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Intersection of Bathurst Street and Lake Shore Boulevard WestPhoto courtesy of Google Maps

The Place

Generations of Canadian National Exhibition goers have ridden the Bathurst street car south to Fleet Street, and on into the grounds of the Exhibition. Until quite recently, the latter part of that trip passed the mothballed Molson's brewery and little else. But Fleet Street has become a heavily populated neighbourhood lined with a wall of condos. The new development has drawn attention to one of Toronto's more bizarre intersections, although intersection is a polite word to describe the point at which Bathurst, Fleet, Lake Shore and two streetcar lines converge in an eight-way tangle. Adding to the confusion is Fleet and Lake Shore run parallel for a few hundred metres, meaning drivers heading west on Lake Shore face oncoming traffic on either flank.

<iframe width="600" height="400" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src=",-79.393044&spn=0.012423,0.025706&z=15&output=embed"></iframe><br /><small>View <a href=",-79.393044&spn=0.012423,0.025706&z=15&source=embed" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">Worst intersection: Bathurst Street and Lake Shore Boulevard West</a> in a larger map</small>

The Problem

George Adamidis, a 33-year-old online marketing consultant, is currently living in one of those condos and has assembled a veritable catalogue of problematic driver behaviour: the cars heading west on Lake Shore that do an illegal dipsy-doodle onto Fleet; the vehicles going south on Bathurst that inadvertently turn into the streetcar right-of-way; and the chronic problems of out-bound commuters aiming to turn onto Lake Shore but end up clogging the Fleet Street turn lane, which now functions as a residential street for the condo dwellers. Southbound streetcars, meanwhile, end up stuck behind cars waiting to turn east on Lake Shore, he adds. "I hear horns all the time because people are driving into the streetcar tracks."

The Solution

Mr. Adamidis notes the dashed lines in the intersection have faded to the point of uselessness, and so the legitimate paths through the intersection aren't clear. He'd also like to see a highway-style sign bridge across Bathurst, just north of the intersection, which clearly shows which turn lane serves which street.

The Shortcut

An easy one if you're heading south on Bathurst: the relatively new Fort York Boulevard, which peels west off Bathurst just under the Gardiner and follows a surprisingly picturesque arc down to both Fleet and Lake Shore. Indeed, if you're aiming for either the Ex, Strachan Avenue or Lake Shore, there's virtually no reason to run the gauntlet. You'll be doing the streetcar passengers a favour, too.

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