Jump to content

Streetcar News


CLRV4037
 Share

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, 2044 said:

TTC’s management of the streetcar network is flat out embarrassing. When I take people around the City on transit, these always come up: “Why are we going so slow?”, “Why can’t we move faster?”, can’t keep up with traffic, a streetcar in the distance taking forever to get to the stop. Then I have to explain to them all these recent rules the TTC has that kneecap service. Something not mentioned yet here, the TTC made the doors close slower on the streetcar. Probably to avoid “accidents”, but now they primarily cause you to miss a light. Especially since passengers can reopen them, which I think is another rule the TTC came up with. Maybe someone should sue for time wasted, since lawsuits seem to be the only thing that pushes the TTC to get things done now. Like another poster said above, I’m sure service moves a lot slower now than it did maybe five or six years ago. And if it doesn’t, it sure feels like it. And that’s all that really matters to passengers. If it feels slow, the service is going to look unattractive.

The problem is TTC designed everything for the stupidest rider ever with zero IQ. Instead of letting riders press the button, they open all doors to freeze all the riders in the streetcar and waste heat/AC. Although this is useful for stopping cars on street, this is absolutely useless in ROWs. CLRVs used to zip by are now replaced with these slow moving tanks.

Instead they could run educational and safety ads on subway train screens and create signage in transit shelters. TTC and the city thinks it's too difficult and resort to avoiding them. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, T3G said:

True, the lack of transit priority is going to kneecap the line from day one. But, considering how nothing in this city ever runs on time, maybe this particular point isn't going to be as big a deal as initially feared! :D

Yeah since it's going to run late anyways so maybe it'll always hold those green lights longer! lol

An unintended side effect.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

52 minutes ago, Xtrazsteve said:

The problem is TTC designed everything for the stupidest rider ever with zero IQ. Instead of letting riders press the button, they open all doors to freeze all the riders in the streetcar and waste heat/AC.

Except it's faster to open up all the doors, because some people take forever to open the door for themselves.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Ed T. said:

 

If the streetcar is on a ROW, does the road speed limit apply? (I don't see why it should....but who knows.) Note that a lot of St. Clair is still 50 km/h for the road, east of around Dufferin or Winona through to Yonge if I recall.

I dare you to drive your automobile over 40km/h westbound from Oakwood, they have one of those portable speed cameras at Crang Ave facing west. Yes, St. Clair is 40km/h from Gunns to Yonge. Yes, the road speed limits apply to the ROWs.

 

You better start complaining to the TTC about Spadina between Dundas and Sullivan, their limit on that stretch of the ROW is 20km/h, even though the street speed limit is 40km/h. You should talk to them about Queens Quay, where they want reduced speeds anywhere where the row is adjacent to the bike lanes, so basically 25km/h from Spadina to York Street.

 

Don't forget about s bends and tail whip. Restricted and reduced speeds there too. The track may look smooth and gradual, but the ride isn't. Spadina circle, anything west of Strachan in the exhibition until the track straightens beside the GO tracks, any loops or stations, a lot of Dundas in the core, Gerrard east of Coxwell has a few bends with some whip.

 

Then you get wheel screech season, and the solution to that is to reduce speed in the loops to reduce noise, which doesn't actually do anything except make the squeeling last twice as long.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, lip said:

I dont see Metrolinx slowing down their trains at grade crossings because people decide to cross and get killed when the crossing arms go down. But yet the TTC is doing something exactly akin to this by slowing streetcars down at signalized intersections.

Maybe they should, it may have saved commuters the 2hr delay at Carl Hall drive near Downsview Park when the Barrie Go Train hit a car at a level crossing recently.

1 hour ago, Orion V said:

Yeah since it's going to run late anyways so maybe it'll always hold those green lights longer! lol

An unintended side effect.

(Eglinton LRT and limited traffic light priority where it will only hold a green if the train is late)

 

It's an almost ideal solution, I don't see why people would criticize their implementation of light priority before they see the result. Why should they hold a traffic light for a train that is ahead of schedule? Waste every other road users time when that train will have to delay itself some other way? Good, the train gets a green light only to hold at the stop for 2 minutes? That's not logical.

7 hours ago, Ed T. said:

 

If the streetcar is on a ROW, does the road speed limit apply? (I don't see why it should....but who knows.)

I have to highlight this. I don't understand why you think that road speed limits don't apply to the ROW? So what would a reasonable speed limit be on a ROW where the road it's on is 40km/h? Is 60km/h reasonable? 70? Where is it marked that the streetcars can travel at a higher speed than the posted road speed limit in situations where they are on a dedicated ROW.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

50 minutes ago, Turtle said:

Maybe they should, it may have saved commuters the 2hr delay at Carl Hall drive near Downsview Park when the Barrie Go Train hit a car at a level crossing recently.

Trains take much longer to accelerate and brake than streetcars, does GO have the equipment and personnel to deal with the increased running times such a policy will cause?

This doesn't seem like a rule that would make it very attractive to take the GO train. Maybe we should devise other solutions to the fact that car drivers in this city are helpless bozos, like instituting actual barriers to getting a driver's license or at least grade separating railway crossings in the city. At the end of the day, a high speed train doing 10 km/h is much safer than one doing hundreds of kilometres of speed, but that would make it beyond worthless as a mode of transport. And with climate change and the rising costs of fuel, we should be doing everything in our power to make public transportation more attractive, not less.

  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Turtle said:

I have to highlight this. I don't understand why you think that road speed limits don't apply to the ROW? So what would a reasonable speed limit be on a ROW where the road it's on is 40km/h? Is 60km/h reasonable? 70? Where is it marked that the streetcars can travel at a higher speed than the posted road speed limit in situations where they are on a dedicated ROW.

Slightly off-topic, but the subway runs in a dedicated ROW in the middle of Allen rd. Granted, the road speed limit there is roughly similar to the maximum speed subways are designed for (80 km/h according to wiki), but even if it were only 40 km/h, I don't see why it should apply to the subway system (instead of the subway system having its own regulations), especially since the vast majority of subway systems (with only a handful of exceptions) don't have any grade crossings, unlike mainline rail let alone LRT. Nonetheless, the same argument can be made for an LRT on a section of the ROW with no grade crossings.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, 81-717 said:

Slightly off-topic, but the subway runs in a dedicated ROW in the middle of Allen rd. Granted, the road speed limit there is roughly similar to the maximum speed subways are designed for (80 km/h according to wiki), but even if it were only 40 km/h, I don't see why it should apply to the subway system (instead of the subway system having its own regulations), especially since the vast majority of subway systems (with only a handful of exceptions) don't have any grade crossings, unlike mainline rail let alone LRT. Nonetheless, the same argument can be made for an LRT on a section of the ROW with no grade crossings.

Dont worry, i'm sure the TTC will come up with an idiot policy for the open cut sections of subway because of some neighborhood complaint of the wheel squeel being too bad. Or because leafs will blow onto the track and start up a fire at track level. Maybe the brake dust will magically start adversely effecting the health of people living in the open cut corridors.

The point of transit is to get people to their destinations as quick as possible, as an alternative means of transport. If anyone was interested in getting to their destination at the slowest speed, they would bike or walk. The TTC clearly doesnt get it, and it doesnt help that we have a poor excuse of a CEO who increases run times on all routes in the city which just compounds an already screwed up situation.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, 81-717 said:

Slightly off-topic, but the subway runs in a dedicated ROW in the middle of Allen rd. Granted, the road speed limit there is roughly similar to the maximum speed subways are designed for (80 km/h according to wiki), but even if it were only 40 km/h, I don't see why it should apply to the subway system (instead of the subway system having its own regulations), especially since the vast majority of subway systems (with only a handful of exceptions) don't have any grade crossings, unlike mainline rail let alone LRT. Nonetheless, the same argument can be made for an LRT on a section of the ROW with no grade crossings.

The subway ROW is physically separated from Allen Rd, with no intersections or crosswalks or interaction from other users except tresspassers, racoons, pigeons, and the odd hawk that likes to hang around Wilson Yard.

2 hours ago, lip said:

The TTC clearly doesnt get it, and it doesnt help that we have a poor excuse of a CEO who increases run times on all routes in the city which just compounds an already screwed up situation.

Andy Byford has been gone for a few years now, it's time to stop blaming him

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, lip said:

If anyone was interested in getting to their destination at the slowest speed, they would bike or walk

Or take the streetcar. 

3 hours ago, Turtle said:

Andy Byford has been gone for a few years now, it's time to stop blaming him

Ironic how he left and started increasing speed limits at MTA whereas people here look for any excuse to reduce them. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Turtle said:

I dare you to drive your automobile over 40km/h westbound from Oakwood, they have one of those portable speed cameras at Crang Ave facing west. Yes, St. Clair is 40km/h from Gunns to Yonge. Yes, the road speed limits apply to the ROWs.

 

Here's a nice streetview of the 50 km/h begins sign eastbound, just east of Dufferin on St. Clair. There's a corresponding 40 km/h begins westbound, west of Dufferin. Streetview is from Nov 2021, but the last time I drove St. Clair (a month ago, maybe?) it was still that way. The next 40 km/h zone is from somewhere I think just east of Yonge St through to Mt. Pleasant and presumably beyond; I generally turn one way or another on Mt. Pleasant.

image.thumb.png.7acf26216313373f8424734e295e3975.png

 

I do drive all over the city for work, and yes I do track what the speed limits are, and try to stick to them. Also speed cameras. I've passed by speed cameras on arterials like York Mills, Lawrence, Birchmount (I think--one of those Scarborough streets) as well as 30 km/h local streets like Rockliffe and Ourland. Haven't been tagged yet.

11 hours ago, Turtle said:

I have to highlight this. I don't understand why you think that road speed limits don't apply to the ROW? So what would a reasonable speed limit be on a ROW where the road it's on is 40km/h? Is 60km/h reasonable? 70? Where is it marked that the streetcars can travel at a higher speed than the posted road speed limit in situations where they are on a dedicated ROW.

I suppose if I have the time I would go into the Highway Traffic Act and see how "roadway" is defined, or whatever legal definition it is to which speed limits apply. But a right of way is not a public street. I also consider that streetcars don't have or need licence plates, and up until "recently" streetcar operators did not require a driver's licence.

It seems pretty clear that the road speed limit would apply wherever the streetcar operated in mixed traffic, although again, that might have been an enforcement issue back when operators did not need a driver's licence. How do you ticket PCC 4300 if you've caught it over the limit?

As for slow operation elsewhere, I don't much take the streetcars these days. As a driver, I know that if there's a streetcar ahead of me, I might as well take an alternate route, because I won't be getting past the streetcar, and therefore will plod along at the streetcar's speed until wherever I or the streetcar turns off. It's faster going N-S on side streets like Euclid or Palmerston than on Bathurst if there's a streetcar ahead. E-W is worse, if Dundas has a streetcar, try College, if College has a streetcar, you have Harbord. Even Bloor, with the bike lanes, is quicker than being stuck behind a crosstown streetcar.

When bicycles move faster than streetcars, and ebikes can leave streetcars in their dust, that doesn't augur well for increasing, or even holding, streetcar ridership.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Turtle said:

Andy Byford has been gone for a few years now, it's time to stop blaming him

To be clear, we're talking about the clown Rick Leary.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Ed T. said:

Here's a nice streetview of the 50 km/h begins sign eastbound

There is still a 50km/h begins sign eastbound at Dufferin, yes. There is a 50km/h sign westbound at Oakwood, but I can't find the westbound sign where the 50 zone begins. The rest of the stretch east of Oakwood to Avenue road doesn't really have any speed signs, or at least I don't see any until you get to Yonge Street where there is a 40km/h sign east of Yonge. So I would, under normal circumstances treat that as an unmarked street for the stretch east of Oakwood to Yonge. According to the hta, in Toronto the limit is 40km/h unless otherwise posted.

 

But with CaféTO, any of those sections on St. Clair that have something set up on the road, the limit has been marked with orange 40km/h signs. This is all irrelevant to the discussion of what the limit on the private TTC ROWs are for streetcars, even though I am right about the road speed limit on St. Clair between Gunns and Yonge (40km/h).

 

So the general answer to that question is "Whatever the posted limit is on the roadway where that ROW is located, except in specific circumstances where speed reductions or restrictions exist". A few of those exceptions I already mentioned, but the interesting ones are Queens Quay @ 25km/h where the ROW runs beside the bike lanes, and Spadina @ 20km/h between Dundas and Sullivan.

 

4 hours ago, Ed T. said:

I suppose if I have the time I would go into the Highway Traffic Act and see how "roadway" is defined, or whatever legal definition it is to which speed limits apply. But a right of way is not a public street.

Meh, pointless IMO to bother looking it up. The short answer is "however the TTC decides to self regulate on the ROWs", which is to abide by the existing speed limits on those streets which the ROW is located.

 

4 hours ago, Ed T. said:

I also consider that streetcars don't have or need licence plates, and up until "recently" streetcar operators did not require a driver's licence.

Whoah there, where did you hear that from? Having a driver's licence + special qualifications and certifications is a requirement. You're right in saying that the streetcars don't have licence plates, but they are identified by their body numbers when something happens (like an accident or a reckless driving charge). It's been like that (the G licence + special qualification) since forever (more than 30 years).

 

4 hours ago, Ed T. said:

It seems pretty clear that the road speed limit would apply wherever the streetcar operated in mixed traffic, although again, that might have been an enforcement issue back when operators did not need a driver's licence. How do you ticket PCC 4300 if you've caught it over the limit?

Very easily, since you don't ticket the vehicle, you charge the operator of that vehicle on their own personal driver's licence. So yes, a streetcar can be pulled over for speeding (that has happened), and yes the operator can get charged by the police for something (has happened).

 

4 hours ago, Ed T. said:

When bicycles move faster than streetcars, and ebikes can leave streetcars in their dust, that doesn't augur well for increasing, or even holding, streetcar ridership.

Bicycles move faster than buses too, and they often move faster than automobiles in heavy traffic. ebikes are just motorcycles in disguise taking advantage of loopholes in the hta.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Someguy3071 said:

Where did you get that Toronto speed limit is 40km/h if not posted otherwise? 

Might be mistaken. It may have never changed from 50km/h or otherwise posted.

 

A few years ago when VisionTO first started, it was all over the news that limits were being reduced all over Toronto. I may have misheard a piece of news. 

 

I tried a simple google search to confirm what I said (40 km/h) but came up with nothing. I'll download the drivers handbook when I have time to skim through it

11 minutes ago, Turtle said:

Might be mistaken. It may have never changed from 50km/h or otherwise posted.

It looks like I was mistaken

1671751013_Screenshot_20220525-0446092.thumb.png.03c893880ce5747d5c3b69ea96dfc3c7.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've heard it discussed to drop the default limit to 40 km/h, but it hasn't been touched yet.  It's actually set in the Highway Traffic Act, section 128(1)(a). Would Doug Ford be interested in changing this?

 

Quote

 

Rate of speed

128 (1) No person shall drive a motor vehicle at a rate of speed greater than,

(a) 50 kilometres per hour on a highway within a local municipality or within a built-up area;

 

 

In the meantime, I've seen proposals that basically ALL residential streets in Etobicoke are made part of "30 km/h area", so the limit would not have to be posted explicitly on every street.

Since I have the HTA open, here are some tidbits.

Definition of "highway":

Quote

“highway” includes a common and public highway, street, avenue, parkway, driveway, square, place, bridge, viaduct or trestle, any part of which is intended for or used by the general public for the passage of vehicles and includes the area between the lateral property lines thereof; (“voie publique”)

Would that include a right of way? I don't think so, based on the criterion of "used by the general public". Call in the lawyers!

Is a centre-of-the-street ROW possibly a median?

Quote

“median strip” means the portion of a highway so constructed as to separate traffic travelling in one direction from traffic travelling in the opposite direction by a physical barrier or a raised or depressed paved or unpaved separation area that is not intended to allow crossing vehicular movement; (“terre-plein central”)

Quote

“street car” includes a car of an electric or steam railway; (“tramway”)

Quote

“vehicle” includes a motor vehicle, trailer, traction engine, farm tractor, road-building machine, bicycle and any vehicle drawn, propelled or driven by any kind of power, including muscular power, but does not include a motorized snow vehicle or a street car; (“véhicule”)

Oh, but then, further on:

Quote

“motor vehicle” includes a street car and a motorized snow vehicle; (“véhicule automobile”)

Confused yet? What a streetcar is, depends on the section!

Quote

(2) No person shall drive a street car on a highway unless he or she holds a driver’s licence.  R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 32 (2).

See definition of "highway" above; discuss implications.

Note for horse owners/walkers:
 

Quote

 

Passing street cars

Standing street car, etc.

166 (1) Where a person in charge of a vehicle or on horseback or leading a horse on a highway overtakes a street car or a car of an electric railway, operated in or near the centre of the roadway, which is stationary for the purpose of taking on or discharging passengers, he or she shall not pass the car or approach nearer than 2 metres measured back from the nearest door of the car that the person is approaching and through which passengers may get on or off until the passengers have got on or got safely to the side of the street, as the case may be, but this subsection does not apply where a safety zone has been set aside and designated by a by-law passed under section 9, 10 or 11 of the Municipal Act, 2001 or under section 7 or 8 of the City of Toronto Act, 2006. 2017, c. 2, Sched. 17, s. 12 (1).

 

Finally, I think this refers to "municipal speed cameras", not to something specifically TTC-checking-on-operators:
 

Quote

 

PART XIV.4
AUTOMATED STREET CAR ENFORCEMENT

Use of automated street car enforcement system authorized

206.1 (1) An automated street car enforcement system may be used in accordance with this Part and the regulations made under it respecting an alleged offence under section 166. 2021, c. 26, Sched. 1, s. 20.

Limitations on owner liability

(2) The owner of a motor vehicle shall not be subject to conviction or penalty as an owner in respect of an alleged contravention of section 166 except on the basis of evidence obtained through the use of an automated street car enforcement system. 2021, c. 26, Sched. 1, s. 20.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ed, that last thing you quoted, the "automatic streetcar enforcement system" probably has to do with automobiles driving past open streetcar doors while passengers are boarding or exiting. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Turtle said:

Ed, that last thing you quoted, the "automatic streetcar enforcement system" probably has to do with automobiles driving past open streetcar doors while passengers are boarding or exiting. 

Ah, that makes sense. Is the system operational? I have heard nothing about it; usually at work we get briefed on things like this.

ETA: would be easier to understand if they used "streetcar" (as in the various definitions) rather than the idiosyncratic "street car". I must admit the whole section caused me puzzlement.

You'd think drafters of regulations would carefully review existing nomenclature. B)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Ed T. said:

Ah, that makes sense. Is the system operational? I have heard nothing about it; usually at work we get briefed on things like this.

It's been talked about and talked about by politicians for years. If it's already been adopted in the HTA, then it's up to the municipality to implement the cameras, and it wouldnt surprise me if Toronto is taking their sweet damn time with our status quo mayor at the helm:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/automated-camera-enforcement-streetcars-1.6008151

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re: restricted speed in intersections of 25 or 10 km/h

It looks like I may be mistaken about this, the rule may actually be through the entire intersection, not just slow down to enter. I asked a few of my internal contacts and I have gotten different answers. It seems training is teaching slow down to enter, accelerate when safe, but enforcement by safety is following reduced through the entire intersection 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Interesting to see this quote by Metrolinx regarding the Finch West LRT:

Quote

Regular testing of Light Rail Vehicles on the Finch West LRT Project is now underway. 
 
The LRVs will be running at speeds of up to 60 km/h from the Maintenance and Storage Facility at York Gate Boulevard all the way to Sentinel Road and back on a regular basis. The Overhead Catenary System (OCS), which provides electricity to the LRVs, is electrified in this section, so be cautious and obey safety signs.

 

I wonder what the speed limit on Finch is now. Every stretch of 60 km/h east of Yonge was put down to 50 at least a year ago.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, Ed T. said:

Interesting to see this quote by Metrolinx regarding the Finch West LRT:

 

I wonder what the speed limit on Finch is now. Every stretch of 60 km/h east of Yonge was put down to 50 at least a year ago.

 

They say 60km/h on Eglinton too even when the roadway only allows 50km/h.

Not sure if the communication department didn’t get the news correctly or LRVs don’t follow speed limits. Certainly it was designed for 60km/h since that was before vision zero kicked in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...