Comment 90005

By Rational Optimist (anonymous) | Posted July 08, 2013 at 08:54:28

I walk to my job, which is on the MIP campus, from Kirkendall, across Aberdeen and then up Longwood. There are a handful, but a relatively small number of other MIP employees who walk a similar route, either every day or from time to time, for their commute. Most of the folks walking on Longwood on a regular basis are Westdale students, and some Columbia students and a handful of employees of businesses near Main and Longwood. This is my experience based on walking it every day and seeing some of the same faces every day.

It is hard to imagine this part of my commute getting any worse. The sidewalks are narrow and uneven and pool with water after a rain or snow. They are usually uncleared in the winter time. The traffic moves far too fast right, and drivers who turn on to Frid usually do not yield to people on foot. Many of the cyclists, because of the fast traffic, choose to use the sidewalks, and do not alert people on foot verbally or with a bell, so I routinely experience or witness near-misses between people on bike and people on foot. Because the cyclists who take this route are accustomed to using the sidewalks, they often do so on Aberdeen as well, even on the stretch with a bike lane- they often lose a few meters of bike lane anyway when motorists turning right from Aberdeen to Longwood encorach on it, since there is no actual divider.

To be short, any changes would be welcome to me and would have a positive impact on my commute. I'm not so concerned with the roundabout, especially as I rarely see people on foot crossing Aberdeen at Longwood in almost any direction. There is no need for a centre turning lane since there are two lanes in both directions- the way I see it, the fact that there will be one will only mean that motorists will need never prepare themselves to slow down, since no other car will possibly be slowing in front of them to make a turn.

It would be nice to have any kind of a boulevard- psychologically, the worst part of the experience really is the fact that cars are less than a meter from you, usually still in highway mode. A wide boulevard would help, but even better- since there are four lanes now and possibly five in the future- would be on-street parking. Perhaps there could be time restrictions for it if it was really felt that a loss of a lane would impede rush hour traffic so much (it wouldn't), but some kind of on-street parking at least at times of the day would do a lot to make the walk on this stretch seem safer.

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