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John Street Revitalization

Northern Magus

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Nice yes, but I feel like this render is missing something that would really make John St special.

Better lighting, materials and street furniture would do the trick.
 

reaperexpress

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I know I've said this before, but I am still disappointed with the traffic planning for this project. Although one stated goal is to make John Street less of a thoroughfare for cars, they don't actually stop John Street from being a thoroughfare for cars.

Their renderings are nice, but in reality it would not be that pleasant to ride a bicycle along the street. Because John Street provides drivers with a direct route from A to B, it would be clogged with traffic (no matter how pretty the pavement is), so sharing the lane with cars would get you nowhere fast. In short, people will not stop using a street just because it doesn't look like an arterial anymore, they will always take the best route to their destination.

There are many ways of discouraging through traffic. Popular options include banning cars entirely, or in some segments. However, I expect that would be very challenging to implement because it inevitably makes deliveries difficult and precludes any parking.

My suggestion is to put in alternating one-way restrictions for cars, and use the remaining road space for bicycles.

So instead of using the (I'm guessing) 7m road width for two car lanes (3.5m + 3.5m), there would be a single car lane and two bike lanes (1.9m + 3.2m + 1.9m).

*Here is a blog post which does a good job of explaining the concept and showing a comparable example in the Netherlands.*

And for those who don't have time to read the whole post, here's its video (linked mainly for the thumbnail which shows the street layout):
[video=youtube;2KsLsdJw9Os]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=2KsLsdJw9Os[/video]

The only physical change in design needed to implement such a scheme would be different coloured bricks for "bike lane" portions of the travelled roadway. In other words, it creates a faster, safer and more pleasant option for cyclists at no extra cost.

PS: Mods, shouldn't this thread be in the Transportation section?
 
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gristle

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One way streets encourage through-traffic. Just look at Adelaide. They become arterial roads.

John Street is not intended to be closed to cars permanently, but the plan allows for that during certain events.
 

junctionist

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The way the revitalization design blurs the lines between sidewalk and roadway also seems to be conducive for regular partial pedestrianization in its flexibility, be it during evenings, weekends, or in the summer. We should have started doing projects like this one years ago in Toronto; it's the most practical route to pedestrianization as opposed to pedestrian malls that lack flexibility for deliveries, municipal vehicles, and cyclists, and must remain pedestrian spaces even at times when there aren't many pedestrians around. Since the EA states that the city isn't planning on funding the project, private backers should encourage some further refinements. Granite would seem to be the natural choice for paving in a cultural corridor with so many major institutions--some of which have international prominence. The whole design doesn't look very cutting edge or innovative, traits which one might expect in a cultural corridor. As an ordinary neighbourhood main street it would be great, but this whole project emphasizes John Street's cultural importance, and that doesn't seem to translate into the design. Take away the maturing trees in the renderings and it looks noticeably dated.
 
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k10ery

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Something as simple as adding speed bumps would really decrease it's vehicle traffic.

Humps are ugly, and a real pain if you drive a Volkswagen!

Nor are they needed. St George for example works quite well. About 90% of cars respect the 30 kph limit, or close to it. I think the key is the change in pavement materials, and the feeling of pedestrians that they own the street. John St. could work for the same reasons.

EDIT: Dylan Reid on this yesterday: http://spacingtoronto.ca/2012/02/14/beyond-speedbumps-other-ways-to-calm-traffic-on-residential-streets/
 
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Northern Magus

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Humps are ugly, and a real pain if you drive a Volkswagen!

Nor are they needed. St George for example works quite well. About 90% of cars respect the 30 kph limit, or close to it.

IIRC one of the reasons this works on St George is that they deliberately made the lanes narrow, so that the drivers don't feel comfortable going faster.
 

junctionist

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St. George doesn't have speed bumps, but it does have raised midblock pedestrian crossings with special paving where the sidewalk extends out into parking area to facilitate crossing. The narrowing of vehicular space is a psychological factor that may encourage slower driving at these crossings, but it's also compounded by the fact that pedestrians can cross as soon as they see a gap. These crossings are commonly utilized, which drivers notice from a distance. Added to the mix of traffic calming measures are the many intersections, the special section in front of Sidney Smith with pavers, and the bike lanes. All of these features work to give the impression that drivers aren't prioritized; however, traffic tends to flow smoothly if at a lower speed. St. George and Harbord Street could probably be a successful scramble intersection.
 

drum118

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Something as simple as adding speed bumps would really decrease it's vehicle traffic.

You got to be joking??

I have yet to see a street with speed bumps removing traffic to the point, I see drivers not slowing down for those bumps and flyover them.
 

Red October

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You got to be joking??

I have yet to see a street with speed bumps removing traffic to the point, I see drivers not slowing down for those bumps and flyover them.

Speed bumps are inconveniences. People who want to use it as a fast way of getting from north to south would find a different street to use because the speed bumps would slow down their BMWs and Jaguars enough that it would be too much of an inconvenience.
 

reaperexpress

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One way streets encourage through-traffic. Just look at Adelaide. They become arterial roads.

John Street is not intended to be closed to cars permanently, but the plan allows for that during certain events.

I believe that you have missed the entire point. The idea is to make it an alternating one-way street. In other words, it would go from northbound to southbound alternately. It is physically impossible for cars to use it as an arterial road because it only goes in a single direction for a few blocks at most. Richmond and Adelaide are arterials only as long as they go the same direction (Richmond=west, Adelaide=east). Take a look at Richmond west of Bathurst, where its direction switches from westbound to eastbound: http://maps.google.ca/maps?q=Richmo...d=YbPnJr9wGWk77P8m25bYDA&cbp=12,64.36,,0,6.86

This segment does not have much traffic, because it does not provide a particularly practical route to get places.

No one is saying that John Street is intended to be closed to cars permanently. Discouraging through traffic is not banning cars. You could still drive, park and make deliveries on the street.

Speed bumps are inconveniences. People who want to use it as a fast way of getting from north to south would find a different street to use because the speed bumps would slow down their BMWs and Jaguars enough that it would be too much of an inconvenience.

The problem with this idea is that even with speed bumps, many people would choose to use the street as an arterial, either because they drive more quickly away from speed bumps, they don't slow down for them, or it's still the fastest route even with the slow-downs.

I agree with Drum. I know tons of streets with speed bumps which still have tons of rat-running. In fact I often use those streets myself. They provide a so much more direct route than an arterial road that they would have to be even slower than they already are (with stop signs and speed bumps) for the best route to actually be the arterial road.
 
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