2016-03-12 Sat

Observations

I have given up trying to understand Toronto as a thinking city; management seems to run around in circles:-

T:\Blotter\20160227\How Toronto's fragile transportation system is struggling to cope - The Globe and Mail.htm

“That same ripple effect was felt on the Gardiner on Friday morning, when a large truck stalled near Jameson Avenue. Drivers on the key commuter artery said the incident backed up traffic and shifted the point at which stop-and-go congestion begins several kilometres farther west. This jam-up also made it harder for the tow-truck to get to the breakdown, where police sat waiting with lights flashing.

“A police car’s not going to push a heavy truck,” Constable Clint Stibbe said. “Because the tow truck doesn’t have any emergency equipment that would allow priority to get down the road, it took the tow truck from 8:05 am until 9:15 am to arrive on scene.”

“The broken-down truck was moved moments later, but the damage to traffic had been done.”

Here we have a large truck broken down on the Gardiner Expressway, a three-lane highway that (at Jameson) has what we in the trade call “dick-all in the way of shoulders”.

So the police wait seventy minutes for the solution to inch its way through all the other traffic that is waiting for the tow truck (that is behind them!) to arrive.

Question (1) Why don’t heavy-duty tow trucks have “emergency equipment that would allow priority”? You can pick up flashing lights at Canadian Tire when they are On Special AND get Canadian Tire Dollars. An auxiliary question is: Since two-trucks, by definition, work in emergency situations (unlike your average four-wheeler sedan), why don’t tow-trucks carry “emergency equipment that would allow priority”?

Question (2) Why not radio for a police car, way back upstream, to place itself in front of the tow truck and snow-plough, sort of, a faster transit through the mess. Yes, drivers would have to squeeze over towards or into their adjacent lane, but the truck would get through.

Question (3) Why not permit the truck to drive, slowly but carefully, up the shoulder against the regular flow of traffic; if the blockage is in the eastbound lane, let the truck drive westbound on the shoulder and metaphorically-speaking “nudge” oncoming traffic away from the shoulder. When the two-truck arrives downstream from the stranded truck, police pinch off all traffic and allow the tow-truck all three lanes plus two narrow shoulders to turn itself around.

Question (4) Why not get another big-rig to gingerly tow the stranded vehicle downstream to the next exit (which has been cunningly sealed off by the cops with a heavy-duty tow truck. 

Question (5) Why doesn’t that motor-car company – the one that brags about its utility truck being able to tow a massive aeroplane - make one of their showroom models available. Just think of the advertising coverage on the evening news channels. Every redneck and quite a few pink-necks would be rushing out to buy a utility like that in the hopes that they could earn bragging rights the next time a truck broke down.

Second Use For Everything (SUFE)

Christopher Greaves Home_DSCN3893.JPG

Damn those scientists!

I have a better idea for deal with “millions of tonnes of garbage”.

Stop the reckless purchase of bottled water.

There.

Problem solved!

Note that I am not against bottled water as such. I regularly carry a bottle of water with me when I go out; my current bottle is a souvenir of my trip to the Île de France in September 2014. The bottle has an orange cap, although I long ago scraped off the label. I bought a bottle of pop as a treat my second night there.

I am not against the sue of bottled water in precarious situations, such as health or emergencies. To my mind nothing wrong with airlines providing sterile bottled water to passengers suffering the discomfort of dehydration on long flights.

I am against the reckless (as in “without reckoning” as distinct from “wreaking havoc on the environment”) purchase of a bottle of water just because you are too lazy to fill a re-used bottle with tap-water before you leave home.

And I believe that you can discount all those fears propagated by the bottled-water factories, that re-using plastic bottles is not safe because of bacterial contamination. Wash your bottle with your regular washing-up chore.