Updates: Regarding the switching of lanes on Lake Shore Blvd. West at Fortieth Street, I’m pleased to share with you the following Nov. 27, 2013 message from Councillor Mark Grimes’ office:
- Staff have reviewed the collision history Eastbound on Lake Shore Boulevard West between Brown’s Line off ramp and Fortieth Street, for a five year period, January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2012. The Toronto Police Service collision records indicate that there have been one reported collision where a vehicle travelling on the curb lane changed lanes onto streetcar lane and collided with another vehicle.
- Based on investigation, staff do not recommend any changes to the pavement marking on this section of road.
[End of text]
A Sept. 30, 2014 CBC podcast is entitled: “A Deadly Wandering: How texting and driving killed two rocket scientists.”
An Oct. 7, 2014 CBC article is entitled: “Talking cars actually more dangerous, studies find.”
[End of updates]
This is valuable information I much appreciate the response from the Councillor’s office. One accident every five years or so is better than my anecdotal recollection, which was inaccurate.
Dec. 9, 2013 update: I’ve also noticed, in recent days, that the two traffic islands on Lake Shore Blvd. West between Fortieth Street and Thirty Ninth Street have been eliminated, as part of the TTC roadway reconstruction project that has recently been under way. This means that the chances of a collision, between a car making a right-hand turn at Fortieth Street, and a car simultaneously making a lane change from the inner to the outer lane on Lake Shore Blvd. West, has been markedly reduced. If a driver changing a lane needs to make a last-minute correction, that will be more easily accomplished without the presence of a traffic barrier.
[End of updates]
A CityNews video shows the aftermath of a two-vehicle accident in Long Branch (Toronto not New Jersey) at 2:00 am on Nov. 8, 2013 in which both drivers were charged with impairment.
A Nov. 8, 2013 article at 680 News is entitled: “2 drivers face impaired charges after Lake Shore-Long Branch crash.”
A Nov. 23, 2013 Metro News article is entitled: “Crash kills driver, splits car in half in Mississauga.”
A Nov. 23, 2013 CBC article is entitled: “SIU probes fatal crash after man flees R.I.D.E spot check.”
A Nov. 24, 2013 CBC article is entitled: “Distracted driving crackdown kicks off Monday in Calgary.” The subhead reads: “Police say public still not getting the message about dangers of distracted driving.”
Speaking of getting hit, a Nov. 25, 2013 CBC article from CBC’s Go Public underlines that it’s handy for consumers to have an accurate assessment of gas consumption, before they buy that new car. According to a recent interview on CBC’s Metro Morning, you can do online search regarding gas mileage by visiting American websites that deal with this topic. Among those sites is Consumer Reports. The CBC Nov. 25, 2013 CBC article (see link above) notes: “Canadian government-approved tests have been panned by critics for several years, for not being as realistic as U.S. tests done by the same automakers there.”
I’ve noticed, after 45 years of driving, that bad driving habits can creep up on a person even when perfectly clear-headed and sober.
Here is what I’ve learned:
- Be clear about where you’re going, especially when wearing sunglasses on a bright sunny day, when backing up your car from the driveway. You’re doing a manoeuvre that you’ve done countless times before – yet you might just run into a surprise, such as a car illegally parked on the road across from your driveway.
- Take care driving when visibility is reduced, such as at night during a rainstorm or snowstorm.
- At the first sign of drowsiness while driving, stop to assess your situation. Stop the car, take a break, have a coffee. Don’t drive when drowsy.
- Avoid distractions. Focus on the job at hand, which is the driving of your car.
A possible related topic may eventually also come to mind, namely: How old is too old to drive?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is among the potential consequences of collisions.
Making a right-hand turn when travelling north on Fortieth Street in Long Branch can be dicey
Roughly once in 18 months, based on my anecdotal evidence, a collision occurs when a person seeks to make a right-hand turn at the corner of Fortieth Street and Lake Shore Blvd. West where the Fair Grounds Café & Roastery is located. I’ve been making turns at this corner just about every day for close to twenty years.
[Please refer to update at the start of this post. My anecdotal recollection, as the update notes, is not accurate. Better to go with the evidence rather than my anecdotal memory of events.]
The dynamics and physics of the turn are of interest. Vehicles travelling from the west at this point have two lanes. Drivers in the inner lane (the north side of the two lanes) travelling east often switch to the outer lane – to the southernmost lane – at around Fortieth Street.
In the event a driver travelling from the west has switched into the outer lane, and a driver at Fortieth Street and Lake Shore is making a turn to the right, you have an interesting funnelling situation.
The double lane just east of Fortieth Street splits into two separate lanes because of the TTC transit island. About once every 18 months, according to my anecdotal estimate, a driver who has just switched lanes on Lake Shore Blvd. West, and another driver who has just made a right-hand turn at Fortieth Street, will find themselves both seeking to enter the single lane on the south side of Lake Shore Blvd. West.
Only enough room for one vehicle
There’s only enough room for one vehicle, at that point. If two vehicle compete for the space, a collision occurs.
An interesting feature, of the scenario that I’ve described, is that if two drivers make simultaneous decisions to proceed, they set the stage for a likely collision.
Often one or the other driver can make a last-minute correction. When such a correction isn’t possible, a collision occurs.
Would it be helpful or possible to have a solid white line in the section of roadway between the Brown’s Line ramp and Fortieth Street? With a solid white line at that location, drivers would be alerted to the danger of switching lanes between the Brown’s Line ramp and Fortieth Street.
I wouldn’t know if it’s feasible. I’ve been meaning to bring the attention of Councillor Grimes’ office to this question. I’ll forward a link to this blog post to the councillor’s office. Who knows what can be done? Anyway, if you read this, and live in Long Branch, you will perhaps be extra attentive at this corner.