Sunday, September 28, 2014

Toronto Traffic

I try to avoid rush hour in the city. I am not a patient person in a queue and I am always looking for an escape.

Unfortunately, last night, I had to take my son downtown about 6:00pm to deliver a piece of artwork to a client. That meant gridlock down and back, sigh! I could avoid most of the traffic on Mt Pleasant by taking the side streets. The extension through the valley was fairly quick too, because the construction on the bridge was finally over. It was Jarvis St. that was the problem. City council, in all its wisdom, has decided to prevent left hand turns on most north-south routes during rush hour. How do you ever get to go east, when southbound or west when northbound? I was southbound on Jarvis St.  OK, how do I get over to Parliament St?

If you can't turn onto a major cross-street, and you don't want to drive 3 or 4 miles out of your way, you can either -
1. Pull into one side of a gas station on a strategic corner and drive out the other side.
2. Find a driveway to pull into. Back out carefully into northbound traffic and reverse your direction, so that you are able to make a right hand turn onto the cross street you need.
3. Make an illegal left-hand turn. This is how crazy it is.

Executing one of the above, I got us to where we had to be - Carlton St. about a block and a half west of Parliament. Fortunately, I could park on the street and wait for my son to deliver his art and return to the car. I busied myself taking pictures and watching the traffic build from the lights at Parliament. I was also planning my return journey. Technically I had to go straight ahead into the back up at Parliament, because the side street in front of me was one way going north. I couldn't turn into it. However, I could pull ahead and back into it, making it look as though I had just driven up the street, maybe :)

The trick now was to make a left hand turn into the gridlock. I pulled ahead. The car to the right moved up slightly, however, to my left was a streetcar and they don't (or can't) back up. So there I was stuck between two vehicles waiting for a light to change. Well, I had to wait for several lights to change - not sure why. Finally, I was able to pull through the opening and fortunately, there were no cars speeding past me in the westbound lane, to hold me up. Streetcars are unforgiving and they make this horrible clanging noise, when they are angry!!

The rest of the trip home should have been a breeze, except that there was a fire in an apartment building at Jarvis and Charles, which drew about ten fire trucks and closed the road. All traffic was detoured east to Sherbourne, where I had to double back along Bloor St. This is how a twenty minute drive can take over an hour in Toronto!!

Have a great day!!

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