Toronto city council approves King Street transit pilot project
Toronto city council has approved a pilot project on a portion of King Street in the city’s downtown that will see TTC vehicles be given priority and restrictions for general traffic.
In a 35-4 vote Thursday evening, council voted to begin the project on King Street between Bathurst and Jarvis streets in the fall.
Under the plan, city staff want to prioritize transit and create more efficiency on King Street by making the designated section of the street local traffic access only. According to TTC ridership statistics, the 504 King streetcar has an average daily ridership of around 65,000 people compared to 20,000 vehicles that use the street.
WATCH: TTC planning pilot project to make King Street more streetcar friendly. Mark Carcasole reports. (May 15)
Vehicles will not be able to turn left and only right-turn ‘loops’ will be allowed. There will be no east-west through traffic at key intersections.
City staff said transit, bicycles, police, fire and paramedics will be exempt from the restrictions. Cabs will be allowed to drive through King Street between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Along the affected stretch of King Street, there will be designated spaces for short-term loading, deliveries and taxis. Cars will not be allowed to park in the pilot project area and 180 spaces will be removed from King Street.
Also, there will be physical ‘bump-outs’ at major streetcar stops in an effort to improve passenger safety and boarding times.
Drivers will be encouraged to use Queen, Richmond, Adelaide, Wellington and Front streets to move east-west throughout the downtown core once the pilot project begins.
The pilot project is scheduled to run no longer than Dec. 31, 2018. City staff have been requested to report back to Toronto’s executive committee and the TTC board on their interim findings before the end of 2018.
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