Posts Tagged ‘safe’

Walkway Work Update

October 13, 2008

photoThe work on the walkway which connects Eagle Crescent and King Edward Avenue is proceeding, but I’ve a bit of angst about what I’m seeing here. Hopefully there’s no intention to replace the stairs which were removed, since they represent an unnecessary physical barrier to wheelchairs, buggies and strollers, etc.


A New Downtown Surveillance Camera

October 5, 2008

According to the annual evaluation report of the Downtown Monitored Surveillance Camera Program, a decision has been made to install a camera “near the intersection of Richmond and Kent Streets.” The area is identified by LPS as “one of highest for calls for service in the downtown area.”

The 16 current cameras cost $136,000 to operate in 2007. They are monitored “from approximately 9pm to 5am daily and as staff are available during the off times.”

According to a London Police Services analysis, “crime rate in the area covered by the cameras was 14% lower in 2007 compared to 2006” whereas “the area neighbouring the camera coverage showed a 2% increase in incidents from 2006.”

Next Week’s CAPS Meeting

September 20, 2008

I’ll continue to add commentary about items of interest to me as time permits. For full details about agenda contents, interested persons should log on to the city website and review what’s available there for themselves.

5:00 PM? CAPS(01)
The 2008/09 edition of the Dearness Home Community Newsletter.

5:00 PM? CAPS(02)
Overview of Ontario Works Service Delivery Model.

5:00 PM? CAPS(03)
Social Assistance Trends Quarterly Report- Second Quarter 2008.

5:00 PM? CAPS(04)
Ontario Works Participant Profile – July 2008.

5:00 PM? CAPS(05)
Proposed agreement re Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program. The existing Affordable Housing Program (AHP) agreement between the city and the province has been amended. The city has to agree to the changes and sign the new agreement in order to continue delivering it, and that requires passage of a new by-law.

5:00 PM? CAPS(06)
Proposed agreement re Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program. Approval and by-law is needed for the city’s share of the 16-unit project located at 753 Dundas Street. Total project cost will be $940,000 with the city kicking in $166,470.

5:00 PM? CAPS(07)
Proposed agreement re Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program. Approval and by-law is needed for the city’s share of the 11-unit project located at 234 Riverside Drive and so that one of the units can be enlarged enough to make it accessible. Total project cost will be $990,000 with the city kicking in $320,000.

5:00 PM? CAPS(08)
Allocation of Provincial Funds for Social Housing Capital Repairs. This year, London was allocated $3,316,229 from the province’s “$100 Million investment to kickstart its new poverty reduction strategy.” In other words, the province is starting to re-assume some of it’s responsibility for some of what it downloaded under the Harris government. Municipalities are in critical need of such assistance because the province froze “funding of non-profit housing and co-operative housing capital reserve contributions” in 1992 and only resumed funding at “1/3 of the original contribution amounts” in 1995. The city must submit this repair/expenditure proposal to the province by September 30.

5:10 PM? CAPS(13)
Community Advisory Committee on Dearness Services 5th Report.

5:25 PM? CAPS(10)
Public Transportation Funding to ODSP Recipients. Hard on the heels of the Health Unit report about the huge inflationary increase of food during the past year, and the recent LTC fare increase proposal, the committee is being asked to consider that London compares very unfavourably with other communities in the province re transportation subsidy for ODSP clients.

5:40 PM? CAPS(12)
Kidzone Day Care Centre Request for Relocation Funding

7:00 PM? CAPS(11)
Provincial Anti-Poverty Strategy.

Thanks for Helping!

September 19, 2008

What can I say about The Londoner that won’t sound self-serving? I mean, they’ve been so accomodating to me!

During the last municipal election campaign when other media outlets were ignoring the way that I couldn’t participate, Ben Benedict wrote an article about it. They’ve published many of the letters that I’ve sent to them. Phil has given me permission to republish a number of their articles on my site, and he even responds to my emails.

And now this.

scanned graphic

I hope that the Transportation Advisory Committee and the Community Safety and Crime Prevention Advisory Committee and the Environment and Transportation Committee and the Community and Protective Services Committee and Shane Maguire and Sgt. Tom O’Brien all read it.

Thanks for the validation, Bill.

Perhaps they’ll have more difficulty ignoring someone of your stature.

Stop For Pedestrians!

September 18, 2008

From: Gregory Fowler
To: Heather Lysynski
Sent: Thursday, September 18, 2008 1:43:12 PM
Subject: Fw: FYI – Channelized Driver Behaviour

Chair and Members
Community Safety and Crime Prevention Advisory Committee

September 18, 2008

Further to my previous delegation and communications with respect to pedestrian safety, and particularly with respect to the intersection at Commissioners/Pond Mills which a police report identifies as dangerous to pedestrians and which City Council and staff continue to ignore…

Please review my communication to LPS Sgt. Thomas O’Brien and the attached video clip in conjunction with Const. Riley’s report.

Also, with respect to pedestrian stats. Can you please tell me if the stats that are provided to you and to ETC reflect the number of traffic complaints by pedestrians, or do they simply reflect the number of police charges laid?


962 Eagle Crescent
London, Ontario N5Z 3H7
(h) 519-649-0502
(c) 519-719-4615

—– Forwarded Message —-
From: Gregory Fowler
To: Thomas O’Brien
Sent: Thursday, September 18, 2008 1:20:28 PM
Subject: FYI – Channelized Driver Behaviour

Sgt. O’Brien,

Further to my previous complaints and the Riley report which confirms the danger posed by the Commissioners/Pond Mills intersection to pedestrians.

Please review this short video clip which I recorded last evening as I was in the process of stepping off the pedestrian island in that same intersection. It is a perfect proof of the kind of illegal driver behaviour that is all too common, not only in the Commissioners/Pond Mills intersection, but in many ‘channelized’ intersections.


Greg Fowler

962 Eagle Crescent
London, Ontario N5Z 3H7
(h) 519-649-0502
(c) 519-719-4615

How About Some Sidewalks?

September 15, 2008

sidewalk picOnly 4 sidewalks are being proposed for construction this year because of the inadequate current annual budget of only $200,000.

London recently got $5.8 million from the $400 million provincial allocation for municipal infrastructure. Despite his undertaking to me to look into my pedestrian safety concerns about the ward that he was elected to represent, Roger Caranci rose at a subsequent Council meeting and argued in favour of putting all of it towards roads. And that’s what happened. Drivers got catered to, pedestrians got squat.

The city is currently sitting on an additional +$33M for transportation-related projects.

Will pedestrians get any of the gravy this time?

What’s it going to take …

September 14, 2008

… before pedestrians can cross Commissioners Road E. without risking their lives?

From: Gregory Fowler

To: Thomas O’Brien

Sent: Sunday, September 14, 2008 1:52:03 PM

Subject: 2008/09/14 Complaint


Sgt. O’Brien:

On Sunday 2008/09/14 I left the Tim Horton coffee shop which is located at Adelaide/Commissioners at approx. 12:40 pm. Waiting until there was no eastbound traffic on the south side of Commissioners, I crossed to the median without incident. I then waited to proceed until there was no westbound traffic on the north side of Commissioners. As I stepped off the median, a red pickup turned west from Leathorne St. directly into the center lane (across two closer lanes) and bore directly down on me. Stepping backwards onto the median I shouted “idiot” at the male operator as he passed by. I then crossed the north portion of Commissioners and proceeded east along the north sidewalk on my way home. As I approached the corner of Commissioners/Eagle I was approached by a younger male who objected to having been called an idiot. I asked him if he was the operator of the vehicle which had turned off Leathorne just moments previously and he acknowleged that he was. When I observed that he had put me at risk with his behaviour he accused me of having “jaywalked” and proceeded to deliver a two-handed shove to my chest, forcing me backwards. When I withdrew my cellphone from my pocket and cautioned him that I intended to call the police he returned to his vehicle (which had been left idling on the west side of Eagle just north of Commissioners) and quickly drove away. I noted that the license number was ‘168 4RR’ and managed to get the photo of the vehicle which is attached.

You are well aware that I have long complained that this arterial is unsafe to pedestrians and that this is not the first incident that I have reported to you. I have also complained verbally and in writing to local politicians and city staff about the situation, to no avail.

You must be well aware that there is no designated pedestrian crossing between Adelaide Street and Frontenac Avenue. And at Adelaide Street, the east side of that intersection is closed to pedestrians.

You must also be well aware that besides the Eagle Crescent neighbourhood in which I reside, there are also high-occupancy apartment complexes located in this area on either side of the arterial. Every day, pedestrians risk injury and/or death trying to cross this high-volume roadway.

Quite apart from whatever action you may take (or typically not take) with respect to this particular incident, I implore you to do whatever you can to influence those at City Hall who have responsibility for such things to examine this issue seriously. Before a tragedy occurs.


Mr. Gregory Fowler

962 Eagle Crescent

London, Ontario N5Z 3H7

City Hall can keep me off the Transportation Advisory Committee. They can continue to ignore the police report about Commissioners/Pond Mills. They can continue to spend millions of dollars on paving/widening roads and filling potholes while ignoring the unsafe conditions for pedestrians. But they can’t stop me from telling you about it. Not so far at least.

Stay tuned.

Giving Credit When It’s Due

September 12, 2008


It doesn’t always pay to complain, but for sure you don’t get any results by staying silent. It looks like my threat of a class-action lawsuit against the City may have gotten more attention than what I first thought back in June … hopefully this work is going to put an end to the repeated pedestrian obstruction because of overgrown foliage.

It took a lot longer and was way more work getting this situation fixed than it ever should have been, but fair is fair. I’ll try to track down an explanation of exactly what’s being done and who ordered it and let you know. Because it appears that somebody at City Hall deserves some credit for a change.

Don’t you think that somebody would have let me know about this development?

More credit…

From: “Caranci, Roger”
To: “Greg Fowler”
Sent: Sunday, September 14, 2008 2:17:35 PM
Subject: Re:


I have told the staff about your concerns. They told me they would get to the walkway but could not commit a timeline. Nice to know they are there. Better late than never but I will push them to put the maintenance on a more timely and reasonable rotation.


Audible Pedestrian Signals

September 6, 2008

This seems very strange. Item #8 of the 7th report of the Accessibility Advisory Committee is requesting that it’s $7500 budget be retained “to continue to allow the ACCAC to support the implementation of audible pedestrian signals…01

The city is currently flush with cash from the upper levels of government for transportation-related projects. If there’s a need for audible pedestrian signals, shouldn’t their cost be borne the same way that ordinary pedestrian signals are? And doesn’t such need deserve at least as much consideration as the extension, widening, and paving of roads?

01. 2008/09/08 – CAPS Agenda item #1

Low Speed Vehicles in Ontario

August 1, 2008

The July 29, 2008 CBC article title Ont. wants further studies into electric car safety caught my eye. You see, the Zenn was all ready to be street legal until Transport Canada changed the rules on low speed vehicles (LSV)–intentionally! This situation is well described by the Electric Vehicle Council of Ottawa (EVCO).

Transport Canada has its view:

Note: LSV safety standards do not match the safety standards of the conventional larger, heavier motor vehicle classes that travel our public roads. This poses a real threat to people inside LSVs, if they are operated on public roads.

(Transport Canada‘s emphasis)

I am a big proponent of safety, but this is ridiculous. Any protective shell is an improvement over the t-shirt and shorts I wear when cycling on roads in Ontario. I wear my bicycle helmet and follow the rules and hope, pray, and beg everyone else to predictably do the same. provides a wonderful physics lesson about vehicle collisions.

Don’t worry, CBC hasn’t yet (July 30, 2008 ) censored comments made in June 2008 which explain my favourite conspiracy theory for Transport Canada’s about face: loss of fuel tax revenue.

Aside 1: Let me misinterpret EVCO’s timeline and provide some direct links to you.

Aside 2: Did you know every individual in Canada has implied knowledge of trigonometry since ignorance of the law is no excuse: the stability of motorcycles must satisfy a couple equations which are functions of sine and inverse tangent.

TAC Appointment

June 22, 2008

fowgre avatarNow that the minutes of the 2008/06/16 ETC meeting have been published on the city website, I’m pleased to be able to announce here that I’ve been appointed to the city’s Transportation Advisory Committee as a pedestrian representative.

No word yet from the Community & Protective Services Committee about whether or not my application for membership on CSCP will be approved.


Should London Be Sued?

June 22, 2008

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fowgre avatarAre you a woman who’s ever been raped? Are you somebody who has ever been otherwise physically assaulted? Are you elderly and afraid to walk the streets past dusk? Are you a parent who worries about the safety of your children after they leave your house? If so, this post is for you…


In Response to Lynn Horton

June 12, 2008

In an online 2008/06/11 letter to the London Free Press, contributor Lynn Horton describes being struck by a vehicle in a parking lot and suffering “left arm in a cast, two broken ribs, and multible bruises.”

Because the driver of the vehicle on this occasion was an 82 y.o. woman, Ms. Horton expressed her hope that aging drivers know “when it is time to hang up the keys.”

I don’t disagree with that sentiment. But the danger faced by pedestrians goes far beyond that which is represented by elderly drivers, and I think it’s important following incidents like this that we don’t restrict are lobbying efforts so narrowly. Because it’s only when pedestrians start to get more outspoken and political, that the police and politicians will start to give even a small fraction of consideration to our safety as what they routinely give to drivers.

Hence, this 2008/06/12 submission to the newspaper by myself:

It’s Not About Age

This kind of incident can occur any day, at any time of the day, in parking lots, drive-thru exits, etc. all over the city. And it’s not age-related. It’s about the mindset of drivers who think that cars have the right-of-way over pedestrians unless there’s explicit signage/signals saying otherwise. And even then there are many drivers who ignore even those prohibitions. And it’s also about lax city regulations with respect to design, and the fact that many lots make no attempt to accord pedestrians any safety features whatsoever, in the form of sidewalks or anything else. Just another reason why every member of City Council should hang their head in shame for the manner in which my proposal for a Pedestrian Committee has been handled. And other pedestrian safety issues that I’ve brought forward. And if there’s a single one of them who cares to publily debate that, I’m ready.

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.

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

TAC Submission – 2008/06/03

June 1, 2008

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fowgre avatar[I’m making an appearance before the Transportation Advisory Committee on Tuesday. This is a draft that I’m currently working on. It’ll be updated throughout the weekend, and you’re welcome to comment or email me if there’s anything that you’d like me to consider.]