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King Street (Streetcar Transit Priority)

MetroMan

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I just walked by and noticed that the sidewalks along King Blue are being rebuilt to their old specificiations. ??‍♂️

So, they're rebuilding new sidewalks to leave a car lane that isn't used and will be blocked off with temporary infrastructure. The incompetence in this city is mind-blowing.
 

AHK

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I just walked by and noticed that the sidewalks along King Blue are being rebuilt to their old specificiations. ??‍♂️

So, they're rebuilding new sidewalks to leave a car lane that isn't used and will be blocked off with temporary infrastructure. The incompetence in this city is mind-blowing.

Or perhaps, the reconstruction of the sidewalk is being undertaken by the King Blue developer, as part of their public domain reconstruction activities - commitments (including the installation of the silva cells) that would have been entered into when the original planning and building permit applications were made, many years ago, well before the King Street pilot was first planned....
 

drum118

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I just walked by and noticed that the sidewalks along King Blue are being rebuilt to their old specificiations. ??‍♂️

So, they're rebuilding new sidewalks to leave a car lane that isn't used and will be blocked off with temporary infrastructure. The incompetence in this city is mind-blowing.
It being built that way to meet the specifications that were there long before the City approved the King St Plan. Not a big deal to extend the sidewalk out to the new location once reconstruction for King gets underway. Yes some money will be lost as it stand, but what is going to happen/work to that area once construction starts??

I saw a police car pull over a car that drove straight across Spadina yesterday and been a long time since I saw that happen. If the driver is smart, he should photograph that intersection both day and night to show those LED signs are useless as you can't make out the straight arrow. You need a set of signs before the intersection since drivers will have a better chance seeing them.

I have photos, but a few days away from posting them.
 

W. K. Lis

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It being built that way to meet the specifications that were there long before the City approved the King St Plan. Not a big deal to extend the sidewalk out to the new location once reconstruction for King gets underway. Yes some money will be lost as it stand, but what is going to happen/work to that area once construction starts??

I saw a police car pull over a car that drove straight across Spadina yesterday and been a long time since I saw that happen. If the driver is smart, he should photograph that intersection both day and night to show those LED signs are useless as you can't make out the straight arrow. You need a set of signs before the intersection since drivers will have a better chance seeing them.

I have photos, but a few days away from posting them.

Please. No more signs. Too much sign clutter already. Especially, for people at Queen's Park who skipped reading classes.

funny-traffic-signs-stop-signs.jpg

From link.
 

MetroMan

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I saw a police car pull over a car that drove straight across Spadina yesterday and been a long time since I saw that happen. If the driver is smart, he should photograph that intersection both day and night to show those LED signs are useless as you can't make out the straight arrow. You need a set of signs before the intersection since drivers will have a better chance seeing them.

I have photos, but a few days away from posting them.

The LED signs are supplemental to the standard signs which are posted three times, before, at and after the intersection.

31D80DB2-E3AB-4B10-94BB-38A6112197EB.jpeg


The point that has been demonstrated repeatedly for over two years since the pilot was implemented is that drivers don’t read signs of any sort, LED or otherwise.

The streets themselves need to be redesigned in a layout that’s intuitive and built for the unqualified drivers that the Ministry of Transportation hands licenses out to.
 
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MetroMan

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Or perhaps, the reconstruction of the sidewalk is being undertaken by the King Blue developer, as part of their public domain reconstruction activities - commitments (including the installation of the silva cells) that would have been entered into when the original planning and building permit applications were made, many years ago, well before the King Street pilot was first planned....

During the Executive Committee hearing about making the King Street Pilot permanent, when asked when permanent infrastructure would be put in place, City Staff said that going forward, any construction taking place, including new buildings, planned sidewalk repairs and utility cuts, when concluded, would be rebuilding the street to new specifications, including wider sidewalks, streetcar platforms, etc. This was to take place in the interim before a wider full scale redesign during the expected 2023 reconstruction of the King Street streetcar tracks.

The fact that they’re not rebuilding the sidewalk to those new specifications tells me that there are none. The city hasn’t decided on what the new street will look like and it’s going to be a very long 4-5 more years with King Street looking like a street designed for cars, but blocked off with temporary infrastructure, while incompetent drivers ignore all the signs because the street looks designed for them.
 

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During the Executive Committee hearing about making the King Street Pilot permanent, when asked when permanent infrastructure would be put in place, City Staff said that going forward, any construction taking place, including new buildings, planned sidewalk repairs and utility cuts, when concluded, would be rebuilding the street to new specifications, including wider sidewalks, streetcar platforms, etc. This was to take place in the interim before a wider full scale redesign during the expected 2023 reconstruction of the King Street streetcar tracks.

The fact that they’re not rebuilding the sidewalk to those new specifications tells me that there are none. The city hasn’t decided on what the new street will look like and it’s going to be a very long 4-5 more years with King Street looking like a street designed for cars, but blocked off with temporary infrastructure, while incompetent drivers ignore all the signs because the street looks designed for them.

To clarify my point - I would doubt very much that when the approvals and permits for King Blue were obtained, that the requirement for reconstruction of the sidewalks (including the upgrade to incorporate the silva cells) was phrased in terms of 'reconstruct to whatever the standards and specifications the City might have established by the time said reconstruction is to take place'.

The reconstruction work is not being done by City crews, or by a contractor employed by the City - but by a contractor who would be working for the developer, to the pre-existing standards when the approvals and permits were granted, with specific exception of any changes (such as the silva cells) that were agreed and committed to by the parties at that time.

Now, on a going forward basis, for all new developments, the City could very well require rebuilding to new specifications. Then of course, the specifications could then evolve over time, so that there would be differences between what had been agreed for a development, and the ultimate version in place at the time when a future rebuilding is done as part of the development's construction clean up activities. Then, on completion, it would then need to be modified, or could all be ripped out, and redone to new specifications - too much great wailing about the City's incompetence by those who do not understand the approval and contracting processes for such development projects.
 
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W. K. Lis

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The LED signs are supplemental to the standard signs which are posted three times, before, at and after the intersection.

View attachment 231639

The point that has been demonstrated repeatedly for over two years since the pilot was implemented is that drivers don’t read signs of any sort, LED or otherwise.

The streets themselves need to be redesigned in a layout that’s intuitive and built for the unqualified drivers that the Ministry of Transportation hands licenses out to.

Can anyone read and understand ALL those signs in less than a second?
 

MetroMan

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Can anyone read and understand ALL those signs in less than a second?

North American standards for road signs are terrible and unintuitive. They’re there to enable police to fine you for breaking the rules, not to help direct drivers. It’s ironic that police in Toronto aren’t interested in fining drivers.

That said, I always slow down as I approach an intersection, even if it’s green. First because I don’t trust other drivers to obey the rules and second, to quickly glance at the signs to confirm that I’m allowed to do what I’m about to do. You don’t have to “read” signs; a quick glance should be interpreted instantly like you know what a single letter is as soon as you see it. You don’t have to “read” A, you see it and know that’s it’s the letter A. The same should go for traffic signs if you were correctly trained as a driver.

Ontario seems to create signs on the fly, sometimes with more copy than a text message that would get you fined for distracted driving. But I don’t bother with the exceptions unless I have time while stopped. The main signs saying No Through Traffic and No Left Turns are clear.
 

MetroMan

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To clarify my point - I would doubt very much that when the approvals and permits for King Blue were obtained, that the requirement for reconstruction of the sidewalks (including the upgrade to incorporate the silva cells) was phrased in terms of 'reconstruct to whatever the standards and specifications the City might have established by the time said reconstruction is to take place'.

The reconstruction work is not being done by City crews, or by a contractor employed by the City - but by a contractor who would be working for the developer, to the pre-existing standards when the approvals and permits were granted, with specific exception of any changes (such as the silva cells) that were agreed and committed to by the parties at that time.

Now, on a going forward basis, for all new developments, the City could very well require rebuilding to new specifications. Then of course, the specifications could then evolve over time, so that there would be differences between what had been agreed for a development, and the ultimate version in place at the time when a future rebuilding is done as part of the development's construction clean up activities. Then, on completion, it would then need to be modified, or could all be ripped out, and redone to new specifications - too much great wailing about the City's incompetence by those who do not understand the approval and contracting processes for such development projects.

That’s probably the case here. In retrospect, I’m also fairly confident that the city hasn’t determined the form factor for the street yet. They’re still trialling the modular streetcar platforms, only placing them at two stops.

The way this is going, King Street is going to be a mess for a very long time.
 

DSC

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That’s probably the case here. In retrospect, I’m also fairly confident that the city hasn’t determined the form factor for the street yet. They’re still trialling the modular streetcar platforms, only placing them at two stops.

The way this is going, King Street is going to be a mess for a very long time.
As the City has taken 2+ years to replace the 'temporary" Jersey barriers @ Union Station with something better this seems likely. As re-designing King is more complicated than replacing Jersey barriers (something suv=ccessfully done by many, many other Cities) I can see a decade of King being a mess myself.
 

W. K. Lis

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As the City has taken 2+ years to replace the 'temporary" Jersey barriers @ Union Station with something better this seems likely. As re-designing King is more complicated than replacing Jersey barriers (something suv=ccessfully done by many, many other Cities) I can see a decade of King being a mess myself.

Likely the suburban, anti-transit bureaucrats and Councillors keep putting up "roadblocks" and creating more red tape on something that they were against.
 

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Likely the suburban, anti-transit bureaucrats and Councillors keep putting up "roadblocks" and creating more red tape on something that they were against.
You may be right but I do not think the redesign has even reached the stage where one can object to x or y since I have seen or heard of no proposals at all.
 

W. K. Lis

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Meanwhile...

The ‘Busway’ Proves Another Benefit of Car-Free Streets: Safety

From link.

The car-free 14th Street Busway is a real lifesaver. No, literally.

The benefits of the city’s transit-priority pilot program between Third and Ninth avenues in Manhattan are well documented: buses are moving much faster and ridership is up as a result of the improved service.

But the project is having a much greater, and much-less-heralded, safety impact.

In the four months since the busway began in October, total crashes are down 53 percent and injuries are down 63 percent compared to the same four-month period a year earlier. Crashes that resulted in injuries are down 68 percent.

busway-before-and-after.jpg


Here are the raw numbers:
  • Total crashes
    • Oct. 2018-Jan. 2019: 90
    • Oct. 2019-Jan. 2020: 42 (a decrease of 53 percent)
  • Total crashes with injuries
    • Oct. 2018-Jan. 2019: 27
    • Oct. 2019-Jan. 2020: 10 (a decrease of 63 percent)
  • Total injuries
    • Oct. 2018-Jan. 2019: 35 (seven cyclists, eight pedestrians, 20 motorists)
    • Oct. 2019-Jan. 2020: 11 (three cyclists, seven pedestrians, one motorist, a total decrease of 68 percent)
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist — or a mayor! — to see what’s going on: Removing cars has enhanced safety for all road users. Street safety advocates have been calling for more car-free zones for years (and Mayor de Blasio has largely ignored them), so no one was surprised by Streetsblog’s back-of-the-envelope calculations.

“Let’s hope [the reduced crashes on 14th Street] is a herald of a similar benefit we will see from congestion pricing and pedestrian zones and busways in the city’s future,” said Jon Orcutt, a former Department of Transportation official who now is advocacy director for Bike New York. “That said, moving the safety needle citywide means more aggressive traffic calming for the really car-oriented streets like Atlantic Avenue, Northern Boulevard, Third Avenue (in both Brooklyn and the Bronx) and on and on. It’s a long list.”

Few, if any, of the most congested and dangerous stretches of roadway are being considered for busway treatment. The mayor said last year that he hoped to create new car-free busways in 2020, though he declined to specify where. Here are just two examples of dangerous roadways that could be remedied:
  • Northern Boulevard between Queensboro Plaza and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
    • Total crashes Oct. 2018-Jan. 2019: 163, injuring 39 people
    • Total crashes Oct. 2019-Jan. 2020: 144, injuring 36 people
  • Fordham Road between Jerome Avenue and Southern Boulevard
    • Total crashes Oct. 2018-Jan. 2019: 133, injuring 42 people
    • Total crashes Oct. 2019-Jan. 2020: 102, injuring 32 people
Also worth noting: The seven-block stretch of the Fulton Mall in Downtown Brooklyn — a car-free transitway for decades — had just 43 total crashes in all of 2019, injuring 13 people. In the four months between October, 2019 and January, 2020, there were just 16 crashes, injuring four people.

“There’s no question that more cars equals more crashes, so it’s no surprise that streets where people and transit are prioritized over traffic aren’t just more efficient and more pleasant; they’re also much safer,” said Transportation Alternatives spokesman Joe Cutrufo.

The clear safety benefit of car-free roadways prompted Streetsblog to ask City Hall a few questions (albeit on Presidents Day):
  • What does City Hall think about these numbers?
  • Will City Hall give a timeline for an expansion of the busway model to other transit strips?
  • Since the evidence is clear — car-free streets are much safer — will the mayor commit to making more roadways off limits to cars? If so, when? If no, why not?
 

MetroMan

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Some updates:

- The sidewalks in front of the old MEC and in front of Metro Hall will be expanded with decking.

- In May, a new set of parklets will be installed along the corridor.

- More permanent transit shelters are being installed this year.

There is no decided on plan for a future King Street. Work is going on behind the scenes with all the stakeholders to come up with a plan ahead of public consultations for how the street will be rebuilt after the 2023 streetcar track replacements.

King Street continues to be for all intents and purposes, a “temporary highway closure”. Staff just change the end date when it expires. Currently, it’s set to expire in April 2020. Most importantly, what this means is that the street cannot be paved over with permanent wide sidewalks or transit platforms. Everything must be removable.

Essentially, King Street will remain a mess of temporary infrastructure for at least 4 more years plus a construction period.
 

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