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Pedestrians waiting at light at risk of icy soaking: The Fixer

Fixing one problem can sometimes create another, like vehicles speeding through a large puddle to catch a green light that’s about change.

New traffic signals were installed not long ago at the intersection of Glebemount and Mortimer Aves., in response to the growing volume of traffic on Mortimer, just east of Toronto East General Hospital.

Before the lights went up, drivers on Mortimer — a well-used, east-west route — sailed through the intersection. But drivers on Glebemount, a local street, had to stop and wait for a break in the traffic.

Nicki Holwell, who lives in the area, emailed to say “thrilled as I was to finally see a traffic light installed at Glebemount and Mortimer, the southeast corner is now a huge problem.

“A large puddle is created any time there is (much) rain, and now the people waiting to cross are soaked by the northbound traffic.

“I try to slow down but it is a very short north/south light and sometimes I do rush to make it,” adding she’s not sure if the problem is a plugged storm drain or the slope of the road.

We went there and found a 10-metre long puddle caused by a melting snow bank along the curb. We assumed that a storm drain located under the snow is likely plugged with something or other.

But a Google Street View image of the intersection shows no drain along that stretch of curb. The only drain is right on the corner, just to the north of the puddle.

It may be that the road slopes towards the drain, to allow water to run into it, and that it is plugged or something has gone wrong. It’s hard to tell with all that snow along the edge of the road.

But it’s easy to see why people on the sidewalk next to the puddle are at risk of being sprayed by a passing vehicle in a hurry to catch the light before it turns from green to red.

STATUS: We’ve asked Toronto Water and transportation services to see if there’s anything that can be done to drain the puddle and reduce the chance that someone will get an icy soaking.

What’s broken in your neighbourhood? Wherever you are in Greater Toronto, we want to know. Send an email to jlakey@thestar.ca . Report problems and follow us on Twitter @TOStarFixer.