Pharmacy Ave. bus knuckle packs a powerful punch: The Fixer
Like leaves in the fall, you can count on a big and dangerous bus knuckle in the pavement at a lot of busy TTC bus stops.
One of the lesser-known dangers on Toronto streets is a raised ridge in the pavement that forms at TTC stops, caused by a steady stream of buses that roll up and come to a stop in the same spot.
Over time, the weight of buses causes the pavement beneath their wheels to sink, which has the effect of creating a ridge or knuckle in the middle of the traffic lane, between the low spots.
We’ve seen bus knuckles that protrude nearly 15 centimetres above the surrounding road surface, a deadly obstacle for people on two-wheeled vehicles, especially when the road is slippery.
And there are so many that the city is hard-pressed to keep up. The easiest fix is to simply grind down the raised pavement, but the knuckle eventually reappears.
A much more effective but costly fix is to carve out a section of pavement about the length of a bus and fill it with concrete that withstands its weight without buckling.
The backlog of TTC stops in need of repair is so long that the city can only replace a small number with concrete each year, which means we have to live with them, even if they’re a danger.
Tony Salvatore emailed us about several knuckles in the same area, including a particularly bad one on southbound Pharmacy Ave., on the north side of the intersection at Ellesmere Ave.
“These ruts are hazardous to cars, cyclists and pedestrians,” said Salvatore. “They can damage cars (and) also lead to cars swerving unnecessarily
“They are very dangerous when there is any snow at all on them, or a little rain.”
STATUS: We’ve sent the list of problem spots to transportation services and asked if they can be ground down and added to the list of TTC stops in need of a concrete pad, if they’re not already on it.
WHAT’S THAT BLACK CLOTH IN THE STORM DRAIN? Our column last Saturday was about plugged storm drains on River St. Among the stuff clogging them was black cloth bunched up around the edges of the grate. We thought it was part of the problem, but a reader emailed to say the cloth is there for a reason: to prevent debris from washing into the basin during rain. Frank Clarizio, a director of construction engineering services with the city, confirmed that the material is “filter fabric,” which prevents construction dirt and debris from getting into a basin. The material is stretched across the opening and held in place by the heavy iron grate, said Clarizio, adding it’s a requirement in construction zones. It may be a good idea, but it wasn’t very effective on River, where the fabric came loose and the drains were thoroughly plugged.
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