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

Return to using cobblestones between the streetcar tracks. Tells motorists that they do not belong on the streetcar tracks.
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Cobblestones may look nicer than red paint but those who drive illegally on King mostly know they should not be there. If the City were serious about a transit mall they would have enforcement.
 
Somewhere back in this thread I made some diagrams of signal display options which would improve compliance while actually being legal in Toronto.
Found it, diagrams attached below. https://urbantoronto.ca/forum/threads/king-street-streetcar-transit-priority.19816/post-1366375
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screen-shot-2018-08-16-at-20-30-32-png.153690
 
To echo what others have said, what’s necessary is automated enforcement along with incredibly clear signage. You just can’t trust (or expect) TPS to be there every day enforcing the corridor.

I didn’t think about making some parts pedestrian only - that does prevent the line from becoming a crosstown route for cars…

That said, what’s necessary is for someone at the TTC (and politically) to give a s***. I really don’t think Olivia Chow will focus on this until she has the budget done.
 
I have noticed the George Brown migrant students new here for their first year are already so confounded about routes on King east of Yonge, and whether any particularly signed vehicle will actually go where they expect it to go. This will be much more fun for them.
 
We should really use the international transit symbols as well. I know that isn’t easy though.
We should, but the province will need to update HTA Regulation 626 to add more symbols than just the one white bar that's in there currently. The main thing we need is diagonal bars so that agencies like the TTC can use the vertical bar to represent straight movements like we need along King.
 
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I saw something very interesting today on King at Bay at about 5:30 p.m.
An eastbound bus was stopped in the centre eastbound lane to pick up passengers at the farside stop at Bay.
The light was green for east/west but there was no westbound traffic, so the two traffic wardens actually directed the queue of cars heading east to pass the stopped bus on the left (on the wrong side of the road) and let about five cars go through around the bus that way.
Crazy times on King.
 
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The traffic wardens might be helping a tiny bit. But every bus/streetcar is now delayed by people getting on and asking the driver if they go to the Christmas market/Distillery, since nobody knows right now where any particular vehicle is going (unless you have a 4 year old who lectures you on this stuff daily like I do).
 
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I saw something very interesting today on King at Bay at about 5:30 p.m.
An eastbound bus was stopped in the centre eastbound lane to pick up passengers at the farside stop at Bay.
The light was green for east/west but there was no westbound traffic, so the two traffic wardens actually directed the queue of cars heading east to pass the stopped bus on the left (on the wrong side of the road) and let about five cars go through around the bus that way.
Crazy times on King.
We deliberately designed the pilot to prevent private vehicles from ever overtaking streetcars. If you let them pass the streetcar, they will be in front of the streetcar at the next light. Nobody should be driving a car on King Street unless their destination is less than a hundred metres away, it makes negligible difference to motorists if they get delayed 30 seconds one time on their trip. This is in itself a fairly effective transit priority measure even without dedicated lanes, and it's why streetcars move fairly well along Roncesvalles (motorists are thereby encouraged to use Parkside instead).

Yes, Bay is somewhere drivers are allowed to proceed straight, but there shouldn't be that many drivers there since you can't go straight through Uni or Yonge. Most likely a large percentage of the drivers the wardens were helping were law-breakers.
 
Again, the unusually high level of lawbreaking on King right now is likely a result of Adelaide and Queen being closed to cars right now.

As it stands today, the only way to legally drive across downtown Toronto is through the mess of drop-offs in front of Union station on Front Street. Literally the only way.

Functionally it's basically impossible to legally drive eastbound across Downtown Toronto today. I wouldn't say it's a surprise drivers are getting desperate and using King.

Once Adelaide finally reopens I suspect the number of law-breakers on King will drop significantly.
 

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