For a decade now, Toronto’s Eglinton Avenue Light Rail Transit (LRT) project has proven especially problematic. It was supposed to have been completed last year; now, the latest deadline for completion is 2022. Don’t even bet $1 on that happening...
In many areas, Eglinton Avenue West is a nightmare for both vehicle and pedestrian traffic, as construction proceeds at a speed resembling molasses going uphill in the wintertime. Eglinton Avenue West is also home to Toronto’s “Little Jamaica.” It used to be such a vibrant stretch of the city, resembling Montego Bay more so than Hogtown, thanks to reggae music filling the air as well as the scent of jerk chicken being cooked on barbecues situated upon the sidewalk. Meanwhile, an extraordinary number of barbershops which double as social hubs line the avenue.
But these days, Little Jamaica is a mere shadow of what it once was. This is no fault of the merchants and the barbers and the restaurateurs, but rather, the one-two punch of a transit project that has turned the area into a war zone and of course, the Wuhan virus pandemic (and all the lockdown orders that came with it).
These are the big picture problems associated with this government-concocted transit boondoggle. But then there are the little issues, too. Like, can’t these guys even get the detour signage right? Are they unaware that some signs are instructing motorists to do the WRONG thing?
Case in point: on the northbound lane of Dufferin Street, approaching the Eglinton mess, there is a prominent sign that instructs motorists to merge left as the right lane supposedly ends. But the precise opposite is the case. The left lane ends! And this incorrect sign has been there for months now.
Falling victim to this motoring misinformation one too many times made for a Falling Down moment for yours truly. Falling Down is the superb 1993 movie in which the Michael Douglas character endures one indignity after another during a sweltering day in Los Angeles (examples: being overcharged for merchandise at a convenience store; noticing that the photograph of a burger on the menu board of a fast-food restaurant does not even remotely resemble the actual food item; having to deal with construction workers sitting around not doing any work as traffic snarls). And eventually, he snaps.
And oh, how I felt his pain!
Indeed, what struck me about the incorrect signage at the Dufferin/Eglinton intersection was this: this decade-long project has caused so much misery in the area. Is it too much to ask that the people responsible for this project get the little things right (like installing correct road signage)? Or is this a matter of them knowing the signage is wrong but simply not giving a rodent’s rectum when it comes to getting it right? It’s not their problem, after all. Shameful.