After many months of delay, serious construction work is now underway on Somerset between Bayswater and Preston. Thus far, the work is focussed on the west side of the viaduct; around Oct 15 it may move to the east side.
When work started on the west portion, the city closed off Somerset west- bound at Preston. There were hundreds (it seemed) of signs, but nary a shovel or hard hat in sight. Motorists naturally ignored the signs. “They’re for someone else, right? Not me.” There followed several days of traffic confusion clouded by smoke billowing out the ears of the merchants along the street who experienced inconvenience for nothing (in their view).
A week later, the city gave in and modified the pattern. Westbound is now open as far as the start of the viaduct ( near Musca’s, which is doing the major chunk of their year’s biz this month during the grape frenzy).
There is a curious U-Turn arrangement set up for motorists who are going west so they can turn around and exit this dead-ended section of Somerset. Necessarily, the Preston end is open for vehicles to enter the area, but well marked with NO EXIT and similar signs.
Nonetheless, locals can get great amusement while walking the viaduct — open both ways for pedestrians and cyclists — watching the lemmings follow each other (at speed…) onto the street at the Preston end and then hesitate, slow down, get offended, and have to do a three point turn, at which a surprising number of motorists require a 5 or 6 point turn, and scurry off upset.
Next year, the road will be cut off completely for a month while the new cycling and ped path underpass in stalled near the O-Train tracks. I find myself wishing the city would not put up barricades and then we could see our Dukes of Hazard lemmings jump one after another into the pit. Our community association could charge admission …