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Ontario Line North of Eglinton (was Relief Line North) (Speculation)

jaybe

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I went to the Relief Line North Public meeting, hosted at York Mills Collegiate last night. About 50 people were there, and I'd estimate that half were representatives from the TTC, City of Toronto or Metrolinx. A 20 minute presentation that outlined the background and corridor options was provided. The intent was to engage attendees in one on one conversations to get input on what options were most attractive and why. Two interesting comments from the facilitators:

- Corridor #6, Vic Park - At first pass of the modelling, this corridor appears to have the highest ridership expectations. The person cautioned that the analysis was preliminary and is incomplete, they are in the process of integrating modelling engines from the TTC and Metrolinx. They also said an analysis of how much relief to the Yonge line would be provided by the Vic-Park corridor needed to be completed.

- Corridor #6 Curve to Sheppard - While not explicitly drawn on the map below, this was shared as an option that will be considered. The idea is for Corridor #6 to turn West at Vic Park and Sheppard. The existing Sheppard Line would become the final leg of the DRL.

Overall it was a good session. An interesting side note, all attendees drove to the meeting.

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Stop distanes appear to follow the current Yonge line - about 1.5km to 2.0km between stations, except options 3, 4 and 5 have a overlea / don mills stop. Option 6 may have higher ridership, but would not suprise if it does not offer the most relief. Most relief will come down to 3 vs 4 vs 5. The line should not loop into sheppherd - it should have provisions to continue going north to serve Finch and possibly Steeles. We should know the preferred option, going by there process map, late 2018 or early 2019. That same process map has the TPAP starting early 2020. Here is the process map: http://www.relieflinenorth.ca/project/whats-happening-now/
 
- Corridor #6, Vic Park - At first pass of the modelling, this corridor appears to have the highest ridership expectations. The person cautioned that the analysis was preliminary and is incomplete, they are in the process of integrating modelling engines from the TTC and Metrolinx. They also said an analysis of how much relief to the Yonge line would be provided by the Vic-Park corridor needed to be completed.

- Corridor #6 Curve to Sheppard - While not explicitly drawn on the map below, this was shared as an option that will be considered. The idea is for Corridor #6 to turn West at Vic Park and Sheppard. The existing Sheppard Line would become the final leg of the DRL.
I'm liking this alignment 5 very much.
  • To be fair and I live on top of Don Mills and Sheppard, the 185 Rocket is very fast from Don Mills to Pape. With the Eglinton Crosstown station opening in 2021, people are more likely to transfer there to go east or west or downtown. Service south of Eglinton would be covered by the Relief Line.
  • Alignment 5 preserves the need to have stations at Thorncliff and Overlea. Bypassing those nodes would be unwise. They need subway access.
  • With line 5 and line 3 connecting at Don Mills, Shops at Don Mills is a short bus trip from there. That major destination on the corridor is more car friendly and I don't think not having a station there will affect it. The Lawrence bus will most likely connect with Leslie and /or Leaside station anyways which are close for those living around there.
  • The redevelopment potential at York Mills and Don Mills is very limited, Victoria Park & York Mills does have a higher potential.
  • I think it's important to upgrade Victoria Park Avenue and unlock it's full potential. It will become a place to live and play taking some of that pressure off the other overbuilt nodes in this city.
  • It facilitates the extension of the Sheppard Subway further east to Victoria Park while stopping at Consumers. (2nd biggest employment area outside of the Downtown area in Toronto). The tunnel under the DVP will be built regardless of subway or LRT to Consumers. Subway allows the tunnels to be smaller in diameter. I acknowledge that the Consumers to Victoria Park stretch will be more expensive with subway but can we do it right for a change? No reason for this not being a subway. If Sheppard LRT must be built, there's no reason to not start it from there.
  • That being said, I'm not sold on merging line 4 with the future line 3. Although FAR from a priority, line 4 going east has merits and eventually going west will just make the line more useful. The transfer just needs to be better planned from the get go.
  • Last but not least, Line 3 needs to go futher north to Finch and Steeles. I'd even support it going to Richmond Hill if it stops Line 1 from passing Steeles.
Alignment 5 is the better choice!
 
There's a college, two malls, one of the denses parts of the city and a education attraction on one route. Let's not over think this.
A North-South line east of the 404 and on Scarborough border is a good choice. Like I explained, the 185 Rocket is very fast on Don Mills while combined with the 25 bus, you get bus service almost non-stop. The whole stretch from Steeles to Overlea have reserved lanes as well.

The college is accessible from Don Mills Station while Shop at Don Mills is not like Fairview or Eaton Centre. It was really built with cars in mind. Fairview is already served by Line 4.
 
All interchange stations should be built as a Spanish solution. This is the 3 platform design.

#6 plan would be great as it also includes an extension of Sheppard Line.
 
I went to the Relief Line North Public meeting, hosted at York Mills Collegiate last night. About 50 people were there, and I'd estimate that half were representatives from the TTC, City of Toronto or Metrolinx. A 20 minute presentation that outlined the background and corridor options was provided. The intent was to engage attendees in one on one conversations to get input on what options were most attractive and why.

I really like how Mississauga looked at the whole street when they did a BRT on Dundas. Where growth nodes can occur and how the street will be pedestrian and cycle friendly after the build. Has the TTC done any of this work at future station stop. Where density can be created around the station (vs where there is single-family homes which will have NIMBY-ism)?
 
#5 is interesting, one reason being the station in the pocket area of Concorde/Wynford. 5 and 6 are neat for direct service to Consumers area. One thing I'm wondering is whether #4, the alignment everyone knows or expects, could go east at Sheppard to Vic Pk. #1 is a headscratcher. There's no ROW for those diagonal alignments through Leaside or NYC. Either way lots of fun discussions to be had.
 
That L station on #5 actually looks to be right near where the CP line passes over the Richmond Hill Line. A Station there could lead to a three way interchange in the far future if the Midtown GO line ever happens.
 
A North-South line east of the 404 and on Scarborough border is a good choice. Like I explained, the 185 Rocket is very fast on Don Mills while combined with the 25 bus, you get bus service almost non-stop. The whole stretch from Steeles to Overlea have reserved lanes as well.

The college is accessible from Don Mills Station while Shop at Don Mills is not like Fairview or Eaton Centre. It was really built with cars in mind. Fairview is already served by Line 4.
you know in some ways I agree that the subway on the other side of the 404 is good for bus routes not needing to cross these huge bridges with massive ramps. If I was confident that putting the subway on Victoria park would mean that then LRTs could be built out on major roads east of the DRL, like sheppard, lawrence, then I think I could be convinced.... but then i would be probably more willing to pick route 6.
 
I went to the Relief Line North Public meeting, hosted at York Mills Collegiate last night. About 50 people were there, and I'd estimate that half were representatives from the TTC, City of Toronto or Metrolinx. A 20 minute presentation that outlined the background and corridor options was provided. The intent was to engage attendees in one on one conversations to get input on what options were most attractive and why. Two interesting comments from the facilitators:

- Corridor #6, Vic Park - At first pass of the modelling, this corridor appears to have the highest ridership expectations. The person cautioned that the analysis was preliminary and is incomplete, they are in the process of integrating modelling engines from the TTC and Metrolinx. They also said an analysis of how much relief to the Yonge line would be provided by the Vic-Park corridor needed to be completed.

- Corridor #6 Curve to Sheppard - While not explicitly drawn on the map below, this was shared as an option that will be considered. The idea is for Corridor #6 to turn West at Vic Park and Sheppard. The existing Sheppard Line would become the final leg of the DRL.

Overall it was a good session. An interesting side note, all attendees drove to the meeting.

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If SSE was replaced by another means of connecting STC to downtown, that also happened to serve Flemingdon and Thorncliffe, that would free up some options for the DRL.

For #6, that first turn from Pape to O'Conner looks like a tough one with the need to go under a huge number of houses - I am not sure if that is feasible.
 
I'd say Corridor 4 is the one we all expected, but it seems like Corridor 5 has the most development potential.
 

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This is my view. Too many major unanswered questions. I don't think I'm being impatient for believing they should be known by now...DRTES was finished many years ago. How's it going to connect with Line 2, yard access, why terminate at Osgoode, are they planning on extracting there, why not terminate at Spadina or somewhere that an extraction can easily be done (e.g Trinity Bellwoods), why plan using twin bore and not single bore like SSE, how will 501 W be upgraded to serve as a shuttle? Maybe the meetings will answer some of these questions. If anyone goes and gets some intel don't hesitate to post.

I don't see the issue with 4-car. It will still be built for 6-car, just merely operated as 4-car with punch-out walls a la Sheppard. Personally my view is that work on RLS will be delayed to catch up with completion of RLN, and - hoping nothing gets cancelled - it will be decided to use a narrower train. Shave off half a metre from the conventional subway (3.1->2.6), multiply by two tracks, should give an extra metre of wiggle room. With stations expandable to 6-car it wouldn't be a light metro, still full subway. Just with narrower cars. I believe this could help thread through the core.

Taking away a half meter takes away about a quarter of the potential capacity of the train, and therefore the line. It might be fine for a line like Sheppard, but not a trunk line like the Relief Line. Also: stations are the most expensive part of subway construction. If you have to make up for lost width by lengthening a platform, you significantly increase the cost of building a station.

We have an interesting cycle in Toronto.

Transit expansion is so expensive that it's very unreliable. Getting politicians/voters on board is tricky because tax rates are always a concern.

Transit expansion is so unreliable that we want to put all our eggs into a single basket creating over-sized expansion when it happens with expensive bus operations feeding that over-sized system. Tunnels are nearly free, stations are really expensive and that's relative to size of the hole which is driven by capacity of the train (not station ridership).

Oversized proposals are relatively expensive for the task at hand. That makes getting politicians/voters on board tricky when tax rates are #1 concern.


IMO, DRL should target a maximum capacity of about 20k using short-tiny trains at very high frequencies (single tunnel, stacked platforms on same side; 40% cost reduction); then twin it in 20 years on a slightly different routing (say King through downtown intersecting Line 2 at Woodbine) with another mid capacity line.


The number of DRL walkins will barely fill 10 trains per day let alone 20 trains per hour. If we're going to pretend subways should be everywhere through the suburbs then proposals for 10x capacity for those lines (with feeders bringing 90% of the load) has got to stop.

If we don't care about subways everywhere in the suburbs, then projects like Spadina and SSE need to stop popping up. Only thing we have now is gridlock between the low tax crowd and the expensive transit expansion crowd; and they're both in the same damn group making the ridiculous proposals.

No one really expects there to be subways everywhere in the suburbs, just enough that a 15-minute bus ride from any location in the city will get you to a subway station. They serve as mobility hubs and gateways to the city.

Also, the yonge line is the MOST overcrowded subway line in all of North America. That is a fact, and cheaping out now is the dumbest thing you can do. If the line gets anywhere near spadina line ridership (which mind you, is in the middle of a freeway and has very few bus connections), it will be considered a success. Also, there is no way you can build a single bore tunnel downtown without collapsing buildings or putting so much stress on that tunnel that it collapses after a few years of use. Construction costs are also increasing. it would be extremely stupid to cheap out now and pay even more in the future. Finally, theoretical capacities are almost always overstated. The Bloor Danforth line has a theoretical capacity of 32K PPHPD, but based on how full every single train is during rush hour and only utilizing around 24 PPHPD at the very peak of rush hour, relying on maximums is one of the dumbest things you can do.

All interchange stations should be built as a Spanish solution. This is the 3 platform design.

#6 plan would be great as it also includes an extension of Sheppard Line.

The problem with number 6 is that Science Centre is no longer the Eglinton interchange station; which is where every bus will connect at, and will be an underground station with a fare paid area. That's extremely important to transferability.


Also -- it won't be the knock-down walls that will be extremely expensive. It will be reconfiguring the new trains to have two extra inner cars that will be hella expensive and extremely time consuming.
 
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