Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Discussion Topic: Traffic

Posted by auroracitizen on November 23, 2010

Another key issue in the Aurora community is the traffic woes and increasing volume due to new development both in Aurora and Newmarket. This topic has been the focus of considerable discussion over the years — but the situation continues to get worse. Over the years we have seen initiatives that include;

  • traffic studies
  • traffic calming in 1 select neighbourhood
  • addition of stop signs and no left turn signs
  • speed limit changes
  • use of advance signals
  • road widening (Bathurst)
  • attempts to re-direct traffic
  • redevelopment of roads (i.e. St Johns)

Yet in spite of all these initiatives (and more we couldn’t remember) traffic problems continue to affect our community — although when compared to a 2+ hour commute from downtown, some might say we have it pretty good.

A readers shared this experience

Here is a pet peeve of mine that is starting to become a problem for me and others.

If you are driving south on Bathurst in the morning around 7:45am, as you approach Bloomington there are cars pulled over in the right turn lane (where there is a bus stop). Turns out that these cars are driven by parents of kids that are taking a bus. Rather than let the poor kids stand outside, they sit in the cars – idling – blocking the turn lane to turn right onto Bloomington. Not only are they blocking the turn lane, on more than one occasion I have seen a car trying to pull into the turn lane at a higher than normal speed and had to slam on the brakes to avoid running into a car stopped there.

Are we raising our kids to be such babies that they can’t stand at a bus stop? Surely it is against the HTA to stop there?

We would expect that at some point (incoming) Council will have this before them. So what suggestions do we have for them?

How will the downtown be best served by the traffic initiatives — including parking/no parking initiatives? What about safety concerns?

Who has the priority to the roads — pedestrians, vehicles, business owners (parking?). How do these issues impact traffic flow? Do we want it moving fast for convenience or slow for safety and shopping?

Lots of questions — and lots of answers.

We may not have all the answers, but when you have lots of ideas — you have a much better chance of coming up with a great idea.

Share your thoughts and let’s give Council some help 🙂

18 Responses to “Discussion Topic: Traffic”

  1. Winter's comin said

    … I find it interesting that GO riders are still parking on side streets and park property. Might GO Transit encourage garage useage if they installed a walkway from the s/w corner of the garage toward the GO station? Otherwise it’s uphill to the Station from the entrance and a heck of long way to walk to boot!! … wc

    • evelyn.buck said

      I’ve received comments indicating traffic in the vicinity of the Go building on Wellington Street is creating twenty minute bottlenecks after a train has disembarked its passengers.
      Now we learn the facility is not providing relief to residences in the park neighbourhood.
      People can come from points north, east and west, save money on train fares and park in Aurora at no cost, block traffic at the worst possible time, in the least appropriate place.
      Why should that be a surprise?
      Go Transit spent 74 million dollars to create the situation. The town welcomed it.We sold even more land for parking at the station.
      Like I said….
      We have struggled with the problem of a major highway on our main street. We added to that by creating a second problem worse than the first, at the station.
      Go figger

  2. Fred said

    Just a shout out to the Aurora Farmers Market having their first Christmas/Winter show at the Aurora Cultural Centre. What a great idea, and a seriously cool place you chose.
    I’m looking forward to stocking up on sausages and getting my honey supplies.
    Church Street being so close to their summer home and in such an amazing building. Kudos to the Farmers Market! I hope everybody comes out to support the market. I’ll be there with bells on.
    Dave Heard, will you be there?
    I heard the 19th Street Farmers will be, and most of the usual vendors so it sounds like it will be THE place to be this Saturday.
    And the parade in the evening,too.
    Saturday is going to be a GREAT day for our community.

    • Wright said

      “I’ll be there with bells on.”

      So now we know how to recognize Fred. That and the sausages and honey, of course.

      And you’re right about the building. It is an architectural treasure, and now there is a wide variety of events happening there.

    • Anonymous Indeed said

      And the Optimists Club Book Sale is at the library Saturday.

  3. evelyn.buck said

    I still think picking up the station and moving it to the outer edge of town is the answer.
    Maybe Bloomington in the vicinity of the bus stop for Seneca students would be a gold place.
    That would take care of two problems.

    • Oats, Straw & Hay said

      Isn’t there a plan to put a Richmond Hill rail line station on Bloomington, east of Yonge?

    • Anonymous said

      That’s right Evelyn but you lost that battle too. The garage is up, people are parking in it. Live with it!

      GO had annoucned plans to extend the Richmond Hill line to a termination in south-east Aurora near Bloomington and Leslie.

  4. fed up said

    The problem is not the traffic but the motorists who feel that they are too important to obey the rules of the road–parking in NO PARKING zones to let their kids off at school and in other areas of the town–driving while on their cell phones and texting which not only is against the law but slows traffic–this happens too frequently, I see all hundreds of motorists who still can’t quit this nasty habit–and stop signs–why do we have them when nobody in this town stops?–not even rolling stops but blatant running of stop signs–there–if got my 3 pet peeves off my chest

  5. Anonymous said

    I live in the new north east – you know the new development that is so unpopular with the old towners.
    I have 2 traffic related bees in my bonnet:
    There is a public school on Conover which has no parking on either side of the road from 6:00(?)am to 4:30 pm. However all the parents dropping off or picking up children from school ignore the signs and park on both sides of the street and some, even into the traffic circle at the south end of the school. Many just run out between parked cars and sooner or later there will be a disaster and someone will get hurt. I have written to TSAC a couple of times but have had no response and the situation has not changed.
    My second bee is traffic circles (or roundabouts to me, being English). I wish drivers would learn what the rules are regarding roundabouts. The rules are different from 4-way stops, although many treat them that way. The rule is to give way to the traffic in the roundabout FROM THE LEFT… NOT RIGHT. If the roundabout is clear or you are likely to get there safely before traffic to your right, keep going. Do not stop and screw everything up for everyone else. It is also helpful to use your indicator so that others know into which exit you will be leaving the roundabout. Roundabouts with many exits and lanes work like a dream in England and keep the traffic flowing more smoothly than stop signs. They do NOT work like a dream when drivers do NOT know how to use them. I now approach with a ridiculous amount of caution having been almost side-swiped on several occasions. Perhaps TSAC could arrange for a “How to drive around a roundabout” seminar for all drivers in town.

    • Anonymous said

      If the roundabout is clear or you are likely to get there safely before traffic to your right, keep going.
      Oops that should have read “…before traffic to your left…” not right.
      My apologies.

    • Robert the Bruce said

      One problem with traffic circles – in Ontario anyways – I don’t think that new drivers are given much training in how to use them. I know I did not 30+ years ago. In fact, when I took driver training we did not learn about streetcar laws because streetcars only existed in Toronto and where I grew up, it was not Toronto. The only thing close to a traffic circle that I drove on then was the main street in Goderich, Ontario.

      My oldest took driver-ed 5 years ago. I don’t think they even ventured to the NE of Aurora to drive on one.

      Regarding the parents on Bathurst in the morning. I have seen this first hand. They are high-school age kids waiting for a bus. I don’t know where they are going but I have seen a line up of 4 or 5 cars some cold mornings and it can be very dangerous – for the parked cars and the traffic. Perhaps someone from YRP should look into this.


    • Anonymous said

      This is related to the traffic problem cited by Anonymous Nov 24, 5.27:
      The parking on both sides of the road should not be a problem if parents didn’t insist on driving kids to and from school. The catchment, or at least the majority of it, is all well within walking distance to the school. It boggles my mind that everyday there is something in the news related to childhood obesity, diabetes and now even high blood pressure in the very young. Perhaps they wouldn’t be such an issue if kids actually walked every day instead of being mollycoddled by parents.
      I know the response will immediately be about safety and weirdos out there waiting to prey on children. My response to that is to check out the program in Milton which initiated the “walking school bus” where parents rotate to walk a group of kids to school so that safety is eliminated from the equation and kids gets some decent exercise everyday.
      I know you will roll your eyes when I refer to how far I walked to school as a kid – it was close to 5 miles (not Km) and it never did me any harm.
      I am a physiotherapist by profession and this is a topic that really drives me crazy.

    • Horrified said

      Hi, anon.

      The roundabout vs traffic circle name is more than the difference between what side of “The Pond” you’re from. There’s an actual difference in usage that I think confuses many drivers. In my opinion, what we have, at least in the Town Hall neighbourhood, are roundabouts. Take the following info from the Ontario Ministry of Transport Website:

      On that page, see these 2 Highlights from the FAQ:

      2. How does a roundabout work?

      In Ontario, vehicles travel counterclockwise around a centre island. Traffic entering the roundabout must yield to circulating traffic . Curves on the approaches to roundabouts require all vehicles to slow down before entering. Designs ensure that slow speeds are maintained around and at exits to the roundabout. Drivers approaching a roundabout must reduce their speeds, look for potential conflicts with vehicles already in the roundabout, and be prepared to stop. Once in the roundabout, drivers should not need to stop and can proceed to their exit.:

      4. What is the difference between a roundabout and a “traffic circle”?

      Modern roundabouts are generally much smaller than older traffic circles, and require vehicles to negotiate a sharper curve to enter. These differences make travel speeds in roundabouts much slower than speeds in traffic circles. Because of the higher speeds in traffic circles, many were equipped with traffic signals or stop signs to help reduce potential collisions. In addition, some traffic circles operated according to the traditional yield-to-the-right rule, with circulating traffic yielding to entering traffic .

    • evelyn.buck said

      Why do you think the new north-east area is unpopular with “old towners”

      I have never heard that. New people come here to live all the time.

      Homes change hands all over town.

      There’s always a welcome. Why not? How would anyone tell a difference?

      Come on out,join the merry throng,don’t be shy.

    • Anonymous for a Reason said

      I agree with Evelyn. Community is what you make it.
      I’ve lived in the “old town”, and the “new town”, and the not so new part of town.
      I’ve never been made to feel less/or more of an Auroran for living in any part of town.
      The important thing is that it is Aurora in which we live, and there are plenty of community places and things to do in our town to be proud of.

  6. Another Anonymous said

    I get dropped off at the GO station every morning and I am noticing that the line-up of cars to turn left onto Ross Street is getting longer and longer each week. With the opening of the parking garage and no left turn into the garage from westbound Wellington, everyone is going to Ross Street to turn in. During rush hour in the morning the oncoming eastbound traffic is so evenly spaced and with no controlled lights (plus the occasional idiot who insists on turning left from Ross St. where there is no left turn) it’s getting harder and harder to turn. I’m not sure what the solution is other than to put a controlled light that is only operational during rush hour in the morning and rush hour in the evening, as it is the same problem getting out of the GO station at night.

    Perhaps GO has plans already in the works for the land on Ross Street – hopefully it will be a redesigned kiss & ride and easier access to Wellington Street.

    • Daniel said

      Speaking of Aurora GO station, I’d love to see a bus bay like Rutherford station’s for the GO buses (which run off-peak and in the opposite of rush directions) and the YRT shuttles. It’d be a nice way to highlight these environmentally-friendly options and lessen confusion.

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