Last week, some poor schmuck got caught speeding on Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway at 167 km/h. It was 3:45 a.m. on a Friday. Because that’s the only time that you can speed anywhere in this city.
It’s no joke that the city of Toronto has two seasons – winter and construction. By early April, the landscape is already peppered with bulldozers and backhoes, orange traffic cones, men in fluorescent vests and hardhats. The jarring cacophony of jackhammers fills the cool spring air. It warms the heart to know the city is building upward and onward, but it’s also nonplussing.
According to the most recent survey by TomTom, those GPS gurus, Toronto is the second worst city in Canada for gridlock, and the sixth worst in North America. Add to this the construction schedule – 100 kilometres of city roads to be resurfaced. There will be more people working on the roads than actually traversing them.
The third weekend in April shaped up to be ominous. The major artery of Yonge Street was closed on Sunday for a marathon, while the Yonge-University subway line was scheduled to be closed all weekend. The good news was, GO train service would be available every 30 minutes. This was ostensibly to allow for escape from the impenetrable downtown core.
Fortunately, common sense prevailed – subway work was postponed, and the trains continued to run as capably as the marathoners.
But it’s only April – we still have five to six months of insane-making gridlock to endure. And this, in the sauna that is Toronto in the summer.
Let’s go back to our speeding schmuckster. It seems Toronto also has the most speed traps in all of North America – that’s according to the National Association of Motorists. They found that Toronto boasts three times more speed traps than in LA, Montreal and New York City – COMBINED.
How does that work? Do they set up fishing holes at the few places in the city where you can actually speed? Maybe, people are speeding because they’ve just spent an hour in gridlock and are late. Could it be a huge conspiracy?
Mess up the roads. Shut down the transit. Make it unthinkable for ordinary citizens to get from Point A to Point B in a reasonable amount of time. (let’s not forget that Toronto also has one of the worst commuting times in Canada – 45 minutes getting to work.)
It’s going to be a hot summer. Regardless of the temperature.