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Downtown Rapid Transit Expansion Study

Optimal solution should be...


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    253
gweed:

I think the TTC might be pragmatic knowing that DRL won't get any traction at that time (of RTES to 2005) - "better" to propose things that have a chance of getting built than not. Not exactly great planning, admittedly. At some point though someone will have to bite the DRL bullet and the cost associated with it - and I suspect no one would like that one bit.

AoD
 
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gweed:

I think the TTC might be pragmatic knowing that DRL won't get any traction at that time (of RTES to 2005) - "better" to propose things that have a chance of getting built than not. Not exactly great planning, admittedly. At some point though someone will have to bite the DRL bullet and the cost associated with it - and I suspect no one would like that one bit.

AoD

I would counter that saying that if the TTC could make traction for Transit City (a plan which was not a natural evolution of the other plans, it was literally a clean slate), they could have made traction for the DRL. Selling the DRL would have been much easier than selling Transit City. "Hate going into a clusterf*** every morning and afternoon at Bloor-Yonge? Support the DRL". Case made. I don't think very many people would say "I'd prefer a subway to VCC over not being packed in like a sardine every morning". Appeal to people's baser insticts (personal comfort, getting from A to B faster), and you'll have their support.
 
I actually think getting the DRL approved at City Council would have been challenging, especially in the early/middle parts of the last decade.

Even now, there's a reason that only one mayoral candidate has the DRL in her transit plans.
 
I actually think getting the DRL approved at City Council would have been challenging, especially in the early/middle parts of the last decade.

Even now, there's a reason that only one mayoral candidate has the DRL in her transit plans.

I think the main reason why it would have been a challenge at the start of the decade is because of the Sheppard boondoggle. I think for a little while in there, building a stubway left a bit of a sour taste in people's mouths, and people questioned the TTC's ability to follow through. This would have left a sense of pessimism, and pessimism breeds complacency.

And the reason why the DRL is only on 1 candidate's plans is because Transit City is hogging all the funding, and candidates don't want to scrap what's already funded. A lot of the transit plans are variations on TC (changing project scope, maybe type of technology, but by and large keeping funding on the same corridors). I think had this election been a year earlier, we would be seeing very different plans than what we're seeing now.
 
gweed:

I think you overlooked the fact that there is a TC component in pretty much all 5 former Metro municipalities - DRL could easily have been seen just as a Downtown thing, benefits to the greater system as a whole notwithstanding, you sort of have to get past the councillors who could easily argue otherwise and whip up yet more Dt vs suburbs controversy ...

As to Spadina Extension, when the province practically put aside a sum of money in trust for the project, it is very difficult for Toronto to refuse and demand that sum be invested in DRL - and that's also considering all the talk about realigning the relationship between QP and the city around that time, poking the province in the eye might not be advisable.

All of these points are political in nature - it say nothing about the soundness (or otherwise) of the planning behind these decisions.

and candidates don't want to scrap what's already funded

But if as you argue the public cares more about the DRL than what's funded, it isn't that big an issue. I think a more salient reason is that there is no accurate costing for a DRL proposal - going into it blind and saying that they're going to build it - then more than likely getting burned by the projected cost when the reports come back surely isn't the way to build credibility.

AoD
 
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gweed:

I think you overlooked the fact that there is a TC component in pretty much all 5 former Metro municipalities - DRL could easily have been seen just as a Downtown thing, benefits to the greater system as a whole notwithstanding, you sort of have to get past the councillors who could easily argue otherwise and whip up yet more Dt vs suburbs controversy ...

As to Spadina Extension, when the province practically put aside a sum of money in trust for the project, it is very difficult for Toronto to refuse and demand that sum be invested in DRL - and that's also considering all the talk about realigning the relationship between QP and the city around that time, poking the province in the eye might not be advisable.

All of these points are political in nature - it say nothing about the soundness (or otherwise) of the planning behind these decisions.

AoD

I acknowledge that none of these points are supported by much of a planning rationale. All I'm saying is that politicians are bound by the wishes of their constituents. If you properly explain to someone living in Scarborough or Etobcioke how the DRL will benefit them (in a simple concise way, like the comfort issue), I would think they would be in support of it. I think a lot of the disconnect between planners and the public today is not so much on the merits of a project, but articulating how the project will benefit ME. If you begin your rationale with "it will be good for the city because..." you have immediately lost a whole chunk of people. If you begin the rationale with "it will be good for you because...", you have attracted the attention (and possibly support) of a lot more people.

However, you are correct in saying that the Province can superseed that, and whatever they choose to fund is what ultimately gets built.
 
While the DRL should be top priority there is no reason why streetcar lines can't be given better signal priority in in mean time. While I'm thinking of 501 Queen in particular, the Waterfront and Spadina lines really should have higher signal priority as well given that they already have dedicated track.

In addition i'd also like to see GO stations at Liberty Village, Cherry Street, and at Roncesvalles.
 
The people perpetuating the Sheppard-as-failure myth are the so-called transit advocates. It's the supposedly pro-transit Adam Giambrone and David Miller who've been most loudly claiming that Sheppard is useless, going so far as to call for it to be mothballed.

The DRL's problem in the 80s was that it had no political backing. The suburban councillors wanted their local projects (Sheppard, Eglinton) and the downtown councillors led by Jack Layton were fiercely fighting the DRL because of fears that it would bring more development downtown.

The province will build whatever the city demands gets built. They'll tinker around on the margins (an extra couple kilometres to serve "the 905," etc.) but basically what the city wants, the city gets. That's why the entire Metrolinx plan is basically just warmed over existing municipal projects. Does it really make sense to have four separate Viva-style BRT systems in York, Brampton, Durham, and Mississauga?

As for people who claim that studies will magically produce "optimal" solutions...just look at the studies on Sheppard. A study was produced showing it was an ideal location for a subway line. Then, after ten years and massive development, a new study comes out claiming that a subway is unwarranted. A study "proved" that VCC was an excellent subway destination. As Chuck said, the studies produce whatever result the TTC/its political leadership want. That's why they're the people who will decide if the DRT is built or not. I think the key is to get it linked to the waterfront plans. They're the biggest projects in the city, and a subway would really anchor them to the core. If their only transit is a streetcar that takes 25 minutes to get to Union, I fear there will be a lot of cars in those condo garages.

With electric traction, I'd like to see two separate levels of service on the GO corridors: an "S-Bahn" or RER-style service making every stop out to the inner 905, and then a regional express service stopping only at major stations. The S-Bahn service would be frequent and would serve as local transit within the 416. It should definitely have all the stops dunkalunk mentioned. I'd add one at Spadina/Bathurst, too. It's a fast-growing area with good transit connections. There are lots of other spots like Queen and Degrassi, Dundas and Sorauren, etc.
 
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Wow. Not even 25 posts, and someone has to talk about Sheppard, and trash Miller, and Giambrone in a DRL thread.

I didn't see any Miller or Giambrone trashing... And I think when we're talking about the early 2000s, comparing talk of the DRL with respect to Sheppard is essential, as it was the dominant transit infrastructure project at the time.
 
With more and more development going on in the Portlands and on the Waterfront, it might even make sense to dip the DRL a bit further south into the Portlands--maybe around Commissioners--and then from there over to Pape. The added travel time would be negligible and it would bring rapid transit much closer to that rapidly-developing area. The East Bayfront plans we're seeing just shows what a gift the rail corridor through that area actually is. You could build the entire segment from the Don to Church for a couple hundred million--tops. You just have to lay the tracks and build simple surface stations. Best of all, it's right in the middle of where all the development is happening.
 
Surely this study is nothing to do with deciding priority, but instead deciding what needs to be done, and how to integrate it ... so that the new transit line passes through new GO stations, and streetcar services are all designed to work with the new infrastructure.

For example, there is no point creating havoc now, by removing through traffic on Queen Street to make the streetcar run better, if they come along 5 years later and build a subway underneath the section where they remove traffic ...

I don't see this as a Pick One exercise. Though the poll confuses me on why so many people are saying that they should do all 3, but they picked only the DRL in the poll instead of All of the Above.
 
I don't think you'll get an argument from anybody about the need to plan the DRL. The sooner the better! We've just got to get on the backs of politicians to make sure that it recommends the right mode and the right route.
 
The fact that a subway into Vaughan was a higher priority for the TTC than the DRL quite frankly astounds me. I would have thought this to be more of a 1960s-70s planning mindset, not a 2000s planning mindset. And out of all the <8km suburban extensions the TTC could have done, VCC would have been pretty low on my list. I can think of at least 4 other more deserving extensions.

Why focus on those last 2km? It's more or less impossible to make a rational argument that the Spadina line should not go to York at least, which is the whole point of the Spadina extension. Yes, those last 2km are why the extension went from plan to priority, but so what? What's debatable is the timing, but if there's 8 projects that should get built and priority #5 or #7 is the one that does get built first, well, at least part of the plan is going forward. Those 2km in Vaughan aren't going to hurt anyone or prevent any other transit project. It's not like all transit expansion should stop until the DRL is in place. Focus instead on the truly ridiculous, like a streetcar ROW at Sheppard & Morningside, or the SRT fiasco.

Though it is also true that one can blame the Spadina extension for helping to disperse some the immediate need for the DRL since it will take thousands of trips off the Yonge line. There's beliefs out there that Toronto can solve all of its transit problems without building new rapid transit lines, and these beliefs are very damaging.
 
The people perpetuating the Sheppard-as-failure myth are the so-called transit advocates. It's the supposedly pro-transit Adam Giambrone and David Miller who've been most loudly claiming that Sheppard is useless, going so far as to call for it to be mothballed.

This isn't true. Sheppard being mothballed was used as an example of what might need to happen if city council didn't approve the land transfer tax and vehicle registration fee. It was just used as an example of a potential cut.
 

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