The King Street Transit Pilot is moving along at a rapid pace, now heading to the powers that be for approval. The report, which sees the stretch of King between Jarvis and Bathurst dramatically reconstructed, clearly favors pedestrians and patrons of public transit. The document details how King Street is the busiest surface transit route in the entire city, moving more than 65,000 riders on an average weekday, compared to only 20,000 vehicles. Only the Yonge-University and Bloor-Danforth subway lines carry more people on transit.
While primarily intended to improve the transit reliability, speed, and capacity on King Street, the plan also serves to bolster the effectiveness of business in the surrounding area. Improving the public space along the stretch of street by giving greater dedication to sidewalks, businesses that face the road could yield heightened economic prosperity thanks to additional (happier) foot traffic. These new public spaces in the curb lane could take several forms including: additional seating, planters, bicycle racks, bike share stations, patios affiliated with adjacent restaurants, etc. The preliminary estimated cost of the King Street Transit Pilot proposed in this report is approximately $1,500,000.
King between Jarvis and Bathurst Streets would be modified with 7 key recommendations via the King Street Transit Pilot. The highlights, summarized by SteveMunro.ca, are as follows:
- – No through traffic would be permitted, only local access, and vehicles would be forced to turn off of King Street rather than continuing in a straight line across the core area.
- – Transit stops would be shifted to farside locations so that pedestrian activity from riders boarding and alighting would be separated from right turning traffic movements.
- – No parking would be permitted, but specific locations would be designated as loading zones for short-term use and for taxi stands.
- – In some areas, pedestrian space would extend into the curb lane, and would be protected with measures such as planters to prevent vehicle access.
A generic view of the King Street Transit Pilot is shown below, including the new turning format. Each block would have four basic types of use in the curb lanes: Farside transit stop (red/orange in the diagram), Pedestrian realm improvement (green), Loading zone (blue), Right turn lane (gray)