Christmas Grinch forbids decorations in Ottawa

dec 21, 2013 023


Yonge Street in Toronto has these illuminated decorative banners strung from side to side over the street. They repeat every block. They look nice from the walkways, and from the driving lane.

I drove up Yonge after dusk, and the pretty lights didn’t distract me from driving.

A few years ago I had a conversation with a local BIA about stringing overhead lights on a traditional mainstreet to help enclose the big overhead empty space along the road. We both felt the unbounded space encouraged faster car movement.

Alas, can’t be done. Traffic people won’t allow it. Too unsafe. Might distract a driver. As for the argument that it might make them go slower and thus be safer … why would we want them to go slower? There is a posted speed limit and that’s the safe driving speed.

Eventually I am sure someone will be able to decorate an Ottawa street “ceiling”, if only because very other Ontario municipality will have already done it.

Ottawa can be so grinchy sometimes.

In the meantime, here’s a picture from Winter Park, Florida. Not only do the lights decorate an intersection (rather than a mid-block) they actually hang from the traffic light posts. If things aren’t clear to the driver, go slower.

fla jan 2013 083

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