be wary of streetcar tracks

i don't know how many cities out there have streetcars as a public transportation system, but here in toronto, they're everywhere. so if you're ever riding in toronto, watch out riding over the tracks embedded in the road. this morning riding to work, i was passing a car parallel parking, and i hit the track at an awkward angle and took a spill. i got a few scrapes, a badly bruised shoulder, and three stiches in my chin, but it should end up as a fairly distinguished scar. the moped came out with nothing but a bent side view mirror. i actually think she runs better now.

now comes the rant, i hate streetcars, that's why i got a moped. streetcars have little value in an urban environment. it's based on a system from the turn of the century with little regard for today's traffic patterns. and they're immensely dangerous for everyone, from passengers getting off the streetcar into the middle of the goddamn street, to mopeds as i've found out the hard way, to cars, which a co-worker told me that if a cars tires are on the tracks and they brake hard, they'll slide and lose control. not to mention jamming up traffic everytime they stop.

because of the myopic view of the urban and transportation planning board we are stuck with these god awful monsters for a long time, for mainly two reasons, no insight to do anything about it, and some strange sense of historical attachment. there's no reason to be emotionally attached to something which is so fundamentally flawed, especially in canada. the tracks need replacing every few years because of the weather, which just sucks up the money and disrupts traffic for weeks on end. and now they have to raise fares to compensate the operating costs. if they had any foresight, they would have realized that they are building a 'surface' system in a horrible climate, it's canada for goodness sake. and it's not very pleasant waiting in a blizzard for a streetcar which inevitably gets delayed because of the snow. when toronto got the something like $3 billion to fund tranportation some 15 years ago, they should have actually done something with it. what proper city that thinks itself as world class has only 2 lines for a subway system? well, the public transporation system is now bankrupt, building useless extensions out in the suburbs where everyone drives anyway. no financial relief in sight, and i have very little faith in our planners.

thank god for my moped. i just got to avoid the toronto transit commission, tracks and all.

i'm done now.

Re: be wary of streetcar tracks

Jamie Leonard /

Well I sympathize (I've taken a spill on the same tracks myself :) - personally I take side streets and just take 10 mins extra on a trip and go a bit slower (less pushy drivers... I find its not the tracks that are the issue so much as the drivers who force you into them.) More often its people parking illegally and blocking a lane, people turning or moving lanes without looking and forcing you to move or get run over.. actually just yesterday I had someone pull up beside me and tell me that I shouldn't be taking up the entire road (which doesn't make sense to me... first of all... they pulled up BESIDE me as I said this so I obviously wasn't. Second of all, anyone on a motorcycle or moped has to do a certain amount of lane blocking to avoid people trying to scrape past you and scraping you into the concrete)

Actually today had someone driving literally as little as 12 INCHES behind me at times in a car while I was doing 50kph in a 40kph zone... if I had to brake for any reason that would have been about it for me - ah well, you sometimes just have to deal with the idiots, the tracks, and everything else :)

Re: be wary of streetcar tracks

I often wonder just how much better this city would move if city coucil would get rid of the street cars and buy us all mopeds. I haven't taken transit in years. I live 18 kms from work. If I drive my van on the highway it takes me about 25 minuters to get to work. If I ride my moped, 30- 35 minutes. If I choose to do the responsible thing and take ther TTC, it takes my almost TWO HOURS!!!! I have a choice of 4 different buses and a nice walk, or 3 buses and a subway and a nice walk. I say get ride of the streetcars, put the electric buses back on the road and buy me a new damn moped!!!!! I'll have no problem paying for the gasoline tax then.

Richard

Re: be wary of streetcar tracks

Reeperette /

Jamie...buy a short length of chain from a hardware store and keep in coiled in your left hand pocket.

When someone pulls in that close, slowly uncoil it and whirl it a bit....they WILL back off.

(Better practice that if you do intend to try it, don't wanna fall off and get run over !)

-Ree

Re: be wary of streetcar tracks

Hi,Ree! I certainly understand where you're comin' from having been run into the ditch myself even in this rural community.A nasty fellow I have the misfortune of working with said` If I come across you on that moped I'll knock you into the ditch.' I replied,`Go ahead,but when I pull that 357 magnum out and blow away your tires and your truck you'll be wondering if it was worth it!' Now,I don't carry a 357, just a BB gun,but HE DOESN'T KNOW THAT,and he hasn't threatened me since.You know why? `Cause here in the States anybody is liable to have their protection with them at any time, a fact of which `ol nasty' is well aware!See ya!

Re: be wary of streetcar tracks

Chris Robertson /

Gun-tastic!

Re: be wary of streetcar tracks

Jamie Leonard /

grin... from the sounds of this crowd we'll shortly be seeing mopeds coming equipped with rocket launchers! Mad max on mopeds.... of course it makes sense... if gasoline runs out, mopeds might well be the common method of transportation in your average post apocolyptic society :)

Re: be wary of streetcar tracks

Reeperette /

"round and round, attack, attack...like angry ants...mad with the smell of gasoline...."

<Quoted From 'The Road Warrior'>

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