If you’ve travelled past the corner of Victoria Park and Eglinton in Toronto recently, you might have noticed a rather strange sight. Pedestrian crossing signals are mounted on wooden posts in a storage area, across from the future O’Connor Station on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT line. As the location suggests, they were used during LRT construction. Metrolinx News has the full story, along with some speculation about what could be in store for these lights in the future.
Are they small giraffes? An orchard of amber trees?
No. A second look confirms an even more improbable sight – an assembly of pedestrian crossing lights mounted on wooden poles, behind a fence on the corner of Victoria Park Avenue and Eglinton Avenue East in Toronto’s east end.
These are temporary lights that were used during construction of the street level portion of the Eglinton Crosstown light rail transit (LRT) line, between Leslie Street and Kennedy Road.
The difference between these lights and permanent ones is in the mounting. Temporary lights are designed to be moved around, with mounting hardware that allows them to hang from an overhead line or sit on top of a wooden pole – making them easy to slide or carry into position.
That flexibility is important during construction.
“We frequently move them when working on an intersection,” said Robert Shamess, traffic lead for the Eglinton Crosstown. “When we widen an intersection, we are pushing things out.”
“As we shifted traffic across a road, and people drove along them day after day, they would have seen the signals in different positions.”
At 19 intersections along the route, eight temporary signals were required. By now, at almost every corner, new and permanent signals have been installed.
The temporary signals were brought to the storage area as work finished on intersections. They will be moved away from Vic Park and Eglinton this fall. But that’s not the last you will see of these signals.
They are likely to reappear at other Metrolinx sites as more new transit lines are built.
Crosslinx Transit Solutions, the design and construction consortium established to deliver and maintain the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, owns the signals. Companies involved in the consortium can reuse them on other projects, mostly likely for Metrolinx or the City of Toronto.
“The signals are in good condition,” Shamess said. “They have been exposed to the elements, but that’s what they are meant for.”
This reuse is just one of many sustainable practices built into Metrolinx transit construction.
Story by Mike Winterburn, senior writer, Metrolinx News