Toronto Queens Quay & Water's Edge Revitalization | ?m | ?s | Waterfront Toronto

I think we need to push council, waterfront toronto and the TTC to treat the streetcar as a street railway and put up Railroad crossing sign and maybe even flashing lights. It's done with many LRT lines in the US where they cross streets as well, yes you may have poel ignore them like they do with a regular railroad crossing but then again you have poel who ignore traffic lights too.
 
There is a difference between "design" and "build". The construction has to follow the "building code" or "highway traffic codes" of the place where they are putting the bike lanes down. Hence, the farside traffic lights that are "required" here.

It took decades before Ontario allowed the use of zebra crosswalks.

localrural_fl2_crosswalk.jpg





Queens Quay as "designed":
urbantoronto-6731-29317.jpg


Queens Quay as "improved" by the bureaucrats:
street3.jpg


Queens Quay as "built":
iss229_dev_queensquayconstruction.jpg
 
Last edited:
The current design makes certain parts of the pedestrian realm into signalized bicycle intersections, without clearly informing pedestrians of the fact.

In several places where bikes and pedestrians cross, the bike movements are signalized, while the pedestrian movements are not.

This is like building an intersection with traffic lights only for cars, and no traffic lights for pedestrians - just some lines on the ground and maybe a sign that says "Look for Cars". And then paving the entire intersection to resemble a big walking area (with green lights telling cars to drive across it - oops, surprise!).

So on QQ, we have cyclists moving through certain areas because they see a green bicycle light. Meanwhile pedestrians are wandering into same area because there is no matching pedestrian signal to stop them, and there are other cues - like the continuous paving stones and the location of the crossing button on the far side of the bike path - all suggesting that the safe pedestrian zone encompasses the area of the bike crossing.

This design issue might be a factor in QQ's higher collision rates - in excess of the typical collisions that happen throughout the city, between aggressive road users of all sorts.
 
Yes, it is but one driver of behaviour, but it also happens to be the most significant. The more unreasonable rules and expectations there are, the more people will develop the mentality to take the rules with a grain of salt. There are a lot of good examples here - I personally identify with Skeezix's example of one-way streets which are such for traffic calming reasons, rather than traffic control. Living downtown, I would cycle south down Victoria Street until Wellington, even though it becomes one-way northbound for two blocks at King. Because even riding illegally down a quiet one-way street is still safer than the alternative, which is to cycle legally down Yonge Street.

This applies to all road users. I expect that this mentality is the same one that explains why average speeds on 400-series highways are routinely 15 km/h above the speed limit. The signs say "Maximum 100", not "Minimum 100". I was recently in New Brunswick, and I found that although their speed limits are generally higher than ours for a comparable road, people didn't actually drive any faster. In New Brunswick, when the speed limits drop to 30 for a school zone, people actually slow to 30. Ditto for an 80km/h construction zone on the highway. Because most of the time the speed limits are consistent with what people consider 'reasonable', they don't develop the mindset to take them with a grain of salt as we do here in Ontario.

So you're right that correcting these counter-intuitive designs will not single-handedly end all law-breaking behaviour. But each change we make toward a more reasonable road system will contribute toward attitudes of respect toward rules and regulations. As it stands, Queens Quay is one of the worst places for intuitive design, so it is critical to fix in order to restore road users' respect of traffic engineering.

As a contrary example to the argument of "reasonable" rules will be followed - I have noticed consistent willingness to push the limits of yellow lights on the part of drivers and cyclists running red lights at signalized intersections. The rules restricting access cannot be more reasonable and yet behaviour continue to exist. Personally I think this is not about design but the reality that one can get away with it without consequences 99.9% of the time - and that is the problem.

The rules are not a buffet to pick and choose from based on one's take on the "reasonableness". It demands compliance, not lawyering.

AoD
 
Last edited:
^^ and pedestrians who think it's ok to start crossing when there is 1 second left on the countdown

No kidding (or worse - the able-bodied who believe they own the roadway and take the sweet time to cross). Another peeve is impatient drivers cutting pedestrians off for right turns.

Speaking of countdown - I have noticed they took it down for the Yonge-College area. Maybe it was just a lapse.

AoD
 
Last edited:
FFS. That's like saying we shouldn't care about any of the topics discussed on these forums because small children are dying in South Sudan. Yes, as has been said many times by many people in these forums, many motorists should not be behind the wheel, and our road design/rules and favouring of automobiles over other road users puts people in danger and leads to unnecessary deaths every year. Honestly, the discussion about the effects of an auto-centric city pervades dozens of threads. You being smug does not mean any of us are not outraged, nor does it mean other safety issues are irrelevant.

There's obviously a direct link between vilifying and impeding cyclists, and keeping people driving the cars that are the real problem. Your failure to make this elementary logical step is even more troubling than your callous disregard for pain and suffering in South Sudan.
 
There's obviously a direct link between vilifying and impeding cyclists, and keeping people driving the cars that are the real problem. Your failure to make this elementary logical step is even more troubling than your callous disregard for pain and suffering in South Sudan.

I think we have a hierarchy of oppression by transportation mode going here.

AoD
 
There's obviously a direct link between vilifying and impeding cyclists, and keeping people driving the cars that are the real problem. Your failure to make this elementary logical step is even more troubling than your callous disregard for pain and suffering in South Sudan.

Life is too short for this.
 
Last edited:
The current design makes certain parts of the pedestrian realm into signalized bicycle intersections, without clearly informing pedestrians of the fact.
In several places where bikes and pedestrians cross, the bike movements are signalized, while the pedestrian movements are not.
This is precisely the biggest problem on QQ. Pedestrians get zero guidance on when and where to cross. I used to get mad at the clueless pedestrians, but then I realized that they don't know that they're entering a bike path. The city even helpfully put the walk push button in an area that directly conflicts with bicycle movements. That's such a fundamental visual design cue for a pedestrian. They think: of course, I can cross the bicycle path whenever I want...I have to get there to push the walk request button.
^^ and pedestrians who think it's ok to start crossing when there is 1 second left on the countdown
I think the city has been experimenting with removing the countdown crossing. I used to think these things were great, but people seem to interpret it as permission to cross as long as it's >1.

I also really want to applaud Reaper's posts. He really succinctly captured many of the problems with this design. It's easy just to get mad at people and claim they're breaking the rules and yell for more tickets to be handed out, but I've come to realize much of it is innocent. I used to think people were idiots for turning into the street car tracks, and then I saw it from inside a car and realized just how crazy some of the intersections are. The turns at Spadina and Lower Simcoe are completely confusing.

Similarly, I doubt many of the drivers making illegal lefts that conflict with the streetcars intend to do so. Ontario's completely backward traffic signals play a big role. Look at this:
queensquay2.jpg.size.custom.crop.1086x722.jpg

These signals are utterly ridiculous. Examples include:
  • Many of them are oddly placed...not even directly over the phase they govern, like the left turn signal.
  • They're all doubled. It might have been smart to have redundancy with the light bulbs of 30 years ago, but now it just adds clutter.
  • The signals themselves are not visually descriptive. Why can we not have a red left arrow instead of a red circle with a sign describing its purpose as "Left turn signal"? That also adds to clutter.
  • The transit signals should not look anything like normal signals. It can only add confusion and add to the clutter.
  • At least the bicycle signals now look like bikes, although as reaper pointed out, they're often nowhere near the non-sensical blue stopping boxes.
The HTA is woefully in need of some modernization. Perhaps Toronto should completely disregard it and implement their own style.
 
that forefront intersection is broken. It'll go Green to Red, while the crosswalks will recycle and the eastbound + streetcar traffic light stays green. It's what leads to those large traffic jams you see on this stretch. That particallary example is a rare one where both it and the Spadina light is red. Its more common to see the Spadina light green.
 
I wonder if we stopped trying to be like Europe and putting bike lanes on streets would help things. If someone want to ride a bike they can do it on the road and follow the rules and watch out for vehicles. If they feel unsafe then DON'T RIDE YOUR DAM BIKE ON THE STREET OR SIDEWALK
 
I wonder if we stopped trying to be like Europe and putting bike lanes on streets would help things. If someone want to ride a bike they can do it on the road and follow the rules and watch out for vehicles. If they feel unsafe then DON'T RIDE YOUR DAM BIKE ON THE STREET OR SIDEWALK

Dam bike?

Dam.jpg
 

Attachments

  • Dam.jpg
    Dam.jpg
    65.9 KB · Views: 631
These signals are utterly ridiculous. Examples include:
  • Many of them are oddly placed...not even directly over the phase they govern, like the left turn signal.
  • They're all doubled. It might have been smart to have redundancy with the light bulbs of 30 years ago, but now it just adds clutter.
  • The signals themselves are not visually descriptive. Why can we not have a red left arrow instead of a red circle with a sign describing its purpose as "Left turn signal"? That also adds to clutter.
  • The transit signals should not look anything like normal signals. It can only add confusion and add to the clutter.
  • At least the bicycle signals now look like bikes, although as reaper pointed out, they're often nowhere near the non-sensical blue stopping boxes.
The HTA is woefully in need of some modernization. Perhaps Toronto should completely disregard it and implement their own style.

I agree, there is way too much clutter in Toronto's signs and signals. Even on quiet side streets there are a ridiculous amount of unnecessary signs.

You're also right about the lights. Each mode of transport should have a distinct signal, although I think pedestrian and bicycle can be combined in one unit with the usual walking man and a bicycle beside each other. The LRT signals would ideally follow the designs used in Europe, I think this was discussed before.
 

Top