I’m very sad I wasn’t able to make the only Open House for the Bronson Avenue widening. The mere fact that this is being proposed, and that Diane Holmes is opposing it, is a symbol of something wrong with the planning process for this.

I live between Preston and Bronson, and where once the two streets were pretty much the same, Preston is now a joy to walk, cycle or drive down, and Bronson is still the same dangerous, unfriendly street.

In fact, the city has gotten a lot of things right recently, with the road diet on Scott, the SBL on Laurier, and the revitalization of both Preston and Wellington W.

Why then is Bronson being singled out for such retrograde planning? Honestly it’s like the traffic engineers were being transported from the ’50s. I drive down Bronson to and from work on average twice a week at rush hour, and, the frustrations I have with driving down Bronson cannot be fixed by merely widening the lanes.

The flow of traffic on Bronson has more to do with the problems of cars turning left on side streets (all of them, not just Somerset and Gladstone), and cars parked sporadically in the right lane. Driving down Bronson requires constantly changing lanes almost randomly to avoid unexpected obstacles. This is what causes traffic slowdowns on Bronson north of Gladstone, not the width of lanes.

There is nothing in the the current plans for Bronson Avenue that would alleviate any of the problems I face as a driver on Bronson, much less a cyclist or pedestrian. If there were I might support it.

On the other hand, the Bronson Road Diet plan, along with parking areas for cars protected by bulbouts, such as those on Wellington W, or Preston, would get rid of all of these problems, and make my commute to work far more pleasant, no matter which way I chose to commute.

Thank you for your time, and please take the interests and experience of a resident who walks, or bikes, or drives down Bronson nearly every day into account.

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25 November 2011