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King Street (Streetcar Transit Priority)

amnesiajune

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This is a real problem that becomes a shism between even us cyclists. The Melbourne Bourke Street Transit Mall, and many others around the world, ban cyclists. Many of these bans are due to cyclists who can't 'play fair'.
To roughly quote Keesmaat in an interview this morning, "you can't do everything on every road". It has nothing to do with this and everything to do with how space is allocated. Bikes have space allocated to them on Richmond and Adelaide, so you don't need separated bike lanes on King Street. Same with Sherbourne and Jarvis, same with Spadina and Peter/Beverley. The point of this project is to make King Street pedestrian- and transit-oriented, not to make it a jack-of-all-vehicles road.
 

salsa

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To roughly quote Keesmaat in an interview this morning, "you can't do everything on every road". It has nothing to do with this and everything to do with how space is allocated. Bikes have space allocated to them on Richmond and Adelaide, so you don't need separated bike lanes on King Street. Same with Sherbourne and Jarvis, same with Spadina and Peter/Beverley. The point of this project is to make King Street pedestrian- and transit-oriented, not to make it a jack-of-all-vehicles road.
I agree, though I hope that cyclists could at least be accommodated west of Bathurst (unless there are better alternatives). That's where the Richmond/Adelaide lanes end.
 

steveintoronto

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Sorry, but drivers better get used to the idea that King will not be a through Street for traffic.
I'm somewhere in the middle on this discussion, and offset to one side, but you may have missed Bob's point, no matter where he stands:
Option 3 I can definitely get behind. Let the frustration of single lane traffic naturally redirect cars. Don't do it by making the direction of the lanes change every block.
What Bob might be missing is that the alternating blocks dictate right turns only if there is to be no crossing of the track reservation, and that dictates contra-flow each block. I've seen exactly this and working very well in San Diego.

Bob also has a very good point, albeit it is open to examination on specifics in stating: "Let the frustration of single lane traffic naturally redirect cars. ". Drivers are going to have to learn that these vehicle lanes become like rear alleys. If a truck is delivering, you wait. It's an excellent point. What *must not happen* is 'going around' by using the streetcar clearway, and that will require a lot more than bollards. (Edit: I might have to point out that many drivers, out of frustration, will just drive over them, and some don't even realize it. Take a close look at Bloor West cycle lane, and the now missing ones on Ronceys. They haven't even bothered to replace them lately, they last such a short amount of time marking where the raised sections come out to meet the tracks at stops)
I agree, though I hope that cyclists could at least be accommodated west of Bathurst (unless there are better alternatives). That's where the Richmond/Adelaide lanes end.
Actually not, as long as you can zip up or down a block. I come through there a number of times a day on average in warmer weather, and the Railpath West (sic?) is being pushed through too. There are points to be made, lack of alternate good routes won't be one of them.
 
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muller877

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Thats very optimistic of you. If there isn't room for cyclists, they're not going to walk their bikes. They'll cycle on the sidewalks like they already do on one way streets today.
Means that a police can get his quota of tickets in an hour. I expect there will be aggressive ticketing and tow-trucks for both stopped cars (in front of Starbucks) and cyclists ignoring the law. Needs to happen to show how it will work effectively.

I'm all for some social justice. We need to have informational people stopping bikes to ensure that they follow the law. Walking out in front of them at stop signs, linking arms and blocking sidewalks, etc. Then take their picture for a website to shame them and give them a pamphlet to tell them the rules.

Like stop a douchebag group in Russia (check it out on youtube)

Ideally with facial recognition so we can post to their facebook accounts to shame them in front of their friends.
 

Megaton327

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If bikes can just use Richmond then why can't cars just use highway 407?
Please don't spout moronic nonsense. One is 150-310 metres away and costs nothing to use, the other is about 20000 metres away and has high tolls. Also, cars are perfectly capable of using Richmond/Adelaide as well, nobody is saying that cars will not be allowed on any road south of the 407.
 

bobbob911

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What Bob might be missing is that the alternating blocks dictate right turns only if there is to be no crossing of the track reservation, and that dictates contra-flow each block. I've seen exactly this and working very well in San Diego.

Bob also has a very good point, albeit it is open to examination on specifics in stating: "Let the frustration of single lane traffic naturally redirect cars. ". Drivers are going to have to learn that these vehicle lanes become like rear alleys. If a truck is delivering, you wait. It's an excellent point. What *must not happen* is 'going around' by using the streetcar clearway, and that will require a lot more than bollards. (Edit: I might have to point out that many drivers, out of frustration, will just drive over them, and some don't even realize it. Take a close look at Bloor West cycle lane, and the now missing ones on Ronceys. They haven't even bothered to replace them lately, they last such a short amount of time marking where the raised sections come out to meet the tracks at stops)
My understanding is that proposal 1 and 3 have dedicated streetcar lanes that cars cannot enter? I'm certainly not in favor of any plan that allows cars into the streetcar lanes.
 

steveintoronto

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I'm certainly not in favor of any plan that allows cars into the streetcar lanes.
Indeed, I thought that was your stance. And it has to be the bottom line no matter what/which option is chosen (It appears there are more than three). I go even further in touting that the track RoW must even be separated from pedestrians, save for light signalled crossings. If the streetcars are to do the speed necessary to increase present trip times, pedestrians must be protected from themselves. This is not a "pedestrian mall"...it's a "transit mall".

Edit to Add: Been Googling to find how others balance the speed limit to the physically segregated or not status of the RoW. If others could add to this, it would be most welcome.

Interesting blog here:
http://www.busaustralia.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=27200

Australia is a hotbed of transit and pedestrian malls. Dialog ensues of comparing Melbourne's Bourke Mall speed restrictions to other Oz city ones. Typical limit appears as "10kmh" in shared pedestrian malls. That is very slow for King to be emulated to.

Portland is analyzed here, excellent pics and sections, as they detail every part of the system, including the mall section:
[...] (Note this is a diamond lane on a two lane one-way street)
15mph
In the CBD (both the original Blue & Red line east/west alignment as well as the north/south Portland Mall alignment) the speed limit is 15mph on the straight sections of track. Around some of the curves in this part of the alignment (Goose Hollow, PGE Park, Skidmore Fountain, 1st Ave, and that area up by Union Station), the speed limit will be 8mph or 10mph.
[...]
In the physically separated section, like Paris and many other cities, it's considerably better:
[...]
25mph


Holladay – eastbound from Oregon Convention Center to 7th & Holladay

Along Holladay in Portland and Washington St in Hillsboro (both pre-empt territory), the speed limit is 25mph.
In the totall
https://maxfaqs.wordpress.com/2010/05/09/how-fast-do-the-trains-go/

On Karlsurhe, an excellent article for those familiar with the shared heavy rail/LRT interspersed usage that King Street could become if re-gauged to rail standard to run the Metrolinx LRTs as SmartTrack up the GO corridors.
http://humantransit.org/2009/10/karlsruhe-the-tramtrains.html

To find out more about their 'shared roadway' running, use "pedestrian" for the the page search. W. K Lis has a good post there, but the following covered so much ground that I'll quote it:
[...]
Reader Comments:
[...]
Leo June 20, 2012 at 6:34 pm #
Sacramento LRT and similar system seems to be a Tram-Train as far as passenger operational characteristics. They just don’t share with non-LRT trains on the mainline. Sacramento’s corridors fanning out of the CBD shares ROW with the Union Pacific for most of its mileage. From the outer suburbs, the LRT travels up to 55mph, with station spacing of about a mile apart. Once it hits the CBD region, the trains (up to 4 LRV’s) run on surface streets with max speed of 25 mph and into 1 pedestrian malls(K Street ped mall recently opened to cars, O Street ped mall still for LRT). The pictures from above look very similar to Sacramento in CBD, and its suburb Folsom. As far as I know, San Diego Trolley and Dallas LRT is similar to this model, fast on suburbs, slow CBD, just not sharing with non-LRT mode. With that backdrop, what’s the difference other than mixing of modes with modern LRT and Tram-Trains?
[...]
So the answer appears to be 'if physically separated RoW's are used' for King Street, 25 mph (40 kph) can be expected as the upper speed limit, stops and track intersections excepted.
 
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Dandy Horse

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Please don't spout moronic nonsense. One is 150-310 metres away and costs nothing to use, the other is about 20000 metres away and has high tolls. Also, cars are perfectly capable of using Richmond/Adelaide as well, nobody is saying that cars will not be allowed on any road south of the 407.
it was a joke. Anyways this project isn't happening. An active curb lane? That's not even safe. What they should do is just admit it's a 2 lane road and widen sidewalks, as bike lanes and make the streetcar tracks back to a rough surface. Problem fixed.
 

MetroMan

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This is a real problem that becomes a shism between even us cyclists. The Melbourne Bourke Street Transit Mall, and many others around the world, ban cyclists. Many of these bans are due to cyclists who can't 'play fair'. As an avid cyclist in phenomenal shape for my age (the cycling is responsible for a large amount of that) it never ceases to miff me how reckless many cyclists are. You are correct in your observations, but be assured some of us do get off and walk when mingling with pedestrians, whether we have right of way or not. (Queen's Quay is a prime example)
This is refreshing. Every time I bring up the very real problem in Toronto cycling culture where the rules are often considered optional, I'm attacked by self described law abiding cyclists who deflect the issue towards the "cars that are the real problem". I don't know why a law abiding cyclist would defend rule breakers who give the entire community a bad reputation. It's good to find a cyclist who understands this. Red light runners and sidewalk cyclists need to be policed if we're going to all get along.

There was a cycling option tonight but it mostly consisted of sharrows and seemed like an after thought. Planning staff sided with the narrative that King is too narrow and can't be all things and cyclists will have to use Richmond/Adelaide. I'm fine with that in principle but we know that cyclists aren't just going to avoid King and if we ignore them in planning, they'll just ride on the sidewalks. Either we provide infrastructure or we ensure strict enforcement — including fines to drive the point across. I'd rather sacrifice 2 metres of sidewalk and build a lower cobblestone sidewalk (a step down from the main sidewalk) where cyclists are allowed to mingle with pedestrians. It's not meant to be a fast cycle track, just a place where cyclists are allowed to ride but where pedestrians might walk too.
 

MetroMan

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City Staff said that after some study and taking into consideration what was discussed today and will be discussed at a second meeting March/April, they will be bringing a preferred option to City Council rather than a set of options. It will be a YES or NO question that is brought to City Council which makes me nervous.

I spoke to Councillor McConnell tonight and she thinks that they have the votes. The Mayor is apparently on board and guiding staff and the progressives on Council are naturally in favour so she's optimistic that this will pass. As I left she turned to me and cheerfully said that the progressives on Council just won another vote with the election of Neethan Shan in Ward 42, replacing Raymond Cho.
 
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Forgotten

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Option two sounds near completely useless in speeding up the streetcars. I know Keesmaat as a bureaucrat wants a legacy and she's happened to adopt walking/pedestrians for that but that option kind of hijacks the main objective here.
So Keesmat spends the last year tweeting pretty pictures of this and that and when the curtain is pulled back it looks nothing like any of those things.

Maybe now would be a bad time for a reminder that Keesmat's cubs put a bullet point in the charts justifying a Queen subway because, not to worry, putting it under the busiest transit corridor in the city was wasted effort in light of the super mega hyper transit improvements coming on King.

Now she presents a list with a bunch of half assed half measures (including already tried-and-failed options) and spends more time yapping about pedestrians and sidewalks than transit. Hijacked indeed. Does she figure nobody would pick the poison pill options and saddle commuters with marginal and inadequate improvements for transit? What kind of gambit is this? She probably thinks everyone is playing checkers while she's on her chess board. Did she already forget how badly she got destroyed on the Gardiner file?

We just lurching from one bait and switch to another. Spending too much time with Jon Tory at 100 Queen Street West is obviously causing her to pick up a lot of bad habits.

Post post edit: I hadn't noticed it's been cut back to Bathurst. That's even worse.

As a snide personal reaction, I find 'planner talk' worse than computer nerds at parties talking 'bits and bytes':
[Keesmaat says. “It’s about being transformational, improving streetcar operations, and innovative placemaking.”] I like Keesmaat, a lot, for all her posing and pretty petulance, but she can't help but use words like "placemaking", "wayfinding" and the litany of the lingo planners love to use to impress the hoi-polloi as to how special they are...

I became allergic to the lingo from prior bouts of attending planning meetings in an earlier life...
Somewhere along the way, transit needs were hijacked and turned into extend the St. James Park experience into King itself. /rolleyes
 
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