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City of London staff plan to get a road safety specialist to look at the intersection of Queens Avenue and English Street as local residents and a series of videos posted on social media suggest it is becoming a hotspot for vehicle collisions. 

Londoner Curtis Wood posted videos to Facebook captured by a security camera showing six collisions at the intersection since June.

Five of the crashes captured in the videos happened in daylight. 

Most of the collisions involve vehicles travelling west on Queens Avenue broadsiding drivers heading north on English Street.

WATCH | Resident talks about need for safety, door cam footage of recent collisions:

English Street and Queens Avenue has become a crash-prone intersection

London resident Greg Gillies lives at the intersection and says it needs to be made safer. Door cam footage also shows a series of recent collisions.

Greg Gillies has lived on the corner for 11 years and believes the crashes are a combination of driver confusion, speeding on Queens and problems with the intersection’s design.

“Drivers on English come to the intersection and kind of don’t know what to do,” said Gillies. “When there’s confusion, there’s a recipe for accidents.” 

Collisions and close-calls at the intersection are a regular occurrence, said Gillies. 

“I’ve witnessed dozens of collisions here,” he said. “Every day you can be standing in your house and hear horns honking, people yelling and somebody else because of a close call. Ten times a day it can happen — like every day.” 

The intersection brings together two very different roads. Queens is a one-way arterial street that’s westbound only. It includes only one vehicle lane, plus a bike lane on the north side. 

English is a north-south residential street recently upgraded with a bike lane on both sides between Dundas Street and Queens.

This is what drivers heading north on English Street see when they arrive at the intersection with Queens Ave. Despite the signs indicating they have to stop, residents say drivers often get confused, roll through the intersection and get broad-sided by drivers head west on Queens Ave.
This is what drivers heading north on English Street see when they arrive at the intersection with Queens Avenue. Despite the signs indicating they have to stop, residents say drivers often get confused, roll through the intersection and get broadsided by drivers heading west on Queens. (Andrew Lupton/CBC)

Traffic on Queens has the right-of-way at the intersection, a fact pointed out by road signs. Still, drivers on English who come to the intersection often hesitate and appear confused. Gillies said in some cases, drivers on English roll through the stop sign, leading to the kind of T-bone collisions seen in the Facebook videos. 

Bernie Lawrence has lived at the southeast corner of Queens and English for eight years. He and his neighbours often play a drinking game as they sit on the porch. Any collision, near miss or shouting between angry drivers means the players on the porch have to take a drink. 

“Our neighbour who is kitty-corner to us has a big rock, a big chunk of granite on the corner of her house at the edge of her property because too many collisions were knocking vehicles onto her front lawn,” he said.

Gillies and Lawrence cited the following as reasons the intersection is seeing so many collisions. 

Restricted sight lines: The houses on Queens are close to the street. For a driver on English looking east on Queens to see if it’s safe to cross, the view is often obscured by bushes and cars parked in spots in front of the houses. 

Increased traffic due to construction: A construction closure at Dundas and Ontario Streets has created a barrier for drivers who would usually use Dundas Street to get downtown. “Some drivers are here now who usually don’t use this intersection,” said Lawrence.

Speeding on Queens Avenue: Queens is restricted to 40 kilometres an hour, but both Gillies and Lawrence said drivers regularly exceed that. This leaves less time for drivers on English Street to make a decision about when it’s safe to cross.

Shane Maguire is a division manager with the city’s traffic engineering department. He said it will take a few months to hire a traffic an outside specialist to study the intersection and report back any findings. 

In the meantime two new signs showing the speed limit have been posted on Queens “to remind people the limit is 40 kilometres an hour,” he said.

Maguire said a recent traffic study showed the average speed on Queens is 46 km/h, six kilometres over the posted limit. 

As for collisions, Maguire said there were four reported at the intersection in each of 2018 and 2019. There were fewer in 2020 and 2021, but he points out that during those years, the number of collisions dropped city wide as the COVID-19 pandemic reduced the number of vehicle trips overall. 

Maguire said there were no reported collisions at the intersection in 2022 — but he said only collisions reported to the collision centre would show up in the city’s stats. In cases where the damage is minor and the crash isn’t reported, collision stats for the intersection would not be captured. 

Maguire also said new signs have been added to English Street, warning drivers that cross traffic does not stop. 

Lawrence, who continues to witness crashes and close calls out his front window, said while the city needs to look at that intersection, driver’s need to take more care as well.

“I think a big part of this is a driver behaviour problem,” said Lawrence. “I think the city has tried a lot of things. There are so many signs that people don’t seem to be registering.” 


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