Preserved Stories Blog


Update regarding Dead Man’s Curve at Brown’s Line and Lake Shore Blvd. West. Commentary: An EARLIER warning would work much better

Image 6: Sharp turn right. Jaan Pill photo

Sharp turn right at Dead Man’s Curve. Jaan Pill photo

Update

A subsequent post is entitled:

Anna writes: The entire Brown’s Line at Lake Shore intersection “needs a redesign”

[End]

 

A previous post is entitled:

Work in progress: Better signage might save lives, at “Dead Man’s Curve” at southbound Brown’s Line

Another post addressing the same theme is entitled:

Natural forms at Six Points Interchange Reconfiguration; setbacks between images at Dead Man’s Curve

Update regarding Dead Man’s Curve

I am pleased to share with you the following update, based upon a Oct. 6, 2017 email from Councillor Mark Grimes’ Office.

As mentioned at a previous post, the Ward 6 Councillor Mark Grimes moved, at the Etobicoke York Community Council, a “Request to Investigate Browns Line southbound between Dover Drive and Lake Shore Boulevard West for Safety Improvements.”

The email notes:

“Staff have recommended a ‘flashing beacon’ on top of the existing checkerboard sign. They have advised that they are currently working with Toronto Hydro and will keep our office posted regarding an installation date.”

As more information is forwarded my way, I will post it at this website.

Commentary

First of all, I feel uncomfortable offering commentary, as a resident who is not a staff person anywhere. As a general rule I keep my thoughts, about City staff recommendations, to myself. In this case, however, lives are literally at stake.

I am pleased to know about the flashing-beacon recommendation. Possibly, the flashing beacon will serve as a warning to a speeding driver. However, it is also possible that a flashing light, at that point in a car’s journey along Dead Man’s Curve, may be a classic instance of “Too Little, Too Late.”

In the event this doesn’t work, and an additional life or lives are lost, I would like to propose, for whatever value such a suggestion may have, that it may be useful for staff to consider the fact that an earlier warning, of what lies up ahead, might be useful.

At a previous post, I have described the current dynamics, of what happens when a driver is approaching the curve.

Visual Dynamics of the Curve

There appears to be a natural tendency, among drivers in general, in countries around the world, to step on the gas when approaching a hill – such as at the overpass roadway above the railway tracks north of Lake Shore Blvd. West.

Approaching the hill, there is a long stretch of a straight roadway.

Straight roadways sometimes give rise to speeding, among some drivers. A Toronto Police Service speed trap is often set up at the corner of Dover Drive and Brown’s Line. Brown’s Line at Dover Drive is also a dangerous location. In recent months, I have observed the aftermath of two collisions at that location.

It’s natural, for some drivers, to pick up speed as they travel along the straight stretch of Brown’s Line as they approach the overpass just past Dover Drive.

At times, when I have travelled along this route, it has occurred to me that, on two occasions, in 2016 and 2017, two drivers would have been travelling along this roadway, unaware that in a matter of seconds, their lives would be over.

Now, as you proceed along the overpass, you do not have visual contact with what’s about to appear once – until you reach the top of the overpass.

The presence of a curve is not telegraphed for you, with a sign. All you see is a 30-kph sign, which is easy to ignore. Who attends closely to a sign that says 30-kph, if there is no other warning sign in place?

You do indeed see a sign – once you are right in the curve.

The sign indicates the roadway swings to the right. The presence of a curve is not announced with a sign, until you are well into the curve. By that time, if you are travelling very fast, it may be too late – to save your life.

What would improve the situation?

A prominent advance warning of a curve – a sign that would clearly and dramatically alert drivers BEFORE they enter the curve – would be most helpful.

A series of chevrons along the curve would also be most helpful.

I have begun to send brief messages, about this topic, to the relevant authorities. Maybe, people working together can save a life.

In the event you have a family member, friend, or acquaintance – or know a stranger – who may find this message of value, please let them know about the Dead Man’s Curve, at the foot of Brown’s Line in Long Branch.

 

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