on December 10, 2015 by test_editor in Archive_2015, December, Print Articles, WEB-EXTRA content, Comments Off on December 10, 2015: Bus Detour Set to Roll Jan 17; Transitway update.

December 10, 2015: Bus Detour Set to Roll Jan 17; Transitway update.

December 10, 2015: Bus Detour Set to Roll Jan 17;
Transitway update.

By Cheryl Parrott, 2500 Buses A Day – No Way.

The City has delayed the first phase of the planned detour of 2500 buses a day onto Scott St. until Jan. 17, 2016. Phase 2 of the detour, where the buses come out onto Scott at Smirle, is still scheduled for June 2016.

The widening of Scott from Bayview to Smirle is complete, the final paving from Merton to Smirle will occur in the spring. Traffic lights at City Centre have been installed and the lights at the pedestrian crossover at Bayview Station have been removed. Traffic lights at Merton will be installed.

Councillor Leiper has held regular meetings for the community with the Rail Implementation Office (RIO). These meetings have been helpful and some information has been wormed out of RIO; however it still requires persistent follow-up to get answers to many questions.

The “Bus Only” lane markings have been painted on the road as has the cycling lane on the south side of Scott. There is a stunning array of confusing road signs in the short distance from Merton to Bayview and some people think no southbound turns off of Scott are allowed – wrong!

As we predicted, the entire “Bus Only” lane from Parkdale to Bayview is actually a lane into which vehicles can merge when accessing or leaving Scott Street. For many residents who live on one-way streets, Scott is their only option. The dotted line on the pavement indicates it is OK to merge into the “Bus Only” lane at any point so that they can safely turn onto the side streets.

We have asked the City to let residents know that they will not be fined for being in this lane – that they should not feel pressured to merge and turn at the last minute – when it may be very unsafe to so. There is no commitment from the City on this request.

OC Transpo says they will be training their operators to be courteous to drivers merging in and out of the bus lane and also entering and exiting driveways on Scott. OC Transpo has also committed that the #95 bus will stop for passengers at Bayview and Scott – so residents will have an alternative to the #16 bus which only runs every 30 minutes.

Fences have been constructed on Scott to provide some small measure of privacy and also a slush barrier to those houses right on Scott St. The fence contractor managed to cut a large Bell cable and a Rogers Cable and nearby residents lost Bell phone and Internet service, some for up to 3 days.

The Multi-Use Pathways (MUPs) from Bayview Station to the O-Train and the re-located Bayview Station should be open before Christmas. City snow-plowing of these pathways will be better than the sidewalks in the community, simply because they are separated from the roads and the plows will not be able to plow all the snow from the road onto them as they do now with the sidewalks.

The big unknown is: what happens if there are problems with the detour or big delays for the buses? OC Transpo still predicts only a 3 minute delay along Scott & Albert. There is no Plan B should this not be the case, or if an accident happens that blocks the street. In fact there is no Plan B if any of their projections turns out to be wrong. Those who predict minimum delays would do well to remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

OC Transpo has announced it will be implementing changes in the east end in December to alleviate problems of long delays. They say they are responding to customer concerns. They are reducing the number of buses at Hurdman Station by 110 buses per hour in the morning and 50 buses per hour in the afternoon – this, to reduce congestion and the potential for delays.

Many suggestions we in the west have made over the last 4 or more years are being applied now in the east end. Will they wait for customer complaints again before they review their plan? Yep, looks like it!
For more coverage including web-extra photos on this topic, (see below).

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Photo Caption: The lines are drawn and the signs are posted. Scott Street, from Merton to Bayview is ready to receive a massive onslaught of buses beginning early in the new year. Note: the broken lines do not indicate that drivers are prohibited from merging to and from this entire lane when accessing the neighbourhood to the south. Use caution, but do use the lane.

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