But won't the business on the streets suffer from people not being able to park in front of them?Maybe the next step is NO PARKING on any of the downtown streetcar routes. Followed by NO STANDING in the core. There is no need for parking on the streetcar routes, if there is off-street parking and streetcars on the street itself. Then the single-occupant automobiles could use the curb lanes for their use.
At the corner of King Street W. and Portland Street, it only takes a minute to see a driver disobey the new street signs and go straight through on King Street, when really their only legal option is to turn right.
From the King Street pilot project's inception in November 2017 to July 2019, police have issued 16,000 tickets.
But even though the changes to give priority to streetcars along Toronto's busiest surface transit route are now permanent, it seems drivers just aren't getting it.
Kevin and Kelly van Niekerk, a married couple living in the area, say drivers disobeying the rules are a common sight.
In fact, Kelly van Niekerk points out two cars that illegally follow the streetcar through the lights.
"So that happens all the time and that's kind of frustrating to see because we obey the rules," said van Niekerk.
"Why can't everybody else?"
'Biggest culprit - usually people from outside of the city'
For locals the rules have been drilled in. You can only drive on King Street for a block anywhere between Bathurst Street and Jarvis Street. After that block, signs dictate that you can only turn right.
Going straight is reserved for streetcars and left turns aren't really an option.
Police say the biggest culprits are usually people from outside of the city.
"All those neat things on King Street, it's a destination for tourists. A lot of the folks that we're stopping here are from out of town," said Sgt. Brett Moore, with Toronto Police Traffic Services.
The tickets aren't cheap. They're $110 plus a few demerit points. But officers aren't always around to catch violators.
"There's the perception that maybe there's not enough enforcement," said Moore. "But we have officers out both in Traffic Services and there's three downtown divisions that this corridor runs through."
One thing Kevin Van Niekerk wants to see is cameras on every corner.
"In London ... a camera instantly takes a photograph of the infraction and you get a ticket in the mail plus demerit points," he said.
City wants to speed cameras on King Street
That's a solution Coun. Joe Cressy says the city wants to apply. As part of the Safer School Zones Act, Cressy says the city asked the province for legislative authority to implement automated enforcement.
"We've done that not only to ensure that transit priority streets like King Street work more effectively but also to make sure that it's safer around schools and in school zones," said Cressy.
In an email from Ontario's Ministry of Transportation, the government says it's working "with municipalities to support the implementation of automated speed enforcement and is currently developing a regulatory framework to govern evidentiary requirements needed for the implementation of automated speed enforcement."
There's no clear timeline as to when that will happen but Cressy says since council voted in April to make the King Street project permanent, there will be a massive redesign of the street in 2023 when the streetcar tracks are replaced.
"It is to redesign and re-imagine King Street as a new grand boulevard and transit corridor ... We wanted to make King Street work better for people and to move people quicker."
Could work. There's little street parking and little store front commerce along much of the route east of University to Parliament. Car traffic could move to Bloor, Wellsley, Gerrard, Sumach, Queen and Richmond/Adelaide.I anticipate the next streetcar corridor to see priority would be the 506 Carlton as it's a relatively wide street.
Because both have massive parking lots nearby. I go to the Eaton Centre a few times a month from Cabbagetown and never have problem parking. It's cheaper than the TTC and an easy walk to the mall from the lot.Why isn't the Eaton Centre nor Yorkdale Mall out of business if there is no parking on the adjacent streets?
So they painted them on instead.The stops in the Financial District now all have spraypainted markers outlining where the yellow bumper strips used to be before the snowplows ripped them all up 8 months ago. It suggests they will finally reinstall them again.... just in time for the plows to rip them up again.