suffered enough, even without prison. Surely, no amount of the ‘counselling’ the parole board thinks he might benefit from will change his mind that he did what he thought was best.”

    (more…)

    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…

    Chirping for Western Chirps

    October 24, 2007

    Kudos to UWO students Katy Swailes and Mark DeMontis for their pedestrian-safety initiative (“Intersections to reap benefits…“; Eva Markowski; The Gazette; 2007/10/24).

    Called Western Chirps, it’s a campaign to make university intersections safer for visually-impaired pedestrians.

    Links:
    2007/10//24 – The Gazette: Assessing accessibility

    Standing Up for The Little Guy

    June 11, 2007

    Lawyer Sarah Shartal of Roach, Schwartz and Associates and plaintiffs Joy Adams and Janice Wareham are trying to hold the government of Ontario to account “for the way it treats the province’s poorest, sickest citizens” (“Standing up for disabled Ontarians“; Carol Goar; Toronto Star; 2007/06/11).

    Apparently, a class action lawsuit has been launched on behalf of disabled Ontarians caught in the bureaucratic quagmire of trying to qualify for disability support. “Roughly 25,000 Ontarians apply for disability support every year. Half are turned down. Many more don’t even apply because the process is so onerous.”

    It’s about damn time. Next on my list of pipe dreams… a law firm with enough integrity to launch a class action suit on behalf of the thousands of Ontarians who have no meaningful access to the legal system.

    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.