Toronto: Pay Attention to the Pedestrians

The intersection of Yonge and Harbour is just one example of the dangerous conditions that confront Toronto’s pedestrians daily. Are the police to blame for the city’s lack of pedestrian safety?
November 7, 2012, 8am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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After a 24-hour period last week when 11 Toronto area pedestrians were struck by cars, Christopher Hume criticizes the city's police and transportation policies for placing more importance on cars than on pedestrian safety. "From Chief Bill Blair down to the cop on the street," he says, "the police force's contempt for pedestrians knows no bounds. For Toronto's finest, pedestrians don't exist, at least not until they are involved in accidents, at which point, they get all the attention they no longer need."

The intersection at Tonge and Harbour, where "[t]he current configuration, intended to keep vehicular traffic moving, makes few concessions to walkers" and "[t]he police, of course, remain utterly oblivious" is just one example of transportation policies and police attitudes that view pedestrians as little more than "sacrificial lambs" and "collateral damage" argues Hume.

"At the same time, thousands now live in the condo towers popping up around this intersection," he adds. "Five residential highrises have already appeared near the corner, and more are in the works. Like the rest of us, their inhabitants have kids and dogs and expect to be able to cross the road with a reasonable hope of making it in one piece."

Thanks to Jessica Hsu

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Published on Friday, November 2, 2012 in The Star
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