Comment 70803

By Mickie (anonymous) | Posted October 24, 2011 at 08:52:30

I travel on Main St East every evening and want to comment on the things I notice.

Firstly, Main St East from the 403 to Gage Park is an intercity highway. The average speed of those rushing to make it across the city slows in the downtown core near Sopinka courthouse, then picks right up again. It's not unusual for some to reach 80km/h in their quest to get home. I've seen impatient drivers racing in the afternoon rush hour as if it's some badge of honour to not let eachother in the lanes they are trying to get to. I average about 50km/h, mostly because I'm sure that, if I go faster, I'm bound to hit someone or be hit. Such is the free-for-all that is Main St East between 4-6pm Mon-Fri.

Secondly, Main St East is NOT safe for cyclists. Between the buses on the right and the parked/stopped cars on the left and the Indy 500 going on in between, I would never tempt fate. I've often thought about cycling to Hamilton GO rather than drive to Aldershot, but the reality of Main St East is that I would truly be putting myself at risk.

Thirdly, going through the stretch between Wellington and Wentworth, you have casual cyclists and pedestrians shooting out onto the street. I had a close call while in the second lane to the left a few months back where a cyclist coming out of the No Frills parking lot came out onto the road and I had to swerve. I honked and got the one-finger salute along with him trying to catch up with me at the red light at Wentworth. I have seen this so often at that particular location that I am convinced someone is going to be killed there.

Finally, the timed lights have everyone in a rush to make it to the next green. I've never seen more amber or red light running as I do on this stretch of road. Don't get me wrong, I love the timed lights because it means I can get home in 7 minutes if I hit them right from the 403 to Sherman.

I never truly understood the argument that one-way streets hurt business until driving along Main E. Now I understand. Everyone is zipping through faster than they do on the Gardiner, and the sidewalks are narrow with no buffer from the street. I have walked along Main E before (I try to limit my exposure, however) and felt the "woosh" from vehicles speeding past in the left-most lane while on the sidewalk. I'd hate to think what that's like for small children or the elderly (or generally those who have an issue with balance or are lighter than I am). I've been honked at for trying to enter the No Frills parking lot on occasion despite having my blinker on. The problem, I guess, was that I was waiting for a pedestrian to clear the path on the sidewalk where my vehicle was headed.

I can't claim to understand civil engineering and looking closely at these issues is new for me. But I can share what I see and experience and it doesn't take an engineer or planner to understand there is something wrong. It is incredibly unsafe for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike.

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