King Street pilot

Not everyone is a fan of almost car-free King St.

The grace period is officially over for drivers who "misunderstand" King Street's new traffic signs – and Toronto Police aren't shy about letting them know it.

As of today, anyone caught blasting through intersections (or violating any other rule under the King Street Pilot Project) will face fines starting at $110 with the possibility of two demerit points.

Police say they've issued thousands of warnings since the changes came into effect last Monday but, for the most part, downtown Toronto appears to be running a lot more smoothly – at least for the estimated 65,000 people who commute by streetcar every day.

Former city councillor and current mayoral candidate Doug Ford is not one of said commuters.

Ford, the brother of late, former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, has launched a petition in which he calls the King Street Pilot project a "reckless plan."

"While some claim this will make King Street a transit priority zone, what it’s really about is making it a car exclusion zone," the petition reads.

In a vlog-style video posted to Twitter on Monday, Ford laments that he's in bumper-to-bumper traffic on Richmond Street due to King's new rules.

Streets running parallel to King, namely Adelaide, Queen, Wellington and Front were similarly jammed at the time (10:31 a.m.), according to Ford.

"This is a disaster, this is a war on the car," he says to the camera as he films himself driving forward. "Folks this has to come to an end." 

Ford isn't alone in his criticism of the pilot project, especially now that tickets are being issued.

What was being hailed last week as a success story by commuters is now being panned as a disaster (er... even more so) by motorists.

Still, many others are defending the pilot project using facts, history and logic.

"Richmond/Adelaide has always been like this. King and Queen, even worse," wrote House of Commons staffer Dominic Stewart in response to Ford's video.

"Bottom line - trying to accommodate vehicles in downtown Toronto is not sustainable. Making transit a priority, and increasing its effectiveness, is the solution."


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