Sunday, November 30, 2014

Horrible Regional Signage is Causing Construction Chaos

The Ion LRT is going to take three long years to build, three years of construction and traffic jams, three years of mud, three years of inconvenience and unpleasantness. The process started a few weeks ago, and I live in the epicenter of it. The Region has got to improve their signage.

Here is an example: Caroline Street is torn up from Allen to Erb. Park Street has no construction. However, there are signs along Park Street saying, "ROAD CLOSED LOCAL TRAFFIC ONLY". Here is Park at Union (construction starts three blocks away from here):


The signs on Park should not say "ROAD CLOSED LOCAL TRAFFIC ONLY". They should say something like "Caroline Street closed from Erb to Allen". Here's another confusing "ROAD CLOSED" on Park, this one near Allen:


You might think that the arrow is supposed to show that the road closure is to the right, but look at this signage on Alexandra at Euclid, which is showing that the road behind the sign is closed ahead:


In fact, the arrow directions (up, down, left, right) used in the road closed signs are inconsistent and confusing. I'm not sure about the placement of the signs in the road either. On Alexandra, they blocked the east-bound lane with a "ROAD CLOSED" sign and traffic cones, even though I have to turn there to get to my home. (A local resident kindly moved the sign to the curb so we can get by.)

Here is another example. Alexandra Street is not torn up, but it is blocked at Caroline. At the next intersection to the west, there are three ROAD CLOSED signs. Any law-abiding person driving east on Alexandra will think, as they approach Euclid, that they have to turn around and go back. On Euclid heading to the left and right there are signs saying "ROAD CLOSED LOCAL TRAFFIC ONLY" and straight ahead on Alexandra there's a sign saying simply "ROAD CLOSED". It's a little difficult to see, but here's a photo taken from Alexandra looking east at the intersection with Euclid, showing "ROAD CLOSED" signs in every direction:


I have to drive past the "ROAD CLOSED" sign on Alexandra at Euclid every day, because I live on Alexandra between Euclid and Caroline. That sign should also say "LOCAL TRAFFIC ONLY". People living on Alexandra and Short Street have to drive through there.

The Euclid signage saying "ROAD CLOSED LOCAL TRAFFIC ONLY" appears all along Euclid even though there is no construction on or near Euclid - the signs were put up in an attempt to keep cars from cutting through on Euclid. When I complained to the Region about it I got an email saying it was required by community safety. Fair enough, but the signage should NOT say "ROAD CLOSED" when the road is not closed. When a motorist drives on a road that has been signed as closed, their insurance can be denied if they have an accident. They can be stopped by the police. The Region could put up signs saying "LOCAL TRAFFIC ONLY" but it is madness to tell us that the road is closed when the road is not obstructed.

Strangely, on Caroline at Allen, where the Caroline road closure begins, there is no signage at all. Same thing at Caroline and Alexandra: there's nary a "ROAD CLOSED" sign, and in fact confused drivers have been driving along Caroline on the dirt track the construction trucks use.

Finally, here's a map showing the current construction.

  • The yellow line shows where Caroline is closed.
  • The yellow line with red dashes shows where a road is partially closed.
  • The red X's show where there are "ROAD CLOSED" signs. (I missed quite a few: for example there is also one at William and Westmount, nine blocks from any construction.) Note that these red X's are places that say "ROAD CLOSED", implying that the current road is closed.
  • The blue X shows where I live.
It is going to be a long, long three years. Currently, the Region is tearing up Caroline to move the pipes so they won't be under the LRT tracks. Then they'll repave. Then they'll tear up the road to lay the tracks. I think my new mantra should be, "Where do you live?" "I live at You-Can't-Get-There-From-Here".

1 comment:

John Mclaughlin said...

It really does sound like being able to have clear signs when it comes to construction is essential. I personally have seen a lot of this kind of confusion in my hometown in Colorado, and it just seems like there are a lot of things that can help. From what you mentioned, just making sure to have some form of consistency is something that can really make a difference. Hopefully this will be useful to those construction companies who are in need of some kind of understanding of what it's like driving up on a construction zone as a civilian. Thank you for sharing these concerns. http://inlandpetroservice.com/services.html