Toronto police say thousands of warnings have been issued to drivers who have not been following the new rules along King Street and starting this week, motorists will be facing fines.
Speaking to CP24 on Sunday morning, Const. Clint Stibbe said the grace period for enforcement in relation to the King Street pilot project officially comes to an end on Monday.
“As of (Monday), we will be issuing tickets for anybody found committing an offence in relation to those new signs and the new pilot project,” Stibbe said.
Fines for infractions begin at $110 and also come with two demerit points upon conviction.
Stibbe said most of the drivers who have been given warnings say they either didn’t see the signs or didn’t know about the pilot project.
“What we are seeing is a situation where drivers are being complacent. They’ve always been using King Street, they’ll continue to use King Street and they are not looking at the changes that have occurred in the area,” Stibbe said.
“That’s part of the problem. The other problem is somebody that thinks maybe well it’s only one extra block.”
As part of the one-year pilot, all traffic on King Street, between Jarvis and Bathurst streets, is only permitted to travel one block before being forced to turn right.
All on-street parking spaces between Bathurst and Jarvis streets have been removed and drivers are also prohibited from turning left at signalized intersections along King Street.
Streetcars, cyclists, City of Toronto maintenance vehicles, and emergency vehicles are exempt from the new rules.
Taxis will also be allowed to travel along the street from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Stibbe said so far it appears the pilot is achieving its goal of getting streetcars moving in the area.
“I know that during rush hour, especially in the afternoon, we would see bumper-to-bumper traffic on King Street. The streetcars are stuck, they are not moving. We are not seeing that anymore,” he said.
“We are seeing the streetcars moving through freely, loading quickly.”