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Plans to fill in Allen Road

innsertnamehere

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400 / black creek is a far better alternative than the allen.

If you live between the 400 and the DVP, the subway lines are generally your best bet.
 

WislaHD

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I've lived at the Allen and 401 for 6 years. Never has it crossed my mind, nor been suggested, that the Allen was the best route to get downtown.
It seems completely counter intuitive.
The only people who use the Allen are people who don't live anywhere near it and don't know it well, frankly speaking. Everyone in the central portion of Toronto knows to avoid the Allen at all times. They know that Eglinton is a bottleneck you do not want to deal with and that taking any number of other parallel roads to the 401 is much quicker.

I know myself as a resident of central Toronto east of Yonge, that even if my destination is in Mississauga, it is better to take Bayview or Leslie to the 401 than to take the Allen Road.
 

Johnny Au

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There is a small commercial strip on Marlee Avenue as well; it is known as Marleeville or Marlee Village, but it is not a BIA.

There are many apartment buildings around Marlee and Roselawn, which would mean that intensification would not be opposed as much (as long as the intensification is only on the west side of the Allen and south of Stayner).
 

nfitz

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Likely Avenue for either of those destinations, crossing over at Davenport to get to Yonge and Bloor.
Years ago, I didn't find Davenport/Bathurst/Eglinton/Allen too bad northbound. I used to use something to cut out the Bathurst/Eglinton intersection in mid-afternoon and rush hour. Probably Strathearn/Glen Cedar. Though ultimately I realised that Davenport/Old Weston/Rogers/Black Creek to 401 worked better (or just Eglinton to Renforth and 401. But I'd think that if I was right at Allen-401. Avenue was certainly useful when I used to live in Willowdale near North York Centre. Seemed like an expressway compared to Yonge.

But Allen as a whole doesn't seem for much at all, south of 401. Simply turning it into a regular street. Peraps decouple it from Allen north of 401, and push the traffic onto Dufferin and Bathurst instead.
 

howl

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People who say the Allen Road is ALWAYS slower are wrong. Like water always finding the quickest route downhill, so too traffic has a tendency to find the quickest route. Just looking at all the people who regularly need to go from downtown to the northwest part of the city - they can take any number of routes, but if they all take the same route that route would be extremely slow, while the other routes would be fast. As a result many people will 'discover' the faster alternative routes and use them . . . to the point where all routes take approximately the same time. At that point, depending on the specific incidents and variables of that day the Allen may be the quickest route some days and the slowest other days.

The problem with the Allen route is the perception of it being slow because of the backlog at Eglinton. The other routes tend to move along at a steadier average of (say) 30 kmph, while the Allen route involves going at an average of (say) 10 kmph along Eglinton and then 80 kmph along the Allen. It is the slow Eglinton section makes people perceive the Allen route as slower, but add it up and it will generally take about the same amount of time. In fact this mis-perception might actually mean the Allen route is quicker many days.
 

Rainforest

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Some constraints:

1) It would be prohibitively expensive to entomb the subway line. It will have to stay in an open trench or a decked-over trench.

2) It would be very difficult to close or dramatically reconfigure the Allen / 401 interchange; and there would be issues with north-south traffic and access to Yorkdale. Therefore, Allen will have to remain in place between 401 and Lawrence.

There is more flexibility with the Lawrence to Eglinton section.
 

Rainforest

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This is what I would probably do with Allen:

1) Eglinton to Lawrence section: remove the southbound lanes (always clogged anyway). Open the lands west of Allen for re-development. It may be necessary to employ some unconventional designs in order to avoid the need to fill the whole length of southbound lanes; for example: retail on the first floor; parking spaces on the second floor (level with the local streets); residential above the second floor.

Since the area along Marlee already has medium density, there should not be lots of nimby objections to that development.

The subway tracks would remain in the open (just fenced off), and the northbound Allen lanes would remain in place and provide a route for cars exiting the core.

In the south-western corner of Lawrence and Allen, I would remove the existing ramp and replace it with a north-to-east cloverleaf-shaped ramp, so the southbound cars can enter Lawrence faster (cars turning west will continue to use the north-west corner, while cars turning east will use the new ramp).

2) Lawrence to 401 section: deck over it and create a green space. That will improve the Lawrence Heights neighborhood.

I would also consider removing one of the ramps from 401 to southbound Allen, to reduce the volume of cars going there. It seems most logical to remove the east-to-south ramp: least amount of construction required, and cars coming from the west will still be able to access Yorkdale via the Dufferin exit.

3) North of 401: the area is very poorly designed; it has 3 roads (Transit Rd, Allen, and Wilson Heights) running in parallel, plus a ridiculous link between Allen and Wilson Heights. I would consider reconfiguring those roads so that they take less space.

However, the area may not be appealing for high density anyway, as it is heavily industrial (Wilson Yard, Downsview Airport). Therefore, I would consider reserving the lands for transit infrastructure. If the Sheppard rail line (be it subway, LRT, or mini-metro) ever makes it to Dufferin, lands between Sheppard and Wilson will provide a good place to either expand the Wilson yard or build a new yard.
 

ticky

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I don't think people who say Allen is slow actually take the Allen.

I come from Bathurst and St. Clair and almost exclusively take the Allen going east or west at the 401. Doing 80–100 km/h on the Allen is considerably faster than doing 50–60 km/h on Bathurst plus the usual constant stopping at lights and dodging buses. Bathurst also has the disadvantage of having no WB entry or EB exit.

Granted, occasionally there is a bottleneck turning left at Eglinton coming off the Allen, but in recent months the traffic signalling seems to have been adjusted to allow a longer green light time, though I went through there on Thursday and now that Eglinton at Bathurst EB was/is reduced to only one lane instead of three, taking Bathurst down through there is quicker.
 

Lone Primate

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I've lived at the Allen and 401 for 6 years. Never has it crossed my mind, nor been suggested, that the Allen was the best route to get downtown.
It seems completely counter intuitive.
Depends on where you're going. When I was making sojourns down to the City Archives, mainly before the aerial photo plates started being put online, it really was the best way to do it. That's not saying much. But taking it easy along side streets really has it beat over crawling up Spadina and all the tricks people pull out of their hats on that street.

I kind of wish they could finish the thing by tunneling and not disrupting anything on the surface... homes, the park, Casa Loma, and so on. But I know that's kind of a pipe dream. The cost would be huge. But the truth is, the city really would be better served by a way to get in and out of the centre of town to the more open distribution network further north. Especially with all the questions around the future of the Gardiner these days.
 

Lone Primate

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This is what I would probably do with Allen:

1) Eglinton to Lawrence section: remove the southbound lanes (always clogged anyway).
Imagine the two lanes of traffic you're talking about suddenly being shunted onto Lawrence, and then backing the remaining lanes and all the westbound traffic up on Lawrence for miles as they attempt to turn down the single lane southbound on Marlee. You don't need to imagine it, in fact. It's exactly what we had until the mid-1970s, and what finally prompted the completion of the Allen south to Eglinton in the first place. All you'd be doing is moving the problem back one major street and giving us exactly the same problems we had there before, only with 2015 traffic instead of 1970 traffic. It really is true that those who forget their history are condemned to make the same mistakes.

The reason it's "always clogged" is that it doesn't go any further, when it should. Like it or not, the problem isn't that the Allen exists; it's that it ends, abruptly, in a bad place. If you cut your arm off at the elbow, you shouldn't complain how hard it is to juggle or tie your shoes.

I know the received orthodoxy since the 60s is that expressways are Satan's sidewalks, but the reality is that they keep through traffic off the streets people live and shop on. Failing to complete the Spadina -- which should have gone to the Gardiner, the only road capable of taking its traffic without hideously backing up -- gave us the worst of both worlds.

Marlee.jpg
 

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DonValleyRainbow

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I kind of wish they could finish the thing by tunneling and not disrupting anything on the surface... homes, the park, Casa Loma, and so on. But I know that's kind of a pipe dream. The cost would be huge. But the truth is, the city really would be better served by a way to get in and out of the centre of town to the more open distribution network further north. Especially with all the questions around the future of the Gardiner these days.
Again, is the existing subway not a method for individuals to get in and out of the downtown?

As for trucks, they already have the 401, 427, DVP and the Gardiner. If we need to invest in anything, its more effective transit; the DRL, and LRTs on the Waterfront and Jane. This would go a long way to inproving transit times, pulling people out of their cars and providing more room on our existing streets for trucks.
 

BMO

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Just bought a unit near Dufferin and Eglinton and the number of alternatives to the Allen at Eglinton to go North all revolve around getting back onto the Allen either south of the 401 (Lawrence) or north of the 401 via transit road. I find it's quicker to take the Allen coming south because everyone is so afraid of the construction. The construction light timing is also pretty good and I usually only have to wait one or two cycles to make a right or left. Going north, though, I usually either take Dufferin or take Marlee to Lawrence and hop on the Allen from there. Other then that getting to Black Creek is almost out of the question these days with construction. It is quite an important link based on my experience and I personally think it extends from the road geometry and layout caused by Downsview further up the line, everyone is funneled onto Allen Rd.

As for the aesthetics of the Allen, I'd prefer a completely decked over option, but at the very least the roadway could use some TLC especially with regards to the TTC track fencing that looks like some post-apocalyptic remnant. The stark contrast between the east and west side of the Allen is crazy and really shows just how much of physical and psychological barrier the road really is. I think a lot of it has to do with just how damn ugly it is. Maybe do some flower art on the sides like what's done on the Gardner west of Dufferin (on the north side of the GO tracks).

Just another point, I'm right by the Kay Gardner Beltline trail on the west side of the Allen and couldn't believe I had to make a jog to get to the continuation east of the Allen the first time I used it (I only briefly looked at it on Google Maps at a distance). It'd be nice if at the end of this a cycling/ pedestrian bridge was built to connect the two sides.
 

DonValleyRainbow

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Just another point, I'm right by the Kay Gardner Beltline trail on the west side of the Allen and couldn't believe I had to make a jog to get to the continuation east of the Allen the first time I used it (I only briefly looked at it on Google Maps at a distance). It'd be nice if at the end of this a cycling/ pedestrian bridge was built to connect the two sides.
I also find that ridiculous. I hope the EA will find a way to make a grade separated link no matter what alternative is chosen. This would provide just under 10 km of trail between Caledonia and the Brickworks, only interrupted by the Mt Pleasant Cemetery.
 

Lone Primate

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Again, is the existing subway not a method for individuals to get in and out of the downtown?
The subway is a way to get in and out of downtown, but not for everyone.

I've always found this to be a "let them eat cake" kind of position. Not in a nasty way, but in the way Marie Antoinette, upon being told the people had no bread, reputedly helpfully suggested "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche", not understanding that brioche was even more expensive. She didn't live in their world. She didn't get it.

I don't live particularly close to a subway. If I pretty much have to get in the car to get to a subway, and likely pay to park, I might as well just keep going. Hundreds of thousands of us face that reality every day. That, too, needed to be addressed in the 1960s and 1970s, but the city and Metro screwed the pooch on the promise of alternatives to expressways as well. Once they'd ashcanned the expressways and the pressure was off, they put their feet up on their desks, and the mantra became "mañana".

As for trucks, they already have the 401, 427, DVP and the Gardiner.
Well, that's true, but it's also true that if you're heading north up the middle of town, and there's an awful lot of business up the spine of Yonge Street, the lack of a relatively quick way in and out of downtown in the middle of things puts needless traffic on the Gardiner to get to and from the DVP and 427. It also puts that traffic on those highways (and potentially the 401 as well) when it properly belongs on a direct north-south route. We'd still have traffic on those roads even with the Spadina the way it was planned, but that much less. I can see not having the Richview and Crosstown expressways, but I think we really should have finished the Spadina and the Scarborough expressways before we dusted our hands and invoked closure. I think if we had, we would have had a complete set of controlled access roads to circumvent being on surface streets until you were actually in the vicinity of where you needed to actually get. I realize I'm crying for the moon at this point, but I don't think the right decisions were made in the 1960s and 1970s on either the expressways that were and weren't a good idea, and the buck that was passed and passed and passed on subways for generations, till now financing them is just short of a moon shot program.

If we need to invest in anything, its more effective transit; the DRL, and LRTs on the Waterfront and Jane. This would go a long way to inproving transit times, pulling people out of their cars and providing more room on our existing streets for trucks.
That's pretty much what we're down to, at this point. But I'd like to stress that it isn't, and never was, a one-size-fits-all prospect. I know I risk being pilloried for saying so, but the reality is that for millions of people, driving remains their best, cheapest, and quickest option, even with all the traffic. When I lived near the subway, I took it, and was glad not to have to drive. But the subway didn't follow me when I moved. Roads go everywhere. Subways don't. LRTs don't. Even buses don't. If you live near one, as I did, they're great, I agree. But the city needed to take the interests of other people into account, and it didn't, and now we have one of the worst transportation situations in North America because we couldn't find a sensible middle line between Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses. We nearly did. Nearly. Too late now.
 
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