Comment 73469

By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted January 29, 2012 at 10:49:54

I happen to work in Toronto (what most people here would consider downtown Toronto) for the Fire Department. It is decidedly NOT automobile friendly. There are bike lanes everywhere, street car tracks everywhere, speed bumps everywhere, Street Car islands everywhere.

The latest abomination foisted upon an angered and unwilling and opposed business community on Roncesvalles Avenue by the now gone Adam Giambrone when chair of the TTC saw the street narrowed, with raised asphalt islands for street car passengers to wait for the street cars. Only problem is the street car islands are also BIKE LANES. Thats right bike lanes. So picture this. You have an asphalt island that in winter is almost indistinguishable from the lane that it replaced, for 40 or 50 feet every couple of blocks where a street car stop is. Dozens of people standing on it at the busiest times waiting for their streetcar dodging bikes. INSANITY.

Most of you here I know are of the mindset that if its bad for the car its good for people. I can assure you as someone who scrapes people (or what is left of them) off the road on a regular basis that is not the case, and in many instances makes matters worse for pedestrians and cyclists. Creating more congestion on Eglinton Avenue by ploughing two lanes of LRT down the middle of it is not going to create any efficiencies of movement of people or commerce. It will become another St Clair Avenue which has been an abject failure, and was again done against the general will of the people who own and operate businesses and live along that street, and pay the taxes that keep that city running. More people have been killed and seriously injured on St Clair Ave playing real life Frogger trying to beat street cars by j walking and getting caught between two street cars going in opposite directions than I care to mention. It was more left wing "we know what's good for you so just shut up and do as your told" top down social engineering. It was definitely not city building.

Mr Hume is smoking some seriously powerful herb if he thinks LRT at grade level on Eglinton is going to "get rid" of any cars. He fails to realize that many of the people using Eglinton are doing so via the 401 or the Allen or DVP coming from somewhere else and the public transit nodes to get them from where they came from to where they have to go on Eglinton or surrounds either don't exist or are inefficient. Using their cars is the most time efficient and productive way for them to get done what they have to get done.

Mayor Fords premise that the Eglinton line should be buried is absolutely sound and correct from a transit efficiency standpoint, a congestion standpoint and a planning standpoint. Toronto should have been investing continuously in subway construction since the first tunnel was bored in the 1950s. Yes its more expensive. But its the proper way to do public transit in Toronto. The TTC would have boat loads of money for subways if it eliminated half its streetcar lines, shifted those to hybrid buses and sunk what it spends on a yearly basis for streetcar bed/track replacement on tunnelling.

My instinct tells me the howls of protest against Ford's Eglinton line plan have more to do with the fact that he is fat, loud, uncouth and determined to undo what the Miller disciples still left on Toronto City Council see as their entitled right to city build as they see fit be it good for the taxpayer or not, rather, than any sound critique or argument against what he wants to do with the LRT.

For the record, I am decidedly PRO LRT in Hamilton. But for decidedly different reasons. There is absolutely no argument that LRT in Hamilton will be a catalyst for densification, residential and business development along the LRT corridor. It will spur the rejuvenation of the core of the city I call home and love. My comments to this effect are on the LRT site and on this board in numerous articles. But along Eglinton in Toronto, this development, densification and rejuvenation is largely not needed. The need there is for ease of congestion, the movement of people and commerce. Burying the LRT there is the way to go.

Comment edited by Shempatolla on 2012-01-29 10:55:05

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