Thursday, July 24, 2008

yonge & dundas

photo by Sam Javanrouh. For great photos around Toronto, mostly, check out his photo blog daily dose of imagery

I've been teaching at the ctc offices @ Bay & Dundas this week. At Dundas Square... Yonge & Dundas there are a new set of street light signals have been installed that face out into the middle of the intersection. Once the hoods are lifted in late August, these signals will be directing pedestrians across Toronto’s first “scramble” intersection.

Below is the famous Tokyo scramble intersection at Shibuya.


michael lewis said...
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michael lewis said...

This is long overdue in city centres and downtown cores!

With many of the main streets in downtown Toronto already restricted to no turns / straight only, I'm surprised it has taken this long to implement a brilliant idea.

Calgary is looking into scrambles as well.

Calgary is as friendly for the scramble as Toronto, but for different reasons: one-way streets. With the one-way street grid, cars are turning both left and right on red lights, and it gets a bit crazy. Alberta has a vehicle traffic law prohibiting vehicles from entering or blocking any portion of a marked crosswalk when a pedestrian is present anywhere in the crosswalk, but this is seldom enforced. Considering the cash-cow fine of $575, I'm surprised that local police are still using the petty photo radar to get $80 or $100 from speeders, not to mention the 4 points of 7 total on your licence for racing through a crosswalk.

Personally, my belief is that no turns on reds should be permitted anywhere, and permanent crosswalk cameras ought to be provisioned, akin to red light cameras, alongside permanent photo speeding through school and park zones.

Bottom line: people in cars often drive too fast to go nowhere. Save your speed lust for the open highway.