This Toronto intersection is a danger zone for anyone who crosses it
An intersection in Toronto has become a hot zone full of dangerous encounters for cyclists, drivers and pedestrians alike.
In December 2020, Kay Lambert was riding her bike going west, beside the Baskin Robbins, heading toward Christie Pits Park.
Lambert says as she biked forward, a driver began to turn right at the same time. She rang her bell, but the two of them collided, and she was hit by the side of the car.
"Ironically, I was riding back from a ghost ride for the girl that got killed on Dufferin," said Lambert.
Here's what makes the turn at Bloor and Christie so problematic:
Drivers have the ability to turn from both right and left sides of the intersection, to drive north onto Christie.
At the same time, cyclists are able to bike forward on Bloor or turn right, despite which colour the light is in front of them.
Most collisions happen here because cyclists are biking forward at the same time drivers are turning. Either that, or they're both turning right at the same time, without giving space for one to go ahead of the other.
Then there's the addition of pedestrians who are looking to walk across the intersection, with no walking light to guide them.
In addition, a line of cabs are always parked out front near the Baskin Robbins, causing little room for anybody turning onto Christie.
Overall, there's a lot happening at this very small turn, which often leads to honking, some shouting, and general congestion with TTC buses pulling into Christie Station, which sits a few steps away from Baskin Robbins.
Lambert isn't the only one who has experienced being hit at the intersection.
Sarah Margolius told blogTO that in June 2019, she witnessed a young man get knocked off his bike after he was hit by a delivery van.
Margolius says the van was travelling at high speeds, turning right onto Christie, and hit the cyclist in the exact same place where Lambert was struck. After they crashed, the van didn't stop and continued driving north.
"He [the cyclist] was just getting to his feet, shouting at the receding delivery van, he began sprinting toward it, I could see one of the bike wheels was very damaged," said Margolius.
It isn't just cyclists who've paid the price at this intersection.
Last week, Paul Barron went for a run in the area, and began crossing the intersection, heading west, toward Christie Pits Park.
Suddenly, a driver began turning left at the same time. They were very close to hitting Barron, but he quickly moved out of the way, which prevented them from colliding.
"It was so close, I could see the passenger's look of exasperation," said Barron. "They knew it was wrong to turn so close in front of me, but they just could not wait anymore," he added.
City councillor Mike Layton says he hasn't heard much feedback about the specific turn, but he does admit it's an awkward spot.
"There may be a temporary solution in making sure that sight lines are better in the intersection," said Layton.
blogTO asked Layton whether installing a convex mirror might help to improve sight lines, but he says the city doesn't use them, because they tend not to last.
"There may be an opportunity to reconfigure the intersection, if we talk about moving the island, but it's there to help the TTC turn, otherwise Christie turns into an enormously wide street," said Layton.
For now, Layton says he's willing to make a request to city staff to see what possible solutions there could be for making the Bloor and Christie intersection safer.
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