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Gardiner Expressway Hybrid Design

Northern Light

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Toronto 'worships' the automobile? Stop the over-the-top comments.
Is that particular comment a tad loaded? Perhaps.

But to be clear, it would be entirely reasonable in reference to the comments of @Juan_Lennon416, among others in a comparatively progressive and urban forum.

The clear reference here is that Toronto is one of very few cities, facing a decaying waterfront/downtown expressway to spend considerable sums maintaining, rather than removing it, burying it, or otherwise mitigating it.

That's not unfair or illogical. Its substantive and accurate.

Its not irrational or hyperbolic to point out that there might be better ways to spend the money when considering pollution, climate change, urban planning, housing demand etc.
 

achender

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I guess the ramp closure marks the start of the more disruptive aspects of the project but they've been working on the underside of the Gardiner for a few months now.

Some photos from this evening of the progress there.

The first two images are looking east from Jarvis.
20190716_194515_HDR.jpg


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This is looking east close to Sherbourne.
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Looking west from Parliament.
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Looking east from Parliament.
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The prefabrication site seemed dormant for a while. But the construction of these large structures has started up again recently.
20190716_201805_HDR.jpg
 

TrickyRicky

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To be fair Toronto’s existing highway network is skeletal and our existing motor vehicle transportation mode share is high.

Also, somehow highway discussions always centre on commuter interests. Where routes are commuter focused they have potential to convert users to other transportation modes. However, aren’t Cities primarily and more fundamentally logistics hubs? It’s great optics to say you are tearing down a downtown highway that has declined into a commuter route but it’s convenient to omit the likely massive build out of logistics infrastructure at the city perimeters that took over that highways original function.
 

UrbanFervour

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I'd rather have the cars up in the sky rather than on the ground... Lift them up and away and let the light, trees and pedestrians into the ground level... We need to move past this late 20th century idea that the Gardiner is a "barrier" to the waterfront and its development. It's not.

There is not a peep about moving the dark, dank rail overpass that feeds into Union Station... because it's a vital piece of infrastructure.

Vehicular traffic is not going anywhere & the electric and self driving vehicles of tomorrow will still need a quick way to get into and out of downtown Toronto from the rest of the GTA (where people will continue to live, and which also isn't going anywhere).
 

Steve X

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It's true cars ain't going anywhere but it's also true there is zero growth in road capacity to downtown. It's not sustainable without a fee to maintain these expensive elevated roadways.

IMO the issue isn't the Gardiner itself but what's under the Gardiner. It's not the best experience for pedestrians to cross the Gardiner. Lakeshore and Harbour St run under it with fast moving traffic and wide lanes making the crossing potentially dangerous. Plus there are numerous conflict between vehicles turning onto Lakeshore to get onto the Gardiner and pedestrian crossing the roadway.

It's not as bad as the ramps leading to the 400/401/404/427. Those really require people to yield to traffic while they speed their way onto the freeway. The problem isn't freeways themselves but the mentality to some drivers that pedestrians are obstacle that delay their trips. Everyone wants to get to places faster that's making pedestrians unsafe. What's under the Gardiner/Lakeshore contributes to that. It might be the new railway park, stricter enforcement, more walkway or whatever it takes to connect people north to south of the Gardiner.

To summarize, I believe the Gardiner is an expensive piece of infrastructure does create a barrier to pedestrian safety that has yet to be solved.
 

cd concept

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innsertnamehere

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Most of those cities that are doing this their population are stable or shrinking. This is the only major axis Highway that crosses through the downtown core and it has to be fixed because people use it like crazy.
Yup. Every single highway tear down either complete or planned in the US is either a stub end highway that serves no real utility (think of the part of the Gardiner that used to go to Leslie), or has been replaced in some way. Rochester demoed it's useless inner loop, Buffalo is planning to demo the stub end of highway 5 which is really just a glorified arterial road, Niagara Falls downgraded the Robert Moses Parkway as it went basically nowhere, Seattle replaced the elevated Alaskan way with a tunnel, Boston famously replaced its elevated highway with a much larger system of underground highways, Houston is planning to demolish a chunk of it's downtown loop after massively expanding the rest of the loop to handle the traffic, Detroit is planning to remove the stub end of I-375, etc.

I'd say the only US highway demolition that wasn't "useless" or replaced in some way was the West Side Highway in Manhattan. And even then the old elevated highway was extremely substandard (built in the 1920's) to the point that the major arterial road that replaced it is probably actually higher capacity and offers better travel times. And it's freakin Manhattan.
 
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nfitz

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I'd say the only US highway demolition that wasn't "useless" or replaced in some way was the West Side Highway in Manhattan. And even then the old elevated highway was extremely substandard (built in the 1920's) to the point that the major arterial road that replaced it is probably actually higher capacity and offers better travel times. And it's freakin Manhattan.
Gosh, I always thought that horrid arterial WAS the West Side Highway! I hadn't realized there was an an elevated version previously until 1973 ... I guess pieces into the early 1980s (never spent much time there until early 2000s). I've heard about the fight against it - but I'd assumed that was for elevating along the existing road ...

Wow!

I guess that explains the odd elevated section not far north of the Intrepid museum before you get to the parkway piece!
 

cd concept

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Manhattan is full of underground subways lines for its size. The longest width of the island is about 2.3 miles . And there's another Highway on the West side that can serve automobiles coming into the Island. The closest thing to downtown Toronto which run parallel to the Gardiner's east west drive would be the 401 which is about 6 to 8 miles. Which is quite a gap in my opinion. There even talking about running an underground tunnel from one end of the city to the other which would run under the downtown core then I could see them tearing down the Gardiner.
 

innsertnamehere

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Gosh, I always thought that horrid arterial WAS the West Side Highway! I hadn't realized there was an an elevated version previously until 1973 ... I guess pieces into the early 1980s (never spent much time there until early 2000s). I've heard about the fight against it - but I'd assumed that was for elevating along the existing road ...

Wow!

I guess that explains the odd elevated section not far north of the Intrepid museum before you get to the parkway piece!
While my experience in NYC is is admittingly limited, the highway as it is hasn't bothered me that much. The amount of landscaping around it softens it a lot and makes it a lot more friendly feeling.
 

nfitz

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While my experience in NYC is is admittingly limited, the highway as it is hasn't bothered me that much. The amount of landscaping around it softens it a lot and makes it a lot more friendly feeling.
It's always felt painful trying to cross it. And when I (for the first time) trekked up to the Intrepid along the river from the end of the High Line ... it didn't seem particularly pleasant, even though it's only a kilometre from 34th to 46th street. (walking back up 46th to Times Square was much more pleasant!

(trying to get to that location, the idiocy of cancelling the 10th Avenue station on 41st Street became apparent!)

(the Intrepid is well worth visiting ... but a warning - don't eat there. It's possibly the worst food I've ever had in any museum anywhere - and all they were trying to make was a hot sandwich - and not cheap either. Perhaps they were trying to give realistic taste of navy food ... a hot dog from a cart would have been a major upgrade).
 
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