Off the top I should declare that before I lived at Jones and Dundas in Ward 30 - I lived at Main and Lumsden; my family still lives there, I visit them often. I commuted to work from Main and Lumsden, usually to College and Bay for several years - by bicycle. I know this neighbourhood. Like the back of my hand.
I took the Felstead route from Jones and Dundas. Neat that I took the planned Multi Use Paths through the near Oakvale neighbourhood area - right across the frozen grass ... just to see if the route was possible.
Came up to Danforth before East Lynne Park and rode the Danforth just after 6:00pm. Cars were parked already so I took the right lane in the primary position during what was essentially still rush hour.
I got to Main and Danforth bout 6:20 pm and found the door with the notice on it - and actually held it open for a couple coming in. A few minutes later - as I was sitting on rotting stack off 4X4's surrounding a struggling plant and chugging back a litre of water - a couple I had passed earlier on the Danforth walked in looking for the same *Brand* keywords on the door sign - and noting they did not exist - were different than the key words Consultation had posted on the sign as they did in the press releases (not the first time this, not-walking-the-process has resulted in this --- in my recent experience).
Chilled out for another few minutes by going to Tim Horton's for a large double-double; then hit the phalanx..
At the door they asked me to write my personal information on a sheet that would be seen by at least ten other people who came in after me. I noted this to the scribe there and they grunted as usual. (note: this a pointer about process to staff). The grunt loaded me up with a bunch of maps and stuff - an pointd my attention to little coloured pull-off glued circle-tabs that I was to post on the display inside, in order to indicate my vote for benches and/or bike parking ring and posts.
Got inside the room and saw that there were no tables to set down all the stuff I had been handed ... so I went out the back door into the 'ally' (actually a planned pedestrian-way amoungst the building-scape - that architects from the 70's (bad architects from the 70's - badly-focused architects from the 70's) laid-in there) where when you lay down your planning flotsam-and-jetsam, light up a cigarette, sip your double-double and cross your legs sitting on a pile of shipping flats you found in a corner out of the effects of a wind tunnel 60kph wind the 16 story buildings there create - residents passing you by look at you like you are a drug dealer, a mark, a hustle - and avert their children's gaze away from your direction and hurry to their concrete media cubicles.
Beck - Loser
So ...talked to BIA photog 'Graham' first - ran our narrative by him (probably the best narrative I gave all night). He's a cyclist - and I picked up on that immediately - he asked great questions that prepared me for what was to come. Thanks Graham.
I asked him to point out BIA people, and Planners. My goal was to lay the vision on the planners and present the thing to the BIA people - and let the Councillors (who already knew we were coming) know we were there.
The Tragically Hip - Poets
First I looked for Tags-around-the-shoulders - and meet Pam (I think - sorry :/) - from Public Consultation. After miss-phrasing my concern; and greeting the professional snear that said you don't belong here, I was able to get to the critical question,
'So what is Consultation's role in all this?'
That brightened things up - and we had a great talk that included how Transportation Cycling Infrastructure and Programs Unit (CIP) hadn't responded to the call to participate in this consultation process.
Let's be clear here, we are at a time where politically - on Avenues - Bike Lanes are not going to happen.. As a result - for those trying to complete the Cities' transportation network in a multi-modal fashion - money for bike infrastructure (which hasn't been cut) is evolving to Trails and On-Street & Informal Connections (re: contra-flow lanes on residential one-ways for example; and the Filtered-Accesses like on Felstead Ave - which Ward 30 Bikes is championing ... and like I've been lobbying for since 2010 at Biking Toronto - at the Bicycle Route Mapping Wiki - http://bikingtoronto.com/bicycleroutemappingwiki/). With a very limited budget and capacity, CIP has to prioritize.
The Process Revealed - Notes:
Well, I tired. Hope you liked the music.
Here's the notes (will write them up properly, later soon):
Eglinton Avenue reconstruction based cross-section drawings - base on field measurements near Toronto Tool Library - Saturday April 12th 2014:
My notes - written 2014-04-16