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TTC: St. Clair Streetcar Right Of Way

Steve X

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True but they usually tend to space them pretty well on St Clair, usually the westbound one comes in first makes a brief stop to check the switch is set and then heads to the platform. The eastbound one will usually follow behind it and then stop to unload and load before going around the westbound one.
You mean when both direction streetcar enters the tunnel on both sides, give priority to the westbound one first.

They would have less issues if they built the westbound platform directly on the straight tracks where the stairs from street level is located. TTC loves terminals and loops their buses and streetcars in big circles to just have everything in one spot. Of course that adds a lot of travel times.
 

Admiral Beez

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I drive St. Clair every weekday from Mount Pleasant to Bathurst and I have to wonder, why weren't separated bike lanes put on both side of St. Clair? If illegal parking can be controlled, us car drivers only need one lane. Give the other to bikes as a separated bike lane. Was this considered and rejected back when the ROW was being designed?
 

Admiral Beez

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As I look for images of TTC ROW with separated bike lanes, I can’t find any. Queens Quay doesn’t count, as that’s not a bike path, but is instead some hybrid walking path where one must dodge bicycles.

Do any of the streetcar ROW include separated bike lanes? Why not? As long as right and left turns and illegal parking are controlled us car users only need one lane. And forget about onstreet parking, there’s no room for that.
 

Leo_Chan

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As I look for images of TTC ROW with separated bike lanes, I can’t find any. Queens Quay doesn’t count, as that’s not a bike path, but is instead some hybrid walking path where one must dodge bicycles.

Do any of the streetcar ROW include separated bike lanes? Why not? As long as right and left turns and illegal parking are controlled us car users only need one lane. And forget about onstreet parking, there’s no room for that.
Isn't it just simply that widening the ROW to include dedicated (on-street or separated) bike lanes that do not merge with sidewalks or mixed traffic at intersections while keeping left turn and right turn lanes is infeasible?
 

lead82

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I drive and take the 512 on St. Clair. The ROW in my humble opinion was a great big missed opportunity by Millers administration. It could have demonstrated what a complete street looks like. St. Clair only needs one through lane with turning lanes. Bike lanes should have been added as part of the ROW and the streetcar should have been upgraded to LRT by removing half the stops. It would have shown how to do surface transit cheap and fast with maximum benefit. As in typical Toronto fashion, it was compromised by lack of leadership and a noisy bunch of NYMBYS who wanted the status quo kept.

The new ROW has made the 512 more reliable for sure but it also poisoned the well for LRT for a long time. Hopefully the Crosstown and Finch lines will help to show Toronto how well LRT could work and how appropriate it is in Toronto suburbs.
 

asher__jo

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I don't think St Clair is enough of a crosstown route for 'LRT' to be demanded, but do agree that bike lanes should have been added though. Perhaps Carlton will become a little more like St Clair.
 

lead82

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I don't think St Clair is enough of a crosstown route for 'LRT' to be demanded, but do agree that bike lanes should have been added though. Perhaps Carlton will become a little more like St Clair.
Why does a route have to be crosstown to warrant LRT service? We don't need to make LRT service only on crosstown like routes. To me, it's a service quality and speed issue. St. Clair goes through mixed-income neighbourhoods and is the main street (commercial activity) and main thoroughfare in the neighbourhood. It could have benefitted from faster travel times like any other part of the city. The travel time on this relatively short route is horrendously slow. Even with its ROW, it can take 40-45 mins to travel from Yonge to Gunns loop (~7km) mainly because of too many stops and no transit priority with the traffic lights.

Building bike lanes would have allowed mid-town Toronto to have a trunk bike lane infrastructure to encourage more people to bike in a safe environment. Steve Munro gives a good post-mortem on the project and where the city went wrong: https://stevemunro.ca/2010/01/17/a-post-mortem-for-st-clairs-construction/
 

drum118

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First of all, St Clair is only 100' wide. The SOS group and others demanded on street parking, left turning lanes which saw sidewalks bring cut for them and no room for bike lanes. Then you had the fire department wanting access over the ROW and to the ROW. Since the city has a traffic department supporting cars only, transit, cycles and pedestrians come last

St Clair is a miss opportunity for building the ROW correctly that would have seen wider sidewalks and bike lanes. To do this, the ROW needed to be wider for TTC buses as well more clearance between the tracks according to Andy, along with the removal of on street parking. Its a street that I call built by a drunk sailor since there are fair number OppS!! where thing were off set at match points that to the city engineering.

Then there is the need for bar signals with priority lights for the streetcars. 2 stops should have been removed as well. Other than those 2 stops, stop spacing is right.

There is no real reason why streetcars can't do 50 km along the ROW like other cities do, other than the whining of various groups.
 

W. K. Lis

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Why does a route have to be crosstown to warrant LRT service? We don't need to make LRT service only on crosstown like routes. To me, it's a service quality and speed issue. St. Clair goes through mixed-income neighbourhoods and is the main street (commercial activity) and main thoroughfare in the neighbourhood. It could have benefitted from faster travel times like any other part of the city. The travel time on this relatively short route is horrendously slow. Even with its ROW, it can take 40-45 mins to travel from Yonge to Gunns loop (~7km) mainly because of too many stops and no transit priority with the traffic lights.

Building bike lanes would have allowed mid-town Toronto to have a trunk bike lane infrastructure to encourage more people to bike in a safe environment. Steve Munro gives a good post-mortem on the project and where the city went wrong: https://stevemunro.ca/2010/01/17/a-post-mortem-for-st-clairs-construction/
Priority is given to left-turning single-occupant motor vehicles along St. Clair Avenue West. It would be faster if the streetcars didn't have to wait for their allegedly transit signal to turn from red to green, when the left-turning vehicles should be the one (okay, maybe 1.5 people) waiting.
 

drum118

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W. K. Lis

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Why is this? Why design a ROW and road combo that have two lanes for cars but none for bikes?

I’ve just searched on google for images of “streetcar row with bike path” and no results. Is this done nowhere?
Must have left turn lanes for the single-occupant automobile above all else.
 

asher__jo

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Why does a route have to be crosstown to warrant LRT service? We don't need to make LRT service only on crosstown like routes. To me, it's a service quality and speed issue. St. Clair goes through mixed-income neighbourhoods and is the main street (commercial activity) and main thoroughfare in the neighbourhood. It could have benefitted from faster travel times like any other part of the city. The travel time on this relatively short route is horrendously slow. Even with its ROW, it can take 40-45 mins to travel from Yonge to Gunns loop (~7km) mainly because of too many stops and no transit priority with the traffic lights.

Building bike lanes would have allowed mid-town Toronto to have a trunk bike lane infrastructure to encourage more people to bike in a safe environment. Steve Munro gives a good post-mortem on the project and where the city went wrong: https://stevemunro.ca/2010/01/17/a-post-mortem-for-st-clairs-construction/
I used LRT in quotes because it is such a vague term. Finch West is an LRT, Eglinton is an LRT (above and below ground), Scarborough RT is even LRT in the broad sense. I think the stop spacing on St Clair is appropriate, I see it much more similar to Spadina than to the above mentioned.
 

drum118

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Why is this? Why design a ROW and road combo that have two lanes for cars but none for bikes?

I’ve just searched on google for images of “streetcar row with bike path” and no results. Is this done nowhere?
Done in a number of places, since bikes are unwelcome, even for BRT. The Green Line in Minneapolis is a good example of a LRT ROW, single lane of road and no bike lanes, especially in the University area.

I stand to be corrected, but none of the 15 cities I visited for the first time in the US this year had bike lanes and the other 8 I have been to before also have no bike lanes. 7 of those cities had streetcars/LRT lines.

LRT/streetcar/Tram lines are all the same, other than what people and politicians want to call them as well the type of equipment. How do you class a 66' streetcar found in places like Dallas, Tucson, Detroit, Cincinnati, Milwaukee that is 70% low floor to A PCC or CLRV to a Flexity or anyone type of a car 100-155' long running as a single, a pair or 3 car long on the street??

Do you call an 5-8 car EMU a streetcar that runs on the streets of Michigan City and pickup riders at stops??
 
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