The signs may be clear as day, but dozens of motorists are not steering clear of a portion of King Street dedicated to transit riders, cyclists and pedestrians.
Launched initially as a pilot project in 2017, the King Street Transit Priority Corridor is now a permanent fixture downtown, blocking through traffic from Jarvis to Bathurst.
The city says the purpose is to put people first as King is one of the busiest transit routes in the city, moving 84,000 riders on an average day. Drivers must make a left or a right turn when they hit the corridor, but many keep driving straight through.
“I see them break the rules all the time,” said pedestrian Momir Dejanoeic.
“I mean it does say no going through, but I don’t know people don’t look. They see the light is green ‘Oh I’m okay, off I go,’” said Betty Prigoda who was also walking in the area.
“It’s like ‘what are you thinking?’”
From January to March 17th of this year, Toronto police say they have issued a total of 1,852 tickets for offences related to drivers disobeying signs and proceeding along the king street priority corridor.
More than 1,400 of those tickets are provincial offence notices, which are tickets with a payable fine. Sixteen were provincial offence summons for motorists with multiple driving convictions and 400 were written warnings.
Despite this, Matti Siemiatycki, who is a professor and director of the University of Toronto’s Infrastructure Institute, says both enforcement and maintenance of the corridor must improve specially with nearby construction of the Ontario Line being added to the mix.
“(It) has become one of the east-west backbones of our city, and especially as more construction is coming, we need to make sure transit riders can get around smoothlessly and seamlessly,” he said.
Toronto ranks in the top 10 cities in the world for worst traffic congestion
© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.