Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Another Walkabout of the Eastern Avenue Closure at Leslie Street

Wednesday, August 6, 2014 - 12noon to 2pm

Leslie Street reconstruction Site-Walk Notes

I bicycled both eastbound and westbound approaches, and walked the entire site - with special attention paid to the immediate area of Eastern at Leslie.

Eastbound on Eastern from Booth to Leslie:

Signs say only "Eastern Closed at Leslie til Sept. 7th"

One just before Pape, indicates that Pape Avenue is open northbound.

The Larchmount intersection has a northbound left-turn lane and is signaled. After this point the chicane begins making lane changes and left turns, very dangerous.

I concluded that Larchmount is safest Northbound Cyclist's Detour Route.

Inspection of the West-side road closure at Mosley & Eastern - 30 minutes:

On the walkabout portion of the site visit I noted, now ten days into the Closure of Eastern at Leslie - that Rushbrooke is still receiving traffic as a result of a large number of 'emergency' exits off of Eastern - as motorists become aware of the closure just before they get to Rushbrooke. As a result of this surprise situation the Rushbrooke/Mosley/Eastern area is a mass of confusion with vehicles doing U-Turns and stopping short and making sudden turns without looking or signaling. This is further complicated by Traffic Pulses of Cars Exiting the FreshCo Lot - which they are using along with the Loblaws Lot, as a Eastern Avenue Closure Detour Route.

95% of road users on Eastbound Eastern are turning southbound at Mosley and going through the FreshCo/Loblaws Parking lots and back onto Eastern via the east-side Loblaws driveway.

I noted 14 Cyclist road users while at this observation point; 1 of the 14 went straight through and crossed Leslie via the pedestrian walkway on the south side of the intersection (after coming into conflict with a car at the corner of Mosley as she decided to go straight through).

Westbound on Eastern from Queen/Kingston to Leslie:

Signs on Eastern Avenue, East of the Closure are same as in the opposite direction; but no 'last-chance' sign (as near Pape Ave).

Inspection of the East-side road closure at Leslie & Eastern - 30 minutes:

Drivers traveling Westbound along Eastern can see the closure from about 400 metres east of the intersection (past their last exit at Laing) - as a result they are taking the East and West Entrances to the Loblaws Lot and using the parking lot driveway along the North edge to Exit back onto Easter in the opposite direction.

As 'Traffic Pulses' of Cars are coming up the East delivery-way lane - there is some congestion and confusion as people aren't sure where they are allowed to drive. Some try to go southbound along the delivery-way lane which is a One-Way Northbound - as such the placement of the Traffic Guidance Officer at the Entrance/Exit is key.

Over about an hour of observing from both east and west vantage points, I saw 7 cyclists ride up the East-side sidewalk of Leslie North of Eastern Ave to Queen St. Later I walked it - it is a dirty, pot-holed, narrow, winding path --- there is not enough room to walk your bike up this route without coming into conflict with other users - avoid this route with a bike.


I also note as above - that on this side of the Closure I recorded 10 Cyclist road users during my time there; 4 of whom were riding on the Eastern Avenue sidewalks (for safety I assume - on this wide, fast roadway with no bike lanes).

Cycling Westbound towards the Closure, I suggest getting off of Eastern at Knox or at Laing. Second most popular route seemed to be the Loblaws Parking Lot West-side driveway, down to the Plaza Intersection - where an Officer is directing all comers through the intersection.


After 10 days road-users still don't understand what's going on until the last minute as they approach the closure - this is leading to a dangerous mixing of modes especially in the Plaza Parking Lots - but also on the sidewalks in the area. Better signage and clearly marked detour routes for both motor vehicles and for cyclist users (separately) might help reduce dangerous mode mixing and user conflicts.

Perhaps the one simple thing that might accomplish the most good is the closure of Eastern Ave on either side of the closure (leave one lane open; posted Local Traffic Only) . Closing Eastern at Pape Avenue on the West side; and at Laing St on the East side - in this observers opinion - would greatly decrease the dangerous mixing of the three modes - especially in the Parking Lots and at their entrance-ways. This calming of the Plaza's Parking Lots might also draw off cyclists who feel too insecure to ride anything but the sidewalks in the present construction configuration.

A Map - with more notes from this walkabout:

Driving Conditions & Cyclist Detour Routes around Eastern/Leslie Closure

View Driving Conditions & Cyclist Detour Routes around Eastern/Leslie Closure in a larger map


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