April 19, 2010
Downtown dwellers know that Spadina and Dundas is a busy street corner. It thrives as the main intersection of Chinatown, surrounded by cheap fruit markets, wholesale outlets, and discount retailers.
But the intersection ranks 7th in the city for serious injuries to pedestrians. In fact, I saw someone get hit by a streetcar just South of there only a few weeks ago (turns out it was the pedestrian’s fault as he walked in the way of the oncoming streetcar drunkenly at 3 in the afternoon).
But, by jove, the first-year engineering students at U of T have come up with a beautifully simplistic solution that would cost the city $530,000. A bridge that would allow pedestrians to cross the intersection 7.5 metres above street level.
Bridges like this are “rare to see here, but very common in large cities in China,” said team member He Huang, who left that country only three years ago. TheStar.com
City planners could take a page or two from the book of these innovative students. Since it reflects existing infrastructure in China, it would not affect the cultural integrity of the intersection at all. Good idea, kids.