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A mysterious triangle-shaped addition to a Toronto curb has left locals baffled -- and laughing

The city says it’s there to make the street safer, even though it’s hard to figure out how it can.
Oct. 19, 2023
Jack Lakey

It serves no purpose that area residents can discern, but a triangular something-or-other recently added to the road on Tweedsmuir Avenue is giving them reason to laugh.

The city repaved and did curb work last summer on Tweedsmuir, a small street that runs between Heath Street and St. Clair Avenue, which made the locals happy for the improvements.

Except for one thing: A puzzling addition to the curb on the west side, right next to the entrance/exit to the parking at one of the large condo buildings on the street.

Etienne Kaplan sent me a note and a photo of the pie-shaped concrete thing, saying, “in our recently redone (street), this jutting out triangle into the road was constructed.

“It seems very dangerous unless cars are parked just north of it, when it would be hidden. Is there any reasonable reason why this was done?”

Good question. I’ve never seen anything like it, and I’ll bet just about everyone who looks at the photo would say the same thing.

I went there and noticed rubber tire tracks across its raised surface; it looks as if people going in or out of the condo parking often end up driving over top of it.

While I was taking photos, a woman and her young son came along. She stopped to talk, laughing and saying that she and other people who live on the street are so flummoxed by it that they have concluded it must be a colossal mistake.

She said that drivers going south on Tweedsmuir who want to pull into the condo parking are forced to swing so far around it that they end up in the northbound lane, adding that residents think it’s the handiwork of a dim-wit.

STATUS: I sent a note to the city, asking if it could explain this strange curb addition. Oh boy, did they come up with a dandy reason for it.

“The triangular curb ... is a geometric safety improvement called a bump-out that was installed during recent road reconstruction.

“Former city councillor Joe Mihevic reported safety concerns to staff about drivers parking too close to the existing driveway, blocking the sightlines of drivers entering/exiting the driveway. Parking regulations and signage were updated in 2016.

“These parking bylaws are now physically reinforced by the bump-out, which ensures vehicles cannot park too close to the driveway and block the sightline of drivers entering/existing the driveway. The city will be installing hazard markers (yellow and black sign) on the bump-out to make it more visible.

“Bump-outs are a Vision Zero Road Safety Plan engineering improvement. More information about bump-outs and other geometric safety improvements can be found on the city’s website.”