One of the challenges faced by the TTC and the City is the lack of any “best practices” that can be applied to new constructions of this sort. The City has only recently begun to prioritize transit and pedestrian street usage over car traffic, and so, new lessons are being learned with every project.
This is why the public must remain involved in this process, to ensure that the City and TTC understand the local conditions and community priorities.
On a related note, Steve has also posted a chart illustrating the problem of “short turns” on the King line. The 504 King streetcar is the busiest line in the City, but service along Roncesvalles (and near Broadview on the east side) can be irregular. The TTC uses short turns to keep the streetcars circulating along King Street, with the idea being that less service is needed along Roncesvalles. These short turns are often unscheduled, added when demand in the city centre increases past a certain point. The unfortunate result is that Roncesvalles TTC riders often have no clear idea as to when the next streetcar may arrive.
The TTC has prepared a streetscape proposal for Roncesvalles that would impose a number of traffic restrictions, such as no left turns onto Howard Park from Roncesvalles. These restrictions are designed to ensure that the “busiest streetcar in Toronto” can move through Roncesvalles without having to wait behind turning cars. However, when a Roncesvalles transit rider can wait up to 30 minutes for a streetcar, where are the delays and “clusters” really occurring? How many of these traffic restrictions are really necessary?