Monday, July 19, 2010

Lanes Are Not The Answer

Politicians and Transport regulators
All seem to think that
More lanes creates less traffic.
I disagree.
Case in point
Travel Highway 401 east from Toronto to Montreal
At every junction that lanes increase and decrease
It is a traffic jam
On the majority of the highway
All the way to Quebec
It is a two lane affair, with little or no traffic
It's very simple if you need to exit, you use the right lane
If you're a slow truck on a hill, you use the right lane
if you are not exiting and have to pass a slow truck, use the left lane
The more lanes you add, the greater the stupidity multiplies
The reason is very simple
Motorists are Illiterate and Geometrically Challenged
The concept that their rectangular vehicle does not fit in a triangle
Is rocket science to them
A picture diagram on a diamond shaped road sign is ignored or misunderstood
You don't have to have an architecture degree or diploma
To contemplate a difference in shapes
A five year old could do it
Yet the majority of motorists on highways and city streets
Where lanes merge higher or lower, cannot comprehend what to do
This is evident on Rutherford Road between Highway 400 and Jane street
From Yonge to just before Jane it is a two lane affair
Very few jams, relatively smooth flow
At Jane it is three lanes each way plus turning lanes to left and right
At intersections there can be between eight and ten lanes
And this is the area that barely moves at all.
It is also the area that pedestrians are most likely to be struck
As seeing around all vehicles in ten lanes of traffic is dangerous
The pedestrian signals have been timed at 32 seconds.
3.2 s per lane for a healthy teenager may be fine
Its far too quick for a senior or a family pushing a baby stroller
The Master Traffic Plan wants to add a Bus Lane
I'd prefer the Bus Lane take over the 3rd lane on each side
That doesn't solve the issues
Most motorists are oblivious to signage and will travel in that lane anyway
I've observed this on Don Mills Road North of Eglinton
A three person commuter lane for buses and carpools is on right side
99% of people in it are single occupant motorists
This is fine if they need the lane to turn at an intersection
But the majority of them are not using it that way
It is a shortcut
Same principal with HOV lanes on Highway 404 and 403
Give people a dedicated lane for commuters of more than two occupants
And many single occupant motorists will abuse it
I'll bet the best city for traffic does not have multiple lanes
Toronto and GTA has been classified as worst commute worldwide
It easily has more lanes to travel than any other city
More lanes does not help alleviate traffic
It causes it.
How can you prevent traffic jams?
Read a road sign and don't push your luck.
Triangles will never fit rectangles
No matter how many diamond shaped road signs you ignore
People who do not merge courteously deserve to get stuck
Signal intent, and don't wait for the end.
This is true on all GTA highways including Don Valley Parkway
Where most merging motorists refuse to accept space provided
By knowledgable drivers to merge
And push their luck until the lane is no more
It's a bad attitude
Driving is a courtesy not a pleasure
Give us the pleasure of some courteous respect
If you do, traffic will improve.

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