Work on the reconstruction and reconfiguration of the King-Queen-Queensway-Roncesvalles (KQQR) intersection and approaches to it resumed in April after a winter hiatus. Work has also begun at Dundas West Station for the reconstuction and realignment of the streetcar loading platforms.
April 4, 2022
A significant change at KQQR is the removal of the “slip lane” which allowed eastbound traffic on The Queensway to “slip” past the intersection onto King Street without stopping. However, this created a safety hazard for pedestrians trying to reach the south sidewalk and the bridge to Sunnyside Park. The first four photos below show the construction of the revised junction from various points of view.
The fifth photo looks west on The Queensway at Sunnyside showing early stages of converting the mix-traffic streetcar lanes to a right-of-way matching what is already in place from Parkside westward.
April 20, 2022
By April 20, two weeks later than the photos above, work had progressed to complete the new south sidewalk and to concrete all of the King Street approach. That leg now awaits the asphalt top layer.
In the view SW across the intesection there is a mixture of permanent and temporary poles and signals, as well as the beginning of the spiderweb that will hold up new overhead for the junction. Some of the new traffic signals have been hung, but they are hooded or faced away from traffic pending the changeover from the temporary ones.
On both sides of Roncesvalles north of Queen/Queensway, work has begin on bases for new overhead poles.
West of Sunnyside, work has begun on track installation, but this will be done in stages as road traffic is shuffled around between old and new lanes. In the eventual configuration, the streetcar lanes will be reserved and protected with a curb east to Roncesvalles except where needed for lane crossings.
The TTC has not yet announced a date for resumption of streetcar service to Sunnyside on King and on Queen, nor further west on The Queensway to Humber and Long Branch.
Dundas West Station
The existing King streetcar track has been demolished and excavated for a new foundation. Track for the Dundas cars will be shifted and a new longer loading platform will be provided here.
Wow! Major reconfiguration. Cheers, Andy
A couple of samples where public transit “improvements” are the lowest rung of public works, for the lowest budget possible. Stretching out as long as possible to save money, instead of time.
Looking around outside of North America, they would have done the same work much better and faster. Here, they have the budget for highways, but it is last for public transit.
Steve: In the case of work at KQQR, a lot of the delay is thanks to Hydro whose underground plant was not located where expected requiring redesign of some of the work. I would also argue that although the slip lane removal is a benefit for pedestrians, the other reconfigurations at the intersection and further west are actually sops to motorists so that they can more easily turn north. As with the “transit priority” on the existing right-of-way, I expect that the Queen car will travel more slowly through this section than before the changes.
As for Dundas West, this work only started a week ago and will be done in stages to preserve as much transit access as possible over coming weeks. The project takes advantage of the fact that the 504C bus serves Roncesvalles these days rather than the streetcar, and so only one service, 505 Dundas, has to be rerouted.
I think the more general problem is that transit priority, where it exists, is by sufferance of other road users, not “as of right” for transit.
Meanwhile, over at the Dundas West Subway/GO/UPX connection via Crossways building…
(insert cricket sounds here)
Steve: This is a Metrolinx project that has been held up by expropriation proceedings to obtain an easement through The Crossways. I was recently advised by Metrolinx that “… the Bloor-TTC Connection is currently in its design phase, with construction planned to begin in 2023 and estimated completion in 2026.”
If you want to see how TfL rebuilds a tube station look at these:
Bank Station Reconstruction One and Two.
Steve: A slightly more complex project and with a lot of construction done leading up to the point of closure to switch from old to new infrastructure.
Thanks for the update, Steve. The KQQR seems to be coming along well at the moment. Do you have an idea when it will be finished? I heard something about September.
Steve: Until I see an announcement, I won’t say for sure. September sounds doable on the construction side, which probably means it won’t happen because schedules for September are locked by July, and they might be uncertain. Stay tuned.
501 Queen streetcars now use pantographs. I believe that 503 Kingston Rd and 504 King are the only streetcar lines using trolley poles. Thus, when KQQR is completed, would all streetcar routes be using the pantograph?
Steve: There is still pole-only overhead in a few places notably Kingston Road and Roncesvalles. It’s baffling what is taking the TTC so long with a conversion that was originally planned to be finished a few years ago.
Looking at the photo, I don’t see the east-to-south or north-to-west curves. Did I miss that they were being removed? I _liked_ the 508 run.
Steve: They are still there but are now conventional 90 degree curves. King has been realigned to meet Queen at a right angle.