2016-08-06 Sat


If you Walk or Bicycle around Toronto, especially downtown, you have a measured chance of being Killed or Seriously Injured by impact with a Motorized Vehicle.

I like downtown. My closest major intersection is Yonge and College streets.

I walk a LOT around Downtown Toronto – up to 10,000 steps per day. My record was 13,000.

I consider myself to be a safe walker. Although I listen to podcasts through ear-buds, I usually find myself on the far side of a crossing with a gap in what I’ve heard. That suggests that I have been less focused on the podcast while crossing the street.

I consider myself to be a safe walker. I have been walking across streets since the age of six in Lancashire, Perth, Newcastle, Wollongong, Adelaide, London, France, Wurzburg, Singapore, Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa and Montreal. Also San Diego, Columbus, Jacksonville, Knoxville, Dallas and many other US cities. You will note that I accustomed to cars driving on the Right side and on the left side of roads.

And I’m still alive.

So I follow with keen interest the articles in the local news and my predilection to cross mid-block, or before the lights are green.

I have valid reasons for both these predilections. I often observe pedestrian behaviour at intersections governed by stop lights.

I approach the intersection and look in all four directions for moving vehicles. Twice, to give my brain a chance to compute speeds. If no vehicles are within striking distance I cross the intersection. Illegally, but I am making good use of the space when vehicles are in n o position to use it.

I observe law-abiding Torontonians diligently waiting for the light to go green. I see their eyes fixed on the pedestrian light above my head (we are facing each other) and I see them start to cross once the lights go green, without ever a look sideways to see if any vehicles are rushing to beat a red light.

Now, who is going to get knocked down?

(1) The guy who has been responsible for his own safety and made doubly sure that the coast is clear before crossing the street, or

(2) The citizen who firmly believes that a green light has the power to stop all cross-traffic, whether it is a drunk-driver, an enraged driver, an impatient driver ....


I guess you get what you pay for.

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Gerrard street east is being re-laid for new water mains this summer. First the northern part of the street was roped off, dug up, re-laid, now it is the turn of the southern half.

The signpost for the little lane that runs through Ryerson University was yanked out and laid on the ground.


Why not prop it up where it could still provide data for the traveler?

Then a truck cargo of plastic pipes was dumped on the metal sign which is now damaged, bent, warped, call it what you will.

Chances are strong that the load of pipes has cracked the enamel on the sign, so the sign sheet will soon rust.

Then we will need a new sign. More needless expense.

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The little lane is used mainly for deliveries to Ryerson University “reverse into lane and stop your engine”), but the lane and its sign can also be a reference point for travelers as in “Pick me up just beyond the lane”.

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Here is the entrance to the lane, with the sign in the foreground. Yonge street is about eighty metres away.