King street ROW community meeting Wednesday night

On Wednesday April 18th, 2007 at 7:30 p.m., there will be a Community Consultation Meeting regarding Dedicated Streetcar Lanes on King Street West.

The meeting will be held at City Hall, 100 Queen Street West, in Committee Room 2 on the second floor. From the councillor’s office:

Councillor Adam Vaughan and Toronto Transit Chair, Councillor Adam Giambrone invite you to discuss a proposal for a temporary, reserved right-of-way on a four to five block section of King Street for the summer of 2008. The area under consideration is the Entertainment District on King Street West.

Please attend this meeting and invite your neighbours and friends. If you are unable to attend and would like to voice your opinion or concerns, please contact: Angela Kinnear, Executive Assistant, Councillor Vaughan, at Telephone: 416 392 4044 Fax: 416 392 4130 Email:

Much has been written about this proposal already. There is extensive background on the idea to make King street transit only here at Transit Toronto, in an article titled “Let’s Move on the King Transit Mall.”

I will attend to find out where and how bike lanes will be incorporated in this plan (if at all).

Image courtesy of Transit Toronto


  1. Not to be confused – meeting is NOT tomorrow – it’s the day after tomorrow – on Wednesday.

  2. I have been wondering this for a while, and I am sure that someone here will know the answer…

    Has there ever been a proposal to move the streetcar lines from King and Queen onto Richmond and Adelaide? As these are one way streets, it would seem far easier to convince the public to give them each a one-way ROW. Less disruption for businesses, and transit users could actually get off the streetcar directly onto the sidewalk. Yes, it would be slightly more inconvenient, but the walk from Adelaide / Richmond to King/Queen isn’t much.

    There must be something I’m not thinking about…

  3. A King St. ROW is one of about 10 transit options to the Front St. Extension that haven’t been compared to the road nor each other, but the FSE still has some funding priority, even though a King St. ROW wouldn’t cost $255,000,000, but it would take political will.
    It may be too controversial (again), but one possible option that I’ll push for is diverting some of the King cars onto the Weston rail corridor area on the east side with new track leading to Front St. The intent is to expedite many of the King cars into the core to both destinations and transfers. The money is found in converting the FSE to a transit project. And bikes are nearest to my heart of course, but just a few blocks of bike-friendlier King will be absolutely false encouragement as the City has made it worse for bikes at the same Weston rail overpass east of Dufferin where they narrowed the curb lane while widening the sidewalk recently. We desperately need a true bike corridor along these carterials, but the challenges of the streetcar tracks dictating lane positions is quite difficult.
    I might be there leafletting, presumably Mr. Vaughan will permit this activity.

  4. I lived for ten years just south of King. Perfect street for a complete redesign. Parking out. Streetcars ROW plus bike lanes. Surely that makes sense no?

  5. Time for Richmond and Adelaide to become 2-way streets and to reflect that a neighbourhood is being established. These streets should not be treated as mini-expressways.

  6. One small additional but cynical point: the TTC will likely have to be FORCED into supporting or creating bike-friendlier streets as it’s quite clear that the bike is often not just the better but best way to get around much of the core for many of us, but it’s in the centre of the City that the TTC “makes” a batch of money to support the suburban routes. So there is a quite strong interest in running over the competition institutionally and politically. Proof?: there’s been a long-standing set of concerns about how hazardous the streetcar tracks are to cyclists but there’s no data kept of these crashes, just anecdotal horrors, and Geez, there’s no money to do anything like the rubber inserts that may well occur elsewhere but let’s spend a quarter-billion on the FSE, maybe a half-bill on the WWLRT, build another subway to sprawl etc. etc.
    And in terms of the cartillery on the carterials and how much transit can do, there are a huge number of people that come into the core every day and it is often a conflict between those who wish to travel through an area and those who wish to live in it and cross the road.

  7. Grace, I disagree. The one-way nature of Richmond and Adelaide make them much better for biking east or west through the downtown core. Compared to King or Queen, you spend a lot less time squeezing between parked cars and streetcar tracks. They’re much, much safer for cyclists, in my opinion, and should stay that way unless bike lanes are installed downtown.

  8. I also think that Richmond and Adelade are better kept as one-way roads. Unlike King and Queen, except in the Entertainment District perhaps, there is little street activity, the office towers all but turning their backs. Better to further urbanize King and/or Queen and have the drivers use Adelaide/Richmond, which are pretty dead anyway (and have been historically), in comparison (and this is why streetcars should not be diverted to these streets).

    Though I think one or the other (or both) Richmond/Adelaide between Bathurst and Parliament may be ideal for Montreal-style cordoned-off bike lanes, at the left most side of traffic, so the curb or pylons are not in the way of plows. Could make one lane into a two lane bikeway, with contraflow traffic lights. But keep the one-way flows, especially if King Street goes ahead as planned.

  9. King West connects to Lakeshore in the west and Sherbourne bike lane in the east.
    It’s just never convenient to put in zero-carbon transport options on carterial roads, or is it?
    Anyways, I’ll be quiet now.

  10. Are there still the rush hour streetcars (and buses) in a loop on Adelaide and Richmond ?
    I always thought they were there to avoid Queen and King when busy.

  11. Bring the noise! And thanks for pointing out the obvious connections, Tino. I am hopeful (perhaps naively) that Vaughan will be totally onside with bikes in the plan… we’ll see!

  12. King will be for pedestrians first. Walkers and bikes don’t mix well. Most cyclists would rather ride through traffic than a crowd of bystanders.

  13. comment problem, maybe #13 or whatever.
    The Bike Plan intends bike lanes on either Richmond or Adelaide I can’t remember, plan at the office, and not so obvious online. It would do pretty well for an east-west route through the core and could be a Montreal style 2-in-1.
    The trouble is it doesn’t work so well west of Bathurst and it’s the lower west end that really really needs a safer east-west bike lane/way somehow, somewhere useful.
    Having a few blocks of King may be less useful.
    Changing Richmond 4sure and maybe Adelaide is slowed up or halted by the FSE second thoughts. The only link in my mind is that it’s asphalt.

  14. I strongly support the King right-of-way proposal, and I do not think that it will have a negative effect on business. Streetcars along the route are extremely slow due to traffic, and this heavy traffic likely discourages as many transit riders from visiting the area as cars who would be discouraged from visiting the area by closing the street to through traffic. Many of the area’s residents and visitors use the King streetcar, other crossing streetcars or the subway, so this proposal will encourage them to visit. It will certainly not “close theatres” as one person suggested. Furthermore, this proposal will not prevent cars from accessing the area. For one thing, cars will still be able to access the area via Richmond, Adelaide and Wellington streets, as well as via crossing north-south streets, and passenger pickup/dropoff will still be allowed on King Street. Banning through traffic from the street will allow increased streetcar service, shorter trip times, and improved reliability without the high cost of subway construction. I would ban cars from Spadina to Church in phase 1, with possible extensions to Bathurst and Broadview (extensions west of Bathurst would be unpopular since Richmond and Adelaide are side streets west of there). Let’s hope that the city builds bike lanes on King Street to encourage the use of non-motorized transportation.

    An example of a major downtown street which is completely closed to non-streetcar traffic in the daytime (since the 1990s) is a portion of Swanston Street in Melbourne, Australia, where there is a tram every minute, serving one of 9 routes, in rush hour. This is much higher than King St (3 minutes 45 seconds during afternoon rush), Queen (4 minutes 52 seconds during morning rush) the Yonge-University line (2 minutes 21 seconds during AM rush), or even Spadina (1 minute 53 seconds during midday weekdays). Despite the lack of cars, the street has been revitalized and is very successful.

  15. Might it be better to have the pick-up/drop-off lane along one side of King Street, rather than alternating, but have barriers at each street to ban through traffic and left turns? This would make it possible to build a continuous two-way bike lane, with no interference from parked cars on the opposite side of the street. For example, place the pick-up/drop-off lane on the south side of the street, and place the bike lanes, a wide sidewalk, and patios on the north side.

  16. This would also make it easier for drivers to remember how to access the pick-up/drop-off lane, since the whole length of the lane would be in the same direction.

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