Friday, May 28, 2010

Postal Presence

All along Preston new posts shrouded in plastic have appeared. They are the new pay and display parking system to be rolled out all over the city in the coming months.

They are coming by the truckload. Once operating, the old meters will be left in place for bit, but with the inside payment mechanism removed, so that parkers who migrate to the old style meters will be met with a sign advising them to go to the pay and display system (example on the middle meter below):


  1. I hate the new "bulbs" they're putting at the corners. They take up at least 1 car parking spot, they could allow a motorcycle in the end corner, but don't. Pretty, yes. Functional, no, not for anyone.

  2. The bulb outs serve two functions: #1 they preserve on-street parking so that it is there 24/7. Without parking bays, the city can any time simply decide commuter traffic is more important and forbid parking during the morning or evening rush hours, or both, or all day ... which ruins the street for everyone(see Bronson for the result). #2 they make it easier for peds to cross the street, and it is ped life that keeps main streets alive, not car parking.

    The number of spaces removed by bulb outs is surprisingly small: there is no legal or safe parking on corners, or bus stops, or loading zones, or major driveways. On Somerset west of Preston, the new bulb outs/recessed parking bays going in this summer resulted in the loss of exactly ONE parking space.

  3. The only criticism I have of the bulb outs is where they have placed the bus stops at the bulb requiring the buses to halt all traffic including cyclists while they load/unload or timecheck. See Kirkwood or parts of West Wellie.

  4. Ken: the bus stop is an interesting issue. When buses pull off the through lane into a bus bay to load or unload, traffic blocks their re-entry to the street. Thus one or two or three single occupancy cars delays (say...)20 people on the bus, and this contributes to the erosion of bus service attractiveness and results in fewer people being moved along the street.

    The city is careful to not put too many extended bus stop zones along one street, as it will frustrate a motorist trapped behind a bus. So you see a pattern of bus bay - bus extension - bus bay - etc so vehicles get by. But the idea is to slow traffic and give priority to transit. There should not be any time stop at a bus extension -- the only possible exemption I know of is the temporary time stop at Somerset/West Wellie, which will relocate to Bayswater once construction is finished.