What Should A Streetcar Street Look Like?

Village BIA RoncesvallesARCHIVE, Beautification, Roncesvalles Village BIA, Uncategorised2 Comments

This posting comes a bit late, but Steve Munro hosted an interesting discussion concerning the Roncesvalles reconstruction project, likely to occur in 2009.

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.

Short Turns

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?

2 Comments on “What Should A Streetcar Street Look Like?”

  1. Aren’t they buying hundreds of new streetcars though? I thought the TTC’s plan was to increase service on the 504, because it’s so popular. Not just on King, but the whole route.

  2. No way am I for getting rid of left turns onto Howard Park Ave. I have lived in this neighbourhood my entire life. If people want to come and visit Roncesvalles Ave., then they are going to have to deal with left hand turns. The neighbourhood should first and foremost be accessible to the residents and then secondary to visitors.

    Residents on Howard Park Ave., when coming off of Roncesvalles will be forced to go left onto Boustead or Constance. Also, Howard Park Ave., is the major vein to Parkside Drive and accessing the lakeshore. Making it less accessible for people would cause greater disruption and more noise on the quieter, side streets.

    I’ve lived on both Grenadier Road and Howard Park Ave. and strongly disagree with this initiative.

    Getting rid of left turns will be more disruptive to those people living in the area.

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