Saturday, February 28, 2009

It's now a lot harder to drive into this house

Jack Lakey Staff Reporter - Toronto Star
It's a lot harder for drivers to go airborne and fire their vehicles into an Etobicoke house across the street, now that the city has put up new signs and barriers at a dangerous intersection.
We've been writing this week about the incredible bad luck of the owners of 42 South Kingslea Dr., who live right across from the spot where Park Lawn Rd., connects with their street at a T intersection.
In the space of three weeks, two drivers who failed to negotiate a curve in Park Lawn, just before it stops at South Kingslea, have launched their cars into the air, across the street and through windows of 42 South Kingslea, severely damaging the house.
Park Lawn used to curve gradually to the right to join with South Kingslea, but the city moved the intersection to the left a few years ago to slow down drivers who previously ignored the stop sign.
But the reconfiguration inadvertently created an optical illusion for some drivers, due to a driveway next to the stop sign that looks like the place to turn east on South Kingslea.
When each of the errant drivers hit a snow bank on the north side of the laneway – while going too fast – they were launched into the air, across the street and into the house.
After developing a theory about how the drivers ended up there, roads officials met with the homeowner and Peter Milczyn, the area councillor, and came up with a plan to make drivers more aware and stop more vehicles from becoming guided missiles.
Large concrete planters have been placed on each side of a sidewalk just to the right of the stop sign, at the approximate spot where the cars launched – enough to slow down anything that hits them.
One block south of the intersection, a new sign was put up yesterday to warn drivers on Park Lawn that they're approaching a stop sign. Near the curve on Park Lawn is a large, black-and-yellow sign advising drivers that the road curves to the left.
Beneath a larger stop sign that also went up this week is a black and yellow caution marker, along with a larger one to the right of the sign.
If all those signs and the two big planters don't do the trick, nothing will.

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