Been up King Street lately? Bike and bus infrastructure changes landscape
Despite complaints about traffic congestion, the city says no lanes have been lost and safety will improve
Travelling up King Street in downtown London? The one-way stretch has a new big-city look about it with the introduction of two major pieces of infrastructure.
Bus islands now span the street on the south side between Ridout and Colborne Streets. The six cement pads act as partial barriers between the road and a new protected bike lane.
Construction has caused delays for drivers for several weeks, and some Londoners have expressed frustration that parking spaces have been removed for the new build. But the city says the long-term goal is increased safety and less congestion.
"I'm not scared! You could never ride this on your bike before," said cyclist Jeff Terpstra.
It's a sentiment echoed by Don Mcilraith.
"Having the bike lane is absolutely super! It means I'll be able to bike right through the downtown," he said.
The bus islands are a brand new construction concept in London, frequently used in larger cities where transit-use is widespread.
They're level to the road, making them easier for people with mobility devices to get on and off the bus, the city explains, and they're meant to encourage more people to ride the bus.
"I like standing on the transit island," said Alex Miller, Transit Planning Technician with London Transit. "There's no confusion, you feel safe on them."
New safety rules
Drivers need to be aware that buses are stopping and starting in traffic, which will allow transit drivers to stay on schedule.
The transit islands will help bus drivers easily see who is waiting for the bus, instead of accidentally stopping for people who are simply standing at a bus stop.
Though cyclists must yield to pedestrians, transit users should look west into oncoming cyclist traffic before walking toward the transit island.
And of course, drivers turning right off of King Street will want to be extra vigilant about yielding to cyclists going straight, as they have the right of way.
The project cost $512,415 and was paid for by the City of London.