I am now in my fifth year of living in a construction site adrift in a sea of construction sites. Thatís terrible writing. I am not adrift, I live here. My little street has been torn up, blocked, and turned into a swirling dust-bowl. It is not a sea of construction; it is the downtown area of Toronto, and downtown is whatever you define it to be, but for me, at least, south of Bloor Street and between Parliament Street and University Avenue.
OK. Construction extends north of Bloor Street, too, but ...
The Toronto Star recently began a series of jabs at construction sites that take over the streets. They start by appropriating the sidewalk, and then take over the adjacent traffic lane, and so a street that was four lanes wide (two lanes set aside for parking outside the McDonalds) becomes a two-lane street, which is easily blocked by timorous people searching for a parking spot (non-existent) near Womenís College Hospital, people from up-country who are not sure of the width of their vehicle, and so remain stationary blocking their lane while a small van delivers clean uniforms or cleaned floor rugs.
I dislike my front yard, so to speak, being turned into a traffic jam, the more so because these lost idiots have a tendency to slam their vehicles into reverse without thinking, just as I am crossing the street.
I have a suggestion:-
Starting today, place ALL building applications on hold until the plans are amended so that the ground level of each new tower condominium or office block shows a loading area suitable for dump-trucks and excavators, enough space for those vehicles to dig the big hole, enough space for flatbed trucks with reinforcing bars to be unloaded, and enough space for concrete trucks to drive through or reverse into place to spew their fluid load into those conical buckets which will be hoisted by the tower crane.
Starting today, place ALL building applications on hold until the plans are amended so that construction work takes away not one square foot of assigned sidewalk and roadway.
Now obviously pedestrians will be inconvenienced
Whenever a concrete truck squashes a toe or two, and drivers will have to wait thirty seconds while a concrete truck is backed into place. But then, let the ban extend to the entire block of the construction site, so that trucks-in-waiting are parked across the intersection, rather than filling up what is left of the street where the construction takes place.
Then consider what happens once the tumult and the shouting dies and the captains and the kings depart.
The new building has inherited a great area for passenger pickup, WheelTrans access, delivery of mail and whatever else is required.
If we force the builders to develop a useable loading area during construction, then we will inherit a useable loading area after construction.
Every body wins!
Another flurry of articles is wandering about town, people concerned about youngsters being able to learn how to Write Program Code for Computers so that they wonít get left behind. Computers are the Wave of the Future, donchaknow.
I Program Computers, been doing it for years. As well I use computers (Banking, Library Book Reservations, Train Tickets and the list goes on) but it happens to be a co-incidence that I know how to program computers.
If I didnít know how to program computers, if my life-skills were restricted to the Design of Efficient Tower Vermicomposters for Cold-Climate Apartment Dwellers and the business of Mixing and Baking Cookie Dough, Iíd still be withdrawing cash from ATMs, booking books and train tickets, and all the other things that involve computers.
Like me, you probably drive a motor-car from time to time.
Like me you probably have a vague idea that little explosions happen frequently enough to make things go up and down and other things (ďwheelsĒ) go round and around, and you can be there in time for lunch.
But just like me you donít have a clue about the composition of the steel or aluminium used in the engine block. You donít need to know which green wire or red wire goes into which end of the stalk that activates the turn signals.
You need to know the Highway Rules, and you need to be Nice and Tolerant towards other drivers.
You need to know absolutely nothing about how the car is built.
And you need to know to keep a healthy balance in your bank account, but you donít ever need to know how to write program code for the bankís computers.
Indeed, the banks would rather that you didnít know how to write program code for the bankís computers.