Lack of dotted lines to mark turn lane snarls traffic

Turning left at an intersection often choked with traffic is a lot easier, when the path is clearly marked.

But that is not the case at the busy intersection of Vaughan Rd. and St. Clair Ave. W., where an absence of dotted lines to show the way for vehicles turning left only adds to traffic troubles.

With so many things competing for the attention of drivers in a city perpetually jammed with traffic, the easier it is for them to stay on course, the less likely it is that they’ll get into trouble.

One of the ways to keep drivers on the right path is to mark it with lines on the pavement. We all take the line painted down the centre of the road for granted, but it’s the other lines that keep traffic moving smoothly.

When four lanes of traffic moving in each direction converge in an intersection, dotted white lines are often used to show the way for vehicles making a turn.

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But at St. Clair and Vaughan, the dotted lines have not been applied to the pavement for all left-turn lanes, which causes confusion and snarls, said Esther Kulman in an email.

“The intersection at St. Clair and Vaughan is marked with white lines for vehicles traveling north on Vaughan and turning west onto St. Clair, but not for vehicles heading south on Vaughan and turning east onto St. Clair,” she said.

“As a result, drivers heading south on Vaughan regularly face the dilemma of whether to navigate in front of or behind those heading north and turning west.

“The problem is ongoing and occurs throughout the day, particularly during rush hour. White lines on the road to guide traffic in both directions would eliminate these impasses and unnecessary driver stress.”

We went there last week and several times observed drivers coming south on Vaughan stack up in the lane for northbound vehicles, getting in the way due to apparent uncertainty about where they should be.

Dotted white lines on the pavement for northbound traffic turning left onto St. Clair seems to eliminate the confusion, a pretty good indication that similar lines would benefit southbound traffic turning left.

STATUS: We’ve sent a note to Allen Pinkerton, who’s in charge of traffic signs and markings, asking if he can arrange to have the lines painted onto the road.

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