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There’s nothing like a bus knuckle to send shivers up the spines of motorcycle and bike riders, before tossing them to the pavement.
With spring threatening to finally arrive — even of it doesn’t feel like it — people are starting to hop on their bikes, scooters and motorcycles and go for a spin, hoping to kick-start the warm weather.
And that brings us to one of the scourges of two-wheeled travel in Toronto, the dreaded bus knuckle, a raised ridge in the pavement at TTC bus stops, caused by buses constantly stopping in exactly the same spot.
Over time, the weight of buses causes the pavement to settle beneath their wheels, a process exacerbated in hot weather, when the pavement softens. It has the effect of creating a ridge between the wheels, which looks a lot like the knuckles on the back of your hand.
Bus knuckles are deadly for anyone on a two-wheeled vehicle, particularly at night, when they can’t be seen, or when they’re wet, adding a slippery component to the peril.
We once came across a motorcycle rider sitting on the curb — bloodied and dazed- at night near a bus stop, with his motorcycle still on its side at the edge of the road. He said he hit a bus knuckle he didn’t see and was sent flying.
A reader sent us a note saying he hopes 2018 is the year that the city finally does something about a large knuckle on Ellesmere Rd., at the northeast corner of McCowan Ave., saying it gets worse every year.
The reader, who asked not to be named, said he often makes a right-hand turn on his motorcycle at the corner and is “ultracareful” to steer around the knuckle, because he knows it’s there.
But he said it’s all the other knuckles at bus stops across the city that worry him, noting that the busier the TTC stop, the more certain it is that a knuckle will develop and get bigger and bigger and bigger.
STATUS: Edison Alexander, who’s in charge of road operations in that area, emailed to say he will try to have the bus knuckle ground off in the next few days, adding it may be on the city’s list of locations to have the pavement replaced with a concrete pad that does not buckle under the weight of buses.
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