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King Street (Streetcar Transit Priority)

It's amazing how much better this line is than a few years ago. The new trains, the pilot with new stops, POP combined together have made it so much more efficient, fast & reliable and subway-like. Of course, it could use more capacity and is sometimes packed full.

Once it's made permanent, I'd love to see more invested in the shelters at big transfer points like St Andrew station and have the curb extended out to the streetcar, with at least a roof & some walls for weather protection. With DRL so many years away and not going west of University, this will be the main way for people to get to Spadina-Bathurst to King, which is exploding as a tech hub and employment area with thousands of jobs coming. Spadina GO Station will hopefully help too but it seems years away.

https://business.financialpost.com/...n-presence-in-toronto-real-estate-development
Once the Pilot is made permanent the City plans to do lots of streetscape work and the Astral shelters that are @ the old stops will be moved.
 
Meanwhile...

The City of London is kicking cars off half its roads

As the need to reduce carbon emissions from cities becomes ever more clear, London sets itself on a path to ban cars from half the streets in its city center.

See link.

... the City introduced a plan to dramatically reduce car traffic and speeds in the financial district, colloquially known as the Square Mile. Under the proposals from the City of London Corporation, the local authority for the district, cars would be banned from half of all roads in the city center, and vehicles passing through on access roads would be limited to 15 mph. The move, according to the Evening Standard, is intended both to improve cyclist and pedestrian safety, and reduce emissions.

The City of London Corporation presented the draft plans to local elected officials as part of the lead-up to the unveiling of its final Transport Strategy, which the agency will publish next spring, and about which it’s been sourcing feedback and suggestions over the course of this year. At the core of the Transport Strategy for the district is pedestrianizing streets around key local tube stations like Liverpool Street and Moorgate, and adding more two-way, protected bike lanes on major streets.

...prioritizing walking, cycling, and public transit over private cars is a matter of pure geometry. According to a report from the City, over 600 square meters of street space is needed to move 80 people in 55 cars or taxis; the same number of people traveling in five buses need 170 square meters, and 160 if traveling by bicycle.

Over 90% of the journeys through the Square Mile involve walking, yet when the City polled people that travel through the district, they found that 84% of people think pedestrian pavements are overcrowded. Three in five people think the needs of cyclists and pedestrians are underprioritized in the district.

In the United States, for instance, the transportation sector is responsible for the highest portion of carbon emissions, and while moving to electric vehicles and buses will address that, eventually, it won’t address the spatial constraints facing congested cities like London. For such places, shifting the priority to cyclists, pedestrians, and public transport is common sense, and ideally, the City of London’s plan will evolve to where the car ban on half the district’s streets extends to all of them.
 
I note that the requirements for some patios and street furniture are not being met. Many of these patios make it very dangerous for cyclists caught between passing streetcars and the structures.

King Street Transit Pilot - Outdoor Cafés & Public Installations in the Curb Lane Public Spaces Date: February 16, 2018

upload_2018-10-16_1-6-45.png


[...]
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2018/te/bgrd/backgroundfile-112844.pdf

Immediately west of MEC's front entrance, the foliage was definitely higher than that. ".9 metres" = 3 feet.
v) have a surface that is stable, safe, and slip-resistant;
The yellow 'safety strips' are extremely slippery when wet for cyclists.
 

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And residents needing access. This can be instituted with minimum cost and in short time, well within a year. The sooner the King Transit Mall becomes that, the better. It's not like other cities haven't already done this to great success and huge amounts of documentation.

The real legal glitch remains in Queen's Park.

Steve Munro's latest installment on the King Car now up:
http://stevemunro.ca/2018/10/05/king-street-update-september-2018/

The most straightforward way to get cars off King would be to make select blocks transit and pedestrian only at regular intervals. The segment from Peter to Simcoe doesn't have any vehicular access points. It can be closed to cars entirely. If drivers couldn't use King St. as a crosstown road, they'd stay off of it unless that's what their destination is.
 
I note that the requirements for some patios and street furniture are not being met. Many of these patios make it very dangerous for cyclists caught between passing streetcars and the structures.

King Street Transit Pilot - Outdoor Cafés & Public Installations in the Curb Lane Public Spaces Date: February 16, 2018

upload_2018-10-16_1-6-45-png.160524
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2018/te/bgrd/backgroundfile-112844.pdf

Immediately west of MEC's front entrance, the foliage was definitely higher than that. ".9 metres" = 3 feet.

The yellow 'safety strips' are extremely slippery when wet for cyclists.

Just down there a few hours ago, most of the street furniture with the height offending planters and foliage on top of fenced off patios now gone, but this remains, and it's not only a case of a 'barrier' not meeting height requirements, it's *over twice the height permitted*!
I have absolutely nothing against this, it's obviously art to someone, but it could also be the death knell of a cyclist, like so much of the street furniture and patio barriers that were erected along the mall.

The City had better figure out whether to cater to cyclists or not, because since they are now, they're doing one shit of a job in making it safe. Frankly, I don't see how they can make it safe for cyclists...but that's exactly the point.
 

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From link (The Toronto Sun, of course):

LEVY: King St. pilot forces sushi restaurant to close

After four years near the corner of King and John Sts.. restaurateur Robert Garabedian has thrown in the towel.
Like the Pearl, Subway and Le Saint Tropez restaurants before him, Garabedian shut the doors of his Maki My Way restaurant this past week — a victim, he says, of the King St. pilot and the decision of the Kathleen Wynne government to increase the minimum wage.
He said he made up his mind two months ago when their lease came up for renewal and he had to decide to whether to sign for another five years — not knowing whether the King St. pilot will be made permanent (when a year is up this month) and before Premier Doug Ford cancelled a further minimum wage hike from $14 to 15/hr.
He found himself working 80 hours a week for minimal return while never home for his two daughters, 3 and 8.
“The street itself is losing its charm … restaurants are closing, the traffic is not as much as it used to be,” he said during a recent visit to his restaurant before it closed its doors.
“It’s an emotional time … I wanted to build something for my girls,” he said, noting now that he’s lived his dream to open a sushi place, he’s looking for another sales job like the one he had at Bell for 20 years.
The King St. pilot — launched in November of 2017 — removed all parking in the study area from Bathurst to Jarvis Sts. and only allows cars to proceed one block before being forced to turn right, or face a possible $145 fine.
The latest results from July and August — coincidentally released the Friday after last month’s municipal election — have been presented in much the same way as the results all along, spun to look better than they are.

Guess the closures of Lowe's and Rona stores should also be blamed on the King Street pilot?
 
Ok, so I've been living back in Parkdale for two months now after an 11 year hiatus (same building) and damn is the 504 where it's at even more than it was then. Just another reason to avoid Queen Street entirely. I'm getting to Union in 15 minutes....Ok, fine, 20ish with the walk up to King and the wait. Still.....I'm impressed by its usefulness.

504 Crew, represent.

I don't even know if the transit mall needs improving, it's already so much better than most of the TTC.

It's a bit weird though, to be honest, soon I'll end up on a boat in the lake and not venture north of of Queens Quay/Lakeshore. My Toronto is getting smaller every year. Still have everything I need though. Chiefly, airport and train to other airport and beaches.
 
It's very good & a huge improvement. However still it needs more service even with the bigger streetcars, it's still too full at rush hour where you can't get on. Occasionally (not too often) you have to wait 5-10 min for a the next streetcar. It should be expanded west to Dufferin due to demand & traffic from Bathurst to Dufferin.

With many tech companies growing extremely fast along this corridor (many have grown by hundreds in the last year) and thousands of jobs planned here with new office buildings opening, transit demand here will be growing super fast over the next few years.
 
^Even outside of peak, the 504 is packed and slow. It is an improvement, doubtless, but it could do a hell of a lot better yet. Pilot to Dufferin would be a huge step to improve things. Once it hits Roncesvalles, it crawls. Typically when I get off the 506 at Howard Park, if I can't see a NB 504, I walk up to Bloor. It's rare that I lose on the gamble of getting there faster.
 
Now if they could only speed it up by making it semi-express by removing unnecessary stops like Bay St, Church it would be even faster.
 

Interesting .. Two surprises:

a) Cyclists appear to like the Pilot a lot more than transit riders. While the transit ridership is up 11%, cyclists are up 440%.

b) Higher travel volume did not translate to higher patronage of the restaurants; some complain of the business decline.

I don't have a good explanation for either. Would expect the increases in transit ridership and in cycling to be in the same range, and would think the restaurants should see higher than before patronage, not lower.
 
Interesting .. Two surprises:

a) Cyclists appear to like the Pilot a lot more than transit riders. While the transit ridership is up 11%, cyclists are up 440%.

b) Higher travel volume did not translate to higher patronage of the restaurants; some complain of the business decline.

I don't have a good explanation for either. Would expect the increases in transit ridership and in cycling to be in the same range, and would think the restaurants should see higher than before patronage, not lower.
I suspect that a lot of those restaurants are frequented by 905ers who drive into the city. They are now going elsewhere in the city. King St. businesses will need to adjust to the new reality. I'm sure some businesses are benefitting more than others. Old ones may go and be filled in with new ones that attract the new reality of the area. I'm assuming Tory will make this pilot permanent.
 
Restaurants are facing stiff competition from grocery stores offering menues at a relative low prices. Also a higher number of delivery services are making life hard for restaurants!
 

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