City officials to provide update on King St. pilot project

Mayor John Tory will be joined by councillors Michael Thompson and Joe Cressy to provide an update on the King Street pilot project Tuesday morning.

The pilot project – which was launched in November and will run for a year – aims to give priority to streetcars along what is the busiest surface transit route in the city and one that has been plagued by slow travel speeds and overcrowding.

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Vehicles are no longer allowed to drive straight through between Bathurst and Jarvis streets. Meanwhile, left-hand turns are also banned on the stretch of King Street.

READ MORE: Toronto’s King St. pilot project data shows improvement of afternoon streetcar travel times

Motorists are largely permitted to drive only one block before having to turn right, and there is no on-street parking in the pilot area.

The pilot project has drawn criticism from some businesses in the area who say their revenues have dropped significantly as patrons have no place to park.

However, preliminary data released by city officials in early December found that afternoon rush hour travel times for streetcars improved by a couple of minutes during the first two weeks of the pilot project.

READ MORE: King Street pilot project leaves some confused, others see positive impact on transit

On the other hand, drivers who travel along the route have not seen much of an impact, according to the data.

The average vehicle travel time on most streets in the area have been either sped up or slowed down by around a minute or less compared to before the pilot project.

The city said they will continue to monitor the pilot project through data collection and public feedback.

VIDEO: King street pilot project a learning curve for downtown drivers

—With a file from AM640’s Briana Carnegie

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