News   May 27, 2024
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King Street (Streetcar Transit Priority)

Believe me, a lot of young people in their mid-20s and below haven’t ever called or hailed a cab in their life. Not because they’re too dumb to figure it out, but because it’s never been necessary for them. Beck might be fine now, but if they don’t adapt an Uber or Lyft style of convinient ordering, I suspect they’ll find their market share dwindling, as the proportions of millennial increases.
I'm 30 and have never used a cab, and used Uber twice in my life when I was in a bind. Once was in Georgina when my friend looked up the wrong bus time and we didn't want to wait 2 hours for a bus. The other was in Amsterdam when I didn't realize until the morning that we wouldn't be able to take the subway at 6am on a Sunday to catch our train to Brussels. I try to avoid both at all costs.
 
It’s 4:30 PM and there’s no traffic on Adilaide at Spadina

Never is. Richmond is severely over capacity at all hours of the day between University and Bathurst, and Adelaide between John and Bathurst. Plenty of capacity there, but the traffic between Jarvis and John on Adelaide at rush hour is unbelievable. The cars flow out of the big office buildings at a rate about equal to the amount of cars getting through - which means that those trying to drive straight through are caught behind a neverending stream of cars pulling out of the financial district.

I occasionally use Car2Go to get to work in the mornings since Richmond is clear sailing the whole way. costs only a little more than the TTC and takes 1/3 the time. the reverse in the evening is far from the case.
 
Newstalk 1010 shows the lack of cars on King Street as a problem. Ignoring the PEOPLE walking on the sidewalks. Thinks single-occupied automobiles as a successful sign.

See link.

Even though as shown in the videos above, the street has been used as a taxi stand sometimes, with hardly any cars.

It's been just 3 days since it was implemented, with several problems arising including traffic congestion on other roads. The changes to rules have pushed everyone off of King, leaving the street practically empty.

The result, something that Mayor Tory was hoping for. "All the reports that I've heard and seen have been that this has been working well, first and foremost in achieving its principle objective, which was to move transit vehicles faster"

Mayor Tory says although it may be confusing at first, it's something that will take some getting used to.

"I think as people get used to rules a when they've been in affect for weeks as opposed to days, we'll find that it's going to work overall." Since the changes have been imposed, there has been a decrease in travel time on transit, exactly what Mayor Tory wanted to see.

"When you have a street car with 65 people in it sitting behind a car just one person in it, that can't be allowed to continue indefinitely."

The pilot project will last at least a year, with officials from the TTC collecting data on things like ridership, traffic speed and other factors affected by the change.
 
Newstalk 1010 shows the lack of cars on King Street as a problem. Ignoring the PEOPLE walking on the sidewalks. Thinks single-occupied automobiles as a successful sign. .
If that is their idea of success I hope we never succeed. They need to look at the number of people on transit compared to number in cars.
 
Newstalk 1010 shows the lack of cars on King Street as a problem. Ignoring the PEOPLE walking on the sidewalks. Thinks single-occupied automobiles as a successful sign.

See link.

King looks so empty because the wide roads that we’re so used to seeing full of cars are not being used. When that space is converted to wide sidewalks, trees, and seating, then people will provide the activity.

I think that it’ll look quite different when the planters are brought in next month. This is just the very first phase of installation.

There are still some very important issues to solve regarding compliance but we just can’t go back to how it was before. I predict Doug Ford will try though. The pilot will run right through the election so this is 100% going to become an election issue and another campaign of misinformation from Ford & Co.
 
I just walked out the door and noticed that King is actually quite busy right now. So I headed towards Spadina and I found the answer: cars are just streaming across the intersection with no care in the world.

Many of them are taxis who all know by now that they’re not allowed. The hypocrisy of the taxi industry crying over “Uber breaking the law and flaunting the rules” is blindingly obvious.

I also noticed a lot of parked cars on King. Without cops around, King just reverted back to its old self in a matter of days.

This whole thing is going to fall apart if there isn’t constant enforcement.
 
I just walked out the door and noticed that King is actually quite busy right now. So I headed towards Spadina and I found the answer: cars are just streaming across the intersection with no care in the world.

Many of them are taxis who all know by now that they’re not allowed. The hypocrisy of the taxi industry crying over “Uber breaking the law and flaunting the rules” is blindingly obvious.

I also noticed a lot of parked cars on King. Without cops around, King just reverted back to its old self in a matter of days.

This whole thing is going to fall apart if there isn’t constant enforcement.

Yeah, I rode a 514 on King from Bay to Spadina and back this evening from about 6-8PM.

Firstly, there are definitely fewer cars on King by a significant margin, a lot of people are avoiding it.

However, of the cars still on King, I'd say at least 70% of them were breaking the rules. Tons of parked cars between Bathurst and Spadina as always, and loads of people going straight through intersections. Someone was on King westbound making a left turn onto Spadina at like 6:30 PM holding up a 504.

Oh, and loads of pedestrians crossing on the advance right signal, blocking cars. And cyclists passing a right turning car on the right, or flying past the open doors of a streetcar.

Not a single police officer on the entire stretch.

I can't even come close to conveying how disappointed I am. Lots of cars are off the street but the rules are completely unenforced--those drivers could all come back and return to business as usual. Only a matter of time before drivers wise up to the fact that they don't need to sit in traffic on Richmond/Adelaide anymore with King largely empty and no enforcement, and come back.
 
Yeah, I rode a 514 on King from Bay to Spadina and back this evening from about 6-8PM.

Firstly, there are definitely fewer cars on King by a significant margin, a lot of people are avoiding it.

However, of the cars still on King, I'd say at least 70% of them were breaking the rules. Tons of parked cars between Bathurst and Spadina as always, and loads of people going straight through intersections. Someone was on King westbound making a left turn onto Spadina at like 6:30 PM holding up a 504.

Oh, and loads of pedestrians crossing on the advance right signal, blocking cars. And cyclists passing a right turning car on the right, or flying past the open doors of a streetcar.

Not a single police officer on the entire stretch.

I can't even come close to conveying how disappointed I am. Lots of cars are off the street but the rules are completely unenforced--those drivers could all come back and return to business as usual. Only a matter of time before drivers wise up to the fact that they don't need to sit in traffic on Richmond/Adelaide anymore with King largely empty and no enforcement, and come back.

With each successive paragraph I read of this post, I cringed just a little bit more. What you described is a pilot project rapidly descending into pure chaos. And nobody in City Hall or the TPS seems to care. Disappointing is an understatement... anger seems a much more appropriate emotion!
 
Bring in the cavalry....err, traffic wardens.

Seriously, the traffic wardens cant come quick enough. The success or failure of this pilot will be most impacted by them. Will they have the ability to write tickets?

Heavy handed enforcement is not a long term solution. The design is broken. It has been since they chose it. It was a compromise and I knew right away that it depended too critically on driver compliance. People in this city do not follow rules.

The street design should enforce the desired flow whereas any rule breaking is immediately obvious and deliberate.

Alternating one ways would do that. Any driver going through the intersection would be met with this.

E14D9632-FB64-4C50-96CE-AEC1BC0A33A5.png


Any car that actually drives through this sign would be completely obvious because they’d be driving in the wrong direction for a block. It’s self enforcing.
 

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However, of the cars still on King, I'd say at least 70% of them were breaking the rules. Tons of parked cars between Bathurst and Spadina as always, and loads of people going straight through intersections. Someone was on King westbound making a left turn onto Spadina at like 6:30 PM holding up a 504.

....

The police would only be giving "warnings" this week. Which is why the cars just continue straight through the intersections. We'll see next week.
 
The police would only be giving "warnings" this week. Which is why the cars just continue straight through the intersections. We'll see next week.

Not true. I’ve seen some drivers get tickets. Maybe they’ve been stopped again after being given a warning but one driver this morning went right through in full view of a cop, got flashing lights and siren and the cop came out with a ticket.
 
This sounds tricky.

The idea with traffic turning right is that they'll be able to clear out quickly enough that the streetcar doesn't get blocked. A cyclist sitting in the right-turn lane prevents vehicles from turning right on a red. That may, at certain times, back up a bit causing the next green have this ordering: cyclist through, some vehicles turn right, streetcar through.

A more thorough rebuild of King might feature a cyclist waiting box between the right-turning vehicles and streetcar track. For the period of the trial, the best option for cyclists is probably to dismount and cross with pedestrians then resume on-street after crossing the intersection.
Absolutely. And from the detail you describe so well, you can see the danger cyclists are putting themselves in, and well-meaning but fully aware posters thinking they can take Physics out of the equation. This project is *wrong* for cyclists in a number of ways. It's going to come to grief sooner than later at this rate. Where's the cycling orgs on this? Obviously Planning haven't a clue on it.
 

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