Preserved Stories Blog


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

Image 6: Sharp turn right. Jaan Pill photo

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

A previous post is entitled:

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

A local resident, Anna, has offered the following comment, and has given me permission to post it:

I appreciated hearing your thoughts on dead man’s curve. I have often thought that the entire intersection, forming a T shape with Browns line at Dover and including lakeshore from the no frills all the way to Marie Curtis needs a redesign. I am not entirely certain what the intersection should look like (I’ll leave that to the transportation and human factors engineers) but it is obvious that:

  1. The entire area is irregular, which leads to poor driver behaviour
  2.  It is unsafe for cyclists to have the lanes stop and start
  3. It is inefficient for drivers who struggle to make a left turn from lakeshore to browns line, and to exit the GO station
  4. It is harrowing for pedestrians walking along the north side of lakeshore or in Browns line where the lack of access points gives the perception of a highway to drivers when it is actually a rather residential/mixed use area. Besides the sign, that area may need more calming measures like trees.

Hopefully, there will be a recommendation to staff to rethink the whole area. I doubt looking at small pieces of the problem area can resolve the multiple issues we face daily.

Anna

[End]

Commentary

This is a most interesting topic. Your comment is of much interest, Anna!

Aerial view looking east along Lake Shore Blvd West from near Long Branch Loop, Ontario Archives Acc 16215, ES1-814, Northway Gestalt Collection. If you click on the photo, and click again, you can see the Brown’s Line and Lake Shore Blvd. West intersection as it appeared in 1949. The photo brings to mind a previous post, in which Garry Burke recalls when he lived on Exmoor Drive, years ago.

I’m reminded of the fact that at Thirtieth St. going north from Lake Shore Blvd. West, as well as Kipling Ave. going north from Lake Shore, and at Royal York Road going north from Lake Shore, what you have in each case is an underpass, under the railway tracks. People tend to slow down, when travelling through an underpass.

That I think would be a good option, for Brown’s Line and Lake Shore – or, at any rate, an option that transportation and human factors engineers would likely consider.

As it is now, if the current overpass would remain in place, and the intersection ended as a T-intersection at Brown’s Line and Lake Shore, then drivers would likely, on rare but deadly occasions,  drive down very fast and blast their way through the intersection.

Interview with Bill Rawson of Long Branch Furniture

I recall an interview that I did some years ago with Bill Rawson, of Long Branch Furniture on Lake Shore Blvd. West.

His store is now on the north side, east of the Long Branch Public Library; previously he was on the south side of Lake Shore opposite the library.

Anyway, when I get time, I will transcribe the interview, in which Bill Rawson described  an accident at a time when Brown’s Line ended as a T-intersection, many years ago.

Bill checks out one of his books about Elvis. Jaan Pill photo

Bill Rawson checks out one of his books about Elvis Presley. The photo dates from the time when his store was on the south side of Lake Shore Blvd. West, opposite the Long Branch Library. Jaan Pill photo

What I recall, from what he said, was that he was sitting in his car – this must have been a time before or just after the Second World War – and he was chatting with a local Village of Long Branch police officer. (I’ve recorded many interviews in which long-time residents have spoken about the police officers and the police chief: They were all colourful characters.)

I may have gotten this story a bit stretched out of shape, given how memory works (I refer in his case to my memory of the interview), but the gist of it is that Bill Rawson looked toward the north and saw that a car was barrelling at great speed toward the intersection. He had the presence of mind to get out of the car’s line of travel, just in time. What happened next was that there was a big smash-up (involving another car, that had remained stopped at the intersection) and the driver, who survived the collision, was arrested, as it was clear he had been drinking.

Bill Rawson also recounted the story of the trial before a judge. The judge chatted with the accused, and determined how much damage the other car, that had been hit, had acquired. He wanted to know the cost.

He arranged for the driver to cover the cost and that – ANECDOTALLY speaking, that is, based on my recollection of the interview with Bill Rawson – is what I recall as happening, in the end.

I look forward to listening to my recording of the interview. That will refresh my memory for sure!

 

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

  1. Jaan Pill Jaan Pill says:

    Mike James writes (on Facebook): Before it was “improved”, you just walked or drove over the railway tracks. Changed some time in the late 60’s.

    Jaan Hendrik Pill writes (on Facebook): Good to know it was late 60s Mike!

  2. Jaan Pill Jaan Pill says:

    It may be noted that Garry Burke, at a previous post, notes that the bridge – I assume the overpass – was built in 1957:

    “The house and property [where Garry Burke’s family lived on Exmoor Drive] were expropriated when they built the new bridge at Brown’s Line and the Lakeshore in ’57.”

    Thus, my hypothesis at this point is that the railway bridge (overpass) was built in 1957, and the reconfiguration (that’s in place now) went in later, in the the late 1960s.

    From the 1940 aerial photo, it is evident that the former terminus of Brown’s Line was located just east of Fortieth Street.

    As well, in those years Exmoor Drive, as the 1949 photo indicates, terminated at Brown’s Line at a point just north of Lake Shore Blvd. West.

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