Ottawa, Gatineau traffic updates for Sept. 25

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Good day, commuters!

The two weekend road closures — Fallowfield, between Prince of Wales and Merivale, and Rideau between Sussex and Dalhousie — have ended.

There will be paving overnight tonight on St. Laurent near Industrial, which will force it down to one lane each direction starting at 8 p.m.

Out in the rural west end, Kinburn Side Road will be closed until mid-October, starting today, between Dominion Springs Drive and Timmins Road. Katimavik construction-related lane reductions in Kanata are set to end this week between Castlefrank and Eagleson.

Watch out for illegal left turns

I’m still getting your emailed traffic gripes and observations. Rick sent a doozie. He writes:

“My wife and I moved to Ottawa 11 years ago to the neighbourhood of Old Ottawa South. Because our son and his family live in the Glebe, we had numerous occasions to drive from our neighbourhood into the Glebe and its environs. During the first six months of our new residency, I noticed more acts of driving courtesy, as well as more acts of boneheaded, selfish, entitlement from drivers (as well as cyclists and pedestrians) than I had experienced in six years living in our former city.

“Having formerly resided in an industry-based city in southern Ontario (possibly Hamilton), it was a stark contrast to a driving environment which can best be described as ‘No quarter expected, no quarter given.’ Where, if you [are] dumb enough to attempt to make a left turn at certain intersections during certain times of the day, well, good luck! I suspect that attitude has something to do with a working class set of values, but I digress.

“I mention this as some background to a concern that several people in our building have regarding the intersection of Wilton Crescent and Bank Street.

Intent of signs not immediately obvious

“This intersection primarily serves motorists coming off Queen Elizabeth Drive and entering Bank Street. Motorists wanting to go south on Bank over the Canal Bridge do so at this intersection by simply making a right turn. Those wanting to go north on Bank, say to Lansdowne or into the Glebe, have a bit of a problem, as they cannot make a legal left turn onto Bank. They need to make a left from Queen Elizabeth Place onto Wilton Crescent, and then an immediate right onto Monk Street that parallels Bank and enter Bank at either Holmwood or Fifth where both of those streets have traffic signals.

“There are two posted ‘NO LEFT TURN’ signs for drivers attempting to make such a turn from Wilton Crescent onto Bank Street. They are not, however, of such a size or location that makes the intent of the signs particularly obvious. Indeed, enforcement of the ‘no left turn’ is almost non-existent. I have personally witnessed city work vehicles, as well as police, fire, and ambulance vehicles who were NOT [responding to] an emergency, make the supposedly illegal left turn.

“This turn poses no threat to anyone on say, an early Sunday morning. However, there are many of the above-mentioned ‘boneheaded, selfish, and entitled’ that attempt to make this very turn at the busiest times of the day. This is often when other drivers try to let transgressors know of their mistake by honking their horns as they wait to make their proper right turn!

“Having witnessed several near misses over the past two years, I am dreading the time when one of these drivers, frustrated by the honking and traffic patterns that simply do not allow for a safe left turn, attempts to ‘make it’ in front of an oncoming transport truck carrying three coils of cold-rolled steel, driven by a driver used to barrelling down Barton rather than Bank Street. Highly unlikely, I know, but I hope that you get my point.

“The signs should be larger (the one on the eastern side of Bank is too small to be noticed from across the road, competing with the huge, bright, electronic TD Lansdowne sign) and more obvious (underneath the STOP sign, not before it). As well, enforcement should be more frequent (as in start enforcing) and consistent (as in ongoing). Otherwise, the ‘NO LEFT TURN’ signs are merely a suggestion and serve only to be able charge a motorist involved in a collision with an illegal turn.”

Have a great day!

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If you have a traffic or commuter gripe about driving, cycling or being a pedestrian commuter — anything from problem intersections, to parking, to inefficient routes — send it to me at​ [email protected].

And remember, you can share what you see on the roads with me on Twitter at @cbcotttraffic. Or give me a ring at 613-288-6900.