City of Toronto offers two hours of free parking around King Street pilot among operational changes to improve transit and traffic flow and support local business|
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Two months into the King Street Transit Pilot, the City of Toronto is responding to feedback from transit riders, drivers and local businesses.
To support the pilot’s objectives of moving people more efficiently, supporting economic prosperity and improving place-making, the City has made the following changes:
• The Toronto Parking Authority will be enhancing the parking discount in the pilot area. Up to $10 (a minimum of two hours free parking) will be available when using the Green P app for Green P pay+display lots and on-street parking in the pilot area.
• In response to concerns about the removal of on-street parking on King, 90 parking spaces are being added to side streets in the pilot area – replacing 50 per cent of the spaces that were removed from King Street – with additional spaces currently under review. Today, approximately 8,000 parking spaces are available in the pilot area (within walking distance of King Street).
• To provide more locations for passenger and accessible pickup/drop offs, loading and deliveries, additional loading zones for vehicles and trucks have been added in front of the Royal Alexandra Theatre, the Princess of Wales Theatre, First Canadian Place, and between Yonge Street and Church Street.
• Signal timing has been adjusted at Bathurst Street, Church Street and Jarvis Street to improve traffic flow for turning vehicles.
• New and larger signs have been added at major intersections to improve the visibility of traffic regulations for drivers.
• Electronic signage will be implemented throughout the pilot to make new traffic regulations more visible for drivers.
• To address an increase in transit ridership on King Street, new low-floor streetcars are deployed to the 504 King and 514 Cherry routes as they become available.
• The eastbound streetcar stop at Yonge Street has also been expanded to provide more space for waiting passengers.
"We are dedicated to making sure King Street works for everyone," said Mayor John Tory. "I believe these updates to the Pilot will help transit riders, businesses and drivers. I remain committed to listening to everyone about this project and making changes where they make sense."
These operational changes are in addition to the City’s launch of the Everyone is King public realm design competition launched on January 9, which will introduce creative new public realm activations on King Street beginning in spring 2018.
"The benefit of pilot projects is that they allow us to learn as we go," said Councillor Joe Cressy (Ward 20 Trinity-Spadina). "We're able to make improvements, adjust to fill gaps and continue to evaluate options and work together to ensure the pilot works better for everyone."
The City has also launched Eats on King, a program to promote local quick and full-service restaurants in the King Street Transit Pilot area, which will run Monday, February 19 to Thursday, March 29. Interested restaurants can request an application to join the program by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Completed applications are due no later than January 30 at 5 p.m. There is no cost to participating restaurants other than the value of the offer they extend to their customers. For more information, email email@example.com or call 416-397-1234.
In the interim, the City is introducing warming stations, art installations and performances to ensure that King Street remains vibrant during the winter months.
This morning, the City released the second set of King Street Transit Pilot data on transit travel time and traffic data. The data is for the first full month (December) of monitoring the pilot. That data is available at http://bit.ly/2C1G2fQ. The data will also be made available through the City's Open Data portal.
The City continues to measure and evaluate the transit pilot through:
• a partnership with Miovision to capture and analyze multi-modal traffic data to study changes to pedestrian, cycling and vehicle volumes throughout the pilot area
• the use of Bluetooth and GPS technology to monitor and evaluate streetcar and vehicle travel times, and
• continued monitoring and evaluation of the economic impacts of the pilot, including obtaining transactional trend data as well as working with local businesses and Business Improvement Areas.
Data from the King Street Transit Pilot will be released on a monthly basis, on about the 12th of each month.
Additional information about the transit pilot is available on the project website at http://www.toronto.ca/kingstreetpilot.
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