Monday, April 23, 2007

A Manic Monday in the North End

Today started out with the sad news that a TTC employee was killed on the job inside the subway tunnel. The whole story isn't in yet.

This led to the closure of the Yonge subway for a few stops. Interestingly, the city closed Yonge Street to car traffic south of Lawrence to keep it clear for the bus shuttles. I went to the intersection of Yonge and Lawrence to see what this would look like. I even had my camera with me, but I was surprised to see things in general order, and traffic not really backed up. I didn't bother taking a picture.

The shuttle buses were packed, and were leaving from York Mills. When I arrived there, I could see more evidence of the strange situation.

There was a steady flow of people and more than enough to fill the shuttle buses.

After passing York Mills, everything seemed to be relatively normal.

Then came the afternoon commute. A powerful thunderstorm hit the Toronto area in the afternoon, so strong it reminded me of hurricanes I'd seen in Florida. Power was out along parts of Highway 7 near Leslie. Even after power came back, the traffic signals were still out, which had the expected effect on traffic (car traffic, that is).

Highway 7 was absolutely jammed in both directions. As you can guess by the position I'm taking this picture from, I'm riding on the sidewalk. I don't ride on highway 7 often, but when I do, I take the sidewalk. I can confirm that sidewalk traffic was flowing beautifully.

That wasn't even the end of this strange day. After arriving at Bayview, to head south, I saw more backed up traffic. I assumed it was because of traffic signals again, but this time a hydro pole ("hydro" = "power" for any non-Canadians out there) was dislodged and dangling over the road.

The fire fighters blocked off the entire south bound Bayview Avenue. I don't understand why they didn't do one lane in each direction, but maybe they knew something I didn't. Fortunately, I managed to convince them that my friend and I would be fine riding down the left side of the southbound lanes, so they let us through.

After passing the danger zone, we moved to the right, and rode two abreast down Bayview Avenue! How often can that happen?! It was so nice riding down Bayview that after my friend turned off, I went past my usual turning point, and just continued south on Bayview all the way south of Steeles to Cummer Avenue.

I was one of the few people who were able to enjoy this whole situation. As I approached some people waiting for the bus, they waved at me to stop. I looked behind myself, and since I was the only person on the road, they were definitely waving at me. I slowed down to give them the low down. They were stranded.

The trip really was unique and enjoyable. Not only was traffic virtually non-existent, but it's so relaxing to ride on the relatively leveled out arterial roads. Amazing ride.

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Darren J 4/23/2007 09:47:00 p.m.


It was chaotic yesterday.

Woodbine north of 16th was totally shut down, forcing the traffic along 16th. I could see perhaps a half dozen poles down along the west side of Woodbine.

16th is always a big bad busy street, but I've never seen it so congested before. Several lights were out at key intersection making for interesting crossings.

I left super early this morning (Tues) as I figured traffic would be busy along my route. It ended up being lighter than normal, even with Woodbine still being closed north of 16th.

It sounds like you had a good time on Bayview! There aren't too many days when you can ride like that.
power pole would have been scary

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