Back to School Warning: Bay-Davenport Intersection Still Dangerous for Pedestrians
The Bay-Davenport Intersection continues to be dangerous for pedestrians. The intersection is particularly worrisome as children head back to school. There is an elementary school and nursery school right at the intersection. Parents should caution their children to avoid the new crossing north of the intersection and take an alternate route to and from school if possible.
The danger is in the new extra pedestrian crossing installed just north of the intersection. The intersection is signaled like a t-intersection. The timing of the signals allows pedestrians to cross Davenport at the same time cars northbound on Bay turn left onto westbound Davenport or eastbound cars on Davenport turn south onto Bay. The problem is that turning cars think they are going straight through the intersection rather than turning and they do not expect pedestrians to cross directly in front of their path.
The neighbourhood has been complaining about the crossing for more than a year. Last December 6, 2013, in response to complaints, Councillor Wong-Tam convened a meeting out at the intersection to which she invited Traffic Operations, several police from the 53rd Division and all the neighbourhood residents who had written to her complaining about the intersection.
Since the meeting, Traffic Operations has made improvements including extra signage warning cars to watch for pedestrians and a timed head start for pedestrians. Councillor Wong-Tam also argued for more improvements and was able to get lower speed limits along Bay and Davenport but was not able to get the other improvement she wanted which was no right turns on red signals.
Despite all the changes made thus far, there continue to be too many near misses for pedestrians, and the intersection remains a fatality waiting to happen.
Councillor Wong-Tam continues to advocate for further improvements to the intersection. She has asked Transportation Services to adjust the signal to allow a longer vehicle delay to northbound traffic on Bay so that pedestrians using the intersection north of the intersection can cross safely. Transportation Services is currently investigating the feasibility of implementing the councillor's suggestion.
Until the city solves the problems with the intersection, parents are advised to keep their children from using the dangerous pedestrian crossing north of the intersection.
Revised Sept 3, 2014