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Confusion at Distillery District intersection has cars turning onto streetcar tracks

CityNews | posted Wednesday, Dec 6th, 2017

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A confusing intersection in the Distillery District is causing vehicles to turn onto streetcar tracks.

Part of the road at the intersection of Cherry and Front Streets is separated, one part for vehicles, the other is strictly just for TTC Streetcars, but it turns out that’s not clear to some drivers.

“Because it’s a divided road, they might actually think it’s a divided road with a median down the centre,” says Dave Jameson, a concerned resident. “Even with the arrows and dashed lines, at night that’s impossible to see.”

He says the right-of-way has been here for nearly two years but it’s still confusing drivers. He says lately it’s been getting out of hand especially at this time of year with less daylight and with the large crowds and increased traffic going to and from the Toronto Christmas Market which is right across the street.

The signage is there, but it’s not as obvious as one would think.

“At least have better indication that that is a streetcar lane because it really doesn’t spell it out too well,” says Jameson,

“The ‘do not enter’ sign is above eye level and as a driver you’re not looking up there.”

We reached out to the City about the issue. In an email they tell CityNews:

“We haven’t received any complaints related to motorists driving on the streetcar right-of-way in this area. We will send staff out to see if there is any opportunity to improve signage and to ensure that the approved signage is installed and in good condition. Motorists are reminded to observe road signs at all times.”

We also reached out to Traffic Services which tells us driving the wrong way in one way traffic falls under section 153 of the Highway Traffic Act. This offence would carry three demerit points and a $110 fine.

Jameson says this is a year long problem and while there haven’t been any major accidents as of yet, he wants something to be done before it’s too late.

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