News   Jul 12, 2024
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News   Jul 12, 2024
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King Street (Streetcar Transit Priority)

Agreed. The speed limit on these limited-access highways should be increased to 130km/h except for urban sections.

Actually, adjustable speed limits would be better. Based on conditions, such as weather or collisions.


Also, put a red circle around the speed limit number. Like what they have in Mexico and the rest of the world.
220px-Mexico_road_sign_SR-09.svg.png
 
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Interesting. I probably have 15,000 km on the 401 over the last year, and I’ve never once seen anyone pulled over for speeding, despite 130 km/h being the norm.

But now that I’ve mentioned that, I’m sure I’ll suddenly see someone pulled over in the next day or two :D
I saw one today on the 401. I've seen many over the years.
 
Actually, adjustable speed limits would be better. Based on conditions, such as weather or collisions.


Also, put a red circle around the speed limit number. Like what they have in Mexico and the rest of the world.
220px-Mexico_road_sign_SR-09.svg.png
That would be a good ultimate goal. But first, we need to increase the speed limit to improve safety.
 
I'm not sure how a discussion of highway speed limits applies to the problem on King Street - but to get closer to topic - our system wants everyone to be 'nice'. So first the cop is expected to 'educate', or to write down the infraction to a lesser infraction, then the Crown offers a cut-rate deal in the hallway. Seems to me that the King Street offences are easily backed up with cameras and there is nothing unfair about using cameras to record the offense - pretty objective approach and hard to argue that the cop was being "mean" or "discriminatory". I'm a fan of zero tolerance for HTA enforcement.

I do favour letting drivers donate their fines to a registered charity, rather than paying it to the Province (no tax receipt, however) so that the old saw about "they only enforce to make money" is defeated. Or, maybe it's enough to just deduct demerits (I would raise the penalty, 3 for a King Street drive-through offence) with immediate notification to their insurer (right now, points collect until the insurer asks for a transcript, which may not happen that frequently).

- Paul
 
I commute between King/George and King/Spadina every day with a mix of walking and streetcar. Here's what I've seen so far in the first week of the pilot (and this is based on myself, co-workers, friends etc):

* streetcars are *much* faster. It's been so noticeable that people have been shocked how fast some trips are.
* streetcar headway is more consistent with less outliers. I haven't seen as many of those 10+ min plus gaps. I'd argue these are even worse than just slower trip times so this is a big improvement so far.
* walking is mildly better? It makes j-walking way easier at least. I've been guilty of forgetting about advanced green lights due to muscle memory but I've already unlearned that mostly.
* cycling is better (according to co-workers).

I have seen a ton of cops policing this stretch, but they can't do the entire thing. It seems every day or time of day they focus on a different intersection.

Yes *a lot* of cars aren't obeying the signs. But obviously enough are otherwise transit times wouldn't be better. I also wonder if some of this is just muscle memory on the part of drivers. We'll see if it gets better or worse and how it changes if enforcement does.

I've seen a lot of posts in this thread describing some intersections as "chaos" and it's going to get worse without enforcement. As someone who walks through some of the busiest intersections everyday I need to make a point: it's already been chaos.

I don't know if this is a Toronto (or Canadian) thing or not, but drivers here are awful and routinely do dangerous and selfish things. This pilot program only further exposes that.

Every single night I see multiple cars try and drive through entirely red lights into a traffic jam on the other side and completely block intersections. This was actually one of the biggest slowdowns of streetcars and unfortunately this pilot program doesn't make that any better.

Take King/Spadina: cars have to turn right going east now and there's an advanced green. But often there's no where to go since Spadina south is already completely backed up or even blocking the intersection. I've seen cars with an intention of turning right, then go straight.

Here's been my takeaway from this entire thing: drivers are mostly terrible and will not obey the rules on their own.

Four things need to happen regardless of the pilot program:

* continued enforcement (I have never seen a single cop policing cars driving through red lights and blocking intersections)
* way more obvious signs - we need LED smart signs at every intersection that change based on times of day
* automated enforcement with cameras
* any kind of physical barriers to act as a signal (or force) to cars what they need to do
 
In all my years of driving, I’ve never seen anyone pulled over for speeding in Ontario. You can drive at 125 on the 401 with an OPP cruiser behind you, and they won’t do anything about it.
I'm surprised. Well, not at 125. I've been pulled over for speeding a few times, and had two tickets on the 401, before I got cruise control. On one of them they clocked me at 131, wrote the ticket at 129, and told me to keep it under 125.

131 bad ... 125 good.
 
We could easily put in cameras to catch offenders who drive their automobiles through the intersections. With traffic wardens or police officers catching the offenders, there would be demerit points, but cameras would mean just a mail notification and fine the next week.

Maybe start with dummy cameras, just to scare the drivers?

Followed by just a 24-hour recording that can be accessed as needed. As cameras and recordings getting cheaper, why not?

The big challenge with camera enforcement at the moment is that municipalities only have the powers specifically granted to them by the Province, and to date the only type of camera the Province has granted authority for are red light cameras.
Getting specific permission from the Province would take a long time (>2 years), so it wouldn't help for the 1-year pilot.

We might be able to get red light cameras to enforce the no-thru restrictions by making the vehicle signals always red between 5AM and 10PM and adding separate Transit/Bicycle signals that actually change. So anyone other than bikes and transit who goes straight thru is technically running a red light.

Dummy cameras are also an interesting idea. If the City puts in detectors to only call the right turn arrows when there's actually more than one car waiting, those would usually be cameras anyway, but maybe drivers would realize that that's what the cameras are for and not be deterred.
 
It's midnight on a Friday night. I'm going to go out and have a peek at King and Spadina. Wish me luck... *runs into the war zone*

Quick summary of my periscope walk along King from Bathurst to University:

90-95% cabs on King completely bogged down the Spadina to Bathurst segment. Virtually no enforcement even on a Friday night. Saw 2 cruisers for the entire stretch. The streetcars were stuck in the sludge of cabs and bunching up. Intersections were complete chaos.

Well if this is how they're gonna act, then the cabbies can look forward to having their bullshit exemption revoked sooner or later.
 
Ontario needs to up their game on world standards for traffic as well fines and to allow cities to adopt various modes for enforcing the rules of the road.

It makes no different if all drivers obey the new rules for King, its, the cross streets that will continue to be an issue unless enforcement take place daily to the point drivers are ticket regardless they end up backing up traffic on those roads. Those who pass these cars being tag will start to think twice about blocking the intersection so they don't end up being ticket as well.

Even pedestrians need to be ticket at some of these intersection as well, since they cause some of the backup as well by disobeying the signals.

Since we are only in week one, we still have 51 weeks to go and a lot can happen in that time were things will change and work better.

Otherwise, this is off to a great start and people are talking how it has already change things for the better all around.
 
Seriously, this is so disappointing. King Street has returned to its former self a week into the pilot. A steady stream of cars are driving through the intersections and making left turns. Nobody gives a damn.

It doesn’t matter if they start fining people tomorrow because that’s not viable long term. The chosen design is a fail.
 
Seriously, this is so disappointing. King Street has returned to its former self a week into the pilot. A steady stream of cars are driving through the intersections and making left turns. Nobody gives a damn.

It doesn’t matter if they start fining people tomorrow because that’s not viable long term. The chosen design is a fail.

Really? Just give up like that?

If they had officers on each corner handing out tickets, and the money goes to the city, the DRL could be built easily.

Give it a month. People still are trying to figure it out.
 
LED turn signs are an absolute pre-requisite for a start. Surely that should have been obvious to Planning since inception of the project?

They had an LED no left turn sign at King and Spadina. They removed it for this pilot, replacing it with the no through and no left turns metal signs.

While that might not make any sense, the LED sign didn’t work either when it was there. Cars have always made illegal lefts at Spadina.
 
Really? Just give up like that?

If they had officers on each corner handing out tickets, and the money goes to the city, the DRL could be built easily.

Give it a month. People still are trying to figure it out.

Nobody is saying to give up. I’m stating what was obvious when they chose this design and proven when they actually implemented it. A street that depends on voluntary compliance to posted signs will not work. Drivers just ignore the signs.

Enforcement is not the answer either because it’s not viable in the numbers required. The first week of the pilot is supposed to have the strongest police presence and still, that has not worked. It’s just not viable to police King Street 24/7 365 days a year anymore than it’s viable to police all one way streets or the Spadina or St. Clair ROW.

A street’s design directs the flow of traffic to what is intended and makes it clear what the rules are without having to even post any. Breaking those rules becomes immediately obvious.

The chosen design relies on drivers simply obeying the posted signs. It’s destined for failure. They need to go back to the drawing board and make it near impossible for drivers to drive through the intersection and make left turns.
 

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