The City continues to be vitally concerned with our safety. It is anxious to protect us from pedestrian terrorists. Of particular concern are
pedestrians terrorists who might throw objects onto the OTrain (or presumably the LRT too). I have been cited the example of an egg being thrown at the OTrain out near Heron Road.
So, a short while back we saw the incredibly gauche proposed anti-terrorism safety fences proposed for Somerset viaduct. There were several parts to that story, here’s the first: https://www.westsideaction.ca/somerset-viaduct-hardening/
A bit further south on the OTrain line is the proposed Hickory Street ped bridge over the OTrain cut. Here is an earlier consultation piece with a proposed bridge.
Note there is a concrete base, a semi-transparent side (presumably glass) with a chain link fence above.
This design was rejected as too ugly. Some parties in the neighbourhood wanted a grander bridge, with better design. Note the condo developers in the area are paying for
some most all some of the bridge costs, and the local BIA has its own views on improving the landscape.
So version 2 appeared, like this:
Now the bridge has a strong arch shape, with strong vertical elements, all made of concrete. There is still a glass side wall, with some sort of grill work above that.
Alas, the pedestrians in Watsonville-on-the-Rideau must be getting randy, because the “hardening” of the structure has been escalated to this version in the contract tenders:
The arch of the security screen doesn’t match the arch of the bridge structure, which has gotten decidedly thinner and less expressive. The bars have gotten much closer together, presumably to prevent the proverbial egg from being dropped on the train, or a patio-slab slipped sideways between the bars.
I think it now looks rather like a raccoon trap, the promise of a quick journey to the other side luring pedestrians and cyclists in one end perhaps never to come out the other.
I recently wandered through the ped bridge out at Greenboro connecting the OTrain platform to the #97 buses below. Hmm, designed like a bright red truss bridge. Glass sides. Roof to keep out the rain and snow.
Why not build one of those at Hickory, it would keep pedestrians dry, wouldn’t require snow plowing, and the roof would enhance the security of the OTrain so badly threatened by pedestrian terrorists lurking along the OTrain pathway.
Right now, I’d rather have the City put a hold on the Hickory bridge for a year, to come up with better design, and to come up with a standard side-railing design that could be applied to all infrastructure that needs hardening against users. Rather than ad hoc-ing our way, lets design something that blends in with the new LRT stations rather than bolting on big steel meshes, chain link, or iron bars after-the-fact. Our LRT and OTrain are supposed to be attractive to users, not look like some transplant from Damascus.