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Future of Toronto/Cities With Car & Transit or With Out Cars

drum118

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The Title can be change anytime, but the thread is about removing cars from the cities core and what cars mean to cities. It also debate making various transit route to an ROW and up grading the system along with bike lanes.

If a road on a transit streetcar road can only move 700 vehicles per hour with on street parking while streetcars are moving over 1,000 rider per hour, who should have better access to those roads?

Delivery trucks should make delivery at night and to X areas during the day only, not like they do to day.

Up to the 40's, people live in the cities in very tie quarters. Toronto was built on the back of transit, mainly the streetcar up to the 30's when suburbia started to be come main stream. After the war, suburbia took over to the point most city core became empty after 6 pm and started to decade. Up to the 80's, Queen St saw mu PCC streetcars every 3 minute to service the 60,000 riders on it. 80's saw the recession where transit fell for Queen. As business moved out to suburbia, buildings along King and near by were transform to residental.

Ridership started to increase on King to the point it replace the Queen Line as the busy streetcar and continue to do so today. Queen is seeing some development, but mostly in the east end in 6-10 story building and for people who can afford to buy a unit there.

Since 2000, the financial district has shifted south of where it been most of its life since most existing business don't exist there along with structures been torn down. The car is less than 150 years old while cities are 100's-1,000's year old.

The inter city is for people who have the $$ to pay the high rent or cost of buying X. Business existed in the core as that where people live who work in those business or bought from them. A lot moved out of the core to suburbia as land was cheap as well cost to operate. A fair number moved back to the core as they found workers weren't well to spend time on transit to get to/from them if there was any in their area or weren't will to work out there at all. The same apply to those who drove. Give it another 20 years, ridership on King well be about 130,000 + with all the development going up on it or near it.

To say 20,000 car riders are worth more than the current 80,000 transit riders, let alone what coming down the road, is putting one head in the sand. Times are changing where cars are going have a less impact on the core than they do today "IF" A Real Transit System Gets Built.
 
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mdrejhon

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Give it another 20 years, ridership on King well be about 130,000 + with all the development going up on it or near it.

To say 20,000 car riders are worth more than the current 80,000 transit riders, let alone what coming down the road, is putting one head in the sand. Times are changing where cars are going have a less impact on the core than they do today "IF" A Real Transit System Gets Built.
I'm going to crosspost my reply, since it was suggested that the moderators move this talk into this thread -- including King Transit Pilot Thread and Union-Pearson Express.

The last 40 years was pretty much saving the streetcar network after the 1970s S.O.S. (SaveOurStreetcars) and lots of half hearted upgrades. Now the LRT-ification has picked up major momentum with the Ontario LRT boom, people are going to see the potential to upgrade some cherrypicked streetcar routes like King into true LRTs, given the boundary between streetcars and LRTs is very fuzzy.

Once the pantographs raise, and other people are riding other LRTs, people are going to demand upgrades to some streetcar routes (add level boarding platforms, improve transit priority, and double-up the LRVs). With enough true-LRTs operating in Ontario by the mid 2020s, people will start demanding upgrades to "select" streetcar routes into true-LRTs.
 
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mdrejhon

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Crosspost follows:
I feel cities exist primarily or fundamental because they are logistic hubs. People congregate in these logistics hubs for proximity to economic gain. Cars dominate because cities are agnostic to transportation mode share and it’s just a more efficient system up to a critical mass.
To a point. But Toronto is far beyond that point.

We reached a point where at Queens U, during good weather, we now have more bikes per hour on College during peak period, than cars per hour,. Some hours have counted well excess of 1000 bikes, while cars in peak period lanes are limited to approximately 800 cars per hour. Even freeway lanes are limited to 1700 to 2100 cars per hour per lane -- that's about 1 car every 2 seconds. But that's not possible in downtown traffic signalled streets, and congestion collapse occurs far below 1000 cars per hour per lane.

Now, a single subway track can exceed 60,000 ppphpd (Peak People Per Hour Per Direction) in some of the best systems worldwide.

TTC subway carries 40Kppphpd, which matches 20 lanes of 2000 single-driver cars, as seen in this classic 1950s/1960s era advertisement:



(Side note: I encourage more transit, but understand why there's the feeling of "I'm keeping my car, over my dead body! Add more lanes, add more lanes...."...

I own a 2011 Hyundai Elantra Touring, baby blue color, car keys dangling, even though I use transit more often and mainly use cars for transit-inconvenient trips, one tankful of gas per month.... though NEVER drive here downtown; the critical pain point passed and now more and more people just want better transit downtown. At some point it becomes a majority in the region, and that filters to the electorate. (Look at the Climate-aware Millenials too)

It's the "New York" and "London UK" mentality: Economy depends on transit improvements more than cars in these ultradensified areas. There's a densification critical mass where car lane value starts devaluing relative to replacement with transit. In a situation where super-densification continues without ability to do any road capacity increases. Megacities are way more livable with transit than being dependant on cars, and you really truly notice that if you visit world cities.

In fact, there are currently enough proposed/approved condos/offices downtown to double the number of towers downtown over the next 15 years. And that's not going to end. We're next to a Great Lake, with lots of eastward/northward/southwards expansion room, in a favoured-country in today's geopolitics/climate, and the pressures of Toronto is going to still be continued superdensification (with only a few pauses for corrections). There is intense pressure in Toronto to keep densifying.

So now you're getting it -- you're seeing where the downtown economy mathematics are going.

As Toronto downtown continues to superdensify, the financial & economic profit pressure (businesses booming downtown) favours turning King into a 60-meter "low-floor mini equivalent of Calgary C-Train". More commerce, more economy, more business... Sure, a few single-occupant-car-dependent businesses might have difficulty, but the rest of the downtown economy succeeds way more. Even the King Pilot had big undocumented spinoff benefits and indirectly made it much easier for residents to move to places like Liberty Village (and continue densifying there, too). Onwards goes the outwards Toronto densification.

It's the Tokyo Factor, It's the New York Factor, it's the London UK Factor. All World Cities tends to starts converting SOME car lanes into transit because megacities start profiting more when it's impossible to cram any more cars on a lane. Transit in megacities/world cities tend to become the equivalent of the nuclear reactors of people throughput that powers a megacity economy. Toronto is entering the World City League. It is only a few car lanes sacrificed to increase people throughput to power a megacity economy.

The Toronto downtown economic pressures finally overcomes the "I want to keep car lane" mentality, so the pros finally starts outweighing the cons, and then -- eventually -- unable to widen roads further -- Toronto is willing to jettison all vehicles fully away from King streetcar tracks (except at intersections). The dominos are already slowly flipping, and it's already done elsewhere (successful metro-speed metro-frequency non-metro routes that pushes 6-figure-passenger-per-day). Electorate demand, voter demand, politicians start listening -- it's slowly happening. (P.S. How did Transit Pilot happen? Bingo. And Phase 2 will almost definitely domino later this century.)

This is why I am almost willing to bet my mortgage that within half a century, the King streetcar route is eventually becoming an (approx) ~60-meter level-boarding transit-priority LRT route.

For all the people that are suggesting that the TTC should rebuild the entire streetcar network so that they can use double-ended multi-unit cars on it something to keep in mind they are only now converting the overhead network to pantographs which was originally planned to be done when we first started replacing the PCC's with the CLRVs and ALRVs and that was 40 years ago. I don't think the odds of them rebuilding the streetcar network with crossovers is going to happen any time soon and definitely not when the next order of streetcars is made.
This be true, the streetcar-to-LRT conversion has been going really slowly. But the pace is really picking up now.

Perhaps not the next fleet purchase, but almost certainly the one after that will begin considering truer LRT-league operations.

Observe I didn't say "streetcar network" -- but cherrypicked routes like King.

The streetcar network is actually splitting up into LRT-like routes (St. Clair, Spadina) and plain streetcar routes. Once the old streetcars are no longer used, the single-streetcar level boarding platforms can begin to be added. That's a low-lying apple in the next rebuild (e.g. when the roads start falling apart, or when needing to build permanent platforms on King).

Changes have already happened:
- The new streetcars are longer than the past vehicles.
- The new streetcars look nearly identical to LRTs
- The new streetcars are already bidirectional in 'ferry operations' -- there's an openable panel at the opposite end of the streetcar
- Spadina/St.Clair was built (albiet not very good LRTs yet, they will be tweaked/optimized eventually)
- Crossovers are not necessary elsewhere except on the route that gets double-consist operations.
- What I wrote is not "streetcar network" but conversion of a single streetcar route. It'd be backward compatible with all the streetcars obviously, but only the consists will run on that route. (and can split up to operate like existing new streetcars if going off-route).

The next several low lying apples will definitely be things like 100% pantograph operation (more power for faster acceleration too, better in winter), as well as all-door level boarding which becomes easy for streetcar-stop rebuilds (e.g. on King Transit Pilot getting permanent single-vehicle "mini metro style" platforms).

The more politically difficult low-lying apple will be true transit priority of the ultra-efficient type that I described earlier.

But once that is done, and Ontario becomes more familiar with true cleansheet LRTs (Crosstown, Hurontario, etc) it becomes much easier to begin converting one route to double-vehicle consist (60 meter) or ~7-segment Flexity (45 meter). The most politically difficult is saying goodbye to cars permanently on King. Yes, a big hill. But the above are doable incrementals, and will ease Toronto towards this direction.

Future ironwork rebuilds at places like Spadina+King, Bathurst+King, etc, will affect this somewhat -- they will have to decelerate to really slow over those. But the rest is much simpler.

Over 40+ years ago we were still finishing up building car capacity to downtown, and still widening the 401 out of the wazoo, and the anti-streetcar lobby was really strong (streetcar networks were still being shut down North America just 50+ years ago). Only things like the streetcar protests and Steve Munro's great work of that era, amongst the Davis "cancel the Spadina Expressway" politics, halted the ripping out of Toronto's streetcar network. The last 40 years before the new streetcars were just status quo compared to the rapid pick up in pace that's about to happen. But that's now run out and multiple levels of governments are now willing to fund transit, the climate-agreements, the densifications, the economics math, ensure slightly more accelerate decisions on streetcar efficiencies even if a bit pokey. I think the tables have turned at this stage and some lobbying is going to occur in the 2020s or 2030s once the card deck is dealt (e.g. people riding many LRTs throughout Ontario). The transit pause / dark ages from 1995-2015 isn't necessarily the measuring stick of the next 20 years. Even Ford the dreaded cost-cutter is hugely pro-transit (relatively speaking) compared to Harris, not having cancelled GO expansion like Harris did, and the Transit Pilot successfully proceeded despite political duress.

At this stage, given the continued climate-pressure + superdensification economics -- I wouldn't be too concerned about my theoretical bet for a 50 year timescale of King eventually becoming a 60-meter(ish) level-boarding LRT. That upgrade path is actually more logstically minor than the trolleypole-to-pantograph conversion -- it's just only the keep-car-lane mentality that makes it feel impossible.
 

drum118

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As I stated before, cities where built for people, not cars. Cars do have a place in the cities, but to what point and where??

The cost to build subways is very costly as well a long lead time. It also must meet the current and future needs as well where it must go in the first place.

We have no more room to expand roads to meet the coming of 2 million more cars by 2040 in the GTA and where do you want them to go??

Streetcars/LRT/Trams have their place and will move more than buses and cars on heavy routes.

On street parking is poorly used and block the flow of traffic for everyone.

Edit:
I will add this LINK that proposed to do what I have call for, if the project gets off the ground.
 
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Andy_in_Toronto

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Interesting news from the vaterland of the car industry. Stuttgart - where Porsche and Mercedes are HQed. - has ambition to make the inner city car-free by 2030. If Stuttgart manages to tech TNT’s goal then Toronto will next and follow - I’m taking bets!

 

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