Saturday, October 31, 2015



It's rather stupid and misleading for our politicians and traffic engineers to pretend they are trying to improve the city's traffic flow when bike lanes, traffic lights and prohibition signs increase like snow in a January storm.
Once upon a time, to use the nice expression that has now been replaced by "in the day," Toronto was famous for how it handled its traffic. Experts came from around the world to study our roads, and the Metro roads boss, Sam Cass, was noted as the expert who contributed to the major traffic handbook used internationally.
Toronto used to boast that it had the first major computerized system in the world for the smart timing of traffic lights. I notice that some forgettable American city claims that it was the first to time its lights but if it really was, they must have used alarm clocks because they were decades before the invention of the computer.
I thought bitterly of this the other day as for the fourth morning in a row, I drove east on The Queensway from Park Lawn through six sets of lights that were choking two heavy lanes of traffic because of their timing.
It was the kind of traffic jams that results from an accident or road repair. But there was nothing blocking the traffic except for the stupid way the lights were cycling.
Unfortunately, for various reasons, I had no alternative but to use The Queensway. Once I got to Sunnyside, the jams intensified, but then I expected that because the traffic started to congeal there ten years or so ago.
The stupid gLiberals and leftist councillors insist that we use the TTC, and of course we should. But the reason that most people in Toronto don't use transit is because of where they are going, or the time of day, or the fact that they don't walk very well, or because it's difficult to deliver goods by subway or streetcar.
Then there is a problem that has snuck up on us, the fact that the politicians and the bureaucrats have created a monster in parking downtown and around special destinations like hospitals.
There are parts of the central city where all No Parking signs have migrated into No Parking AND No Stopping zones so if you pull over to use your cell phone, or let a person out, you can be ticketed. You can only stop at the curb to collect or discharge a passenger in a No Standing zone or in a white No Parking zone.
Believe me, I have been hassled by parking enforcers outside St. Joseph's Hospital, Jane St. and Royal York subway stations, Toronto General Hospital etc., even though Mary has a handicapped parking sign and doesn't find it easy to walk a block from the nearest oasis of legal parking.
One jerk tried to confiscate the sign and muttered about thousands in fine. I blistered his ears, demanded his name, and said I would love to publicize an incident where a man couldn't stop to collect his wife who doesn't walk that well in an area that was relatively free of traffic.
If the No Parking sign has the black octagon, that means it is also a No Stopping sign. And without us really noticing, there are many major streets in Toronto where you can't stop. The authorities got punch drunk with power on this ticket ploy because I can show you minor side streets where you also can't stop legally at the curb.
And when I say you can't stop, I mean that you can't sit in your car for even a few seconds with the motor running and the flashers going. It doesn't matter if you have a disabled parking sign and you are unloading wheelchairs. That bugs me more than the hospitals like St. Joseph's that charge you for those disabled parking spots and plaster the dictum to pay right on the sign marking the disabled spot,
Signs now infest areas to prevent easy passage. There are parts of Toronto where you can drive for blocks without being able to make a left turn. The measles of Stop signs has infected the city.
Our traffic has become so bad, we should get an achievement medal for speeding.
After my four days of hell on The Queensway, I went downtown on the subway. My trips were away from rush hour but the only seats I found were side seats were I had to jam between fat ladies with the usual accoutrement of purses and other protruding objects.
I sat there, below the traffic jams, pleased I didn't have to do the expensive treasure hunt for parking, but then there was some incomprehensible announcement about a delay.
I had plenty of time to contemplate why most of my relatives and friends have moved out to escape the daily hassles of just going a few blocks.
I am glad that the millennials say they are happy with all the condos downtown where they can walk to their work and their pleasures. No need for a car, they say, just a bike will do.
How nice for them! Let them write or phone and tell me how they're doing because thanks to the dunderheads at City Hall, where they parking is free and overpaid boss officials can afford downtown living and walk to work and forget those of us in the suburbs, I don't intend to visit that much, even if they figure out how to run the traffic lights again.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

The measles of Stop signs has infected the city.
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