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Road signs before intersections are long overdue: Kenzie

Published January 22, 2013

I don’t wear these Coke-bottle-bottom lenses on my face for decoration.

Sure, my “corrected” eyesight is easily good enough for a driver’s licence.

Even for a racing licence.

But do I see as well as I’d like to be able to see?

No.

I’d love to be able to read a newspaper from across the room, as someone once (I think incorrectly) said English racing great Stirling Moss could do.

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And I’m too chicken, too astigmatic (and too cheap) for LASER treatment.

I’m obviously not alone here either. As our population ages (beating the only available alternative), our vision is collectively going to get worse before it gets better.

Which makes me wonder why municipalities don’t make it easier for drivers to find out where they are going.

One thing they could do is be a whole lot smarter about where they position road- and street-naming signs.

Let’s say, for example, you’re headed south on Erin Mills Parkway in Mississauga. You see a major intersection way up ahead.

Is that Eglinton Avenue?

Can YOU tell from the photo above?

If you can then YOU’RE Stirling Moss – fifty years ago.

Because the sign indicating it IS Eglinton Avenue is located only on the far side of the intersection itself.

By the time you get close enough to realize this, and if you want to turn left, then (assuming of course you’re in the right lane where logic, courtesy and the law require you to be) you’ve got three lanes plus (in this case) two left-turn lanes to negotiate, all in about a hundred meters of 60 km/h road.

Not good.

Why isn’t there a sign a few hundred metres back up the road, indicating that this up-coming intersection is in fact Eglinton? You’d have plenty of time to react.

Not everybody can afford a car with SatNav, with Doris of the Dashboard telling you where you are at every moment.

Sure, you’d still want the sign at the intersection itself.

But more advance warning?

It would make a huge difference.

I’m not picking on Mississauga here. Every municipality in the GTA – frankly, almost everywhere in the world – is guilty of this to some degree.

What makes it particularly frustrating is that not half a klick away, just around that left-hand turn, they have done exactly that. If you’re headed west on Eglinton approaching Credit Valley Road, here’s what you see:

Could hardly be clearer.

Well, they could put a sign on a pole in the centre median too, as they do in some instances.

Here, they’ve even put the house number range on the sign, so if you know the exact address you’re looking for, you know which way you have to turn.

It is clear then that somebody within the Mississauga transportation department (road sign division…) knows how this is supposed to be done.

My question: why aren’t they consistently doing it correctly?

Of course, if they’d just eliminate these stupid, sprawling, horribly dangerous, traffic-light-controlled multi-lane intersections altogether and replace them with roundabouts, the problem (and dozens of others) would cease to exist.

But no municipality within the GTA is smart enough to figure that out; I admit, I’m aiming low here, hoping that a few more properly-positioned road signs can at least alleviate the danger.

It would be a start.

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