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Rail Deck Park (?, ?, ?)

TJ O'Pootertoot

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Yeah, this isn't the place for a Gardiner discussion, really, but all the points raised there are refuted by experience. Induced demand has been well observed everywhere. They tore down a freeway in Boston and they're doing it in Seattle and many other places and it's been shown to work. The teardown plan , talking about the east end, isn't to remove it and to do nothing, but to transform Lakeshore Boulevard and distribute the traffic - which studies show is far less than most people think, into the system that way.

At the end of the day, the question isn't entirely about THE GARDINER on its own terms but how the City's finite money is best spent. IF you have $1B, what are the pros/cons of putting it towards RD Park vs. keeping that highway up?
 

robmausser

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Yeah, this isn't the place for a Gardiner discussion, really, but all the points raised there are refuted by experience. Induced demand has been well observed everywhere. They tore down a freeway in Boston and they're doing it in Seattle and many other places and it's been shown to work. The teardown plan , talking about the east end, isn't to remove it and to do nothing, but to transform Lakeshore Boulevard and distribute the traffic - which studies show is far less than most people think, into the system that way.

At the end of the day, the question isn't entirely about THE GARDINER on its own terms but how the City's finite money is best spent. IF you have $1B, what are the pros/cons of putting it towards RD Park vs. keeping that highway up?
Both Boston and Seattle are bad examples because while they tore down the highway, they moved it underground at great expense.

People here are talking about just tearing down a highway and not providing an alternative.
 

north-of-anything

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Both Boston and Seattle are bad examples because while they tore down the highway, they moved it underground at great expense.

People here are talking about just tearing down a highway and not providing an alternative.
Yeah, it's called Lake Shore Boulevard and a Waterfront LRT.
 

W. K. Lis

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Yeah, it's called Lake Shore Boulevard and a Waterfront LRT.
Forgot about the GO Train improvements coming...


See link.

Year after year, train by train, bus by bus, Metrolinx has steadily increased GO Transit service. And now, that work is taking on a whole new energy. We’re building transit service that will change life in this region through the GO Expansion program. More than a rush hour commuter service, GO will offer more service with faster trains, more stations and seamless connections to a regional rapid transit network.

GO Expansion will make the network better, faster and the region easier to travel in.
Today, we run 1,500 weekly trips on the GO Transit system. Each year we’re adding more, and when we’re done building, we’ll be running over 6,000 weekly trips.
Using a new train technology on the Barrie, Lakeshore, Stouffville and Kitchener lines will allow faster trains to transport you and will offer all-day trips, going two ways, as quickly as every 15 minutes. Milton and Richmond Hill lines will also offer you up to 30% more service.
 

urbanflight

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People here are talking about just tearing down a highway and not providing an alternative.
EDIT.

That is not true.

It has been mentioned again and again: instead of pouring $1 billion down the drain in repairs to just keep up that disruptive Expressway, the city could use that $1 billion to invest in mass rapid transit.
 
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robmausser

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That is not true.

It has been mentioned again and again: instead of pouring $1 billion down the drain in repairs to just keep up that disruptive Expressway, the city could use that $1 billion to invest in mass rapid transit.
How is that not true?


 

TJ O'Pootertoot

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We're getting off thread and this is pointless anyway.
When the report on the Gardiner came - and everyone knows this - there were 3 scenarios with different costs and benefits. The long-term cost of keeping up the highway, even with the Hybrid option, was more than the cost of taking it down.

It is correct that it is "not true" that no alternative was presented in the take-down scenario. (Or, to put it a more clear way, there sure as heck was a proposed alternative.)

Rapid Transit is already being provided (on paper, so far!) via "SmartTrack" and the extended LRT and the proposal included transforming Lake Shore into a boulevard. The combination of improved transit, improved Lake Shore and induced demand was the "alternative."

The traffic on the East Gardiner, which is what we're talking about here, is not remotely comparable to what Boston was dealing with and the idea that you only have an alternative if you build another piece of mega-infrastructure, even when the EA shows it's not needed, is non-sensical. That's like telling someone getting divorced they don't have an alternative if they feel like staying single makes more sense than getting married again.

To again try to rope things back on thread, the relevant discussion is here is the City's finite resources and whether the cost savings of not leaving the Gardiner up could be used to build more transit or - more to the point - something like Rail Deck Park. The City does not spend $1B on a lot of things because it rarely has $1B to spend. Whether spending all that on the Gardiner is the best use of tax $ remains a fair question, particularly in our evolving urban context.
 

urbanflight

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To again try to rope things back on thread, the relevant discussion is here is the City's finite resources and whether the cost savings of not leaving the Gardiner up could be used to build more transit or - more to the point - something like Rail Deck Park. The City does not spend $1B on a lot of things because it rarely has $1B to spend. Whether spending all that on the Gardiner is the best use of tax $ remains a fair question, particularly in our evolving urban context.
That was the reason why I brought up the Gardiner.

I just rather have the city spending $1 billion to build the Rail Deck Park, or to invest it in mass rapid transit, that wasting $1 billion just to keep up the crumbling Gardiner. We are concerned about the financing resources for this project, well there we have the $1 billion being poured down the drain for the Gardiner.

However I agree, we might be getting too off thread.

Getting back to the main topic. John Tory could also look up for other financial resources for the city to be able to build the Rail Deck Park: a Public-Private partnership, private donations, provincial and federal funding, etc.

This project is great, it's only a shame that currently the site is privately owned, and that it is so freaking expensive to buy it.
 
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north-of-anything

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I feel like there are a few ways the city could pursue a compromise solution, if they felt it necessary.

The first way would be to conduct a land swap, using some large property to hand off elsewhere in the city in exchange for air rights. Somewhere around the Six Points? Honeydale Mall, perhaps? Is any of that land not spoken for?

Alternatively, the city could say "okay you can build some 30-storey towers here, but first you need to fund the construction of all of the mass transit that's needed in this part of town, and much of the infrastructure works, before anything starts getting built". Worst case scenario, the bluff is called but millions of public sector dollars are saved.
 

zot627

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I feel like there are a few ways the city could pursue a compromise solution, if they felt it necessary.

The first way would be to conduct a land swap, using some large property to hand off elsewhere in the city in exchange for air rights. Somewhere around the Six Points? Honeydale Mall, perhaps? Is any of that land not spoken for?

Alternatively, the city could say "okay you can build some 30-storey towers here, but first you need to fund the construction of all of the mass transit that's needed in this part of town, and much of the infrastructure works, before anything starts getting built". Worst case scenario, the bluff is called but millions of public sector dollars are saved.
I agree with your first point. If the City is serious about building a park here, they have many tools available to them to make it happen. The City owns a lot of surplus land and I'm sure a workable trade could be made if the City was prepared to move forward with Rail Deck Park.

Your second point makes me wonder if you're living in a parallel universe. There are several developments planned and underway in the immediate area that have little or no parkland. This is a private development site. The only way it's going to become a public park is if the City acquires the air rights. Otherwise it can be developed to the same extent as the land uses around it. There's nothing magical about the south side of Front Street that will let the City operate outside of the Planning Act.

And what's this bluff you're referring to? Please explain how it can be "called but millions of public sector dollars are saved". Were the developers of The Well or Canada House or 400 Front bluffing?
 

north-of-anything

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I didn't say anything about the Rail Deck Park being built in the second point. If the current owners want to put in 30-40 storey buildings, there should be caveats to make sure the area can handle it. If the caveats are steep enough, then maybe the developers would question how much they would actually profit from it. If they go ahead anyways, the residents should at least be able to hop on a streetcar to go where there is parkland and open space.

Personally, though, I don't think anything should be built on the corridor at all until the Spadina-Front GO station is either complete or cancelled.
 

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