Modern Day Survival Of the Fittest

I was crossing the street and just as I stepped off the curb, a car decided that I was walking too slow and proceeded to make their right turn. I was OK but needless to say I was both appalled and frightened. These accounts are not anything rare in the city of Toronto where pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles fight for their share of the road. (There’s even a hashtag called #TODeadlyStreets) Metro, our local newspaper has recently and continuously published multiple articles outlining these events. One of their publications is a live updated map of where fatalities have happened throughout 2016.

Bicycle Infrastructure
Multi-modal intersection – note the absence of bike lanes which would make this intersection a safer place.

One of our past articles illustrates the dangerous condition walking to Sunnybrook hospital.

While Metro indicates accidents on mainly intersections, this segment of the road in question is not. Previously we had mentioned that this road should be used beneficially, taking advantage of its view (it has a ravine on both sides), but in light of Metro’s eye opening article about fatalities, we want to revisit our article today. To recap, this street is composed of narrow sidewalks on both sides of a wide busy 4 lane traffic way, leaving little to no room for any pedestrian meanders.

Ironically this strip of road leads to Sunnybrook hospital, a supposedly safe place for any kind of refuge, that subsequently has both vehicular and pedestrian use for many visitors, patients, and employees.

So why does a street that leads to such an important place exhibit this type of risk for its pedestrians? Simply because it prioritizes cars and ironically not its walkers- we live in a modern day Darwin experiment of survival of the fittest.

Roncesvalles Avenue with separated bike lane

So how can we, as we’re all pedestrians, begin to revolutionize this unnecessary battle for survival into a pleasant co-existence?

South Kingsway
Well designated lanes for streetcar, motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians.

Photos courtesy of the City of Toronto.

Author: Crystal Yung

Hello! My name is Crystal Yung and I am an undergraduate student studying architecture at the University of Waterloo. Please feel free to check our my online portfolio of my works:

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