2017-03-07 Tue

King Street Congestion

I wrote a few weeks back about the latest scramble to run around waving the hands in the air screaming “We Can’t Afford It!” and “The Sky is Falling”.

Three plans are put forward for resolving the King Street problem of people finding that they can Walk Home Faster than the streetcars can get them there.

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I proposed that Toronto City Council spent five minutes, tops, passing a bylaw that Forbids Parking both sides of King Street between Dufferin and Broadview between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., with a poison-pill rider that the extent of the ban can only be extended, never reduced.

You can change the bylaw, but either the Area Must Be Extended west beyond Dufferin Street, or east beyond Broadview Avenue. Or the Hours Must Be Extended half an hour before 7a.m. or half an hour past 7p.m. It is time to act.

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I wrote that it is insane to allow over fifty percent of a major thoroughfare to be taken over for parking.

Over fifty percent because the two kerb lanes are used for parking (hence fifty percent of the four lanes) and the centre lane is used by people who choose to Practice their Parallel Parking on the downtown streets, which blocks the remaining traffic lane for up to two minutes at a time.

These two photos show a portion of King street, the eastbound and then the westbound, near Church Street around mid-day on the 22nd February 2017.

One can do all sorts of analysis from a simple photo.

Start by assuming that the stationary cars in the kerb lane (“I’m just dashing in for a coffee”) were actually moving at regular speed, then imagine someone half a mile back in the Streetcar Lane and what they would pay to be here at the moment, of only miles of traffic lane weren’t occupied by Stationary Vehicles (“I’m just dashing in to drop off some cleaning”)