Thanks to the effect of 'platooning', people have very different experiences on our lower city one-way arterials depending on whether they are inside or outside a car.
By Ryan McGreal
Published January 16, 2015
With the advent of the transit-only lane on King Street, there are certainly some automobile traffic slowdowns during rush hour. However, for much of the rest of the day, King Street remains ghostly in its emptiness.
For people who only ever drive on King Street during rush hour, it may be understandable that they feel frustrated by the traffic. But for people living and working on King Street all day, their experience of the street is much different.
I just received an email from Bob Berberick, an engaged citizen and occasional RTH contributor, who was on King Street in the International Village corridor yesterday. He wrote:
While walking International Village yesterday at 1:25 pm, it struck me how little traffic there was. I snapped these photos at the same time taking in both directions.
Here are the two photos he took, shared here with permission:
Looking up and down King Street in the International Village (Image Credit: Bob Berberick)
The photos were taken at right around the midpoint between Wellington Street and Ferguson Avenue.
This is a phenomenon that people who only experience the street from behind windshields are not likely to experience: thanks to timed traffic signals, cars are all bunched together into "platoons" that roar down the street in a pack, with stretches of desolation between them.
Last week, I wrote about the same experience on Main Street West.
Main Street West: the calm before the storm (RTH file photo)
Thanks to this effect, people have very different experiences on our lower city one-way arterials depending on whether they are inside or outside a car.
This may help to explain some of the antagonism between people who live and work on these streets, and people who use the streets as commuting routes to somewhere else.
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