Drivers puzzled by lane closed for months on busy Toronto street for no apparent reason

‘Distracting’ closures have caused confusion for drivers on downtown Toronto road that has remained closed for months

Drivers puzzled by lane closed for months on busy Toronto street for no apparent reason

Drivers who use a busy Toronto street will sometimes find themselves stuck in a “dead spot” that’s been closed for at least six months, according to images posted online, driving on a carriageway that had an overlap of three lanes as well as a sidewalk.

Cornered in a gray opening of the roadway, many drivers tweeted their irritation at being stuck in a traffic jam as they take a quick break.

Toronto workers unsure of which lanes need to be reserved for traffic – and which ones don’t Read more

“Cars on red, cars in green, cars in blue, cars in white, cars in red, cars in blue, cars in red, cars in white, cars in blue, cars in grey, cars in green, cars in purple, cars in green, cars in red, cars in yellow,” read one of the posts, shared more than 26,000 times.

Others reported their frustration at feeling not only like a prisoner but also someone in shackles.

In Toronto, “jaw dropping” lane closures are a familiar complaint. Most of them are explained by city-owned construction work or disruptions to transportation on streets that will be used when other stretches are repaired or widened.

Other closures seem to provide little rationale. Traffic agency TTC tweeted a photo of the lane closure on King Street in Toronto in May, noting that it was set to close.

“The complete closure should occur the weekend of 28 July. There will be a brief closure prior to the full closure,” they wrote.

An explanation soon appeared. “Just posting this so you all know the upcoming roadwork from King-Bloor & Queen-Kensington,” they wrote.

But a @isadetrainedernet thread revealed that the city had intended to close part of King from June to November. The closure wasn’t delayed, but part of it ended up happening during a brief cross-ocean cruise in June.

Construction taking place on a temporary road on King Street in June. Photograph: @isadetrainedernet

There, workers constructed a temporary walkway – connected to the correct pavement – until workers could secure work with steel.

An explanation about what exactly this meant for drivers was not tweeted until July.

“To understand the loop loop lane closures and temporary walkway construction, we like to call them loop loops,” they wrote. “King is one of three loop loops across the length of the core of the city.”

It went on to say that motorists could be affected by the closures. “Notice on King Street will tell drivers of up to 8pm on the weeknights that a loop loop lane closure will affect that route … you can sign up for notifying emails and text messages with specific lane closures near you.”

An overview of the deck system roadway closure in Toronto. Photograph: @isadetrainedernet

When quizzed, a Toronto parking authority replied to one tweet that such closures required drivers to leave early. “The works to King St. have left the alternate ramp open for pedestrians. The next portion to closed will be either King Avenue on the left or King Street, from the east side near Queens Quay West to the parkway,” they wrote.

But Monday’s closure only affected westbound traffic. Motorists going east would have to stop and go through a different lane while they got to Queen.

And maybe not for long.

“King will again close on Monday,” the Toronto municipal website reports. “It is expected to stay closed until September 24, 2019.”

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