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Your Toronto 2014 Issue Navigator

How the candidates compare on some of the city's biggest issues.

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TTC Looking to Make Some Streetcar Stops Disappear

Which streetcar stops could be slated for relocation or removal—and why.

It’s possible that you might stroll outside later this year, planning to take a Sunday streetcar ride to some appealing and transit-accessible spot, only to discover that your Sunday streetcar stop is no longer anywhere to be found.

That’s because the TTC is considering a rationalization of its roughly 550 streetcar stops. A report that will be presented to its board on May 28 makes the case that relocating and culling some stops will lead to improved pedestrian safety and a reduction in travel times.

Streetcar stops located near traffic signals or pedestrian crossovers, the report notes, promote safety, because pedestrians have access to a “protected street crossing” when walking to or from transit stops, while motorists have a better sense of where streetcars will be stopping. The report therefore recommends that “20 stops which are currently at unsignalised locations” be moved a short distance to a nearby signal or crossover “in the interests of enhanced safety for people crossing the street, and improved consistency regarding stops locations for approaching motorists.”

The report also claims that stops placed “unnecessarily close together” (i.e. less than 200 metres from one another) increase travels times by creating a “stop-and-go” effect—as such, it also recommends that all Sunday stops and the 39 regular stops that fit the <200 metre criterion be eliminated.

Transit expert (and Torontoist contributor) Steve Munro argues, though, that “Sunday stops have nothing to do with weekday transit speeds, and the actual number of stops removed is trivial in proportion to the streetcar system.” He continues, “If the TTC wants to argue ‘safety,’ fine, but don’t drum up another of these bogus claims that transit service will somehow be improved. That’s a task for the quantity and quality of service on the street, and the little matter of line management.”

Although the removal of the stops in question might not lead to substantially speedier travel times, it will almost certainly result in at least some rider consternation. Work on stops that will be moved to a nearby signal or crossover should be completed this year, as will the removal of all Sunday stops. All other stop removals will take place in 2015—and in some cases, only after the TTC’s new streetcars start serving the routes. “All stop removals will be preceded by an advance notice of the reason for, and timing of the removal,” the report indicates. And if you want to prepare yourself for this advance notice, here’s a list of the stops the TTC hopes to remove (adapted from page 7 of the report):

Stops to Be Removed
Route Location and Direction
511 BATHURST Bathurst at Bloor (northbound), # 276 (southbound), Adelaide* (both)
501 QUEEN Lake Shore at Summerhill (eastbound), Lake Crescent (both)

Queen at Abell/Beaconsfield* (both), McCaul (both), York (both), Carolyn/Brooklyn* (both)

Stops at Connaught and at Woodward/Kent consolidated into a single location midway between—at Woodfield

Stops at Waverly and at Lee consolidated into a single location midway between—at Bellefair

504 KING King at Brant (both), Simcoe (both), York (both), Trinity* (both), Victoria (westbound)

Broadview at Mt. Stephen* (both)

Erindale at Broadview (westbound)

505 DUNDAS Dundas at St. Helens (eastbound), Sheridan* (both), Bellwoods (eastbound), Chestnut (both), Victoria (both)

* indicates that a city councillor has objected to the removal of this stop.

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