[URBAN NOTE] “King St. plans still leave room for cars”
Edward Keenan describes for the Toronto Star the various proposals for a redesign of King Street.
Anyone who was gearing up for a fight over a car-free King St. can stand down.
The Star was given an advance look at the long-awaited proposals under consideration for the pilot project.
When the options are publicly presented at a meeting Monday night, all will include space on the road for automobiles. Perhaps controversially, none of the proposals will include bike lanes. Two of the three proposals give more space to pedestrians and public realm improvements such as seating or patios. And all are intended, first and foremost, to “move people” by giving priority on the road to streetcars, according to Toronto general manager of transportation Barbara Gray and chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat.
“Transit first is the frame around which we’re going to lead this decision,” Gray says.
“The objective is to create a transit priority corridor. The objective isn’t to create a car-free corridor,’” Keesmaat says. “It’s about being transformational, improving streetcar operations, and innovative placemaking.”
City staff members will present three options to the public for consideration a meeting at Metro Hall on Monday evening at 6:30, the start of a public consultation process during which proposals will be evaluated and refined over the next few months. A final recommendation will be voted on by city council in July, and if approved, will launch on the street for a pilot project period this fall.
The article goes into much more detail.