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King Street (Streetcar Transit Priority)

The transit signal cannot be the white vertical bar. That signal means (in Toronto) that you can turn left or right, but not go straight (see King & Sumach for example). In order to change that meaning, you'd first need to change every existing transit signal in the City - which is also difficult given that Ontario only permits that one type of bar and not the diagonal bars used elsewhere for turns.

The white bar simply means it's for transit vehicles only; though I understand why Toronto only currently uses them for streetcar/bus turn phases. Ottawa has used the white bar aspect, on regular traffic signals, to allow buses to jump red light queues and continue straight at a few intersections for many years. Vertical (go) and horizontal (stop) bars are used for the new ION LRT.
 
The white bar simply means it's for transit vehicles only; though I understand why Toronto only currently uses them for streetcar/bus turn phases. Ottawa has used the white bar aspect, on regular traffic signals, to allow buses to jump red light queues and continue straight at a few intersections for many years. Vertical (go) and horizontal (stop) bars are used for the new ION LRT.
This is very pertinent information, as a lot of these details taken together can either make or break the success of this project. I still insist that if cyclists are to use this corridor safely for themselves and everyone else, they too will need some form of signal aspect protection and recognition for safety needs along the stretch.

What's troubling is that these and so many other details weren't hashed out before starting this project. It's not like there wasn't enough time to doing so. I'm not a great fan of bicycle boxes, not least because they're not recognized in the HTA, but as @rbt mentioned a few pages back, it might be a crucial feature to enable unfettered right turn streaming for motorists while staging cyclists in a much safer zone so as not to impede that flow, but the box being clear of any oncoming traffic doing this. The tracks create a very real danger and complexity in finding that spot to place the box.

Where is the dialog from the City and cycling orgs on how to do this? Many other cities, as Micallef https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/20...ties-around-the-world-are-doing-micallef.html points out today in the TorStar. Surely there's lessons to be learned from others?

It's not like this is the re-invention of the wheel. These might seem like small points, but safety and even lives depend on it.
Thanks for taking my question at face value; it might have been better to use the word bicycles instead of bicyclists.
An important difference, as a cyclist can push the bike the last half a block to their destination, and that should be highly encouraged as a means of travelling. What may not be safe and wise is actually cycling that last half a block.
 
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One thing I don't get, if this project was to help those stranded by gridlock in Liberty Village, why does the new streetcar priority program stop before the neighbourhood?

I get it, Adelaide and Richmond start/stop at Bathurst, so there's fewer alternatives for cars west of Bathurst, but this project isn't really about cars, so why care in this spot?
 
One thing I don't get, if this project was to help those stranded by gridlock in Liberty Village, why does the new streetcar priority program stop before the neighbourhood?

I get it, Adelaide and Richmond start/stop at Bathurst, so there's fewer alternatives for cars west of Bathurst, but this project isn't really about cars, so why care in this spot?
There was LOTS of discussion about the 'size' of the project area at public meetings and here on UT - I suggest you go back in this thread to see what was said. There was certainly serious discussion of extending the area both east (to Parliament) and west to ?? Don't forget this is a PILOT and there is no reason why there should not be more discussion about extending it during the evaluation of this test.
 
There was LOTS of discussion about the 'size' of the project area at public meetings and here on UT - I suggest you go back in this thread to see what was said. There was certainly serious discussion of extending the area both east (to Parliament) and west to ?? Don't forget this is a PILOT and there is no reason why there should not be more discussion about extending it during the evaluation of this test.
There really is lots of reason to not discuss it being extended further west.

Add Front Street to the list of East-West routes that terminate at Bathurst and it becomes clearer why it is vital (if not pleasurable) that King be available for wheeled vehicles west of Bathurst.....wheeled vehicles aren’t all evil single occupancy SUVs.....some are things like vans/trucks delivering goods and services to the residents and businesses that have been encouraged to locate in LV.

Speeding up the King streetcar, even if the speedup does not happen until east of Bathurst will still be a big help to the folks in LV.
 
Saw an an altercation between a TTC supervisor and a driver in an SUV last night near King and Bathurst. SUV was tailing a streetcar and the supervisor told the driver off. I didn't hear the whole thing, but the SUV driver seemed to be arguing that the rules were ridiculous, he had the right to be there, blah blah blah. Clearly knew he was breaking the rules and didn't care.

Honestly, we'll never see a reasonable level of compliance as long as the rules are enforced by cops. Put automated cameras at every intersection, send a ticket by mail to drivers who ignore the signs. People will figure it out pretty quickly.
 
Honestly, we'll never see a reasonable level of compliance as long as the rules are enforced by cops. Put automated cameras at every intersection, send a ticket by mail to drivers who ignore the signs. People will figure it out pretty quickly.
I want enforcement, not deterrence. Hopefully the new Toronto traffic officers will help in this regard, especially if they're on their feet on corners like in Manhattan, not in their cars.
 
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The greater distance between stoplights, reuced pedestrian counts, and reduced accesses immediately from king allow traffic to flow quite quickly. Cars and the streetcar move really quickly, especially between Niagara and Dufferin, where there are only 6 stoplights in 1.6km.
 
The greater distance between stoplights, reuced pedestrian counts, and reduced accesses immediately from king allow traffic to flow quite quickly. Cars and the streetcar move really quickly, especially between Niagara and Dufferin, where there are only 6 stoplights in 1.6km.
Unfortunately, it gets extremely slow again between Jameson and Queen. When I rode the King car regularly, traffic would often back up all the way to Wilson Park in both directions. It's too bad that King west of Dufferin isn't on anybody's radar, because it was easily the slowest part of my commute.
 
For the pilot they should really have had signals like the following with three phases:

1. Red car signal, transit signal green, separate bicycle signal green, pedestrian walk
2. Red car signal with green right arrow, transit signal green, bicycle signal green, pedestrian don't walk
3. Red car signal, transit signal red, bicycle signal red, pedestrian don't walk, opposing road is green

The transit signal could be the white vertical bar.

After 10pm, phase 2 would need to be a regular solid green to handle the taxi exemption. Ideally the late night taxi exemption wouldn't exist, or the signal could just not have a solid green spot so drivers would realize going straight wasn't possible.
The transit signal cannot be the white vertical bar. That signal means (in Toronto) that you can turn left or right, but not go straight (see King & Sumach for example). In order to change that meaning, you'd first need to change every existing transit signal in the City - which is also difficult given that Ontario only permits that one type of bar and not the diagonal bars used elsewhere for turns.

They could just put in bus-only traffic lights. The bigger problem though, is that the sheer number of different traffic lights here would confuse a lot of people, including pedestrians.
 
The King Street Transit Mall is mentioned (surprising, not in vain) in the States, at Streetsblog USA, at this link.

Toronto Shows How Easy It Is to Speed Up Surface Transit

toronto-before-and-after.jpg


Toronto’s streetcar is a rarity in North America: a legacy system that still functions as a transportation workhorse, moving large numbers of people. The busiest route is on King Street, where people make 65,000 streetcar trips a day.

But like most surface transit, the King Street streetcar operates in mixed traffic, making it frustratingly slow. Those 65,000 passengers get bogged down by the 20,000 motor vehicles that travel on King Street in a typical day.

They used to, at least. Toronto is trying out new rules along 1.6 miles of King Street, with strict limits on motor vehicle access. Now that King Street is no longer a through-route for cars, transit trips are a lot faster, writes Yonah Freemark at the Transport Politic:

This pilot has significantly reduced space for cars along the street, eliminating parking spaces, adding public art, installing planters, creating small new public plazas, and — perhaps most importantly — prevented people from driving on the street for more than one block or taking left turns.

It’s therefore not a full car ban; some vehicles will still travel in the streetcar right-of-way, a less-than-optimal situation. But it is an effort to ensure that drivers are only using the portion of the street they need. As a result, most of the street is reserved for trains, bikers, and pedestrians.

We’ve yet to see the long-term results of the project, but initial public reaction suggests that the changes have significantly sped up what was once a very slow streetcar line. Riders are saving five to 13 minutes per trip, a massive improvement for such a short trip. Streetcars are running more quickly and less likely to get stuck at lights. Cyclists are riding more safely. And traffic doesn’t seem to have been pushed onto surrounding streets.

Freemark points out that this reconfiguration of King Street only cost $1.5 million. It’s an extremely cost-effective strategy that makes sense for other busy street-running transit routes, whether streetcars or buses.
 

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