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King Street (Streetcar Transit Priority)

I think it's too early to judge compliance given that the pilot doesn't even start until tomorrow. Some of the drivers going straight through may be aware that the new rules aren't in effect until tomorrow.

Traffic laws aren't meant to be followed according to what the news says. Motorists have to drive according to what the signs in front of them tell them. And right now, those signs say: no through traffic, no left turns and pull to the right at intersections because the road markings say so. And nobody is obeying them.

A design that requires constant enforcement is destined to fail. Toronto Police have only committed a presence during the first 2 weeks and yet, even with cops watching them at the intersection last night, people were breaking all sorts of rules.

This does not look good and it was entirely predictable.
 
This is why good design has to assume that drivers won't read signage. Signage should be there only as a confirmation of what intuition tells the driver to do.

Bad design: A sign prohibiting through traffic but having the path wide open ahead.
Good design: The path to go through the intersection is completely closed by a dead end and/or an extended median into the intersection forcing a right turn.

You can't block the streetcar tracks because streetcars and buses need to drive on them. All you can do is to block off the curb lane, which is exactly what has been done as you can see in your pictures.

Bad design: dark yellow stripes that are barely visible during the day, let alone at night that indicate a streetcar exclusive zone but that cars can just drive through and even wait in.
Good design: harsh rumble strips or a raised island inside the exclusive streetcar lane at intersections that would make it immediately obvious to drivers that they can't drive there forcing them into the turning lane.

A significant percentage of rush-hour service is operated by buses rather than streetcars, due to the streetcar shortage. But even once Bombardier delivers the new fleet it would be wise to maintain a useable route for replacement buses. Any physical modifications will need to ensure that buses can still comfortably and safely use the streetcar lane.

Bad design: a solid green light ahead, even though transit is the only one who can use it.
Good design: a transit labelled green light and a right turning green light. Drivers would never see a straight green.

To have mode-based signals, you'd need a pair of Transit Signals, a pair of Bicycle Signals, a pair of Right Turn Signals and possibly a taxi signal for after 10pm. So 6 to 8 vehicle signals per direction. Which would be a bit ridiculous for a pilot project. If the concept does become permanent then I'd agree we should look into that. Furthermore, to increase effectiveness it would be best to have the transit signals that look nothing like the vehicle signals, otherwise drivers may just drive through during the straight green on the Transit Signal.

Also, it's important to note that a green arrow means that you can turn right without yielding to anyone. In order to provide this, you need to have a completely separate time in the cycle for pedestrians walking straight across. This increases the delay to pedestrians, by vastly reducing the Walk duration and/or increasing the cycle length.

The city had something close to this in the Alternating Loops option but went ahead and chose the least intuitive design that relies almost entirely on drivers' voluntary compliance.

Totally agree. I was very disappointed when the City switched from the Alternating Loops design to this heavily watered-down alternative. I'm hoping that through this pilot it becomes clear that we need a more assertive version if the concept becomes permanent. A couple elements I'd like to see revived is the car-free block between University and York, and the car-free block between Church and Jarvis. The Jarvis block in particular would really help avoid any infiltration into the pilot area from the west

A design that requires constant enforcement is destined to fail. Toronto Police have only committed a presence during the first 2 weeks and yet, even with cops watching them at the intersection last night, people were breaking all sorts of rules.

This does not look good and it was entirely predictable.

By this standard, we should never have bike lanes, bus lanes or any other kind of reserved lane because they require constant enforcement to be effective. I certainly agree that the first priority should be to make a design where the rules feel natural to obey and very wrong to disobey, but there will always be a need for enforcement, especially in a hectic downtown area.
 
Bad design: dark yellow stripes that are barely visible during the day, let alone at night that indicate a streetcar exclusive zone but that cars can just drive through and even wait in.
Good design: harsh rumble strips or a raised island inside the exclusive streetcar lane at intersections that would make it immediately obvious to drivers that they can't drive there forcing them into the turning lane.

I wonder, is the harsh rumble strips a possibility without interfering with streetcar function?

And if so, this should have literally been implemented 10 years ago to the "streetcar lane" that was never enforced, and maybe we wouldnt have a need for this project in the first place
 
I wonder, is the harsh rumble strips a possibility without interfering with streetcar function?

And if so, this should have literally been implemented 10 years ago to the "streetcar lane" that was never enforced, and maybe we wouldnt have a need for this project in the first place

It's very difficult to put in rumble strips that only operate from 7:00 to 10:00 and 15:00 to 19:00 on weekdays.
 
Let me also say, i just went to run an errand at shoppers:

King street looks INSANELY dead/clear for this time on a Saturday. I think its the no street parking to be honest. Its so strange though its usually buzzing with activity it looks almost abandoned
 
This is a recipe for serious problems:
upload_2017-11-11_19-23-1.png


First off, left turns for bikes over comprehensive track diamonds (turn-outs for each direction) are very dangerous unless there's no traffic and there's room to angle the front wheel against the tracks (hardly the case or we wouldn't have this situation to begin with).

Secondly, it complicates drivers waiting behind them...or as the law would dictate, they have to turn from the "outside lane"...which is the streetcar lane, so this immediately becomes a nonsense, let alone holding up streetcars behind them. (It's also THE most dangerous place to cross a track diamond)

And the biggest problem, as pointed out be a number of posters? (And you see and hear this *constantly* at other signed intersections) Those signs are *ignored* by most, not least because they aren't the *illuminated* ones, like you see at Avenue and Bloor. The reason you "hear" them? All the other motorists honking to tell the bozo not to turn, since they're backing up traffic. I see some of the same drivers do it every day. They *know* it's illegal. They know there's no consequence to them doing it.

WTF? Do they want this to be a success or not? Then for Gawd's sake, light the signs! And cyclists must dismount and behave like pedestrians at the intersections for all but right turns until proper cycling infrastructure and lights are installed. I state that as an avid cyclist, but fully aware of how poorly many if not most cyclists navigate the tracks, let alone intersections.

To have mode-based signals, you'd need a pair of Transit Signals, a pair of Bicycle Signals, a pair of Right Turn Signals and possibly a taxi signal for after 10pm. So 6 to 8 vehicle signals per direction. Which would be a bit ridiculous for a pilot project. If the concept does become permanent then I'd agree we should look into that. Furthermore, to increase effectiveness it would be best to have the transit signals that look nothing like the vehicle signals, otherwise drivers may just drive through during the straight green on the Transit Signal.

Also, it's important to note that a green arrow means that you can turn right without yielding to anyone. In order to provide this, you need to have a completely separate time in the cycle for pedestrians walking straight across. This increases the delay to pedestrians, by vastly reducing the Walk duration and/or increasing the cycle length.

Exactly agreed. Which is why there should be *no exceptions for anyone* until this is up, running and proven.

I'm a firm believer in Houlihan's Law. Wazzthat? 'Houlihan thought Murphy was an optimist'...and Houlihan applies in this situation. Any opportunity for something to go wrong *invites* disaster. And Houlihan has his hand in this as designed.

There has to be only a couple of hard and absolute rules to initially test this, and to make it easy for the cops to etch into errant air-heads.
 

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First off, left turns for bikes over comprehensive track diamonds (turn-outs for each direction) are very dangerous unless there's no traffic and there's room to angle the front wheel against the tracks (hardly the case or we wouldn't have this situation to begin with).
No one is making you turn left on your bike over streetcar tracks. You can still make a two stage left turn if it feels safer, just like at any other intersection. I like the option of being able to do both depending on what road and traffic conditions are like, and the "bicycles excepted" sign gives me both options.
 
No one is making you turn left on your bike over streetcar tracks.
Really? Perhaps you could describe how you do that at streetcar intersection? Which lane are you going to do a through intersection turn from? And how is that enabled through the HTA?

Here's a clue, but it is completely in apposition to the one used to charge cyclists with:

Riding in crosswalks prohibited
(29) No person shall ride or operate a bicycle across a roadway within a crosswalk at an intersection or at a location, other than an intersection, which is controlled by a traffic control signal system. 2015, c. 14, s. 40 (2).

Jibe that with this:
HTA 140(6)/144(29) - No riding in crosswalks
walk your bike when crossing at a crosswalk.

https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90h08#s144s29

I'm intrigued as to how you jibe this with the other clause outlawing it w/o stating an exception for lights. There is one way, but the City has no sanction from the HTA yet:
Green boxes.

Are green boxes painted at the major intersections to allow what it is that I *think* you are proposing? And if I think correctly, what you are proposing will only further complicate streetcars and drivers turning right.

Btw: A 'through intersection' left turn is not considered a "Left Turn" under the HTA. It is not considered a turn at all. You travel through the intersection, stop at the curb, reset your direction of travel, wait for the green light in your favour, and progress through the intersection.
 
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Really? Perhaps you could describe how you do that at streetcar intersection? Which lane are you going to do a through intersection turn from? And how is that enabled through the HTA?
I'm going to get into the left lane well before the intersection and then make my left turn like a motor vehicle would prior to the pilot. I'm not sure how this would involve me riding in a crosswalk.
 
I'm going to get into the left lane well before the intersection and then make my left turn like a motor vehicle would prior to the pilot. I'm not sure how this would involve me riding in a crosswalk.
The "left lane" is the streetcar lane. Now explain how:
No one is making you turn left on your bike over streetcar tracks.
You certainly are crossing over tracks, unless you have a jet-pack or levitation features of some other kind. And you're crossing over the most dangerous area if there's a track diamond there, which is the case at a number of intersections along the King Project. *Even at the best of times* you're still potentially fouling the streetcar behind you while you wait to turn.

What is so difficult to understand about this being primarily aimed at allowing streetcars clear travel, especially by eliminating vehicle left turns? (A bike is a vehicle under the HTA)

So it's back to *one person* holding up a streetcar of 50.
 
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The "left lane" is the streetcar lane. Now explain how:
So a TTC bus also would not be allowed in the left lane? That doesn't make sense. Where does it say that that's the streetcar lane?

So it's back to *one person* holding up a streetcar of 50.
Nah, I'd only do it if there was no traffic behind me, which is why I said "based on road and traffic conditions" earlier. That's what I usually do at any intersection where there isn't a left turn lane since I don't like the pressure of holding up traffic behind me.
 

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