Toronto just got a new raised streetcar platform
You may have thought the pilot program on King St. West was over and done with, but it turns out the city is still in the process of testing transit priority infrastructure on the busy downtown stretch.
A new raised streetcar platform was installed at King and Portland earlier today, and another is soon to appear at King and Peter streets.
"The platforms provide an enhanced user experience by improving accessibility, eliminating drainage/pooling issues in the waiting zone, and clearly marking zones for cyclists and pedestrians," according to the city.
The new raised streetcar boarding platform at King/Portland is now complete. Pedestrians should stay behind the yellow line until a streetcar has arrived, cyclists should ride slowly and yield to pedestrians using the platform. #CityofTO #BikeTO pic.twitter.com/iQBthdiO3H— TO Transportation (@TO_Transport) November 18, 2019
The platform will be tested at these two locations along King St. throughout the winter in order to determine their durability and performance. The city will also be looking to obtain user feedback on effectiveness of the platforms.
The two locations were chosen because they don't conflict with utilities or any impending development or construction projects.
Proper use of the platforms requires commuters to stay in the white area, behind the yellow lines, until a streetcar arrives at the platform.
The city is warning that cyclists should ride slowly and yield to pedestrians when they're using the platform, but some are already worried about the feasability of this.
Some are saying the platforms require clearer signage if they're going to be used effectively, and one cyclist said he'll no longer use this route during his commute because pedestrians were walking all over the platform this morning before a streetcar even arrived.
"You need to place bollards or something to indicate this better," he said.
"I tried riding here this morning, and pedestrians were all over with no streetcar in sight. When its wet tracks are super sketchy. Sadly I will no longer consider this route for my commute."
Meanwhile, others are hoping this move increases pedestrian and cyclist safety.
Nice! Hope this increases safety for all.— Robin Persaud (@TheRobinDP) November 18, 2019
According to the city, while this is the first time this kind of infrastructure has been introduced in Toronto, similar platforms have proven successful in cities like New York City, Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Baltimore.
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