March 07, 2018
The King St Pilot Project has generated a lot of hype over the last few months and we here at Studio TLA have varying opinions on the subject. The following is Tamara’s opinion. She is a Landscape Architectural Intern and has been with the company for almost two years.
The King St Pilot is not about excluding cars, it’s about including people. The facts are that 65,000+ people ride the 504 Streetcar everyday, while only 20,000 cars drive down King St in the same period. With an average occupancy of 1.12 people/vehicle, that would mean 22,400 people travel by vehicle on King St per day, which is still significantly less than the number of people taking transit. As one of the busiest transit corridors in the city, third only to two dedicated underground infrastructure lines (SUBWAYS), it makes sense that King St traffic should adapt to favour transit users. Any one of those 65,000 daily TTC riders can tell you it often used to be faster to walk than take the streetcar, which when you’re on the way to a client meeting and (God forbid) wearing high heels, is far less than ideal.
King St has not completely abandoned the car, it is simply prioritizing who the street is catering to (the statistically greatest number of people who go there). Car culture is out the window, and TRANSIT IS KING. Adapt, or be left behind in the dust of our streetcar!
Next on my personal wish list for King St: dedicated bike lanes, and pocket Park(ing) Day style parks! My second wish is for more people to see the irony of the hockey “protests” …. They’re really just doing exactly what the pilot intended – they’re reclaiming the street for pedestrian use and animating the area!
Image Credit: “504 Light Trail” by Simon Carr