Toronto City Council approved the installation of traffic control signals at the intersection of Queen and McCaul Streets, which will represent a huge improvement of safe pedestrian crossing between the north and south campuses for the OCAD U community.
OCAD University responded to concerns raised by students and other members of the community by developing an advocacy strategy, engaging the support of Councillor Joe Cressy. After a focused lobbying campaign by the university, the City agreed with OCAD U's position that the intersection is well-used by the community, and that traffic control signals would enhance pedestrian safety.
The university rallied community support ahead of the Toronto East York Community Council meeting held earlier in July, encouraging the sending of 38 letters of support from students, staff and faculty, and upwards of 30 requests to speak at the meeting. The successful advocacy to the TEYCC was instrumental to the success of the vote at the full City Council meeting this week.
"OCAD University is incredibly thankful to Councillor Cressy for his support and assistance with this initiative," said OCAD U President and Chancellor Sara Diamond. "We also thank the OCAD Student Union and the broader university community for lending their voices to support this campaign. A new traffic signal at Queen and McCaul will improve safety for hundreds of members of our community who traverse this stretch daily, and we will continue to work with the City to see the installation happen as quickly as possible."
"This traffic signal is long overdue, and the OCAD Student Union has campaigned for many years for student safety to be prioritized on our growing campus," said OCADSU Communications Coordinator Emily Condie. "This is the first step in ensuring an active, sustainable, and most importantly safe commute for our school community and we look forward to seeing it enacted."
The next stage of the installation of traffic signals is for the work to be costed, budgeted and for construction timelines to be scheduled. OCAD U staff will update the community as information on timelines becomes available.
Questions related to this initiative can be directed to Government Relations Project Coordinator James Lin at firstname.lastname@example.org.