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Old December 22nd, 2008, 08:32 AM   #1
ssiguy2
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TransitCity... Ready, Set, Build

With the feds ready to dole out some hardcore infastructure funding and I don't think there is any doubt of that now, what projects of TransitCity can start construction right away?

LRT is pretty easy and fast to build, which is one of its strengths, how fast can everything start? Madrid's massive subway expansion in such a short time is the stuff of legends so why can't Toronto do the same? Now that the province got rid of these stupidly long enviornmental assesments construction on most routes could begin this year if Toronto got its ass in gear.

There is no reason why the Jane/SRT/DonMills/Finch/Sheppard/Kingston lines could not begin immediatly. They should all be able to get to built by 2012 with the Eglinton Line/Yonge/Spadina sections being done by 2013 due to taking a little longer due to tunnelling.

The Tories will want shovels in the ground immediatly to get the most political mileage out of it. Vancouver's 18km Millenium SkyTrain route was built in just 20 months from conception to opening day in just 20 months and its a hell of alot harder to build than simple LRT due to the massive elevated structure, rail line and large elaborate stations.

This could be a true rennaisance of transit in Toronto if it decides to put its ass in gear.
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 02:39 PM   #2
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Finch, Sheppard, and maybe Jane could probably get going right away. Finch and Sheppard are in EA's right now anyway. Like I said in the other thread, now that the feds have gotten a crowbar into their wallets it is time for Toronto to at least put the pressure on and present projects that could get going right away. And continue putting pressure on them to get the funding.
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 02:43 PM   #3
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Sheppard is definitely ready to go. Shovels are going into the ground in Sept, 09.

I am pretty Finch is very close too. Eglinton Crosstown is considerably more complex, and I do not see anything happening until 2010.
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 09:59 PM   #4
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Ya, I can see Eglinton being a bit more complicated which is why I gave it another year or 2 to complete.
Of all the lines I thought would be the easiest to build would be the Waterfront/Miminco line. The downtown section is already there and much of the line already has ROW due to its similar path as the GO line. Any news on Waterfront?
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 01:58 AM   #5
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The WWLRT is easy in some parts but not all. The design solution is difficult around Browns Line due to the semi-highway nature and unusual intersection layout with Lake Shore there. Between Royal York and Park Lawn, reconfiguring traffic on the street complete with street island platforms (a required element not part of the original line) is challenging as this stretch of Lake Shore is narrower and the city seems to be struggling a little with the idea of reducing traffic to one-lane-each-direction which is preferred to avoid excessive property impacts and expropriation for road widening. Roncesvalles to Dufferin is also complicated since it is partially tied into the Master Planning of the Humber Bay waterfront revitalization. Construction is not going to take very long on this corridor, but finding the best design solution isn't as easy as we might like.

Cherry St is ready for shovels to go in the ground tomorrow if they want projects to fund. The Kingston Rd extension could be prepared for shovels pretty quickly too, the EA is done, old-school no less.
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 02:46 PM   #6
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I think people underestimate the amount of work (bureaucratic and engineering) that needs to be finish for construction to begin on any LRT.

It is not as insane as building a subway but there are lots of other issues.

I also can't imagine that they will shut down more than a kilometer of any road on this docket at any given time. If they did try to work on a 5+ KM stretch of Sheppard or Lakeshore at the same time, the public outcry would be enough to halt the project.
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Old December 24th, 2008, 08:26 AM   #7
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^ I appreciate that but if Toronto wants to be a true TransitCity it will require patience during construction but the faster the better.
I think people will also be more tolerant at this particular time due to the positive economic construction which Toronto desperatly needs. If ever there was a time torontonians would be willing to put up with infastructure building it's now as they appreciate this would be a big job generator.
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Old December 24th, 2008, 03:18 PM   #8
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^Come on, we are talking about NIMBY City here.

People are more concerned about having fewer lanes for them to drive on. A silly notion because an LRT line operating at 33% of capacity will actually remove more than one lane of traffic to begin with.

I have read that a lane of traffic can accommodate something like 3000 people per hour given that a small percent of the cars have more than one rider. An LRT line can handle about 15,000 pphpd? (correct me if I'm wrong on this)
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Old December 24th, 2008, 07:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homer J. Simpson View Post
I have read that a lane of traffic can accommodate something like 3000 people per hour given that a small percent of the cars have more than one rider. An LRT line can handle about 15,000 pphpd? (correct me if I'm wrong on this)
I believe that's for freeways, not regular roads. LRT maxes out around 12,000, not 15, but otherwise absolutely right.
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Old December 25th, 2008, 08:09 AM   #10
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Ya, it depends on how the LRT would be built ie complete ROW, no stops, underground/ elevated sections, spacing of stations.

Edmonton LRT has far higher capacity ability than any of TransitCity's LRT lines due to the above.

As far as the NIMBYs, LRT will be be less of an issue as it uses existing roadways so doesn't have noise issues or land acclamation. Even if there are bones of contention on a couple of lines those lines could still go full speed ahead and then build that small area. Eg 75% of LRT could be built and then start the remaining 25% when all issues/obstacles are cleared.
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Old December 27th, 2008, 12:39 PM   #11
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I still remember reading about this back in the summer of '07 and laughing with my coworkers about this being another publicity stunt for McGuinty to get re-elected. It was so obvious that this was a pipe dream.

A year and a half later, proposals here and there, and some cock stroking to boot and I don't see how we're any different from a year ago?

I'll be happy to see something by 2020, that's all I'm saying...Don't put a lot of faith in the politicians of Toronto. Besides, Vancouver has the olympics deadline to worry about, that's why they got their shit together.
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Old December 27th, 2008, 04:35 PM   #12
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Actually so far they're on schedule, what people are proposing is to fastrack the schedule to build all the lines simultaneously.
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Old December 27th, 2008, 09:38 PM   #13
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As much as I do like the idea of fast tracking the construction, it has always been the financing that has been what has kept the pace at what it is.

From today's Toronto Star
Quote:
Show us the money. For months, that's been the mantra of the municipal politicians on the Metrolinx board.

They spent the year assembling Toronto-area transit projects totalling billions of dollars into the Regional Transportation Plan.

But the board's sole citizen appointee, Paul Bedford, has adopted a different slogan. He's taking his cue from U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's "Yes we can" motto.

Toronto's retired chief planner and self-styled urban mentor doesn't believe the region can afford to wait for government money to build transit.

That's why he refuses to drop one of 2008's hottest political potatoes: road tolls.

Bedford says he'll continue to speak out in 2009 about the need to raise money for transit, whether by road tolls, a regional sales tax or another gasoline tax. Those and other funding ideas need to be aired publicly, he says, rather than waiting until 2013, the timeline prescribed by the Metrolinx report.

"My take on this is we've got to find the money sooner rather than later. We have to be serious about understanding the price if we don't invest," he warned the Canadian Urban Institute recently.

The 25-year Metrolinx plan includes more frequent GO service in the entire region, light rail running to Toronto's boundaries, and more buses, many operating in dedicated lanes in York, Peel and Halton.

What the plan doesn't have are ideas on how to fill in the $38.5 billion funding gap between its $50 billion price tag and the $11.5 billion pledged by the province so far.

That money is needed if the region is to salvage what Bedford calls "our last great change to get it right."

"We have to future-proof our region. We're making 100-year decisions," he said.

He points to U.S. jurisdictions also labouring under an economic cloud. California is considering a $45 billion (U.S.) high-speed rail system, one of 11 such corridors being proposed across the country.

Oregon, with a population smaller than that of the Toronto region, has introduced $1 billion in rail, road and bridge spending, and the governor is proposing about half a dozen measures to pay for it, including a 2-cent gas tax increase and doubling the price of vehicle titles and registrations.

But even if money dominates transit discussions next year, many officials will be putting down their pens and picking up their shovels, says TTC chair Adam Giambrone, as the city shifts from "planning" to "implementation."

In Toronto, construction on the first of seven proposed Transit City lines – Sheppard East – is to begin in September. Giambrone expects tunnelling to begin on the Spadina subway extension late in the year. It's also possible the waterfront east light-rail line will begin next year.

"We will still have a lot of planning to do on the other light rail lines, the (Scarborough Rapid Transit expansion and renovation) work, and the serious planning and design of Yonge (subway extension)," said Giambrone, who also sits on Metrolinx. "But we will be shifting to an implementation mentality that will only build toward 2010, when you add Finch and Eglinton (light-rail lines)."

But progress almost always comes with a price. Giambrone warns that eliminating left turns and rush-hour parking along streetcar routes will inevitably irritate some motorists and merchants, and residents who worry their side streets will become busy detours.

But these changes, along with adding bike lanes, are part of a sustainable transportation plan approved in principle by Toronto City Council this year. Whether the same councillors have the political stamina to weather the opposition in 2009 remains to be seen.
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Old December 28th, 2008, 02:14 AM   #14
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if they dont change it to simultaneous building what lines are to be built first? n e one no?
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Old December 28th, 2008, 04:48 AM   #15
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^ Sheppard, Finch then Eglinton is current order.


Don mills would be easy, I imagine, because not much road widening is required.
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Old December 28th, 2008, 07:42 AM   #16
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Quote:
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^ Sheppard, Finch then Eglinton is current order.


Don mills would be easy, I imagine, because not much road widening is required.
There are complications with DM south of CPR, including the interchange with Eglinton LRT.
There may be some momentum that may (or may not) pick up for extended provisionary work on a DRL east up to Eglinton be incorporated in to the DM LRT, if Steve Munro can get some people persuaded.

Morningside is probably the easiest except for its potential relationship to Kingston Rd and its streetcar extension.
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Old December 29th, 2008, 12:27 AM   #17
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There are complications with DM south of CPR, including the interchange with Eglinton LRT.
There may be some momentum that may (or may not) pick up for extended provisionary work on a DRL east up to Eglinton be incorporated in to the DM LRT, if Steve Munro can get some people persuaded.

Morningside is probably the easiest except for its potential relationship to Kingston Rd and its streetcar extension.
Eglinton should go first, from a demand and logistics standpoint. It's the most complicated to build and hence needs the most time allotted to be up and running within a resonable timeframe (by 2015, up from 2017).

Think about the current pressures on the Yonge-Eglinton area by the influx of bus routes. By radiating out a 'subway' from this point, a lot of these routes are intercepted far earlier, Eg West Stn finally reaches its potential as an alleviant to the Yonge stop and the entire commercial zone (Mount Dennis/York Ctr to Leaside Centre gets the TOD treatment, appeasing businesses en route).

I've always said that Eglinton and Don Mills need to be interlined or converged somehow. Perhaps due to the low density along Eglinton east of Brentcliffe, the line can diverge a few kilometres to the south to target the density rich Overlea Blvd area. From this point an interlining of the two lines is highly achievable and creates an alternate transfer point for Eglinton customers seeking Pape-Queen East destinations.

The Scarborough-Malvern Line is merely the end-tail of the Crosstown Line, and should the SRT be extended into MTC, the necessity of this line running all the way into Malvern is really questionable (especially given that both the Scarborough RT and Scarborough-Malvern TC Line both originate at Kennedy i.e. redundant ). Instead Kennedy should not become the arbitrary terminus point of either TC line, just another interchange station en route to UTSC~ the more logical and cost-effective end point.
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Old December 30th, 2008, 01:03 AM   #18
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If it were up to me, I would say they should build eglinton first, but only from Allen Rd, westward, for now.
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Old December 30th, 2008, 07:20 AM   #19
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I think most lines could start construction by the end of 2010.

There are two that I would NOT allow to go forward.......Don Mills & Sheppard.

Until they make LONG-TERM desicions on what they want to do with those lines in regards to cross-town Sheppard & Don Mills as part of a downtown relief line then they should off. Study it for a maximum of 2 years and then start building on whatever they decide. It will be of great long-term benefit of Torontonians and their transit needs. If not they will end up with a whole raft of Sheppard stubways with disconnections and endless transfers resulting in lower ridership and slower travel times. If they decide to extend the DM line south to become the DRL better to make sure all DM stations all the way to YR are long enough to accomodate the longer trains need for DRL.

If this is to be of long-term benefit it must not become TransferCity.
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Old December 30th, 2008, 04:57 PM   #20
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Quote:
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If it were up to me, I would say they should build eglinton first, but only from Allen Rd, westward, for now.
Why wouldn't you at least suggest filling in the gap between the two legs of YUS? Eglinton is a far better candidate than Sheppard for a northern connector as there's significent residential/commercial density preexisting through the area (namely Forest Hill and the Eglinton Way BIA).

I'd like too for there to be some form of permanent, on-site link to the airport via Eglinton-Crosstown. Instead of wying the line at Martin Grove with two distinct branches heading off into 'Sauga and to Pearson respectively, the line could stay in unison targeting Pearson first before arrving at the MT BRT Terminal near Renforth/ACC.

Quote:
I think most lines could start construction by the end of 2010.

There are two that I would NOT allow to go forward.......Don Mills & Sheppard.

Until they make LONG-TERM desicions on what they want to do with those lines in regards to cross-town Sheppard & Don Mills as part of a downtown relief line then they should off. Study it for a maximum of 2 years and then start building on whatever they decide. It will be of great long-term benefit of Torontonians and their transit needs. If not they will end up with a whole raft of Sheppard stubways with disconnections and endless transfers resulting in lower ridership and slower travel times. If they decide to extend the DM line south to become the DRL better to make sure all DM stations all the way to YR are long enough to accomodate the longer trains need for DRL.

If this is to be of long-term benefit it must not become TransferCity.
I agree with a lot of this. The public wasn't consulted as much as reports would have us believe. If we were, there'd likely be quite a few stubways in our future as underground HRT will always be regarded as superior to all modal comers.
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