Rail stands on guard over sidewalk, where it shouldn’t be

Rail stands on guard over sidewalk, where it shouldn’t be

A guard rail that knows its place would never spend so much as a minute hanging out where it’s not supposed to be.

It’s amazing how much damage is caused by out-of-control vehicles that mount the curb and smash into things like utility poles, bicycle locking rings and infrastructure intended to provide safety for pedestrians.

But with so many distractions — hello the phone! — drawing the eyes of drivers away from the road, the only surprise is that more vehicles don’t end up outside the rails and smashing into objects, or even people.

A good example is a guard rail that separates vehicle traffic on Winona Dr. from the sidewalk than runs along its east side, at the point where the street intersects with Eglinton Ave. W.

Aidan O’Leary sent us an email saying the guard rail was badly damaged last year by a car that went out of control, mounted the curb at the southeast corner of Winona and Eglinton and mowed it down.

He noted that a large building on the same corner is a co-op for seniors, and that many of them use that stretch of sidewalk and gamble with their lives whenever they cross from one side of Eglinton to the other.

“It is a very dangerous crossing and there are vehicle accidents on a regular basis,” he said, adding that a huge rock was installed at the corner of the co-op property, “after a car careened onto our lawn some years ago.”

We went there and found that the post on which the end of the rail is mounted was broken off in the collision. Now it leans about halfway across the sidewalk on Winona, just before it meets Eglinton.

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Another guard rail on the south side of Eglinton, running west from Winona, is also damaged at one end — likely by another vehicle that spun out of control — but at least it isn’t an impediment to pedestrians.

STATUS: We asked transportation services on Tuesday if the guard rails can be repaired, but have yet to receive an answer.

UPDATE: Our Aug. 3 column was about traffic signals that needlessly turn red for no good reason, when they stayed green until a few months ago, at three intersections in the same area: St. Clair Ave. and Jeanette St., Kingston Rd. and Bellamy Rd. and Kingston Rd. and Parkcrest Dr. It generated a surprising amount of email, including some from cyclists who said they like it better that way and others who said anything that slows down traffic on Kingston Rd. can’t be bad. James Chandler, who’s in charge of traffic signals, emailed to confirm that the lights at all three intersection are defective and scheduled for repair this fall.

What’s broken in your neighbourhood? Wherever you are in Greater Toronto, we want to know. Email jlakey@thestar.ca or follow @TOStarFixer on Twitter

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