News   Aug 05, 2022
 1.1K     0 
News   Aug 05, 2022
 3.5K     7 
News   Aug 05, 2022
 497     0 

London Rapid Transit (In-Design)

Mr Finish Line

New Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 26, 2021
Messages
67
Reaction score
187
I mean, to point out the obvious, Jane Jacobs is probably the most important urbanist of the last 150 years. She gave us genuine insight. Beyond that, there is a big difference between what planners believe and what council approves. This is a problem across Canada and London is no exception. I don't know for sure, but I would guess there is a difference between the personal beliefs of London city planners and what they are able to achieve democratically at this moment in time (let alone 10 years ago).

With regards to city finances. This is exactly what I mean. They are a 1950s built form. It's hard to keep your head above water with that infrastructure to tax base ratio. They're scrambling to spend federal money for the BRT, which is unconscionable, but from a Macro perspective, they are trending towards improvement. The Netherlands has more people than all of Ontario with relatively tiny geographic footprint. Roughly London to Bellville to Owen sound. Their infatuation with car focused planning was a blip on the radar compared to a city like London. They aren't analogous in any way, although we can learn a lot from them. We also need home grown solutions for our specific post war problems. Good, reliable, and frequent suburban bus service is one of these things.
I said "most" urbanists to leave space specifically for Jacobs :)

Getting back on track, I'm skeptical about frequent suburban bus service being a high priority solution. I'll admit I don't know the London suburbs well, but presumably they're the same as every other suburb here, and in that case very few people are within a reasonable walk from a bus stop. Frequent suburban bus service is very expensive to operate because the people are so spread out, look at YRT and it's fare recovery ratio compared to the TTC's. I think improving transit speed/reliability and frequency on core routes with better density will be more effective to boosting the city overall. This means getting cars out of the way of buses.
 

micheal_can

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Dec 24, 2016
Messages
2,871
Reaction score
1,815
"At least we're not Flint or Gary...."

A great endorsement of London. Keep up those high standards.

You know what the difference is between a C and B student? The B student looks up to those who gets As. The C student use the D student to excuse their laziness and mediocrity.

Let's be clear. Passing up infrastructure funding where higher levels of government are paying 70¢ on the dollar is a boneaded, shortsighted decision, not at all driven by long term financial considerations. Financial solvency my ass. How solvent do you think they'll be if they decide to build a few more road widening projects and have to maintain all that in to the future with a low density, low (tax) yield base?

I do agree that they missed a great opportunity. That does not mean I don't understand why they did it.

What do you call someone who gets the lowest passing mark to become a doctor?

I mentioned that above, noting that I didn't think it was a ghetto as such, more of a homeless problem. It's valuable real-estate there, and only steps from Gastown in one direction and Chinatown in the other - with the area that's of concern very small.

Either, you have never lived near it, or have never been to it. It is not just a homeless problem. Drugs, prostitution, and crime all run rampant there. Things may have improved in the last few years, but it is a place I avoided during daylight.

We should have focused on this and not go. Basic BRT works here.

Basic BRT can work here, just like LRT can. What needs to be done is sell one to the anti transit people. If you do a good job of that, you still may not get them to change their mind, but those on the fence will flip.

I am interested on what the provincial and municipal elections bring this year. I'd be watching to see how many get in that are pro transit.
 

kEiThZ

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Jul 31, 2008
Messages
11,055
Reaction score
6,014
it's good entertainment but hardly a truly relevant video with a lot of actual insight. More of a "look at this bad intersection in Texas and this good one in Amsterdam" - cool, no sh*t. There is rarely any insight on how those spaces in Texas could actually be improved.

Feel free to do better. I think he's done more to educate North Americans about the poor state of urbanism on this side of the pond than you ever will as an actual planner. Might be why you find him offensive....

As for him calling out London all the time? Why not? He actually grew up there. Who better?
 

innsertnamehere

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Mar 8, 2010
Messages
17,112
Reaction score
15,974
Feel free to do better. I think he's done more to educate North Americans about the poor state of urbanism on this side of the pond than you ever will as an actual planner. Might be why you find him offensive....
I take is videos as being a "north america is shite" type thing than a "north america can do better" type thing.

I'm not apologetic to Canada's way of doing things nor saying that Canada does it better (it doesn't), but It's disingenuous to say that the Netherlands can just be ctrl+c, ctrl+v'd onto NA and get the same results, which is basically what he goes on rambling about. He paints the netherlands as being a different place than it actually is, and that somehow just demolishing all the freeways and building cycle paths everywhere overnight would just suddenly change NA. It's not that simple, even in the Netherlands despite what he tries to paint it as.
 

micheal_can

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Dec 24, 2016
Messages
2,871
Reaction score
1,815
Thanks for making my point.
... the same thing you call the person with the highest grade....

If you primarily use transit, certain places suck more than others. However, that does not point to the city being bad. One great thing it has is the trails that follow the Thames River.
 

kEiThZ

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Jul 31, 2008
Messages
11,055
Reaction score
6,014
but It's disingenuous to say that the Netherlands can just be ctrl+c, ctrl+v'd onto NA and get the same results

Something he has never said. And he's been pretty explicit that he recognizes not everything can be applied wholesale. But hey. Gotta make up stuff to keep up the charade that planning on this side is actually competent....

Jane Jacobs was a product of Toronto and New York. She was not the product of Amsterdam or Paris. Nor was she a professional planner. Amazing, how all these non-planners keep noticing how badly planners are screwing up over here.
 

ARG1

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
May 28, 2020
Messages
1,979
Reaction score
4,846
Location
North Toronto
Feel free to do better. I think he's done more to educate North Americans about the poor state of urbanism on this side of the pond than you ever will as an actual planner. Might be why you find him offensive....
I take issue about how misleading a lot of his claims are about the state of North American urbanism. He has a tendancy of taking one off issues and presenting those issues as if they're endemic. "Hey guys look at how bad Bloomington Station is, look at how horrible GO is as a commuter rail service" - even though if we look at what's under construction Bloomington is a pretty massive outlier in the grand scheme of things. "GO is such a bad network, I mean how could you possibly have a good train service only run trains during rush hour?" - even though those only account for a small part of the network, and with the exception of the RH and Milton lines which are outliers, they are actively working on making improvements (as you can see I have a lot of issues with his video on GO). This generally applies to most of his videos in general. Every video there's going to be a guaranteed moment where I say "oh common its not that bad, this is an exaggeration". Exaggerated claims do not help anyone, and if anything poisons the discourse around genuine issues.
 

kEiThZ

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Jul 31, 2008
Messages
11,055
Reaction score
6,014
. "GO is such a bad network, I mean how could you possibly have a good train service only run trains during rush hour?"
Please link me to the video where he said exactly what you are asserting here.

He's praised GO for being decent by North American standards. Heck, he says it's better than VIA. His criticism has centered around the car-centric nature of GO. And Bloomington is the epitome of that.

If you think Bloomington is the absolute best way to spend transit dollars in the GTA, I have a Nigerian prince you might be interested in meeting.

Sunk investment fallacy seems rampant among Canadian transit nerds. The only explanation I have for why so many keep trying to polish so many turds. We aren't going to get better by making excuses.
 
Last edited:

kEiThZ

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Jul 31, 2008
Messages
11,055
Reaction score
6,014
Want to like this again. You need to keep talking because they don't get it. 25 years ago no one knew or cared about Markham/Vaughan and now that strip along Highway 7 is much more prominent than London.

I see this as a pivotal moment for London. They either build the transit now and end the sprawl or watch as downtown hollows out further. Or at least stays mostly stagnant.

Car centric suburbanites aren't going to hang out downtown. They'll hang out at the mall. And Costco.
 

Haljackey

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 12, 2010
Messages
625
Reaction score
404
Location
London, Ontario
As a lifelong London resident, I don't mind Not Just Bikes videos about 'fake London'.

He makes you think. He has a certain perspective that I weigh against my own perspectives and the perspectives of others.

He did a video regarding the proposed widening of a major road in the city (link here:
) and I certainly see why he is against it - but I also understand why others are for it.

In the end it just comes to cost and disruption. It would be the most expensive project in the city's history and cause 10 years of construction headaches. When done it wouldn't operate much better than today. If we 'do nothing', the road will operate much worse 10 years from today however.

So what's the solution? You can spend less money on less intensive projects that have more benefit. Rather than adding another through lane, put in more turn lanes where you can to keep the existing lanes flowing as best as possible (optimization) and invest in alternative transportation to encourage people to drive less. Less cars on the road will free up capacity a bit just like widening would increase capacity. Plus environmentally/climate-change wise, you want less cars anyway.

Regarding the BRT- this project would make the road flow better for cars too! Many people seem to forget this. Having buses run in their own lane means they won't operate in the existing lanes, freeing up more space for cars! The exception is the North Leg which needs to cannibalize an existing lane for buses. That is why it is much more controversial. The East, West, South and Downtown legs all build a whole new lane for buses (with exception to the Wharncliffe stretch of the West Leg where BRT will operate in mixed traffic).

So yes it's good to see both/multiple perspectives on any given project or argument. Not Just Bikes presents his arguments well, and I can relate to him a lot more since he is from London- an outsider looking in.
 

Ward8

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Sep 6, 2020
Messages
186
Reaction score
555
Yeah, thread is derailed so I'll be retiring after this..
Jane Jacobs was a product of Toronto and New York. She was not the product of Amsterdam or Paris. Nor was she a professional planner. Amazing, how all these non-planners keep noticing how badly planners are screwing up over here.
My point was, she said it all 60 odd years ago. And It's worth nothing that, when she was providing the same insights that are on any urbanism youtube channel, Europe was just as Highway happy as NA. The key difference between a place like London and a town in Europe is that the bones aren't there to revert back to. It's not as simple as removing bad infrastructure and reallocating space on streets. That is important and we should do it everywhere we can, but we also need to overcome vast distances, low population density, higher capital costs, badly destructive winters, a largely ignorant and NIMBY council, fundamental zoning problems and a population that has never known anything but a car. The planners in London likely aren't clueless. Politics and bureaucracy often is.
 

Top