25-Year Masterplanning (TTC 1950s/60s, Network 2011, GO 2020, Metrolinx 2031, Metrolinx 2041)

Discussion in 'Transportation and Infrastructure' started by mdrejhon, Apr 26, 2018.

  1. mdrejhon

    mdrejhon Senior Member

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    Government-Created Masterplanning Maps & Proposals

    I've always been fascinated by the 25-year masterplanning cycles for public transit and regional transit, often done by different transit agencies but now much more co-operatively (TTC, Metrolinx, etc).

    Eventually, UrbanToronto.ca should write an article about the history of 25-year masterplans (I'd be happy to donate this post to such an article, just co-credit me and image sources).

    Here is a small sampling of major 25-year masterplans:

    Network 2011 -- Mid-80s masterplanning

    3ACEFEF4-3720-4882-B689-51EB87F94BC7.

    Covered in Transit Toronto and Wikipedia, this is TTC's 1985 masterplanning for year 2011. Suffice to say, we never got this far due to the politics of the era and the 1991 recession. So many failed dreams, but also very short in ambition, and not very well-coordinated with GO's first dreams to electrify (the ICTS proposals).

    Metrolinx 2031 / The Big Move -- Mid-2000s masterplanning
    7215885E-63C5-43CA-A15F-F5F0B2EC3DC2.

    As GO Transit was turned into Metrolinx, The Big Move finally came out. There's a really comprehensive section on Metrolinx's site and on Wikipedia. In a shorter 15-year masterplanning time horizon, there is also the MoveOntario 2020 plan and the GO 2020 plan.
    Metrolinx 2041 RTP -- Mid-2010s masterplanning
    59B2BA49-1CFD-46EB-BD66-A1947AFB84D3.

    Already covered in this UrbanToronto flagship article. Much more collaboration with TTC and other transit agencies than ever. Refines Metrolinx 2031, adjust for the Transit City roller coaster politics, and current political wranglings. Roughly two-thirds of similar elements to Metrolinx 2031 appears to have significant momentum (TPAPs, funding, EAs, etc) and some refinements as a result of recent Metrolinx 2041 public consultations on the Metrolinx 2041 RTP (pdf)

    Failed Dreams
    So many failed dreams here, but a clear pattern is that over the last few decades have shown increased intensity of eagerness to keep masterplanning transit in Toronto's huge pressures to densify. We're finally at least punching some projects through. Yet we keep demanding more projects to be begun, even as many projects have been buffered-up into the pipeline.

    Extent of Average Political Damage Seems Slowly Decreasing Over Decades
    Many of us still remember major cancellations such as mid-construction abortions (e.g. such as the Eglinton subway fill-in of the 1990s). Perception is that political damage is slowly decreasing over the decades, many Transit City LRTs have survived (so far), the Relief Line is feeling real close to reality, both Brampton/Mississauga and Scarborough are getting bones (Hurontario LRT and Scarborough subway) even as we debate fiercely over their merits. Politicians slowly get less power to cancel projects permanently. Seeing most Transit City get resurrected after years, unlike 1911 "DRL" plans or 1960s era TTC subway plans.

    Metrolinx best thing ever to Toronto Transit despite scandals?
    Under this POV, it feels like Metrolinx despite "scandals", may have been the best-ever thing to happen to Toronto Transit scene.

    Indeed, for many people, the jury is still out in many people's opinions and we need to see more of the "good" routes complete like the Crosstown, Relief Line, turning GO into a frequent metro (under whatever brand names people argue about), and more, to start finally "feeling" the true fruits of these persistently urgent 25-year masterplanning.

    What is happening is a miracle because roughly two-thirds of elements of the earlier Metrolinx 2031 masterplan (or very roughly similar counterparts) are already in progress, funded, completed EA, have RFQs or RFPs.

    Metrolinx has succeeded that high a percentage on an earlier masterplan. This is far beyond any Canadian transit agency (dissapointing HSR bus expansions, stalled TTC subway plans, etc). Now Metrolinx is funding more local transit and Doug Ford is actually transferring the Yonge Subway from City of Toronto over to Metrolinx. Doug Ford is giving the subways to Metrolinx -- we don't necessarily agree on that, but it shows that there is no chance of Metrolinx disbanding -- as some may desire having read only sensational bad news headlines in the papers.

    While some of us are dissapointed at some inefficient spends or line-items, regardless of fault, political-wise, agency-wise, engineering-wise, contractor-wise or other reason). Even as we are late, behind schedule until it is finally built, fume about Presto glitches until we find we really love the convenience after all, some scream "boondoggle" at UP Express before their turnaround popularity (UPX at new price is popular now with standees, 4 times more ridership, the now-popular UPX now pays bigger % of farebox than Hamilton HSR), credit where credit due -- so many projects much further along in Toronto history than in any previous 25-year masterplanning cycle. The good old "Boondoggle-screamers" have not gotten the memo about UPX, they should ride the UPX at peak. They DO tend to learn from their lessons, unlike many other options, and keep going. In that view, Metrolinx is one of the best things that happened to GTHA.

    Things like the Presto (complaints like $1bn spend, slow 24hour load time, deployment glitches) can be a bone of contention for many people who don't use Presto. However, Presto is still an amazing system that has successfully tied 12 transit agencies together into one farecard system. Stretches all way from Hamilton through Ottawa. So it is one of the world's most complex farecard systems behind the scenes. But simplifying fares for end users. Deployment glitches are annoying but Presto has been stable for a long time in Ottawa and GO Transit, etc. Once glitches are ironed out and more mature areas, the system tends to be amazing for actual users in terms of convenience. The 24-hour fareload delays are not a problem when you load the card at a vending machine. Many international farecard systems don't even let you load the farecard online -- unlike Presto which lets you (even if it's 24 hour). If you hate 24 hour delay, just go presto vending machine and the card is refilled instantly in 15 seconds (YouTube video proof of Presto refill in 15 seconds). Even Hamilton downtown station only has the slower/older vending machine in the bus area which aren't good. But the improved Toronto Presto vending machines are coming to Hamilton LRT and they can be used to refill for HSR buses too.

    Back to the master plans -- while less than a quarter is complete, many are in progress, funded, EA, RFP, RFQ, construction, delivery -- e.g. Eglinton Crosstown under construction. Even while things like West Harbour GO station idles waiting for the extra track to be built (2018 Canal bridge finished, 2019 Confederation GO station under construction, etc), the infrastructure will gradually become much more heavily used. Unfortunately, these pre-requisite delays also happen elsewhere (e.g. much like how certain freeways are idle in Ontario -- like that unused segment of the billion-dollar Windsor freeway extension to the yet-unbuilt USA bridge yet to begin construction -- so it's not just a Metrolinx thing).

    While we should have construction in a more efficient sequence/order -- we're wasting far less on repeatedly-cancelled projects of past decades. Even many Transit City routes have resurrected. We're early in the Big Move cycle, it does not feel like progress at all yet but many shovels are already in the ground. The big benefits don't appear until near the end of a 25-year cycle.

    The glass is figuratively more than half full. We haven't drank it yet (whether you view it as healthy water or unhealthy kool aid, is subject to debate). Regardless of your opinion of Metrolinx or TTC or both, a much more successful-percentage 25-year planning cycle is still fantastic for the whole of Ontario.

    Just less than 5 years ago, GO trains were hourly on Lakeshore. Now the talk is that in the fairly near future (possibly as early as 2019) -- GO Trains are planned to be every 15 minutes on Lakeshore. That's a massive improvement. Niagara GO extension is already well under construction with the Confederation GO and Grimsby GO construction sites (which will finally make West Harbour GO a more heavily used station within a few years).

    The Future: Greater Golden Horseshoe 2051 Plan
    It will be fascinating to see how this slowly evolves towards the 2051 Master Plan (presumably Metrolinx 2051). Some early thinkings have begun towards that as GGH2051 (Greater Golden Horseshoe 2051 Plan) which is done by Ontario Ministry of Transport. This would presumably have elements rolled into 2051 Regional Transport Plan consultations (Metrolinx or whatever name they have then) beginning around the year 2026.

    25-Year Masterplanning Cycles Timed to Census Predictions
    There appears a very clear intent is to refine/continue 25-year masterplanning cycles once every census decade. It is clear this is logical to continue to keep refining as best as we can, regardless of politics.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
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  2. hw621

    hw621 Active Member

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    It would be interesting to see these maps side by side
     
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  3. mdrejhon

    mdrejhon Senior Member

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    Added for three 25-year masterplan cycles. Also fixed the links.

    Other 25-year masterplan cycles are still missing, but hope this is a good window into the history of transit masterplanning.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2018
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  4. mdrejhon

    mdrejhon Senior Member

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    While it's often good to comment about similarities and differences of current fantasy maps to the masterplanned maps, I'd rather not see this spin into Fantasy Map thread. (Related thread: The Fantasy Map Thread ...) because past threads have been moved there. If one must reference fantasy maps, use a link to a post in the fantasy map thread.

    EDIT; Humble Request to Readers Of This Thread:
    Please Embed Only 100% Government Map Proposals in this thread only. Do not embed user-created non-government maps here (fantasy or otherwise). This pre-emptive notice to remind new users that moderators have historically moved non-government Fantasy Map posts to the Fantasy Map thread. They generally leave Government Maps alone.

    It is tempting to call any flawed/failed government maps "fantasy maps" or "fantasyland" but that is not the point of this thread.


    Government Transportation Plan Masterplanning thread ONLY
    This thread refers to ~25-year masterplanning concepts (failed or otherwise) directly created by City of Toronto, and the Province of Ontario ;)


    The observation is routes/lines are now getting moved forward at a higher-percentage-rate during this current 25-year masterplanning cycle, in that we'll finally see more benefits towards the end of this particular 25-year cycle, than after previous 25-year cycles in Toronto's history).

    One might still view this as dismal, but the rest of North America is doing worse. We are no Shanghai nor Beijing Subway Surprise, but I can't help but notice we've got more "In Delivery" projects buffered than almost anywhere in North America. That's a big part of "Credit where credit due".

    Know of other government masterplanning maps? Feel free to post them here.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2018
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  5. toaster29

    toaster29 Active Member

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    Even in fantasyland, single-story industrial decrepit areas over 25km away from union like Disco road get rapid transit before dense, urban built form, only 10km from Union, Humber Bay Shores.
     
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  6. mdrejhon

    mdrejhon Senior Member

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    Good redirection back to the legitimate government masterplanning topic; this is an important serious subtopic in all seriousness.

    This is why we must advocate for improved efficiency spends in various transportation initiatives. Community, pressures, online discourage, and a variety of other reasons already has made Metrolinx change their mind and advance Park Lawn GO for further study. Advocacy groups such as SETAC (South Etobicoke Transit Action Committee), news, reanalysis, and others. For example, their article about Park Lawn GO advancing to further study.

    People who know me, I have always (constructively) "complained" about lack of Hamilton GO service, and written series such as as the Hamilton GO mega-article, and how long it is taking, especially considering broken promises of it supposed to have happened by 2015, but now will only happen ~2025.

    Now, the TTC Relief Line Unilever-area station (towards Port Lands) is currently an industrial area but will be a very skyscraper-filled area by the time it gets built, so that station is going to be badly needed too. But as a resident, we need to be fair to all the dense areas, Park Lawn too. We may not agree on the details, but I totally agree Park Lawn needs transit improvement.

    Concurrently, I'm smart enough not to deny other municipalities transit (even if I, shake my head, at the Scarborough $3 billion One Stop Subway, or the Kirby-vs-ParkLawn) just because I'm not getting my transit. For me, this is a "Forest thread", not a "Trees thread", looking at the whole plans. Some stations will be late in coming, but let's not turn it into a political "this-or-that" station thread, this is a masterplanning history related thread.

    This is why I attended the Metrolinx 2041 Regional Transportation Planning public open houses. They had a bunch of those, open to public, and advertised in papers. I actually went and told them in person, a few ideas/things/etc in person along with other residents who chimed in -- plus also that they should look at Park Lawn. Despite me not living at Park Lawn, I agree that Park Lawn is very important. Have you gone to any of the public consultations?

    Also, if you are an angry resident or eager resident -- start an advocacy with neighbours! Or join an existing advocacy! Many exist, OneBrampton, TTCRiders, Scarborough Transit Action, TriTag (Kitchener-Waterloo), many are recruiting new members to help them out this election.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2018
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  7. mdrejhon

    mdrejhon Senior Member

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    More Masterplanning History....

    Bringing back to the topic of transportation masterplanning history that this topic thread really is -- GO has long ago tried to electrify before.

    Those who don't remember, or were born after this era, it was called the GO ALRT (Advanced Light Rail Transit)

    42AC8C75-DCF5-452E-8B72-5C8153330C74.

    Today, GO electrification plans are much closer to reality (although the Hydrail debate rages on, this is expected to only affect minor/outer branches at the most, if any) than they have ever been at that time. Current plans are for electrification contracts and construction to be awarded and begin roughly 2020.

    A good large read about the current modern path of electrification is the GO RER Initial Business Case Plan (over 200 pages) which is born from the Big Move. Other large Business Case PDFs can be accessed from this index here on Metrolinx's webpage to pore over & analyze. Currently, Metrolinx is executing delivery of Option 5 which is the 10-year Optimized plan.

    Much of which, is now spun into the related subtopic threads, GO Construction thread (>5600 posts, first created 2009, still raging today) and GO Electrification thread, (>1000 posts, first created 2014). And SmartTrack, TTC Relief Line, Viva BRT, etc are part of the Big Move now -- it is no longer a Metrolinx specific thing for transportation masterplanning as they're cooperating together in the same maps nowadays. These threads exist because of the Big Move masterplanning moves. Sometimes it's useful to know some of the history & genesis at the beginning that triggered those discussions.

    Whether one feels mad, wistful, frustrated, sad, excited, dissapointed, or hopeful when staring at these maps (I understand why, all the different reasons and different emotions!), it's still the genesis of a lot of discussions today at the moment.

    And being increasingly important talk -- considering the $3 GO fares (2019 and $3 UPX fares (2019) and the TTC's prestolove (all their ads, new faregates), and the increasing integration, the spreading reach further to more of GTHA (Kitchener, Niagara, Bowmanville), co-operation is obviously increasing between transit agencies over time to the point that the 25-year masterplanning stuff are increasingly merged and merged as the years pass.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2018
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  8. MisterF

    MisterF Senior Member

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    I agree that Metrolinx has been a positive influence on transit planning in Toronto. With Toronto now being much bigger than any single municipality, some form of coordinated regional transportation planning was sorely needed. And the existing rail corridors were just begging to be turned into rapid transit corridors, something that no single municipality would be able to do on its own. Now we have a long list of projects in varying stages of planning and construction, and multiple RER lines will have a huge impact. And with so much happening and so much institutional momentum for these projects, it becomes harder for new governments to cancel things. Metrolinx is far from perfect and it's still subject to the whims of provincial and municipal politics, but it's a start.

    All the maps showing various forms of the Queen Street subway/DRL over the last century+ are fascinating and depressing. There's this one from 1910 showing a meandering streetcar subway in a more or less large U shape:

    [​IMG]

    Followed by this plan (1940s?) which would have built a streetcar subway similar to Boston's Green Line:

    [​IMG]

    By the 1960s the line was to be a true heavy rail subway, going down Don Mills and following Queen across the centre of the city. You can really see how for the subway system to function properly, all three lines were essential. The fact that the Queen-Don Mills line was never built is why today's system is so dysfunctional. It's no coincidence that the 1966 Queen line is remarkably similar to today's Relief Line plan.
    [​IMG]

    To me, the most important projects by far are the relief line and RER. These two have to survive the inevitable Doug Ford chopping block, and hopefully plenty of other projects will too.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2018
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  9. mdrejhon

    mdrejhon Senior Member

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    Thank you!

    Yes, the Relief Line has remarkable similarities to the 1966 plan.
     
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  10. mdrejhon

    mdrejhon Senior Member

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    One of the most famous "25+year masterplanning feats" in Toronto history, by R.C. Harris, was this bridge that celebrates its centennial this year.

    0542B175-0BFD-4D4B-9253-7785D483F0E8.

    UrbanToronto veterans will already know this, that the bridge was far ahead of its time, since a subway deck got built in 1918 under the roadbed built intentionally half a decade before the Bloor-Danforth subway. All in a still-then-somewhat backwater city -- many roads were still dirt roads not far beyond this bridge. With no subways for several decades later. The current Union Station Would not yet open for a few more years.

    Did you know that 50 percent of Toronto's water still comes from the treatment plant built by the same person as this bridge? It is called the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant, which was massively overengineered for its era, spare rooms, with far more capacity than needed. Due to its also-prescient futureproofing back then, it still operates today, providing roughly half of Toronto & York region's water today!

    Happy Centennial, Prince Edward Viaduct, a masterpiece of Toronto transportation masterplanning!
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2018
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  11. WislaHD

    WislaHD Senior Member

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    I always found it rather jarring that the 1985 plan never had the Eglinton subway connecting to Yonge and beyond the Don Mills where the Relief Line was being planned.
     
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  12. syn

    syn Senior Member

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    Interestingly, we're still building/planning as though Network 2011 is valid, even though the projections made decades ago for growth in areas like the Sheppard corridor haven't come anywhere near close to coming true.
     
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  13. TheTigerMaster

    TheTigerMaster Superstar

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    Network 2011? You can go back to the late 40s and find network plans that are very similar to what’s being proposed today. These plans are all just permutations of prior plans.
     
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  14. syn

    syn Senior Member

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    You can - but I was referring to the lines Ford would like to focus on.
     
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  15. W. K. Lis

    W. K. Lis Superstar

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    When they built the Leaside Bridge by 1928, they included space for a streetcar rightway down the center. Unfortunately, the roads department took that over for more lanes of traffic lanes (for single-occupant automobiles) instead. No provision for a streetcar or subway deck.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    See link.
     
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