Comment 40069

By Kiely (registered) | Posted April 22, 2010 at 15:38:55

Thanks for clarifying mikeonthemountain. I've just heard that terminology used by certain "family focused" groups before.

"We need to put down the biased studies and reports" : Which studies would those be? - mikeonthemountain

Ever hear of the Fraser Insitute? How about the Prius vs Hummer life cycle cost report? Plenty of biased slant to the world Mike.

"deal with reality" : That is exactly what is being attempted. - mikeonthemountain

What I mean is people need to deal with the reality of what is going to be needed to meet the challenges you describe. I don't believe that is as cut and dry as "pollution kills people" yes that is reality but what is it going to take to change, that's where it often falls apart, where disagreement occurs and polar extreme politics clash, grinding the whole thing to a halt and solving nothing.

GO trains that sit on the tracks in Hamilton above the Hunter street terminal, waiting for the next sliver of time (between 6:12AM and 7:17AM) when they are graciously permitted through. GO wants to run all day trains across the GTA but are being held back due to lack of track time. - mikeonthemountain

I hear ya' they should have better access to tracks but CN and CP own the tracks GO runs on, freight comes first it is the track owners' life blood and is also important because it keeps trucks off the roads. To build a dedicated commuter rail line will take land acquisitions, studies, debate (just look at the Airport Rail Link debacle) and most of all money. Years ago small spur lines ran all over Ontario, now many have been sold off, at least some saw noble uses like bike/walking trails. We'll need to buy back what we once had in order to expand rail throughout the province.

Electrifying the line isn't a simple thing either. New signals, track, maintenance facilities, underpasses, station improvements are all required. The study done in 2008 for just the lakeshore line revealed the electrification and expansion to be a can of worms (lots of unanswered questions) with the cost being $1 billion (increasing yearly of course). If you read it carefully you see where we are going to have enough trouble meeting future ridership demands maintaining the status quo let alone improving the service to an electric commuter rail dedicated service.

This is where reality comes in again. Building commuter rail, LRT, electrifying rail lines, revamping entire cities to be more livable, while still maintaining current infrastructure being used to capacity, all in a province heading toward "have not status", run by clowns who can't even get a database built without huge cost overruns and with the Tories having a good shot of taking office is going to be very difficult.

Just look at today's Toronto Sun (please don't buy it ; ) and read the nonsense about bike lanes on University Ave. (e.g., "How will ambulances get to the hospital when they have to cross bike lanes"???) to see the challenges moving to a more balanced society faces. I agree the status quo lobby is an elephant but a mouse screaming at an elephant about things it doesn't want to hear isn't going to find a solution. Mice scare elephants : )

Lots of challenges ahead Mike we need to find common ground among a larger group of people to solve them and that will require more measured approaches and compromise than I have seen people willing to make. That's my opinion anyway and you'll see many of my posts addressing that issue. Sometimes that requires a bit of a devil's advocate approach (and the ensuing flame fest that follows : ) to get people thinking about their preconceived notions.

Comment edited by Kiely on 2010-04-22 14:41:15

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