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November 13, 2011


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Yes , this is very true. Also, I must add that signage along highways are mostly misleading and too close to the intersection or detour to take. Planners should design signage and its locations as if they were foreigners with no knowledge of the city or area. They need to be posted several times along the road with distances to the detour. If you travel to, let say Quebec City, you don't see any sign with the distances to Kingston, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City at all along Hwy 401. So, you better have a map and read it along the way to make sure you are not lost...

typo name

Another problem: lines or lack thereof...some stret do not have proper lines painted on them, you can't figure out if it's one or two lanes


How are those lights and signs confusing? The picture to the right; The green arrows are very clear, you can go straight or turn left. The transit signal is turning yellow. Left pic; Stop for left and straight and yellow for transit.

They should of lifted the transit signals higher more closer to the left turn lights and put the transit sign underneath it. And that's all. BUT what's confusing are the street cars lanes on St Clair. If you're a tourist you're definitely going to turn onto the streetcar lanes.


To be fair, every intersection on earth has "red lights, green lights, and amber lights". This intersection is pretty complicated, but the signals are all clearly labelled, and the arrows point in the direction you should go. How about cities in the US where Canadian drivers have to suddenly guess what a flashing yellow means, or a flashing red that comes up AFTER a solid red?!


I'd say those lights/signs are pretty straight forward. It's very clear that there is a separate light for left turns, and street cars; the rest is a no brainer. I've driven in some other cities, where I found it far more confusing because there were no signs identifying that there were different signals.

Those intersections are set up like so to ease traffic flow, congestion and cut down on accidents. My only beef is that "no turn" signs need to be bigger. They increased the size of street signs helped traffic congestion and accidents because people could see where they were going with ease; but the print designating the times of day you cannot turn at an intersection is too small, and you can't read it until you're practically already inside the intersection.


I don't know if this is acually true (since I read it on wikipedia), but the 401 has two colours of signage, blue for local, green for express. Thing is, there is no consistency in the colours within the city (eg. blue for ETR), and if you actually pay attention to the colours, their mixed up like crazy (you'll see both green and blue signs on offramps).

No kidding why I never noticed colour differentiation before.

Joel M

Looks like Spadina & Adelaide actually, but close enough. I think one of the problems, especially with left turn signals is the signs saying they're left turns signals can be misleading. One of the ways it can be corrected is allowing all three signal colours to be left turn arrows. In California you can always tell which signal is the left-turn one, because even when it's red, there's a big red left arrow. Here only the green signal has an arrow, while the other ones match the straight-thru signals. The less chance of confusion, the better. Here's a picture of what I'm talking about: http://www.flickr.com/photos/66626591@N08/6279276208/

Stefan Schader

What is wrong are the transit signals. In Europe, transit signals consist of white bars. Horizontal for Stop, vertical for Go. This way there is no confusion with regular traffic lights.


Nonsense. If you are a driver who has bothered to learn the city's signalling properly, then your brain should be able to pick out the information faster than it takes to type this. I've seen far more complicated transit/light combos in Europe, and never had a problem with them, as long as I knew the rules.

What *is* needed is for the city planners to get their collective butts out of the 50's and start planning the lights better to allow traffic to flow at rush hour.

R. Weir

Part of the problem is overkill. We already have green arrows; so why do we need a completely separate set of signal heads for left turns? And, while it would take a change to the Highway Traffic Act,it's high time that we started using red arrows to indicate prohibited turning movements, the way they do in many US states.


And let's not forget to add inner street traffic "calming" to the mix. "Calming" is the complete antithesis to what that concept tries to achieve. Proof is in the amount of cars running the wrong way to get to where they need to go, or frustrated, stressed drivers begging for directions to get "out of this damned maze".


Figuring out parking is just as bad- I've gotten tickets because I apparently didn't understand all of the signs!


Yes the signage is confusing to vistors to our city, but it doesnt help that we have the most uneducated drivers around either.

They should make a new driver training program for everyone young and old, base it off of Canada's worst drivers course :).

Amanda M

Try Bathurst & Lakeshore & Fleet street! I've seen so many cars turn directly onto the streetcar tracks, cars turning right from the wrong lanes, cars blocking streetcars, and if you're looking to get on Fleet St westbound don't pay any attention to the posted sign 'Fleet St via Strachan' because that takes you to a deadend!'

Terri B

I drive about 50Km a day and can provide numerous examples of poor, confusing or missing signage that nearly cause fender benders on a regular basis. The lines are terrible and many medians need to be painted in reflective yellow since the lighting on roads is terrible, especially when it rains. I'm always amazed that there aren't more accidents.


Any idea, Jim, why the transit signals on Spadina are not the "secret codes" that were installed on the Harbourfront LRT? That is, white-lighted vertical and horizontal bars for stop/proceed? This would help to eliminate confusion for automobile traffic, surely.


As someone who doesn't drive in Toronto or big cities can I offer some suggestions:

1. Remove the no u-turn sign. How many people in a day would actually u-turn and if they did what's the worse that could happen? Is it any worse than turning right when you have a red light?

2. There are three lights because obviously two are for the two left hand lanes and one for the remaining multiple "straight" lanes. For the two signals for the left hand lanes could you not have just one light for the turning lanes? Do they ever have different signals ie One being green and the other red? For the actual sign itself it can probably be removed as I even knew that signal was for the left turning lanes but I don't mind it being there for new drivers.

3. For the transit signals just like the left hand signals do you really need two? The transit signal sign again is fine.

4. The sign under the transit signals confused me. Obviously it's to tell the driver that lane is for busses and street cars but since your turning left why would you even need to know this? Did they have issues with people going into those lanes without that sign?

5. The final sign at the bottom obviously is to indicate to watch out for the barrier. Without seeing the full intersection I can't determine if that's really needed or not. However, there's a black/yellow stripe sign both below it and further up the road. Seems kind of duplicating the same thing.


To reduce confusion at busy/complex intersections between transit and others (motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians) why not use a different scheme for transit? For example traffic lights with vertical(Go) and horizontal (Stop) white bars could be used for transit.

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