Dave Meslin was tired of seeing accidents at the intersection of Regal Road and Springmount Avenue in his home town of Toronto. The big T-intersection is an all-way stop, but not everyone actually “stops.”
The intersection is adjacent to a pair of busy streets that are covered in traffic during rush hour. Commuters frequently race through these smaller neighborhood roads in Regal Heights in an attempt to cut down on their commute.
Dave and a few other residents decided to fix the problem themselves with just a little chalk and a few piles of fallen leaves.
They shared a photo of the result on Twitter with the following message, “Got together with some neighbours and transformed a local intersection with chalk & leaves, revealing a surplus surface area of 2,000 square feet which could be re-designed as a parkette, new sidewalks, and much shorter/safer crossings. ”
Got together with some neighbours and transformed a local intersection with chalk & leaves, revealing a surplus surface area of 2,000 square feet which could be re-designed as a parkette, new sidewalks, and much shorter/safer crossings. ??? More: https://t.co/SNYkMMo0Ui pic.twitter.com/psv0MRTZXi
— dave meslin (@meslin) November 29, 2017
“The street is so wide, it’s easy to kind of fly through,” said Andrew Tay, a fellow resident tired of seeing car’s skip the stop signs.
“We filled that whole space with tens of thousands of leaves using children and their skills of sweeping and raking,” he said to Canada’s CBC. “We created this temporary example of how the neighbourhood could be safer,” he said.
Dave and the other residents planned to leave the chalk up for just a single day, but then something amazing happened: people actually stopped. “It looked so good and it was so inspiring to see cars stopping for the first time ever that we decided to leave it for a few days,” he said. “Traffic instantly adapted to what should be the design of the intersection in the first place.”
After seeing the success of his idea, Dave created a mock-up of what a proper redesign would look like and shared it on Facebook,
Dave took his design to his local city councilor, Cesar Palacio. The city’s transporation service said they are actively looking for new designs to make older intersections like this one safer for cars and pedestrians. “The city will then be able to work with the community and review and evaluate opportunities for permanent installations,” a Toronto city spokesperson said to CBC.
While Dave and his friends know the change won’t happen overnight, they’re satisfied to know the design actually works.