Monday Musings of The Urban Daddy: Toronto Traffic SUCKS!


Happy Monday!

How was your weekend?  Have to drive anywhere in the City?  I did… It was not fun, and quite frustrating…

What the heck is going on in my City?

City Construction

This is the view from the stop light heading north from the downtown core.  The right lane, as you can see, is blocked.  The right lane has been blocked for a while, during the construction of this building, but the other northbound lane was closed so that stuff could be dropped off / picked up from the right lane.

It boggles my mind and makes me really angry that the City;

  1. Allows developers to take out an entire lane of traffic to help them with their construction for as long as they need to take.  The same annoyance is occurring at Bathurst Street, just south of St. Clair Avenue.
  2. Allow builders to build to the capacity where they cannot do so on their own space that they need to use City streets.
  3. With the addition of bike lanes, parking restrictions and general congestion, that this is even allowed to happen.

Yes, this rant is a real one, and comes from a resident of the City who pays taxes… Lots of taxes, and has to struggle to drive in the city because lanes are closed, construction is taking WAY too long, the Eglinton LRT is dragging along and the roads are AWFUL.

I’ve had 7 flat tires since the LRT construction has begun.

You want pot holes and shitty roads?

Forget the odd pothole that pops up here and there.  Try living around the LRT construction where your only access to the main streets are via roads which should have been torn up and paved over years ago.

In our area, for example, near Allen Road and Eglinton Avenue, the only ways out are Glen Cedar Road – which is an absolute disaster, or to the West, heading towards Oakwood, the roads are worse.

Where is the compensation coming from the developers for taking up our roads, so we can drive where we need to go?

Where is the compensation from the City for either picking terrible contractors, or for not doing their jobs and keeping our roads safe so I don’t have to keep repairing my tires from driving on these roads?  My dealership told me that if my car keeps driving on these roads for a couple more years, the car will be a write off.  The potholes, bumpy and buckling roads and vibrations from these horrid streets are shaking my car apart.

But hey, we’ve got bike lanes, one way streets, no cars on King Street and the Gardiner is falling apart.

Toronto City Council really messed this up… Big time.

Hey Council… You want to put a giant park over the railway tracks in the downtown core?  Before you do that, move the tracks, add a driving tunnel, add a subway or LRT, and then once you’ve used that space to the max, then bury it and put a park on top.  Then above the park, put a bicycle path – enclosed or covered or not – where bikes can shoot across the city and not interfere with traffic and visa versa.

It’s not rocket science…

It has to get done.

Speed it up, make it safe, and remember that there are cars who have to drive in the city.  By pretending that by adding a LRT line I’m going to stop using my car – that I pay lots of fees to the city for, if an exercise in nonsense.  I’m not going to all of a sudden pack my kids and their sports equipment and them and hop onto the subway to take them to their games and practices.

It’s not practical, and is never going to happen.

 

In other Toronto-news:

The Toronto Rock Lacrosse team is the BEST game in town that no one goes to see.  These games should be sold out!  Best game in town!  The Rock destroyed the 1st place New England Black Wolves 21-9 in front of just 9,125 fans at the Air Canada Centre.

As a LONG time season ticket holder, I’d like to see more fans venture down to the ACC to take advantage of a great event.   Coincidentally, the Rock play the Calgary Roughnecks Saturday February 3rd at 7pm at the ACC.

 

The Royal Rumble was last night.

The Grammys were last night.

The NHL All-Star game was yesterday.

 

Great time of year to be a fan.

As long as you’re not driving.

 

Oh, and we take the subway to the Rock games… Convenient, cheap and reliable.  Good thing the games are at the ACC, or we’d drive.

 

 

 

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TORONTO ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE. March 16th, 2014.


Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day (and the day before)!

On Sunday, March 16, all eyes will be smiling in downtown Toronto for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Enjoy a family friendly celebration of Ireland and St. Patrick with colorful floats, bands, dancers and marching groups. There will be a golden touch at the green celebration with Olympic gold medalist Irish boxer Katie Taylor acting as Grand Marshal.

The procession starts at noon from St. George and Bloor, heading east before turning south along Yonge to Queen where it makes a final turn to finish at Nathan Phillips Square. TTC access and parking are available at several points along the parade route.

For more information, please visit http://www.topatrick.com/.

St. Patrick's Day Parade Route 2014

Things on the minds of children who may or may not be related to me.


English: Queen's Park TTC subway station in To...
English: Queen’s Park TTC subway station in Toronto (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you have a child, or children who never keep quiet?

Do you have a child / children who ask a lot of questions – some good questions or some really dumb questions?

Well in one 3-hour period, a child who may or may not belong to me asked the following questions, of which I only had the answer to one.  How amny can you answer without needing to look it up?

“Dad.  I have a few Questions”:

Why do they call Boston “Beantown”?

Why do we have a subway station called “Dumbass”?

Why do they call Toronto Police Officers “Coppers”?

Why do they call Toronto “Hogtown?”

Why doesn’t the Queen play at Queen’s Park?

Is there a Queen at Queen station?

Is there a King at King station?

Why is it called College station if there is no college there?  and why is it called University if there is no University there?

Why are the police giving parking tickets for parking illegally when they have to park illegally to check the cars?  Shouldn’t they have to give themselves a ticket too?

All good questions, and now I’m off to find the answers for all of them except for “Dumb Ass” station / street.  Apparently he knew it was called “Dundas” when he yelled “Dumb Ass” station as the subway came to a stop.

Out of touch: When was the last time YOU asked your boss for a 20% raise?


Welcome to 2011, folks.

For those of you playing along at home, the recession begin on September 15th, 2008 and is showing no signs of nearing an end. Consumer confidence is at an all-time low, people are losing their jobs, and their houses, and those coming out of school are looking for work – but alas, the selection is slim.  Especially challenging for this group of recent grads, is that the recession has taken its toll on many sectors and thus they are competing with an out of work candidate who has actual on the job experience…

Things are not good.

So maybe for all of us lucky enough to have jobs, we should go into our bosses and ask… No, we should demand a 20% pay increase over the next three-years, right now!

Stop laughing.  I’m serious!

This is exactly what the transit workers in York Region have done. Sure, they have been on strike for a month inconveniencing only 45,000 riders, but come on… Fact: These guys are under-paid compared to their counterparts. 

Coincidently, this is the region’s second transit strike in four years. This time, however, the striking Viva drivers are joined by their YRT counterparts (strength in numbers, eh?), and this current ongoing stoppage has already lasted two weeks longer than the 2008 strike.

Parent company, Miller Transit said it offered a 13.5% wage increase over a five-year contract. But the union was demanding 20% over three years. The drivers are cited as saying its not about the money, but rather the working conditions, and length of shifts without breaks. So if it’s not about the money, let’s forget the increase, count them lucky to have jobs and cut in 2-15 minute breaks.

Union heads admit that even at 20% it’s virtually impossible for their members to catch up with their counterparts in Toronto, Brampton and Mississauga, who earn about $7 an hour more — about $29, compared with $22.

So how about putting the people first?  The riders who are responsible for these transit workers’ jobs. 

I really feel like the union, the drivers, and the Ontario government have failed York Region commuters once again.

For those who complain that the Federal Conservatives stopped Air Canada from striking and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford made the TTC an essential service, you now see what you get when you elect a Liberal leader, especially one like Dalton, or worse, the pro-union, #takemyballandgohome NDP.

The longer this lingers the greater is the chance that the next government in Ontario, a Conservative one, will make them an essential service too.

Given my views on unions, having spent almost 11 years working in one, I can sympathize with the drivers if there are working 8-10 hour shifts and have infrequent breaks.  These guys need to be sharp to drive these busses safely and they gotta go potty (as my 2yo daughter would say).  Those are legitimate concerns.  But to turn down a 13.5% increase over 5 years and to publicly seek a 20% increase over 3 years take a lot of guts.  Would this not but these guys in that 1% that the Occupy groups detest?  Are the Occupy folks not protesting against greed?  Considering the numbers of people losing jobs since 2008, it’s pretty outrageous of the transit workers to seek such are large increase.

Even at 13.5% over 3 years, it’s respectable.

Remember the way unions bargain, folks.  13.5% today, then another transit union will want more money to be on par with York Region, then another will want to be on par with that transit union, and then the TTC will be up for renegotiation and see all the smaller unions making so much that they’ll want an increase and we’ve come full circle… 

It’s not the transit workers fault at all.

It’s the union.

It’s just like how the New York Yankees drove up salaries in baseball and how the New York Rangers drove up salaries in hockey.  It’s also what is currently keeping the NBA players from playing right now. 

So let’s use some common sense and get back to work!  For everyone.

My random thoughts


Why do we put up with Chris Brown?  He roughed up Rhianna and for that we (not me) still buy his music and put him on Dancing with the Stars.

Folks.  There are SO many more talented people itching for one second of publicity.  Why waste our time on this trainwreck.

Just let me know when he is in jail because his temper resulted in him assulting someone who pressed charges.

I see that Urban Toronto is looking for interns and event writers for their online magazine.  More information is available at www.urbantoronto.ca

Frustrated that your streets are broken up, or that stop signs are being ignored, or maybe cars are going too fast and your area needs speed bumps. Reach out, or join, your resident ratepayers organization and as a group reach out to your city councillor to have these changes brought forward to the folks that fix the roads.  That is how Bedford Park Avenue between Yonge and Jedburgh got ripped up and totally re-done a few years ago, sewers and all.

You can always call 311 if you see or almost get swallowed up by a giant pothole.

Our new neighbours moved in and prompty decided to place their heavy recycling bins on out front lawn on garbage pick-up day – not on their property – so it could sink into my thawing lawn and leave an indentation.  Because I want to be a nice beighbour, I just moved it on to the sidewalk (which I hate because it blocks access somewhat).  Should I say something if they do it again?  Would you?  How would you handle this?

Would putting the bins up the stairs, in front of their front door, be too forward?

The TTC are no longer allowed to strike.  Finally!!!

Heres to hoping my 4-year-old sleeps through the night tonight – although I doubt he will.  I’m tired of him waking me up at 2,3 and 4 in the morning with his excuses;

“I heard a noise”

“I’m coughing”

“I dreamed about Godzilla”

“My dresser turned in to a person”.

All to get me to come sleep in his bed so he can toss and turn the rest of the night, then wake me at 6am so I can go to work…  Except I get up between 6:30 and 7 most days.