Usually, standing on the median between the northbound/southbound lanes of Cootes Drive would be an unnerving experience, due to the high speed traffic clocking in at 80km/hour and more.
But during road construction, the closure of the southbound lane of Cootes Drive has calmed traffic speeds and made the road quieter and safer.
With Spencer Creek and ponds to the left of the road, and Cootes Paradise Nature Sanctuary wetlands to the right, the inhabitants of the natural environment fare poorly when forced to interact with traffic. The huge distance between the shoulders of the road are a major barrier for amphibian and other wetland species, including species at risk like Cootes Paradise's turtle population.
When the road was built in 1936-37, it was built as an example of the new modern highway design: divided lanes with a grassy median, easy curves and low grades. These innovations were achieved in this instance by removing hills and then using the soil to fill in the marshy low ground, creating a dead-zone for wildlife. We have been paying the environmental cost ever since.