Skinny sidewalk



This isn’t the skinniest sidewalk we’ve ever featured here, but it certainly is curious.

It’s on Clyde Avenue, beside the Canadian Tire store.

The sidewalk on each side of this “intersection” is regular 2m or so width. Nice enough, in its typically minimalist way.

The little island in the centre of the intersection also shortens the crossing legs and lets pedestrians assess danger from approaching vehicles in two stages. I approve.

This is the private entrance to a private property, yet there is no [depressed] curb along the street. It is a curious hybrid of driveway entrance and road intersection. Maybe even with a touch of freeway-ramp thinking given the gentle radius of the curve that permits high speed driving into the lot.

And that narrow … what is it? crosswalk? or sidewalk? Why so narrow? Is it just so the little triangle island could have a raised curb to protect the turn sign?

In the few minutes I stood pondering this design, two cars exited the lot. Neither took any notice of the suggested stop line for vehicles leaving the garage. One car ignored the ‘no left turn’ sign and entered the garage directly off Clyde, despite the geometry of the lanes specifically laid out to discourage that movement.

A few metres behind me, the “real” entrance to the Canadian Tire was marked with genuine traffic signals.


5 thoughts on “Skinny sidewalk

  1. I routinely see cars making the illegal left turn there. I don’t condone people making that illegal left, but it is also a pretty daft design and restriction which has the effect of making people drive at least twice as far and possibly having to wait at a second traffic signal. Indeed, you are actually better off turning onto Carling eastbound and then turning in at the east entrance between Canadian Tire and Boston Pizza and then driving back than going down Clyde and making the legal left at Kerr. I suspect the City’s traffic boffins figured it was ever-so-slightly too close to the Carling-Clyde intersection or something and didn’t want queues forming up waiting to turn into Canadian Tire that could block the intersection. Even so, it is, for example, further from Carling than the entrance to the strip mall on the opposite side of Carling.

  2. The first couple of times I visited that CT, I accidentally made the illegal left turn, not noticing the signs until it was too late (safer to just complete the turn than make some wild correction). Now I know better and I go the long way around to the back entrance. Something about that spot is a bit confusing and I often see people making the illegal left whether accidentally or intentionally.

  3. Yes, it’s a counter-intuitive design, with a marked left turn lane starting about 70m earlier on Clyde.. David’s probably right on the reason for it, but it’s the hubris of all rule-makers that they think people will follow their rules even when they’re silly or stupid.

    Turning left there is the automotive equivalent of pedestrian patterns that ignore the provided paved pathway.

    The tight turn does slow down turning cars, and maybe that’s the real purpose. They couldn’t legally allow the left turn with that radius. And if they provided a reasonable radius then you’d have cars making gentle turns into a shaded parking structure with pedestrians and obstructions. So make it “illegal” and physically restricted turn, and then ignore the offenders. Mission accomplished?

  4. The entrance to the parking is terrible. The entrance should have been on Carling. The skinny sidewalk was not part of the original construction.
    I pass this CT several times a day, the new traffic lights at the “real” entrance are not an improvement.

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