Comment 62148

By jonathan (registered) | Posted April 12, 2011 at 20:13:43 in reply to Comment 62105

According to the (un-dated) OGDI info...zero.

Despite that, I have to agree with Ryan; it's not a great intersection for pedestrians. But as that intersection is a funnel for anyone living between King and Mohawk to access the 403, there's a huge amount of traffic flowing through it. Balancing between pedestrian activity (which is quite large, due to the intersecting bus routes and nearby mall), and vehicular traffic, is a difficult task. The city's focus appears to have been on pedestrian safety through law, vs pedestrian safety through engineering...and completely ignoring pedestrian convenience. It does need to be addressed.

But the problem here begins a long, long ways away; solving this one will require focusing attention on a lot of other roads. Without changing the roads leading up to it, this is one intersection that is about as 'safe' as it's going to get. And, frankly, changing the roads leading up to it will solve the problem. Any attempt to focus on the intersection directly is merely a 'band-aid' solution.

And this is my issue with the whole, 'let's just lower the speed limit' idea. It's a band-aid solution. It doesn't solve the problem, which is, simply put, poorly engineered roadways focusing too much on cars, and not enough on pedestrians. Re-engineer the roads, and the concern will go away. Lower the speed limit, and you'll just be giving the police department a giant new source of revenue. The 50kph speed limit is indoctrined in provincial law. Heck, it may as well be national; the same law exists in every other province. You could travel to the most remote town in Ontario, and, assuming they have cars there, the speed limit in town will be 50kph. It's universal.

It's starting to change...a little. Seeing a 30/40 zone in the side streets is becoming more and more common. I've really no issue with this; it's a side road, not a through road. But through roads need to remain through roads. Drivers really do need to get to where they're going as well.

On the arteries, put buffer zones between the pedestrians and the roadways. Parking, greenspace, whatever. While there may be occasions where having 5 lanes of traffic is nice (like when Hamilton Place is putting on a major show, causing traffic to back up from there all the way back to the 403), most of the time, it's not necessary. On the sideroads, put speed humps in if you feel it necessary. Not a fan of bump-outs...but if they can be made to work, without screwing cyclists (like the bumpouts downtown), then by all means.

For the record...I'm really not a fan of the, 'well, there's not a lot of accidents there, so it must not be a problem' philosophy. Statistics may not show it, but anyone standing at that intersection can see how it's a problem.

Comment edited by jonathan on 2011-04-12 20:14:31

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