We finally have an update for you regarding the Streetcar Safety Murals, our idea that won the NXT City Prize last year. We are very proud and excited that the Streetcar Murals project will be implemented in the City of Toronto’s King Street Pilot!
When we first received the award in November 2016, we jumped right in. By the start of 2017, we were getting in touch with BIAs, local businesses, and residential developers to see if there were any partnership opportunities to execute the project. We managed to get a BIA and one of Toronto’s largest condo developers on board, but we ran into a roadblock.
While inquiring about necessary permits, The City’s Transportation Services department informed us that they were not going to allow the project to move forward. Luckily, the stars aligned and it turned out that the project was a great fit for the King Street Pilot.
This gives us a chance to test what works and what doesn’t in the context of another pilot where data will be collected and analyzed. Wysp Creative is a Toronto-based agency offering branding and design services, so it’s incredible that we get to piggyback the City’s resources to pilot this idea.
The King Street Pilot details were unveiled at a public meeting on May 18th, which we attended. Pending approval of the Pilot, we will be working with StreetARToronto to bring the Streetcar Murals to life. StreetARToronto will be researching a number of application methods and we will be tackling the creative side, looking into artists, colour schemes, street art guidelines implemented by other cities, and other safety measures.
The King Street Pilot
As eager as we are to get started on the Streetcar Murals, they are just one small aspect of a grander vision, one that could forever change the way transit corridors are designed in downtown Toronto.
Between Jarvis and Bathurst, 65,000 people ride the King streetcar every day, while 20,000 cars use the same route. The King Street Pilot aims to prioritize the movement of these transit users. At the public meeting, many on the Pilot board admitted that it is sometimes faster to just walk to your destination due to congestion and inconsistent streetcars.
Key features of the King Street Pilot:
- Streetcar stops moving to the far side of the intersection
- Physical “bump-out” where riders can wait off the sidewalks (this is where the Murals will be)
- Cars must turn right at next intersection; east-west through traffic will not be allowed
- East-west through traffic only for transit, cyclists, fire, and EMS
- Curbside public spaces, like seating, planters, patios, bike parking, etc.
- No on-street parking
- Designated delivery, loading, and taxi areas
The goal of the Pilot is to decrease the amount of cars on King Street, make transit quicker and more efficient, improve public space, and support economic prosperity. If all goes according to plan, King Street will begin its transformation this fall.
This is a game changer for Toronto and we’re excited to be a part of it!