Gridlock prescription? ‘Deep breathing,’ says York prof

Think the morning commute is stressful now? Well, there’s bad news – the worst is yet to come, wrote the Toronto Star May 18 in a story about traffic delays due to summer road construction and the G20 conference.

Lane closures on the Gardiner Expressway at Jameson Avenue caused headaches for commuters on Monday, but drivers are being warned the slowdowns will only intensify over the coming weeks.

David Wiesenthal, a psychology professor in York’s Faculty of Health and an expert on driving stress, suggested frustrated drivers try deep breathing or listening to recorded books and music. “Anything to decrease your level of annoyance,” he said.

Wiesenthal said his studies show drivers stressed by slow-moving traffic can develop aggressive behaviours such as “honking, shouting or giving someone the finger.”

July 1 deadline to resolve Pan Am stadium stalemate

A home for the Canadian Football League’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats after hosting the Pan American Games track & field competitions has always been part of the Pan Am quest, wrote The Hamilton Spectator May 18 in a story about negotiations for a new venue for the 2015 Games in Toronto. But if it doesn’t work in Hamilton, the Varsity Centre at the University of Toronto might be the Games’ Plan B.

Also, talk around the amateur sports world has tossed out York University as a possible fallback. Toronto 2015 CEO Ian Troop said Toronto 2015 “has not engaged yet (with fallback partners), but we’re pretty confident there will be options to fill the needs of the Games.”

Abrahamse in top four in music contest

York student Taylor Abrahamse has released a 60-track digital album and he’s a top four finalist in a competition to open for singer-songwriter Zameer, wrote The Peterborough Examiner May 18.

“I heard about the contest and I just entered it,” said Abrahamse, 19, of Bridgenorth.

Abrahamse is in his second year at York University, but in his first year as a music major. He had been a film major last year.