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King Street (Streetcar Transit Priority)

Some comments he had was that cars should be able to drive on any street, streets are for cars...

Deal. Streets are for exclusive use by cars. Roads, Avenues, Crescents, Quays, Expressways, Parkways, and Boulevards are now exclusively for cyclists, pedestrians, and transit; no private vehicles on non-streets.
 
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I don't think bicycles should be excepted from the No Left Turn sign, because I don't think a two-stage turn counts as a left turn in the sense of the sign. In terms of traffic movement (which is what the sign is referring to), its two straight-thru movements rather than a single left-turn movement.

I wonder if there is any common-law precedent for this interpretation.
The following is dated by seven years, but the dangers of left turns from the outside lane at busy intersections, especially those with streetcar tracks, is well-documented and has direct quotes from Toronto Police:

Handling Street Car Tracks and Difficult Intersections With “Indirect Left Turns”
July 27, 2010by89 Comments

What is an indirect left turn and how can it help you navigate streetcar tracks and other awkward intersections?

Making a left turn through a busy intersection can be a very tense situation for many cyclists. You’re worried about getting hit from behind, you’re trying to watch for oncoming vehicles, you’re watching the sidewalk for pedestrians, you’re hoping to cross streetcar tracks at a 90 degree angle and you can’t be sure everyone around you actually sees you waiting in the middle of all this.

To help make left turns a less stressful experience, the indirect left turn allows cyclists to proceed through an intersection on a green light in the curb lane (or bike lane should one be there) and join the curb lane of the cross street to wait for the next green light. This eliminates the hazards of waiting in the left most lane and allows cyclists to remain in the right most lane completing a left turn in a two part process.

In Toronto, there are 2 intersections where indirect left turns are suggested through existing infrastructure.

Heading West on Bloor Street in the bike lane extending from the Prince Edward Viaduct, an indirect left turn allows cyclists to turn from Bloor and head south on Sherbourne. Here’s an explanation from a1997 issue of Cyclometer:

As you cycle west on Bloor St. towards Sherbourne St. there are two blue signs with a pictogram describing an ‘indirect left turn’ for westbound cyclists wanting to turn left onto Sherbourne. Cyclists can ride straight through on the westbound green and stop at the far curb in the white painted ‘box’ to wait for the southbound green light. To ensure that waiting cyclists aren’t in conflict with right turning drivers, the southbound ‘right turn on green’ has been prohibited. Also the crosswalk was moved north just enough so that cyclists don’t have to block the crosswalk while waiting for the southbound green. The ‘box’ is large enough to accommodate 2 or 3 cyclists at a time.
[...]
The second location where an indirect left turn is suggested for cyclists is at the awkward intersection ofDupont, Dundas Street West and Annette.

In order to get to the bike lane on Annette from the bike lane on Dupont, simply follow the sharrows. While I did not notice a sign explaining the turn at this intersection, the sharrows quite clearly illustrate a path for cyclists: [...]

The indirect left turn is also popular with motorists at this intersection as I witnessed 4 drivers make a similar move on the underused Old Weston Road to avoid waiting in the left turn lane.

Indirect left turns are a great way to help people on bikes build confidence on busier roads where turning left can be both nerve-wracking and dangerous. In fact, theToronto Cyclists Handbookeven recommends this strategy, calling it a “two-part left-turn from right of lane”: [...]

I’ve used this turning method at intersections with streetcar tracks and multiple traffic lanes and you’re bound to witness it at many intersections along Spadina. However, is it legal to make this type of turn?

I contacted Sgt. Tim Burrows of Traffic Services and here’s what he had to offer on the subject:

Why I like the indirect left turn.

1.) Avoid potential conflict by trying to cut through traffic to move into
proper turn position. (safer)
2.) Most drivers expect to see bicycles on right side of road adding to the
‘predictability factor,’ (safer)
3.) Riders can always keep eyes forward, with glances to left/right for
safety instead of turning back to get a ‘big picture.’ (safer)
4.) Faster (better for cyclist)

Intersections are one of the most dangerous areas for all our road users
and especially so for our vulnerable groups such as cyclists. Anytime we
can find safer means for them to travel…its better for all of us.

The Sherbourne site has one draw back. The sign shows a painted stop line,
but there isn’t one. Maybe this is a given, but I wouldn’t want cyclists
to think they are supposed to drive into the pedestrian walk way, nor have
officers ticketing a cyclist for riding too close to the crosswalk.

As long as you stay out of the crosswalk indirect left turns are a perfectly acceptable and possibly even faster way to make a left turn on a bicycle at busier intersections.

While I’m uncertain if there are plans to add indirect left turn infrastructure in the current Bike Plan, Toronto may soon see something similar in the form of “Bike Boxes.”

Over at Giddy Up Toronto, a blogger has suggested that we use indirect left turn boxes instead of the proposed bike boxes. The planned bike boxes would allow cyclists to move to the head of the line at red lights and position themselves for a left turn from the centre-most lane. While this clearly marks a space where cyclists will be turning it doesn’t address the issue that you’re still in a position that makes it difficult to cross streetcar tracks at a 90 degree angle. Both our planned bike boxes and indirect left turn boxes work best when right turns are prohibited on red lights, but only the indirect left turn box positions cyclists to safely cross streetcar tracks.

The most important aspect when considering any piece of infrastructure, and this is something that Sgt. Burrows also mentions, is that we create an environment that promotes predictable behaviour. Intersections, especially busy ones with streetcar right-of-ways and multiple lanes (including bike lanes) provide the greatest opportunity for serious collisions. Clearly marking paths for all users helps to promote predictable behaviours and can keep all road users “on the same page” reducing the possibility of confusion and ultimately collisions.
https://bikingtoronto.com/duncan/ha...icult-intersections-with-indirect-left-turns/
 
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It's unfortunate this is off to such a lousy start.

Is the city committed to seeing this current arrangement through, or is there a chance they'll make some sensible modifications in the near future?
 
It's unfortunate this is off to such a lousy start.

Is the city committed to seeing this current arrangement through, or is there a chance they'll make some sensible modifications in the near future?
The new arrangements started today at midnight so I think you are a bit premature to say "off to such a lousy start". It's a huge change for everyone and to expect it to work perfectly on Day 1 (or even Day 10!) is unrealistic. The City and TTC have repeatedly said that they will tweak the arrangements based on experience and these do not need Council approval. Give the damned thing a chance!

P.S. This from Star last week.
Transportation director Barbara Gray said it’s typical for pilot projects to require adjustments, and the city will watch closely and make changes if “we find things aren’t working exactly as we envisioned.” “My guess is there will be modifications and tweaks,” she said.
 
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The new arrangements started today at midnight so I think you are a bit premature to say "off to such a lousy start". It's a huge change for everyone and to expect it to work perfectly on Day 1 (or even Day 10!) is unrealistic. The City and TTC have repeatedly said that they will tweak the arrangements based on experience and these do not need Council approval. Give the damned thing a chance!

These people do not give anything time. The full implementation of PRESTO will be "off to such a lousy start" at 6AM (lol)
 
The new arrangements started today at midnight so I think you are a bit premature to say "off to such a lousy start". It's a huge change for everyone and to expect it to work perfectly on Day 1 (or even Day 10!) is unrealistic. The City and TTC have repeatedly said that they will tweak the arrangements based on experience and these do not need Council approval. Give the damned thing a chance!

P.S. This from Star last week.
Transportation director Barbara Gray said it’s typical for pilot projects to require adjustments, and the city will watch closely and make changes if “we find things aren’t working exactly as we envisioned.” “My guess is there will be modifications and tweaks,” she said.

True, but it has some obvious flaws, and it seems like a lot of this was inevitable.

Hopefully drivers catch on quickly, but I can understand if the confusion lasts longer than expected.
 
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The police should be there today but I am confident that they will definitely be out in full force tomorrow for the morning and afternoon rush hour
 
It's unfortunate this is off to such a lousy start.

Is the city committed to seeing this current arrangement through, or is there a chance they'll make some sensible modifications in the near future?

I believe when you posted this, the pilot had only been officially running for 4 hours. Have you tried waiting for 5 hours to see if it’s working? Or God forbid a couple of weeks for people to catch on?

People need to understand the pilots are test runs. You start slow and make adjustments to it when something doesn’t work. Or sometimes you make the observation and make sure to fix it during full implementation and leave the pilot as is.

The point of a pilots are to make sure that you can revert back to previous state without too much time or money should the decision be made to cancel. A lot of avid promoters of this is acting like the decision has already been made for this to be permanent.

There was a previous comment about putting rumble strips into the road, Which is not only expensive, but will also force us to repave the entire steetcar concrete slab should we choose to not go ahead with this initiative.
 
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Went down along King Street today, Sunday.

The streetcar stops are on the farside of the intersections, signs posted at the old stops saying to go across the street, but still the people ignore the signs wanting to board the streetcars on the nearside.

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Missing on the traffic lights are the red arrows (forbidden by Ontario) or transit signal (allowed for transit, but only for going straight).
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Shouldn't there be at the very least a green arrow to show that you can go straight only (left traffic light at minimum).
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And, of course, the motorists have failed the driving test (if they were doing so) by not following the directions of the signs.
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After a walk on King from Jarvis to University I can see one big problem. Even if cars cannot go straight through intersections they still see a regular green traffic light. I think the Ontario traffic regs do not allow green arrows except for advanced greens but seeing a regular green light would lead one to think that one can go straight ahead - the no turn signage is a bit lost among the general mess of signs. Its same problem with cars going south on Victoria where the only legal action is to turn left but you see a regular green light. You often se cars trying to keep going south.
 

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