Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lakeshore Blvd at Yonge Street Enforcement

Yesterday Toronto media outlets reported that many motorists were surprised to find out that the intersection of Yonge Street and Lakeshore Blvd has a new traffic pattern.

For years the alignment has been one dedicated turn lane from eastbound Lakeshore to northbound Yonge and the adjacent lane gave the option of turning north or continuing east on Lakeshore.

The new layout has one dedicated turn lane to northbound Yonge only.

The stir was all about motorists being ticketed for making illegal left hand turns or what is commonly referred to as double lefts.

I drove through the area this morning to see what the problem is...and I couldn't find one. Three eastbound lanes all marked exceptionally well, overhead signage telling you the paths of travel for each lane, road markings indicating the direction of travel for each lane.

This realignment reportedly took place in March along with a great deal of construction to the area. The construction work has wrapped up for the most part and all the lane markings and signage have been done.

An addition to the intersection is a new pedestrian crossing on the north side of the intersection that was never there before.

So people are complaining that the police are enforcing the law there. I complain that if you are getting ticketed there you are a driver that needs some enforcement because you are apparently an unaware driver that bases decisions on routine.

There is so much signage and the road markings are so clear this is a mistake that should not be happening. If you are a driver that travels a route and you are in the habit of making the same turns, lane changes and paths of travel choices because you do it all the time, then you need to re-think how you drive.

Driving should never be performed in a state of memory since the environment around you is always changing. You should be paying attention all the time and when things change, you should not be surprised...you have to be prepared.

If you truly were not aware and not prepared, don't make an illegal movement just because it is what you have always done, change your route, be fluid and re-group.

10 comments:

  1. Hear, hear! Well said.

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  2. Fair point regarding driving by memory but I believe that there are a number of drivers in the city who are just in too much to a rush and are ignoring signage. Case in point soutbound Bathurst and Lakeshore intersection...even with lane signage there are people going every which way in the name of trying to get somewhere fast. Just the other week I was travelling southboud and a guy did a right turn onto lakeshore from the left turn lane. crossing 2 lanes of traffic. So I guess in short, enforcement is needed to remind people of the correct way to drive.

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  3. Let's see what the city's traffic planners thought about this! You may be surprised...

    http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2008/te/bgrd/backgroundfile-17081.pdf

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  4. Pure BS. I noticed the signage change several weeks after it had been done. After wondering why the officers were there ticketing people (i got lucky and had been in the left most lane when they started doing this, I drive this every day) I made note to look at the signage the next day and there was a green piece of tape over the original YONGE ST. NORTH part of the sign. It's not to say that yes, driving out of habit is a bad thing, but when you KNOW the area, do you really look at road signs? I am sorry, but having driven that road THOUSANDS of times over the last 16 years I don't feel the need to look at the road signs, I pay more attention to what is on the ground around me. I felt it was morally offensive and a pure cash grab to have officers sitting there giving motorists tickets for something that had JUST changed from the way it had been for decades. After having read the assesment provided from last year, I cannot understand how this change was allowed to happen. it makes no sense why you would want to create traffic mayhem as drivers exiting from the Gardner EB to Yong must now cross 3 lanes of traffic instead of 2 to make it to the left turn lane. Ablsolutely rediculous and another example of the current councils war against the automobile in this city, it makes me sick.

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  5. Regardless of the way people drive in Toronto, this change was obviously not thought out very well. All it's done is create traffic and grid-lock in a city that already has too much. Maybe the people making these decisions should spend some time sitting in their car at this intersection during rush hour. I bet they'll change it back really quickly if they do!!!

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  6. A simple solution should happen here, and anywhere else across Canada; look ahead and plan your route to make correct lane changes early. Leave in plenty of time to do this, so you won't be tempted to make illegal moves.

    Most drivers are surprised how much "real" time is used sitting in traffic. It's litterally minutes. Leave sooner so you don't feel you have to break the law. Keep your eyes moving so you can spot warning and information signs ahead of time. And lastly, take these moves in stride so you can adjust. Changes like this are happening all across Canada, not just in Toronto. You don't have to like them, you just have to accept them.

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  7. Scott - Great advice. Scanning, being aware and alert.

    Anonymous - A couple of strong points. It is really important to know your area and surroundings. Driving out of habit is a bad idea. I will never pretend to understand politics, but I do get safety. You lost me on enforcement as a means for cash and being morally offensive.

    Enforcement is based purely on safety principles. If you find safety as morally offensive then, well, ah, please let me know when you are driving so I can stay off the roads. Cash??? Without giving you a bunch of details on budgets and balance sheets answer this question with sincere honesty. If enforcement was meant as a means to generate revenue then why not just hire a few hundred police and by-law officers to hand out tickets?

    My suggestion is; All road users obey the laws that are in place and have no collisions because everyone is aware, alert and safe. I bet you the money saved in health care costs alone would create such a massive surplus that we would never have to hear the tired old argument about cash.

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  8. This is now a very dangerous area. Forget looking at signs, I worry about being hit by all the desparate motorists trying to cross three lanes, and then to find the police shakedown actually further blocking the lane. This is outrageous, good luck with the traffic court backlog. This is how the police will lose the respect of the public. What ever happened to a warning? Obviously a shakedown, shame on you police and city of toronto.

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    ReplyDelete