Chow Wants to Change Toronto's Curbs

Mayoral candidate thinks curbs should come with right angles, not curves

As part of mayoral candidate Olivia Chow's plan to make pedestrians safer, she is calling for Toronto curbs to come with right angles, not curves.

Chow's platform promises that if elected Mayor she would "make curbs safer by using right angles." It's unclear if Chow would change already constructed curbs or propose that new curbs comes with right angles.

“We can start making walking safer right now, and we should. Other cities are acting on good ideas and we can too, so everyone can get to the other side of the street alive,” Chow says in a policy statement on her website.

Chow's goal as mayor would be no pedestrians deaths in the city.

She is also proposing giving neighbourhoods the ability to lower speed limits by 10 km/h, allow for longer crossing times at the most dangerous intersections in the city, and also providing better street lighting in those areas.

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  1. frankling posted on 09/03/2014 12:34 PM
    Buses and trucks mount the curbs all the time. I'm afraid someone will be killed.
    Olivia is right. Further, stopping these ridisuclous make-work renos will save money.
    1. AndrewM_5194 posted on 09/03/2014 05:45 PM
      @frankling The problem is this, Toronto downtown streets are fairly narrow and when a truck / bus is trying to make a right turn, it has difficulty doing so without crossing into 2 lanes. Pedistrians who go on the edge of a sidewalk make it difficult for large vehicles to make their turns.

      I'm willing to say there are drivers who make bad turns, but pedistrians need to respect vehicles who are big trying to make the turns. Maybe it would be better to put a yellow line of caution like the TTC does. Have people use to the idea of staying back a bit on downtown streets.
  2. AbbyW posted on 09/03/2014 01:16 PM
    I believe our mayor should come with a brain.

    Square curbs will not stop idiot pedestrians that don't pay attention when they're crossing, instead relying on vehicles exclusively. Until pedestrians cross roads defensively these accidents will remain high. Same goes for vehicle traffic; drivers don't drive defensively. Instead, if they have the right-of-way they go their merry way without paying attention to their surroundings.

    I hope Chow isn't thinking of longer pedestrian crossings such as Bloor at Yonge and Bay. Those are disasters and dramatically increase traffic congestion.

    Lowering speed limits is another inane idea. They're already well controlled.

    She was the NDP transportation critic yet she hasn't come up with anything intelligent in her bid for Mayor. Makes you wonder what the hell she was doing with our tax dollars. Also makes me even more concerned about her capabilities.

    The best thing she can do is to keep coming up with stupid ideas so she reveals her true self.
  3. Angry Bill posted on 09/03/2014 01:19 PM
    Someone will be killed regardless, frankling.

    The biggest thing that would help pedestrians not be run over by cars is the pedestrians actually look for oncoming traffic before walking out onto the road.. whether it's at an intersection where they have the right of way or not.

    You can't legislate against stupidity, or legislate bubble wrap around pedestrians.
    1. AbbyW posted on 09/03/2014 02:11 PM
      @Angry Bill Olivia Chow will tax us to death trying.
  4. MikuL posted on 09/03/2014 02:42 PM
    While there may be some merit to Olivia's idea, in most instances squaring up curbs could make things more dangerous for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles.

    Curbs at corners are rounded to allow larger vehicles such as buses and trucks a better turning radius, especially for right turns. By squaring the curbs, pedestrians will be given a false sense of security as they stand at the edge of the curb and a truck or bus mounts it to turn, and hits them.

    Furthermore, rounded curbs provide a better path for water to move across the pavement towards catch basins. A sharp corner, would send water into the intersection and then it will have to flow back to the curb to reach a catch basin. (unless you had catch basins at every corner of an intersection which is very rare) This could cause ponding at an intersection, that could contribute to reduced braking ability. Clearing snow would also be much more difficult for snowplows with no curve.

    Finally a rounded curb is also safer for cyclist or vehicles making right turns. With a squared curb a cyclist or vehicle will have to go farther out into traffic (sometimes drifting into the next lane) to make a right turn.
  5. dama posted on 09/03/2014 02:59 PM
    Now I know Olivia Chow is a square and not a hipster..

    Square corner for vehicles to make a left or right turn? you probably need to
    widen the lane for vehicles to do that .. bus and trucks will be turning ever so slowly..

    Next Olivia Chow will replace those roundabout to square-about..

    what a square !!!!..
  6. dama posted on 09/03/2014 03:55 PM
    Olivia Chow will lose a few points in the poll after this..
    next poll - in the teens
  7. Fact Provider posted on 09/03/2014 04:40 PM
    At last !!
    Finally there is someone on the political scene in Toronto whose "ideas" are even dumber than Blob and Duh Ford's (even of only by a little bit).

    Early congratulations to John Tory - the next mayor of Toronto.
  8. lig posted on 09/07/2014 10:03 PM
    And she doesn't smoke crack?! Maybe she's doing weed? OMG! We are not in the 18th century where traffic was is pedestrians, bicycles, horses and buggies. We have emergency vehicles like fire trucks, ambulances as well as public transit's streetcars and buses. Ever notice how careful fire trucks, buses and especially street cars are when they're turning? It's because they require a BIG CURVE as known as a "big turning radius" in order to turn 90 degrees.
    If Olivia Chow is planning to eliminate emergency vehicles, public transit and transport trucks which deliver goods into the city, then her plans for "pointed corners" will work, but her ability to think things through as a whole is clearly absent. We need a mayor who sees the big picture.
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