Three Improvements for the King Streetcar

There’s one thing that we can all agree on– the King streetcar is slow and needs some optimization. Why is it important to optimize the King Streetcar? It’s the busiest streetcar in Toronto’s network, and it often gets bunched up. There are a number of reasons why, but I’ll focus on just a couple.

  • Single door boarding
  • Sharing the road with other users, more troublesome at peak travel times
  • Close proximity of stops

As of late, the King Streetcar has been given some TLC and will see the introduction of all-door boarding in the new year. It’s the first step to improving service but I think more can be done.

Three things that will make the King Streetcar better:

  1. All-door boarding.
    • Happening in the new year.
  2. Make the downtown portion of King St exclusive to transit and taxis.
    • A similar tactic is used on Calgary’s 7th Avenue.
    • An old idea that has already been proposed a little differently.
  3. Ensure that stops are 250-350 metres apart.
Conceptualised streetscape for an exclusively transit and taxi King St

Gallery of #sneckdowns in Ladner

Given that it rarely snows where I live, I had to take the opportunity to see what kind of road optimizations the snow made while it was on the ground and what we can learn before it all melts away.

Ladner’s Opportunity to be a Street Design Leader

Let me introduce you to my hometown, Delta, BC. More specifically, the suburb of Ladner. Ladner is a flat, highly walkable place and has missed, what I think, is a golden opportunity.

The greatest change in elevation that I can observe is 11m. Which is hardly a change when you consider it’s across an entire suburb. With the flatness that is Ladner, it’s disappointing to see that Ladner hasn’t evolved into a bike-fiendly place. With a little support from the corporation, we could be a regional leader in multi-modal infrastructure and active transportation.

Delta has been recently undertaking lots of infrastructure improvements and it’s really pleased me to see how they’ve incorporated the walking aspect into their improvements but they have completely forgotten the bicycle. Might I point out the recent “improvements” at

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Arthur Drive & Ladner Trunk. While the intersection was widened and dedicated turning lanes were added to increase the flow of cars, pedestrian safety was jeopardized and the wider layout just encourages speeding. Might I note that this intersection is frequented by students who attend Delta Secondary (student body of about 1300). It’s too bad Delta has ignored that fact that most students can’t drive and are driven to school.

I would have expected Delta to get onboard and maybe treat students with dignity not only at this intersection, but also with the planned widening of Ladner Trunk East of Highway 17A and other projects.

Delta has an awesome opportunity to become a multi-modal city where all modes are treated fairly. In the future, I hope to see Delta taking the lead and building safer streets where everyone is welcome.