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15 Comments

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TTC Unveils Driver Education Stickers

2006_10_17Streecardoors.jpg Torontoist has almost been killed by motorists while disembarking from our city’s noble streetcars many times. This is why the TTC’s new “STOP” stickers give us great pleasure and relief.
Officially rolled out sometime last week, the stickers read: “STOP behind open streetcar doors. IT’S THE LAW!” and are placed on the starboard stern of each mighty red ship.
Torontoist wonders why this kind of thing is not more heavily emphasized in driver’s education, but considering half the city wasn’t even born in Canada and driving schools break rules themselves, we suppose it wouldn’t make much of a difference.

Comments

  • Porta Lamento

    hey can we talk about cyclists riding right through the open doors of a streetcar – I really do try to stay behind the streetcar when on my bike – do you? If not, why? Discuss . . .

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/dstopping David Topping

    Unfortunately, jerks drive cars and jerks ride bikes; dicks are dicks.
    I hope that cyclists take a second look and realize they’re not exempt from this rule, either.

  • Mike Jones

    They should go a step further and drop railway crossing-style poles out to block traffic when
    then streetcar doors open. Why not bells and flashing lights too.
    Its the only answer.

  • Arno

    Although most people know about the rule, when you’re not used to driving or biking in the city, you don’t necessarily stop when behind a streetcar, and when you remember, it’s too late. As for bikes I personally almost badly hit someone one day (we ended up rubbing each other) because the streetcar suddenly stopped, and at this point I didn’t realize it was a streetcar stop. Now I’m extremely careful with streetcars. If it takes an accident for people to realize that, there is something terribly wrong.
    My point is: loading and unloading people in the middle of the street doesn’t make sense today, it was probably safe enough for users back in the day, but obviously not anymore. Why would we keep blaming drivers and bikers when the rule itself is stupid and dangerous, rather than designing another way of loading/unloading passengers. I think most drivers and bikers don’t do it on purpose, but are simply confused and end up making mistakes. Why wouldn’t we have college-like stops everywhere? Why not getting rid of the streetcars and use buses instead (more flexible)?
    Blaming people is easy finding and implementing a solution is another story.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/dstopping David Topping

    I want to see some bicyclists clotheslined, come to think of it. Maybe some spikes to puncture car tires, too?

  • http://www.newmindspace.com kevin bracken

    Why are people always calling for the elimination of streetcars because buses are “more flexible”?
    Am I wrong to think that these people are almost always drivers?
    Also, my experience with cyclists and streetcars is that unless there is a large crowd boarding the vehicle, it is usually alright that the cyclist goes ahead. I am almost always the only person boarding at Beaconsfield on Queen.

  • rek

    If you’ve ever had to get off a streetcar because it’s broken or because one in front is broken, you’ll understand the flexibility argument.
    Why not install a swinging arm on the “starboard stern” in the style of a school bus flashing stop sign? When the street car comes to a stop, the arm swings out. If your car is inside the space, automatic ticket. If your car gets hit by the bar, you weren’t paying attention to the road.

  • Chester Pape

    Half measures, you want to fix this problem then institute some immediate feedback. Blow past the open streetcar doors in a car or on a bike and you get stopped and held by john law who picks a passenger off the streetcar at random who gets to take a whack at the offender with the switch pry bar. Win – win.

  • http://brokenengine.blogspot.com brokenengine

    Why not set up a machine gun nest in the back, like a WWII Lancaster bomber. If the passengers see someone that looks like they’re going to blow by…RATATATATATATATA

  • http://brokenengine.blogspot.com brokenengine

    Or would that be too Mad Max?

  • Mike

    Getting rid of the streetcar? Sure it may not be flexible as the bus but it is better alternative then the subway. Lots of cities around the world are starting and already have LRT systems such as Salt Lake City, Calgary and Los Angeles for example. I don’t know why people oppose to LRT when subway systems using similar technology. No matter how you people trying to get rid of the streetcar in Toronto and around the world, they are here to stay.

  • Gloria

    People are opposed to surface LRT because we don’t all have dedicated right-of-ways. Subways always do.

  • Mike

    Some LRT systems run surface and they can be built as subways too. Look at Pittsburgh and Edmonton for example. Scarborough RT was supposed to be a dedicated streetcar right of way but it was changed to another rail mode system.

  • Patrick

    I too find the streetcar’s doors opening to be a surprise at times, when I’m driving.
    I think another warning system might be a good idea.
    Something like the flashing bus signals would make sense, as a warning to drivers that the streetcar is about to stop and open it’s doors.

  • anon

    As a cyclist I don’t always stop when streetcars do — it depends. I always slow down. If there’s no problem with me passing (ie I don’t have to dodge anyone) then I’ll continue. It depends on whether I need the momentum — on an upslope if I stop sometimes it sucks getting started again.
    But I was a transit rider before I gave up and started biking so I’m highly aware of being courteous. I don’t think most streetcar drivers mind, as long as you’re not railing down passengers.