One of Toronto's most awkward intersections is getting a traffic light
Would you choose to save three minutes of precious time on an otherwise pull-your-hair-out-busy day if it meant risking your safety a little bit?
It's a choice OCAD students are faced with every day when hurrying between the university's main academic campus on McCaul Street and its fast-expanding network of buildings south of Queen Street West.
Fortunately, it won't be like this for long. Toronto City Council has approved of a motion to install traffic control signals at the intersection of Queen and McCaul, where currently, nobody ever knows what the heck is going on.
While most notorious for construction-related woes, Queen and McCaul is also known for people running across the street, in every direction, often through vehicle traffic.
There isn't even a stop sign on the corner right now, which makes things confusing for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists alike.
With roughly 4,500 students now attending OCAD University — and nine buildings stretching from Dundas and McCaul to Richmond and Duncan — this is particularly problematic.
"We now house the majority of our student services – including Admissions, Financial Aid and our Health and Wellness Centre – at our 230 Richmond St. W. building, and hold regular classes in our building at 205 Richmond," reads a letter penned late last month by OCAD Vice-Provost Deanne Fisher.
"This means that hundreds of students traverse Queen Street daily as they move between our main academic building at 100 McCaul and the Richmond St. locations," she continues.
"Students are busy people. They are often stressed, distracted or carrying large projects. While many walk to the corner of Queen and St. Patrick, where there is a traffic signal, and then back to Duncan, many do not."
That letter was one of 38 from OCAD staff, students and faculty members that prompted the Toronto and East York Community Council, and then more recently Toronto City Council, to approve the installation of traffic lights.
It has yet to be announced when the lights will be installed, but OCAD is already celebrating a victory.
"A new traffic signal at Queen and McCaul will improve safety for hundreds of members of our community who traverse this stretch daily," said President and Chancellor Sara Diamond in a news release on the school's website Tuesday.
"We will continue to work with the City to see the installation happen as quickly as possible."
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