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Listener comments and solutions to traffic congestion

680News is already the preferred destination of drivers with traffic reports every 10 minutes on the ones. Now, the station has launched “Radio for the Road” — a new on-air and online sounding board for your commuter stories and traffic solutions.

Below are some comments from 680News listeners.

Erik Calhoun (submitted on Oct. 3):

I’d like to see a journalist clarify some of the rules of the road that are unclear to many road users. For example, where bike lanes are separated with a dashed line close to an intersection, does this mean that right-turning cars are meant to use this right lane. and bikes proceeding straight should then pass the car on the left?

Another example: At four-way stops, is there any need to wait for a car approaching on the perpendicular street to come to a full stop before proceeding?

Another example: At crosswalks, is it allowable to proceed once the pedestrian has cleared your lane?

Another example: When is it not legal to park in a designated “snow route”?

You could ask for listeners to suggest issues that require clarification and answer.

Bill Smith (submitted on Oct. 3):

My big issue with commutes in Toronto and the GTA is left-lane drivers who cannot understand that the left lane is for passing, regardless of whether it is on the highway or a main or residential road.

And despite your belief that driving the speed limit gives you the right to be in the left lane, you are wrong.

When you drive too slow, you endanger those around you who must weave their way around other cars to get past you.

Do us all a favour. Move to the right. If you need to make a left turn, get into the lane at the intersection preceding the one where you need to make your turn. If you are not sure if you are a left lane hog, look in your rear view mirror. If the other driver looks angry or is swearing at you, move right!

Ron (submitted on Oct. 3):

There are numerous intersections where there should be an advanced green for both directions, instead of just one. Perhaps the department responsible for planning should seek advise from drivers with years of navigating this city. Also more scramble intersections.

Charels Roberts (submitted on Oct. 3):
I refuse to drive to work anymore because the commute is taking longer by the day and driver habits are getting worse by the day. Many drivers and vehicles are not equipped for the road, especially during rain or snow. If people cannot drive in bad weather conditions, then for their own well being and that of others, they should take public transit.

Texting has had a direct increase on commuting time. I experience this just going to and from the GO train parking lot. When a light turns green, no vehicles move as people are busy texting instead of paying attention. This also happens during traffic flow as people slow down to read their messages. Metrolinx does not promote enough the benefits of transit (tax, parking, time, money, etc.)

Cyndra McGoldrick (submitted on Oct. 3):

Make commuting on the GO train and subways more convenient for people, have some express subways in the am for people to get downtown. Do some research on this to see if its feasible, be creative. Decrease the rates for early trains.

Have more express GO trains in the early hours and cheaper rates that will attract people to take these trains, therefore decrease the congestion on the later trains, and this will attract people to get on the earlier trains.

When the Gardiner is closed why does the subway still open at 9 a.m. on Sundays?

Start the subway at 6 a.m. on Sundays. Why does it still start at 9 a.m.?

When the Gardiner is closed, add more GO trains and start the subway earlier all weekend.

Carolyn Iyer (submitted on Oct. 3):

Wednesday, Oct. 3rd — southbound DVP, 6:45 p.m. — no less than two stalled cars from York Mills to Lawrence. Then an accident blocking passing lane, partially blocking middle lane at Lawrence, tow trucks on scene, chaos. Over 30 minutes to get from the DVP at the 401 to past Lawrence, by then it was 7:15 p.m. Throw a game or event downtown and this could be an easy hour under those conditions. Listening to 680 traffic does not help–none of this was reported on the 6:51 p.m. traffic on the ones!

Leave five or 10 minutes early says Darryl Dahmer. Is he kidding?? My commute in 23 kilometres each way, downtown to Richmond Hill (reverse commute ha!) and some days I spend two hours or more in the car.

Paulina K. (submitted on Oct. 3):

My belief for years is since tractor-trailers consume so much road space, and are very slow to respond, and actually cause traffic themselves, they should not be on the roads during peak traffic times (7-9 a.m. and 4-6 p.m.) just so regular commuter traffic can move with ease.

In time, truckers will get used to it, just like smokers got used to not smoking in restaurants and clubs.

The areas of enforcement should be analyzed like from Milton to Pickering, Hamilton to Scarborough (just as an example).

Next time you are on the highway, just take a look around and see how many trucks are on the road, and you’ll know what I am talking about.

Al (submitted on Oct. 3):

Why are all of Dufferin, Ossington and Bathurst under construction at the same time? Especially when it’s no longer “summer”? Three major north-south streets within a few kilometres of one another should not be under construction at the same time. Poor planning Mayor Ford.

Daryl Land (submitted on Oct. 3):

I commute from Ancaster (Hamilton Mountain) to the Toronto downtown core every day. To avoid QEW hangups through Burlington and Oakville, I use the Hamilton 403 to the 407E then the Mississauga 403 to Cawthra and then down to QEW E, then to the core.

Last year I would leave at 7-7:10 a.m. to get to work around 8:30-8:45. Bad days, a 9 a.m. arrival. Really bad days (accidents) after 9:30+

This year that same travel time on a good day, is two-plus hours. To avoid the more frequent morning accidents, I started leaving at 6:10 AM this year.

To my dismay, I find the travel time about the same! Around 1 1/2 hours in and two-plus hours out. Even worse, the 407 is starting to become busier and slower!

So, traffic has simply grown two-fold.

Joe Spano (submitted on Oct. 3):

This road is causing a lot of problems for us living on Jane Street in York Region. The motor vehicles are using our road to avoid congestion on the highway during rush hours. It is absolutely a nightmare.

Chirag Patel (submitted on Oct. 3):

Solution to relieve congestion: MTO should put minimum speed limit and maximum speed limit on Digital boards on all major routes. Example: Minimum 100 km/hr, Maximum 125 km/hr. This will help solve some of the problems. People will have to drive minimum speed posted speed.

Also the 407 ETR concept is helpful normally a picture of the license plate for billing purpose is taken, which will help catch slow speeder and high speeders … Police should ticket slow speeders and the money will fund the transit system. Also, ban on 18-wheelers for the whole day and only allow during night needs to be in place (i.e. one truck = three cars side-by-side). Construction should only be allowed during the night which will free road.

Eddie (submitted on Oct. 3):

My frustration is with the “studies,” “discussions,” “think tanks,” etc. that keep talking and thinking about how bad traffic is. Then when a report is issued, they debate money and who will pay for it or how unaffordable it is.

I drive in from Newmarket to Sheppard Ave and it takes 45 minutes at minimum. Other days I drive into downtown and it takes 1.5 to two hours (on a clear day).

Rather than focusing on bike lanes (Yonge Street), which doesn’t help the thousands of people coming in from outlining cities, focus on all the cars coming in from the burbs.

Reduce the cost of train rides — I pay less in gas a week. Fix the bottle neck from the 404/401EB/WB to the DVP. Add subway lines that will attract riders rather than frustrating

Road for the road: Share your stories

Are you frustrated with traffic in Toronto and the GTA? Has your commute time increased? Click here to share your stories and comments with us.