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Spadina Rapid Transit Line (Speculative)

W. K. Lis

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Couldn't the 512 ST. CLAIR streetcar be UPGRADED to become a new SPADINA LIGHT RAIL RAPID TRANSIT LINE? HOW?

1. Replace the single-point track switches with double-point tracks? Similar to the double-point track switches used by the heavy rail lines in existance and light rail lines being constructed? Currently, the streetcar operators have to "stop" at each single-point switch. This would increase the speeds.

2. Remove the closely spaced stops, where they can be serviced by another stop or station further apart. This would increase the speeds of the vehicles.

3. Implement "REAL" transit priority signals. Currently, we have left turn priority being given to single-occupant motor vehicles instead of the 100+ on board the streetcars. With real transit priority, streetcars leaving a stop would be able to activate their traffic signals ahead of time as they approach the next stop.

4. Outside cameras to record violations by motorists who disobey the rules of the road that involve the traffic signals or streetcars.



[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]W. K. Lis
 

innsertnamehere

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I agree with eliminating stops, along with improving signal priority where possible. The problem with the 510 is that it is so frequent that it is difficult to provide reliable signal priority.

Stops I would eliminate:

- Richmond/Adelaide
- Sullivan
- Willcocks
- Sussex

Even just doing that would probably improve speeds a fair bit, along with hopefully removing the need to stop at track switches.

The 510 as it is today is almost hilariously slow considering it has its own exclusive lanes.
 

TheTigerMaster

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For 510, I'd consider expanding the platforms to allow for cars to be coupled together. This would allow us to reduce frequencies, making signal priority more reliable.

However, I really don't know that reliable signal priority will be achievable here. Nearly all of the major intersections that the 510 crosses (on Spadina) have other streetcar lines with their own signal priority. Will it be possible to manage these conflicting signal priorities?

I feel like the 510 would be a good candidate for underground operation. Not today of course, but several decades from now, as the core of the city continues to shift west and the University Line sees capacity constraints. Subways on Yonge, University and Spadina (heh.. Yonge-University Spadina) and the DRL bisecting Downtown along Queen or King would make for a very robust downtown rapid transit network.
 

Hopkins123

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I agree with eliminating stops, along with improving signal priority where possible. The problem with the 510 is that it is so frequent that it is difficult to provide reliable signal priority.

Stops I would eliminate:

- Richmond/Adelaide
- Sullivan
- Willcocks
- Sussex

Even just doing that would probably improve speeds a fair bit, along with hopefully removing the need to stop at track switches.

The 510 as it is today is almost hilariously slow considering it has it's own exclusive lanes.
What do you have against people with mobility issues that you'd cut out all the mid block stops?
 

rbt

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if someone can't walk 2 blocks, I'm pretty sure they're taking wheel trans.
Wheel trans is by far the most expensive method of transport the city offers (average cost is $31 per trip); it's a mode of last resort, not something to be encouraged over alternatives.

That said, you're likely right that they would qualify for Conditional use of wheeltrans; which typically restricts their use to/from the nearest accessible subway station (middle portion handled by conventional transit).
 

junctionist

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For 510, I'd consider expanding the platforms to allow for cars to be coupled together. This would allow us to reduce frequencies, making signal priority more reliable.

However, I really don't know that reliable signal priority will be achievable here. Nearly all of the major intersections that the 510 crosses (on Spadina) have other streetcar lines with their own signal priority. Will it be possible to manage these conflicting signal priorities?

I feel like the 510 would be a good candidate for underground operation. Not today of course, but several decades from now, as the core of the city continues to shift west and the University Line sees capacity constraints. Subways on Yonge, University and Spadina (heh.. Yonge-University Spadina) and the DRL bisecting Downtown along Queen or King would make for a very robust downtown rapid transit network.
Underground transit on Spadina would allow the city to significantly expand the sidewalks and add lush landscaping for a Parisian-like boulevard. It could be like the Champs-Elysees.
 

W. K. Lis

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If we use just the main intersections for stops (Front, King, Queen, Dundas, College, Harbord), that would be the same distance between them as with the University or Yonge sections of Line 1. We could put in shorter stops, like at Bremner Blvd./Fort York Blvd., for the crowds getting to and from the Skydome Rogers Centre.

Would like to upgrade Queen's Quay & Fleet as well, while at it.

May want to put in fencing or some other barrier along the right-of-way to keep pedestrians from hurting themselves.
 

sixrings

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I'm very much in favor of increasing speed by reducing stops on this and st clair if only to kill the streetcars are slow, antique and useless thoughts a lot of Torontonians have including some on a urban thread.
 

Hopkins123

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if someone can't walk 2 blocks, I'm pretty sure they're taking wheel trans.
I explained in another thread why the mid-blocks along Spadina cannot be removed and even if they were, it wouldn't resolve the "slowness" of the 510 all that much because signal priority is the number #1 issue at fault. Regularly SB 510s skip one of Harbord or Wilcocks yet it still takes 20 minutes on average to get down to King. It has little to do with the number of stop requests. As an alumni of U of T I often get off at Wilcocks, and considering the large spacing gap between College and Harbord I am certainly glad that the stop exists.
 

TheTigerMaster

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Underground transit on Spadina would allow the city to significantly expand the sidewalks and add lush landscaping for a Parisian-like boulevard. It could be like the Champs-Elysees.
Exactly what I had in mind

Note that University is also slated to get a similar treatment, as part of the Great Streets initiative
 

junctionist

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Exactly what I had in mind

Note that University is also slated to get a similar treatment, as part of the Great Streets initiative
I'm glad to hear that. University Avenue has long seemed like a boulevard that doesn't live up to what it was supposed to be. The medians look nice when driving by in a car, but up close, you see so many problems with the boulevard, particularly along the sidewalks (e.g. street trees that barely grow, utilitarian concrete and asphalt pavements, and unceremonial street lights).

I feel like Spadina could more see much more interesting than University. Instead of the dead zones of institutions, you could have vibrant restaurant patios and round-the-clock retail vitality in a beautiful setting.
 

syn

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Some great ideas here, but I don't think they're politically viable at the moment.
 

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