This rope light outline of Italy was on a lamppost in Little Italy, Toronto. There were several different illustrations on successive lamp posts.
Christie Street in Toronto is painted in different configurations. The southern section is a typical urban arterial, like Bronson: four lanes squeezed into a tight right of way, traffic jostling for position and obviously unattractive to adjacent businesses and residents.
The more northerly section has been repainted into a different configuration. There is a painted bike lane between the parking and the travelled road surface. The bike lane is tight up to cars, raising concerns about “the door prize”. Traffic flowed much more smoothly too, with no passing and less stress driving the street.
Above: north of Davenport, Christie is painted with two traffic lanes, two bike lanes, two parking lanes. Evidence of prior painting schemes is visible as dark lines.
above: Christie Street south of Davenport, painted with two traffic lanes, two bike lanes, one parking lane. Prior paint lines faintly visible, looks like it was four traffic lanes, not dissimilar to Bronson today.
Above: Three lane configuration at an intersection. No bike lanes.
Above: a short portion of four traffic lanes, no parking nor bike lanes, although both resume just beyond the intersection.
Above: three lane configuration for car traffic, two bike lanes, no parking lanes.
Above: the prior line painting is again evident. A tight four lane configuration appears to have been replaced with two traffic lanes, two bike lanes, one parking lane.
Above: two mixed-traffic lanes, one side parking. No bike lanes.
All above pictures and streetviews are along Christie Street in Toronto, demonstrating a variety of lane painting options that varies every few blocks, presumably due to total right of way width, traffic volumes, etc. Bronson also has vastly different traffic volumes north of Somerset (14-20,000 vehicles/day) and south of Gladstone (20-30,000 /day).
As part of the Rescue Bronson movement, we have proposed to the City that they simply repaint the lines on Bronson as an experiment, a trial, to see if a road diet would work like they do in other cities. No major construction required. And since the road is about to be chopped up anyway, the repainting is just temporary. Bronson certainly won’t be four lanes during the construction period! Repainting lines is an easy, cheap means to try out a road diet — what’s to lose??
The west side of downtown Ottawa has some pretty nifty streets. The above staircase connects the western part of Primrose with the eastern part. No cars, please. There is another staircase at Empress. Pooley’s Bridge, part of Fleet Street, is another ped-only street. As is the link between Upper Lorne Place and (upper) Primrose.
The staircase recently became wrapped in yellow ribbon. Hallowe’en prank? No such luck. The City had abandonned a heavy concrete bollard near the top of the stairs for several years. Lawnmower crews mowed around it. Some energetic souls managed to roll it up a slight hill to the top of the staircase, and then roll it down the stairs.
The weight of the six hundred or so pounds of concrete landing on the treads snapped off the bolts that hold the steel treads to the steel stringers. Treads that bounce and spring at thirty degree angle to the other steps are not safe, and the whole stair is shut down until it can be repaired.
It is a popular stair, with lots of ped traffic day and night.
If it was a “real” sign it would be mounted eight feet up in the air, pointed along the curb rather than parallel to it, and would be difficult and expensive to get installed.
Instead, this private sign is conveniently mounted 3-4′ above the sidewalk, directly facing the car that might park illegally on the bike lane. In short, it’s actually useful.
In this particular instance, there is a curb side bike lane and a popular restuarant adjacent. Legal on-street parking commences just a few metres further west, so motorists must try to “squeeze in” one last car and then block the bike lane. This sign is thus a community-sensitive effort on behalf of both motorists and cyclists.
The redevelopment of the Soeurs de la Visitation site on Richmond Road is a great opportunity for infill development and intensification. The City had the chance to buy the site for a park, and passed on it. An eight to twelve storey building along Richmond and 4-6 storey buildings behind it is appropriate. Some aspects of the current design are not my first choice, but then I am not building it.
Previous posts featured the Rowe’s Wharf project in Boston. See http://westsideaction.wordpress.com/2010/06/08/our-lady-of-the-condos-archly/ I thought it was a good inspiration for the Richmond facade of the project here in Ottawa. I like the idea of keeping the convent “cloistered”, ie not on a shiny pedestal to be glanced at from automobiles speeding by, but tucked away, a bit removed from the hustle and bustle of daily traffic. The first plans from the developer included an arch to “see through” the building. I remembered a similar arch being in Toronto, but could not find it back then. On the weekend, I stumbled upon it. Built by Minto, the ten storey condo has shops on street level, a beautiful garden behind it, and the arch frames the view very nicely.
The Arch is at the head of a T-shaped intersection of Yorkville and Avenue Road. There is a pleasant pedestrian walkway arcade on both sides of the driveway. The far end of the driveway, a turning circle, was undergoing repairs when I took the picture.
The city has a policy of urban intensification. Our new mayor signalled consistently through his election campaign that he favoured intensification and infill. This project comes up before Planning and Environment Committee in the next few weeks (with the “old” councillors). I have no doubt it will be passed.
The sidewalk treatment shown above is in front of the two Hudson condo towers by Charlesfort. In the foreground the smooth concrete band marks the public sidewalk. The brick paver area may be private property, or may be public (note the lamppost) but in any case it provides a pleasant widening on the corner.
The pattern is simple yet dynamic and intriguing. The eye follows the curving lines to the edge of the installation and tries to extend it beyond. The pattern must also work when seen from above, as the condo towers are about 18 stories high. This bit of patterned sidewalk gives me pleasure every time I pass it. It also gives me pause.
I think that benches are noticeable by their absence. But, this is a builder than puts the apartment intercom units on the OUTSIDE of the exterior lobby door with minimal weather protection. Definitely a “gated” feel when even the airlock lobby is made unwelcome. My earlier post on this is at http://westsideaction.wordpress.com/2009/11/28/no-lobby-for-the-homeless/
Still, this area is well aware from the building doors and the builder should have felt confident enough to install at least single-seat benches or street furniture.
City maintenance crews have been busy in our west side neighborhood. This is the pruning done on the west side of Plouffe Park, behind the Plant recreation complex.
I am always alarmed at the “shave it off at the ground level” style of pruning. It just seems an awful lot of green material to hack off and toss away. A similar pruning took place around the Plant Bath building itself, but not so close cut. Yesterday, the crews were gathering huge heaps of green branches into piles at Primrose Park.