Half of Torontonians say they approve of King Street pilot project, poll finds
Codi Wilson, CTV News Toronto
Published Wednesday, December 6, 2017 8:11AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, December 6, 2017 8:36AM EST
Half of Torontonians say they approve of a new pilot project that restricts motor-vehicle access on a busy stretch of King Street and gives streetcars priority, according to a new poll.
The Forum Research poll, which randomly sampled 843 Toronto voters, found that 50 per cent of respondents said they were in favour of the King Street pilot project compared to just 24 per cent who disapprove.
According to the poll, 33 per cent of those surveyed said they “strongly approve” of the pilot with only 15 per cent saying they “strongly disapprove.”
The survey also found that 73 per cent of respondents were familiar with the details of the pilot and 41 per cent said they were “very familiar” with the project.
Just 21 per cent said they were unfamiliar with the new pilot and 10 per cent said they are “very unfamiliar.”
About 63 per cent of respondents who said they were "very familiar" with the project approved of it while about 23 per cent said they did not.
In November, the city launched a one-year pilot project on King Street between Jarvis and Bathurst streets in an effort to speed up streetcar service along the busy downtown corridor.
As part of the pilot, all vehicles, with the exception of TTC and emergency vehicles, are only allowed to travel one block along that stretch before drivers are forced to make a right-hand turn.
A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto has found that along the 2.5-kilometre stretch of King Street impacted by the pilot, TTC commute times have improved by about four of five minutes during rush hour.
Approval of the project is highest among those who travel on King Street daily (68 per cent) and unsurprisingly, public transit users (63 per cent).
About 37 per cent of drivers approve of the project and 34 per cent do not.
About a quarter of respondents who use King Street at least once per month said they would travel on King Street more following the pilot, while about 34 per cent said their usage wouldn’t change and 34 per cent said they would likely travel on King Street less.
“Awareness of the King Street pilot is very high, which suggests the city has done an excellent job on getting the word out,” Lorne Bozinoff, president of Forum Research, said in his analysis accompanying the poll.
“Overall, half approve of the pilot, but it looks like the people who are most likely to benefit from it, such as those living downtown or transit users, support it, and those who aren’t likely to benefit, such as those living outside of the core, and drivers, don’t.”
The poll, which was conducted on Nov. 21 and Nov. 22, is considered accurate plus or minus 3 per cent, 19 times out of 20.