Overpass: Shouldn’t Be an Option

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“I don’t want to see any more money spent on this,” is what Councillor Joni Baechler was quoted saying in Friday’s London Free Press regarding the ongoing topic of building an overpass at the rail crossing where Hale and Trafalgar Streets meet…

I couldn’t agree with her more, in fact, in addition to the cost aspect of this stupid decision on the part of City Council there are a number of other reasons why this overpass should never be built. Take into consideration the following:

1. Money – Should The City really be spending money to build an overpass (one that is not needed I might add) when there are still a number of roads out there that are in dire need of repair? Or shouldn’t The City look at a more appropriate place to build an overpass, such as on an arterial road like Adelaide Street, an opinion that Coun. Baechler and I both share. The crossing at Hale and Trafalgar gets a fraction of the daily traffic that Adelaide street does, but apparently city council was ill-informed on these figures. This is one instance when The City should really think before they start spending money.

2. Stupid People – This is probably the most important point I can make, so follow along carefully. I know this is a rail crossing in The City that has had a number of both car and pedestrian accidents over the last few years, many ending in death, BUT remember, this isn’t the only place in The City where such instances happen, so why should this location be treated any different?

Now I’m not sympathetic to those that have died at this crossing because it is their own fault. Hate me if you want for looking at it this way, but I’m taking a realistic approach to this and I suggest you do the same. Think very carefully about it: there are safety arms that go down for a reasons, there are warning signs, warning lights and sounds, I’m sure that all of the people who have died were aware of at least one of these signs but apparently they didn’t understand that if these are in operation it probably means that it isn’t safe to cross.

Common sense people.

If you decide to cross anyways wouldn’t you look both way to see if a train is coming before doing so? I would hope so, but apparently they did not. How blind do you have to be to not see a large locomotive coming your way, some people are just too stupid for their society’s own good.

If we went around trying to “improve” The City just to help reduce the number of instances where stupid people have accidents incidents The City would never get around to getting the actual important things accomplished.

The City should not have to babysit or play big brother to the vast amount of stupid people in London.

3. Responsibility – Is this really The City’s responsibility? Would CN not be the one held responsible if someone dies on their tracks, and if so shouldn’t they be financing the situation to the problem? I don’t have the answers to these questions but they need to be asked none the less.

4. Practicality (of this bright idea) – Is putting an overpass at this area really that practical, lets think about this. This intersection already has enough issues with it from a planning and transportation standpoint, issues that I don’t need to point out, just take a look for at the provided map. The room needed to implement and to install a bridge would be tremendous not to mention how the existing development in the area would be effected. You cannot very well try to pull something like this off in an already developed neighbourhood.

5. Other Options – Perhaps instead of installing an overpass The City/CN would be better off to repair the crossing itself, as the last time I drove over it I remember it being in a poor state and needing repair. (correct me if this is no longer the case, my mind leaves me from time to time and I cannot fully remember) The City could think of a better solution for the 2 intersections that converge at this crossing which would help with the traffic issues. And last, but most importantly, more appropriate and feasible measures could be installed at this crossing to help the stupid people that insist on crossing even they are being told not to.

I grew up not too far from this crossing and I use to bike over it daily when I was a child. Now I am over in that area a couple of times each week and I still use the crossing. Neither then nor now have I even had a “run in” with a train, why? Perhaps its because I know how to properly “use” and negotiate a railway crossing.

Perhaps before The City tries to solve the problem by building an overpass that really isn’t needed they should first understand what the actual problem is and deal with it at the source: stupid people.

Perhaps education is needed or some other measures but an overpass is not the solution.

In the end natural selection will eventually equal everything out, the strong smart will survive, the weak stupid, well not so much.

Perhaps we should use the cheapest and best solution out there: leave it to nature to work itself out.

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One Response to “Overpass: Shouldn’t Be an Option”

  1. fowgre Says:

    I grew up just one block away on Stevenson Ave., and I also never had a problem crossing it safely. The problem isn’t the crossing, it’s the selfish people who are unwilling to be delayed for any amount of time. The same people who will deliberately put a pedestrian’s life at risk rather than slow their vehicle. This isn’t the only crossing where somebody had died because they wouldn’t wait for the crossing arms to be raised. Can we protect against such stupidity, even by spending many $M’s? No, it’s throwing away precious dollars which could have a hugely more positive impact by being spent in other areas.

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