Less than two months after the upgraded Pottery Road crossing of the Lower Don trail was officially opened to a single rave review (as far as I know, I’m the only one who cared enough to review it), the city had already taken a knife to the artistic blue asphalt ripples to install a couple of bollards to prevent unauthorized vehicular access to the mixed-use path. I don’t have a problem with the bollards themselves, but would it have killed the installation crew to move them forward or backward a couple of feet and place them on the plain black asphalt instead of cutting into the middle of the embedded pattern? And did they have to make the same poor placement choice on the paths on both the north and south sides of Pottery Road? Anticipating the need for bollards during the main work would have allowed them to be installed without having to cut an ugly square patch out of freshly laid asphalt. Even looking at it now, I’m not really sure why the cuts were necessary.
This is such a small detail in the context of the much larger Pottery Road reconstruction that it probably didn’t merit any specific design other than someone jabbing a finger at a drawing roughly where each bollard should go and someone else going down to Bollards R Us to pick up a pair of the current preferred model. I can’t imagine that there was any real requirement to place the bollards exactly where they did, nor that moving them a little bit would create a problem of any kind or cause them to be any less effective. So if there are no drawbacks, why wouldn’t you install them in a way that doesn’t degrade something unique that’s already there? And while this particular incident isn’t really worth getting too worked up about, the carelessness shown here is depressing only because it’s so endemic to public works in Toronto that overcoming it seems impossible.
(Yes, this is my seventh post about the Pottery Road reconstruction. Will it be the last? Probably. At least until next month.)