New Road Rules + PanAm in Durham

So originally this post was going to talk about road issues here in the Durham region but I got a little side-tracked by the PanAm games...sorry about that! :)

Earlier this month an amendment was passed here in Ontario to the Highway Traffic Act (Bill31) which I either wasn't paying much attention to or that they haven't widely advertised about yet so when I came across this picture on Facebook, I was all like WHATTTTT?

Drinking a beverage? Smoking? Arguing with kids? COULD result in a charge? Like randomly? Does it depend on the Officer's mood that day? Anyways, that sure got my attention! So off to Google I went...

Reading through the highlights of the amendment, the one change that really stands out for me is the pedestrian crosswalk & waiting until it's completely empty before making a turn. Currently drivers need to yield half the crosswalk. Obviously I'm not against pedestrian safety but how will that affect the flow of traffic, particularly during rush hour? Is this a case of trying to address a problem by creating an even larger one, lol? I can think of several intersections in various communities here in our region where I wonder if cars will ever be able to make a turn again because the crosswalks are never empty of pedestrians! It will be interesting to see what the meantime, you can find a cool infographic HERE provided by Carranza LLP to see distracted driving statistics & what Bill31 will mean to you.

Next up are the temporary HOV lanes that went live on Monday June 29th, ahead of the start of the 2015 Pan Am Games. In case you haven't heard, as of this past Monday there needs to be 3 people in a vehicle in order to be able to use these lanes. It should come as no surprise that it's been commuter chaos for the last couple of days! 

My hubby, being the smart cookie that he is, made arrangements to have a friend carpool with him & our son (who is working downtown this summer) so that they are eligible to use the lanes. And the results are:

                                  "See Ya Later Suckers" - #funnynotfunny depending on your situation
These temporarily restricted lanes are in effect until August 18th, with the 3 per car rule until July 27th, after which it goes down to 2 per car. It's basically the entire summer so why not save yourself the time & frustration and see if you can get a group together too? 

Ads on sites like Craigslist & Kijiji have been popping up as well as posts on social media like Facebook & Twitter so I just want to say, please be careful connecting with strangers...

And that brings us to the PanAm Games themselves. Durham Region will host 3 venues for the Games - the General Motors Centre in Oshawa will host Pan American Games boxing events, President's Choice Ajax Pan Am Ballpark on Audley Rd will be the site of all baseball and softball events and the Abilities Centre in Whitby will host Parapan judo and boccia events.

Oshawa's mayor, John Henry, said last year that he anticipates "$10 million dollars to circulate through the community as a result of the games". Whether that's still the expectation, I don't can read more in the full article called Cashing in on the Pan Am Games in Durham. What we DO know is that there are road closures & restrictions to be aware of, and you can find that information HERE

I hope that for all the planning, the expense, the inconvenience & especially for the participating athletes that these games are a success! No doubt we'll be inundated with a complete post-mortem when they're over so it won't be a question mark for long...

As for us, we're going to see the Peru vs Brazil soccer game in Hamilton on July 16th & maybe check out some softball in Ajax as well....anyone else planning to catch some of the PanAm action?

Have a fabulous Canada Day everyone!

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