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Did notice streetcars waiting at red lights before being able to cross the intersection to the farside stop. So much for "transit priority" at the traffic signals.

was transit priority lights a part of the pilot? I thought it was just usage restriction.
 
I think that the real solution here — if they want to maintain this design — is to cut off the cross town route at the middle.

From Spadina to University, there are no driveways or garage entrances and commercial loading is done via back alleys. Discontinue all traffic there except for streetcars. Make it all sidewalk with 2 centre lanes for streetcars.

Drivers would never be able to use King to go crosstown because they’d arrive at Spadina or at University and have to divert anyway. This would be a self enforcing solution that would make King Street useless for crosstown drivers, propagating the idea of King as a local only road.

Interesting solution. That is also one of the busiest pedestrian areas of King St, and it has narrow sidewalks. Reducing to 2 lanes and widening sidewalks in that area would be an enormous improvement, in addition to the benefits you mention.
 
was transit priority lights a part of the pilot? I thought it was just usage restriction.

King has had transit priority signals for a long time, but the system's effectiveness was limited by the near-side streetcar stops which made it difficult to predict when the streetcar would wish to proceed through the intersection. The priority system was turned off last week to allow it to be modified for the new conditions. Hopefully the City will allow it to be turned back on, because it will operate far better than before with most of the streetcar stops moved out of the streetcar detection area.

I think that the real solution here — if they want to maintain this design — is to cut off the cross town route at the middle.

From Spadina to University, there are no driveways or garage entrances and commercial loading is done via back alleys. Discontinue all traffic there except for streetcars. Make it all sidewalk with 2 centre lanes for streetcars.

Drivers would never be able to use King to go crosstown because they’d arrive at Spadina or at University and have to divert anyway. This would be a self enforcing solution that would make King Street useless for crosstown drivers, propagating the idea of King as a local only road.

Absolutely. Indeed the original plan included completely car-free blocks from University to York and a mostly car-free block from Church to Jarvis, since there is no need for local access there.

The University-York block would have contained both the St Andrew Station streetcar platforms, so the transit mall would have been self-enforcing to some extent given that streetcars will often be stopped there for a relatively long time. The two buildings in that block have absolutely no need for King, even today all of their access is off of other streets and King has a No Stopping zone.

The Church-Jarvis block would have been fully car-free westbound, because the only buildings are the St James Cathedral (whose access is off Church Street) and the shops on the corner of Jarvis, which can be accessed via Jarvis (and in the current pilot there's no stopping in front anyway due to the streetcar stop). The eastbound direction would have effectively been a transit mall, except that cars and trucks making deliveries in the alley south of King would have been allowed to exit onto King and then make right turn onto Jarvis (so eastbound at Church the signs would have still been able to say "Do Not Enter" instead of "No Straight Thru").
 
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King has had transit priority signals for a long time, but the system's effectiveness was limited by the near-side streetcar stops which made it difficult to predict when the streetcar would wish to proceed through the intersection. The priority system was turned off last week to allow it to be modified for the new conditions. Hopefully the City will allow it to be turned back on, because it will operate far better than before with most of the streetcar stops moved out of the streetcar detection area. But there has been no confirmation that the City will allow it to be re-enabled after the adjustments are complete.

I'm confused. Why would the City adjust the signal timings for the pilot, if they have no intention of enabling those signal timings?
 
Is it? They don't need 100% compliance to improve transit times. Come rush hour, if you follow the streetcar through the light, you'll find yourself parked behind it while it loads/unloads.

This all seems to about Saturday. I thought the streetcars weren't even going to using the new stops until today. When you were there, were the old stops removed yet?

You're absolutely right, as is @UD2

I actually laughed when I read his post, as it is certainly quite silly to be upset about a plan such as this hours after it was implemented.

Chalk it up to excitement/frustration that they couldn't get obvious things right at the start.

In the grand scheme of things it should work out and any mistakes should (or at least hopefully) lead to necessary improvements.
 
I think the

1) no left turns anywhere, and
2) no street parking

Are making a huge difference, even with everyone ignoring the no straight through rule
To some extent it looks like everyone is ignoring it, because anyone aware it is there, wouldn't be driving on King in the first place.

So it might look like everyone is ignoring it, but traffic will be a lot lighter.

Will be interesting when all the pedestrians show up on Monday - who'll know they can safely jay walk across the street, if there's no TTC vehicles around, and nothing about to turn - as they'll know that any cars won't be crossing the pedestrian area.

Maybe time to stock up on small stones to throw at cars ignoring the signage ...

Biked along King today as well, many cars were ignoring the new signs - not sure if they were confused or they chose to ignore.
They didn't say that. They said people would be issued warnings the first week - through presumably after one or two, they'll start getting real tickets.

This is normal for a change like this. They did the same with the POP for the streetcars. For a few months, they just gave people pieces of paper explaining. Now they haul everyone off the streetcar for ticketing.
 
From the MTO driver's handbook (couldn't find a pedestrian handbook), at this link:

When you face a flashing green light or a left-pointing green arrow and a green light, you may turn left, go straight ahead or turn right from the proper lane. This is called an advanced green light because oncoming traffic still faces a red light.

Pedestrians must not cross on a flashing green light unless a pedestrian signal tells them to.

3-2-5.jpg

If the green arrow is NOT flashing, pedestrians could still cross.

Get Green Arrow to enforce the rules.

green-arrow-1.jpg
 
The City doesn't maintain the priority system, the TTC does.
I don't think that's quite true. Yes, the TTC has detectors etc on the streetcars and buses to identify a vehicle arriving and leaving BUT the actual lights and their electronic controls are a City responsibility.
 
Maybe time to stock up on small stones to throw at cars ignoring the signage ...

Great new business opportunity and product line for the Road Dog vendors. Much cheaper than pay duty cops. Maybe enlist the squeegie kids.

Honestly, let's give this some time to work. And, let's focus on counting streetcar trip times, not scofflaw motorists. Toronto drivers do stupid things all over the city. Do we expect pristine 100% compliance down on King?

- Paul
 
Rode the 504 through this morning at about 7:30 AM. Couple of things to note:

1. Far side stops make a big difference in terms of dwell time. Far less time spent waiting at green lights while riders board only to have the light change red as soon as the doors close up.
2. Riders seem as clueless about the changes as drivers, especially about the stops moving. Kudos to the operator who didn't service old stops...it's the only way people will learn. The flow of people in subway stations will be interesting now with riders having to learn which stairs to take at stops like St. Andrew and King.
3. Cops were out in decent numbers. I hope that police presence remains after the initial period.

The afternoon will be the true test for me. I'm early enough in the AM that the traffic isn't usually there anyways.
 

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