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King Street (Streetcar Transit Priority)

Some form of streetcar right-of-way or prioritization I feel is a good solution for King.

I find myself however wanting to comment on some of the opinions I see on this subject though. The arguments on this subject tend to pit car commuters versus transit commuters. In this case transit commuters are the majority and the absence of grade separated transit options in this part of the city makes this a must ( if poor alternative) solution.

However, streets are more than commuter corridors. They are also and maybe even primarily logistic corridors for the moving of goods and servicing of local properties and residents. There are positive and negative impacts. The entire business and demographic profile of the area will shift and in my opinion tend towards hegemony. Luckily in this case there is already a consensus hegemony congruent with the restricted access, wealthy, young and single, businesses that primarily deal in services etc. That does NOT mean that this kind of transit corridor is appropriate or desirable universally in the city or philosophically unless we want less not more diversity of economic activity and demographics. As it stands the City is largely auto centric so we are in no danger of creating excessive zones of restricted access but that doesn’t mean people who are adversely impacted are wrong to complain. They are just unfortunate collateral.
 
As for the pedestrian target practice driver, bet she reads the Stun:

Do you support the King St. pilot project? (This is from two hours ago)

People on the King car are getting to work so fast today they have no time to fill out a poll like this :)
 
They added a subway style textured yellow strip along stops. That should help protect waiting transit riders from cars pulling into the stop and from people overstepping too far into the street.

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I just had the most exciting high speed streetcar ride in a long time..... right past the Royal Alex! This thing is great!

OK, it was merely proper street car speed, but what a difference.

I walked Bathurst to Jarvis and it appeared to be working just fine. Counted plenty of motorists driving through, but many did stare up at the signage and look perplexed. I sympathise a little with people not getting signage that tells people two things they can’t do but not the one thing they must do.

Also clearly a big challenge for pedestrians getting used to cars getting first priority when the advanced arrow pops up. It was neat watching people coach and remind each other. I think this may actually be a good thing for pedestrian safety downtown as it is teaching people to actually mind the walk/dont walk signage.

- Paul
 
They added a subway style textured yellow strip along stops. That should help protect waiting transit riders from cars pulling into the stop and from people overstepping too far into the street.
It's a start. They have to do a lot more than that to match what was shown in renderings for the pilot. Yet again, just like painted bike lanes, I sense people being falsely assured of a sense of security that's unjustified. There is no legal basis to enforce vehicular traffic from straying over that strip to protect waiting and departing passengers. If anything, it puts them in jeopardy. A raised platform needs to be provided, even if it's concrete slabs (to allow snow removal). As some other posters have suggested 'like the Roncesvalles raised sections'...albeit the integration with through cycling traffic is going to clash, big time, unless there's constant enforcement.

Other cities have banned *all cars and bicycles* from their central sections of transit malls for good reason. There are two imperatives to aim for here:

Streetcar clearway, and pedestrian safety and usage of space. Even as an avid cyclist, I see the dangers of mixing bikes and pedestrians in a mall of such limited width that renders dedicated cycleways impractical. Other than vehicles granted a permit, ban all vehicles, and stop trying to please everyone. Every compromise to please others beside the two core constituents (streetcars-buses and pedestrians) puts the prime goal in jeopardy.

Cyclists can cycle by intersecting streets to close to their destination on King, and walk their bike as a pedestrian the final short distance.

Does the following sound familiar? It will, as drivers will continue to be a problem on King Street:
Motorists in pedestrian areas – is there something about No Entry they don’t understand?

Posted onMon 17 June 2013AuthorDaniel9 Comments

Some of those of us who hang around the city are truly amazed at the number of motorists who ignore the “No Entry” and turn ban signs and drive along streets they’re not meant to.

So it’s nice to know that — just occasionally — they do get pulled over by the police.







Unfortunately others seem to get away with it scot free — and it’s unclear to me why police seem to be less keen to catch people driving through pedestrianised areas than they are to book jaywalkers.

This bloke not only ignored the No Entry signs when turning into the street, he went past multiple signs telling him to do a U-turn before this intersection, then when rightly faced with more No Entry signs, initially looked confused, then took the most-pedestrianised street (the one that even bans bicycles), the Bourke Street Mall.





https://www.danielbowen.com/2013/06/17/motorists-no-entry/

Be sure to read the comments to this story at the link above.

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Other than the car illegally in the mall, and the cop ticketing him, note the built out sidewalk plinth to the tram for embarking/disembarking passengers...and *prevention* of motorized vehicles impinging on pedestrian space.

Is it foolproof? Hardly, some idiot will drive up over the curb at some point, but just as curbs offer reasonable protection on streets from cars, so do these, and concrete slabs need to be laid at streetcar stops on King to do this. They can be easily removed in a year's time, or made permanent at that time. They can be anchored to the asphalt with masonry bolts (Actually to the concrete substrate, but I digress). If removed, the bolt holes are very easily patched.

Note also the 'no pedestrian crossing' sign on the asphalt, something else that needs discussion for King Street.
 

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I didn't mention my already trying to get the attention of Planning, two Councillors, and the most prominent cycling org in Toronto by written requests for clarification. Not one reply from any of them.


If you tried to reach out to Joe Cressy expecting a response, give up. He’s famous in the community for never answering his constituents and if his staff eventually answers to an email, the follow ups never happen. If you’re lucky and he does respond, he just wants to set up an in person meeting even to answer the most menial question and when you call his staff to schedule a meeting, it’s so far ahead in the future that it’s impractical. He’s by far the worst city councillor I’ve had out of 5 or 6 over the years. That’s ironic since he’s the councillor I agree with the most ideologically. So frustrating. I’m an engaged citizen but I have no voice at City Hall. I’m going to have to spoil my ballot in 2018 for the first time ever.

/rant.

City Staff do respond regarding the pilot. It might take a few days but you should get a response: Kingstreetpilot@toronto.ca
 
If you tried to reach out to Joe Cressy expecting a response, give up. He’s famous in the community for never answering his constituents and if his staff eventually answers to an email, the follow ups never happen. If you’re lucky and he does respond, he just wants to set up an in person meeting even to answer the most menial question and when you call his staff to schedule a meeting, it’s so far ahead in the future that it’s impractical. He’s by far the worst city councillor I’ve had out of 5 or 6 over the years. That’s ironic since he’s the councillor I agree with the most ideologically. So frustrating. I’m an engaged citizen but I have no voice at City Hall.

/rant.

City Staff do response regarding the pilot. It might take a few days but you should get a response: Kingstreetpilot@toronto.ca

Doesn't seem to stop him from Tweeting though. Maybe send him a tweet to get his attention.
 
If you tried to reach out to Joe Cressy expecting a response, give up. He’s famous in the community for never answering his constituents and if his staff eventually answers to an email, the follow ups never happen. If you’re lucky and he does respond, he just wants to set up an in person meeting even to answer the most menial question and when you call his staff to schedule a meeting, it’s so far ahead in the future that it’s impractical. He’s by far the worst city councillor I’ve had out of 5 or 6 over the years. That’s ironic since he’s the councillor I agree with the most ideologically. So frustrating. I’m an engaged citizen but I have no voice at City Hall.

/rant.

City Staff do response regarding the pilot. It might take a few days but you should get a response: Kingstreetpilot@toronto.ca
Indeed, you got that right. To clarify, that was about cycling infrastructure, and the lack of clarity as to enforcing compliance of cycling infrastructure. I've since got *unofficial* answers from a number of cops, who admire the altruism of trying to get legal clarity on the issue, but for obvious reasons, they can't go on recored as stating (effectively) "The HTA offers no protection save for a couple of specific mentions" (e.g. the one metre passing regulation just added), and "they're not deputized to or trained/equipped to enforce by-laws, under which almost all cycling infrastructure comes." It was the search for clarity from the City and Cnclrs that I'd written, and gotten absolutely no response.

This once again has bearing on the King Project. I don't know where the "bike boxes" are supposed to be, but this will now pit naive cyclists thinking they offer protection against truly miffed dangerous drivers like the one Salsa referenced. Pedestrians had also best be aware, a lot of motorists are running on "Tony their Entitlement" in their tanks, and if they graze someone while having to turn right, so be it in their minds.

Positioning cyclists in bike boxes fouling motorist right turns would be absolute insanity. Note all official mention of cyclists 'travelling through' the lights is from "the curb lane". So figure that one out!

It seems to me that someone, most likely a cyclist or pedestrian, is going to pay a very steep price for the City to realize that aspects of this are monsters waiting to pounce.

Btw: I'd mentioned finding out in discussion with one cop on King (I can't and won't mention names) what I was searching the HTA for on passing a streetcar by crossing the solid yellow line. "Not illegal in itself. In fact, not illegal even if it was a double yellow line. Only if there's an accident can it be a legal consequence as part of a related charge. And yes, some drivers will try this not realizing the new streetcars are much longer to pass, and it will come to grief".

Some cops are resigned to the gross shortcomings of the City's legal basis, other cops are cracking down as hard as they can to make an impression that this can't be allowed to slip by without warning motorists, even if the only legal stick is the HTA or the Criminal Code.

Forget City by-laws...
 
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how does snow clearing work on those studded strips. to me you either kill the shovel or you kill the strip.
Yeah, I thought the same thing...WTF? That's why I was careful to mention "concrete slabs and snow removal" as the bolt heads would be recessed, and protected from plow damage, and being relatively smooth (like sidewalk paving, which indeed it's a form of) it can easily be cleared, and also sodium/potassium snow melter resistant.

I get the impression they're just making a lot of this up as they go.
 

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