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Roads: Gardiner Expressway catch-all, incl. Hybrid Design (2015-onwards)

mdu

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So basically we need a "missing link" north of the 401 to take the truck traffic off, and we could call it the 40... can someone help me find a number?

Jokes aside, I don't think any government is politically ready to take lanes off the 401, and a routing along the side of the corridor would be much better.
 

Northern Light

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So basically we need a "missing link" north of the 401 to take the truck traffic off, and we could call it the 40... can someone help me find a number?

Jokes aside, I don't think any government is politically ready to take lanes off the 401, and a routing along the side of the corridor would be much better.
No one is imagining this will be considered tomorrow, next week, month or year.

This is more than a decade away, probably more than 2, and quite possibly more.

The political will of any current party is therefore irrelevant.

***

There is absolutely no sense to putting the tracks on the side of the 401 corridor.

The whole point of using a highway right of way is to save money.

The tracks are on the surface, and no land acquisition is required except at the stations, grade separation is already in place.

If the tracks were placed alongside the highway, you not only need to widen every single over pass at enormous cost, you also have to get under all the highway on/off ramps, at enormous cost.

That's self-defeating.

At that point you might as well tunnel, in which case you no longer need to follow the highway at all.

****

Now perhaps we could get back on topic.

The only reason this came up (my agreement with another poster) is by way of discussion how to replace auto-traffic w/transit in the context of possibly removing the Gardiner at some future point.

It was a side tangent to the real topic.

Which is the Gardiner, and really, the specific project, east of Jarvis.

Lets get back to that, shall we?
 
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TrickyRicky

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These greater social issues are relevant though to the philosophical underpinning of opinions we may have on the project.

There is a fundamental difference between public transit and highways as a transportation mode. Public transit is fundamentally a people mover and highways are people and goods movers but in my opinion are primarily important for their goods moving logistic importance.

There is a complex and probably indeterminate interaction between adding costs to business and inflationary pressures and changing the nature of economic activity. In this way highway infrastructure is probably more analogous to internet infrastructure. Free and fast internet breeds economic activity and empowers small business. Throttled high cost internet could accrue market share to large businesses over small.

Public transit is only equivalent to road infrastructure (for instance in an either or argument) if people and ideas rather than goods, materials, and equipment are the primary economic sectors. Fortunately (or by default) in Toronto we have the luxury of making that kind of either or argument because we have expansive people as service and ideas economic sectors. That’s fine but we should also appreciate it as generally anomolous (meaning very few places are like this) and recognize the inflationary consequences to sectors reliant on goods, materials, and equipment.
 

Northern Light

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These greater social issues are relevant though to the philosophical underpinning of opinions we may have on the project.

There is a fundamental difference between public transit and highways as a transportation mode. Public transit is fundamentally a people mover and highways are people and goods movers but in my opinion are primarily important for their goods moving logistic importance.

There is a complex and probably indeterminate interaction between adding costs to business and inflationary pressures and changing the nature of economic activity. In this way highway infrastructure is probably more analogous to internet infrastructure. Free and fast internet breeds economic activity and empowers small business. Throttled high cost internet could accrue market share to large businesses over small.

Public transit is only equivalent to road infrastructure (for instance in an either or argument) if people and ideas rather than goods, materials, and equipment are the primary economic sectors. Fortunately (or by default) in Toronto we have the luxury of making that kind of either or argument because we have expansive people as service and ideas economic sectors. That’s fine but we should also appreciate it as generally anomolous (meaning very few places are like this) and recognize the inflationary consequences to sectors reliant on goods, materials, and equipment.
You seem to give no weight to the notion that with fewer personal cars on the road, comes more capacity and speed for the movement of freight.

Time is money.

In your analogy by the way, the internet is indeed tolled.

Not only is it not free, but the faster a connection speed you want, the more you pay.
 

TrickyRicky

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“Time is money”

That’s a fair point. If costs suppress trips they will accrue time benefit to people and businesses who can afford to bare that cost
 

EastYorkTTCFan

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Yes, it does save money. By tearing it down and turning the road into a grand boulevard, the city could save $500 million in the short term, and around $1.50 billion in the long term (10 year period).
That's not what I was asking how much money is this grand bolovard that people keep imaging going to cost, how much will it cost to remove the Gardner. Another question is where do people think all of the traffic that both the lakeshore and Gardner carry are going to go well this is built?
 

urbanflight

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That's not what I was asking how much money is this grand bolovard that people keep imaging going to cost, how much will it cost to remove the Gardner. Another question is where do people think all of the traffic that both the lakeshore and Gardner carry are going to go well this is built?
The city is wasting in the short term $1 billion merely to re-build a short portion of the Gardiner Expressway. Instead, it would cost $500 million to demolish it and turn it into an urban boulevard.

In relation to your question about traffic. The city could use the rest $500 million saved in the short term, to improve and offer more transit options, purchasing more buses, deploying more bus lanes, purchasing more streetcars/subways cars, expanding the cycling network, etc. Instead of inducing more traffic and pollution.

The removal of highways and road space previously dedicated to motor vehicles is something well-documented since several years and with conclusive positive results.

Notably there's something known as Traffic Evaporation & Induced demand (latent demand and generated demand).

(Sorry for the following multiple posts but I wasn't able to post it on a single post).
 

urbanflight

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Traffic Evaporation:

The thesis referred to as "traffic evaporation" is getting wider scientific resonance. Put forward by the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, has its roots in the Braess's paradox.

For more than 10 years, The Paris Region Planning and Development Agency (IAU Île-de-France) has been studying the impact of the closure of urban expressways in the centre of large cities around the world.

"Despite the initial fears, the removal of fast lanes does not worsen traffic conditions beyond the initial adjustments," explains Paul Lecroart, urban planner at IAU and a specialist on this issue. "In all the cities studied, the evaporation of traffic is an important element to observe".

Paul Lecroart quotes a well-documented English study of 60 cities which calculates that when a fast lane is removed, the overall traffic decreases by an average of 14% after several months - the French magazine 'Le Parisien' reported. The reasons that lead to traffic evaporaton can be several, one of them is the so-called "induced traffic": when you create a fast lane, you automatically create traffic.

A study commissioned by the French Ministry of Transport in 1992 estimates that after the creation of a motorway in France, the number of cars increased by 40%. This "windfall effect" disappears when the route is removed: in the long term, the traffic decreases. The reduction of traffic is mainly due to behavioural change: people start adapting to the new spatial configuration. The behavioural changes that bring to ‘traffic evaporation’ are: change of itinerary and of schedules, the frequency of travel, the mode of transport (shifting from cars to two-wheeled vehicles, bicycle, etc.), but also car-pooling, new family organization, moving or working remotely.

What happened when New York City decided to close the 42d Street?

Already many years ago in New York, the city's Transportation Commissioner decided to close the 42d Street known as one of the city’s most congested street. Contrary to the expectations, not only the traffic flow did not increase but the flow improved and the traffic evaporated.

The concept of traffic evaporation is directly linked to the Braess's paradox. Dietrich Braess, a German mathematician, stated that adding extra capacity to a network may reduce overall performance and increase travel times. As in a game structure, if drivers have the possibility to choose their own route autonomously they will behave selfishly. This means that each driver will aim at improving its respective travel time by arriving first: all drivers will take the new ”fast" road and wil thus cause congestion.

The paradox stated as follows:

"For each point of a road network, let there be given the number of cars starting from it, and the destination of the cars. Under these conditions one wishes to estimate the distribution of traffic flow. Whether one street is preferable to another depends not only on the quality of the road, but also on the density of the flow. If every driver takes the path that looks most favorable to him, the resultant running times need not be minimal. Furthermore, it is indicated by an example that an extension of the road network may cause a redistribution of the traffic that results in longer individual running times."
 

EastYorkTTCFan

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The city is wasting in the short term $1 billion merely to re-build a short portion of the Gardiner Expressway. Instead, it would cost $500 million to demolish it and turn it into an urban boulevard.

In relation to your question about traffic. The city could use the rest $500 million saved in the short term, to improve and offer more transit options, purchasing more buses, deploying more bus lanes, purchasing more streetcars/subways cars, expanding the cycling network, etc. Instead of inducing more traffic and pollution.

The removal of highways and road space previously dedicated to motor vehicles is something well-documented since several years and with conclusive positive results.

Notably there's something known as Traffic Evaporation & Induced demand (latent demand and generated demand).

(Sorry for the following multiple posts but I wasn't able to post it on a single post).
I still have doubts about that being the actual cost just like I have doubts that people are going to turn to public transportation and to riding bikes because the garder Expressway has been removed.


Also as of right now the city and TTC don't have any concrete plans for buying any additional streetcars or buses other than what they need to maintain the current fleet levels for buses, additional streetcars are needed too but they are also needed just to service existing routes that have been cut back to bus service.
 

urbanflight

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Reducing roads can cause traffic to ‘Evaporate’

In April 2019 a heavily-used bridge across the River Thames in London was closed indefinitely due to structural problems. Local media were full of alarm, warning about the likely traffic congestion that would result. But, curiously, several months later, the signs are that the opposite may be happening. Pollution levels in key nearby centres have gone down, a strong indication that fewer cars are on the roads. Could this be the latest sign of one of the best kept, and counter intuitive secrets in urban planning, that less road space doesn’t increase congestion but leads to a drop in vehicle numbers? In a world looking to quickly cut carbon emissions it’s an insight that could prove revolutionary.

Imagine if we closed some roads to cars and traffic congestion actually reduced as a result. This sounds counter-intuitive; yet, it is exactly the effect that was revealed by research in the 1990s in a number of cities around the world. This result was described as ‘traffic evaporation’ in the seminal 1998 UK study of 100 locations. The report showed that after a ‘settling in period’, where road capacity was reduced for private cars there was a 25% average overall reduction in traffic. Case-by-case outcomes varied substantially, but in many cases, when you reduce road capacity, existing motor traffic doesn’t just find another route. Some of it ‘disappears’, or ‘evaporates’.

By the 1990s, the city of Copenhagen had already adopted what has since become their long-term strategy of reducing space for cars while developing public transport options. By cutting parking spaces, removing road lanes, and banning certain through traffic, in 1998, 80% of all journeys were made on foot, and 14% by bicycle. Car traffic in the city core was hugely reduced and congestion was no longer a problem. Long-term planning and vision is of course vital, but change can happen quite quickly on the ground. In Kajaani, Finland, the High Street, which was taking 13,000 vehicles per day across the main square, was closed completely. Traffic in the adjacent streets rose, but only from 1,000 to 6,500 vehicles per day. Other surrounding streets saw no change in traffic flows. This means that over half the former traffic in the main square simply ‘evaporated’. Similar patterns emerged in a range of European cities studied, from Nuremberg to Oxford, and from Strasbourg to Wolverhampton.

These ideas have taken some time to percolate through into widespread urban planning – perhaps through a mix of mistaken beliefs about how traffic flows work and the strength of the car lobby – but there is no reason they could not be implemented quickly, given the political will. Even the US, where the car was made king, cities have started to look at how to make better use of space previously designated for cars, such as parking lots. After San Francisco implemented a pilot project with real-time data on parking availability and dynamic pricing for spaces, an evaluation found that the amount of time people spent looking for parking fell by 43%. This was part of San Francisco’s Smart City initiative, which has been looking more widely at how to move around the city in the most efficient way for people and for the environment. As urban designers realise the danger of moving people to the suburbs, hollowing out city centres and creating areas of deprivation, city space is increasingly needed for homes, businesses, learning and leisure facilities. The car can appear to be convenient for individuals, but planners and politicians alike are waking up to the fact that they are an inefficient use of space and resources for society as a whole.

Wider relevance

What is interesting about traffic evaporation is that it is all about the behaviour of people and our inaccurate assumptions about how they behave in any given scenario. There is no constant steady demand that we can point to as ‘traffic” for any site; instead, the flow of vehicles is revealed to be a fluctuating, highly changeable body made up of individuals making complex decisions. When alternative means of travel are available, people therefore shift surprisingly quickly to whichever mode works for them to get round the particular travel problem they face – traffic jams, strikes, road blockages etc. For shorter journeys, walking or cycling is the usual substitute, with buses, trams and trains taking up those travelling the longer distances.

(…)

Context and background

In 1994, the UK Government-commissioned Sactra (the Standing Advisory Committee on Trunk Road Assessment) report provided evidence on the impact of new road building on local traffic levels. The report revealed that when new road capacity is provided, overall traffic levels in the vicinity of the scheme may actually increase. The evidence does not offer a reliable means of predicting the extent of this traffic increase, but case studies in the report suggested that it is typically around 10% in the short term, and 20% in the longer term. This went against popular thinking, which imagined that new roads were simply satisfying a steady demand – the approach of so-called ‘predict and provide’ – not stimulating extra demand. It established once and for all that the ‘induced traffic’ phenomenon – building new road capacity generates more motor vehicle trips – was a reality and should be taken into planning decisions.

However, policymakers tend to favor highly visible physical investments, such as building roads. Sometimes roads are built or upgraded even when demand hardly justifies it. Improving capacity on ‘strategic’ roads like the M25 around London has often just encouraged short car trips within the local area, which in turn leads to the new capacity filling up, and longer distance traffic being delayed again. Congestion continues – with many other, arguably more important, problems (air pollution, noise pollution, severance, road danger) worsened.

Research in the US supports this claim, with findings that the more highway capacity a given metro area had, the more miles its vehicles travelled on them. A 10% increase in capacity, for instance, meant a 10% increase in vehicle miles, on average.

Enabling factors

This kind of transition will demand vision from the planning authorities and a steely reserve in the face of those lobbying for additional road and/or car use. The cities featured in the 1998 report case studies all decided to take action at the municipal level, bringing together planners, developers and transport authorities. This kind of joined-up thinking is the ideal way to progress such a scheme – and perhaps town or city level is the best way to proceed, where decisions can be taken more quickly. The only drawback could be that smaller jurisdictions may not have the resources to argue their case against the powerful car lobby and the public’s lack of awareness of what happens when you build more roads.

An incremental approach gave residents in those cities with advanced thinking time to adapt, and to change from driving and parking their cars to walking, using bicycles and public transport. The sooner we start making these changes, the longer we have to put them into practice in a smooth and equitably way. Some face particular mobility challenges, such as people with disabilities, and provision for cars – whether electric, conventional or self-driving – will continue to be a part of traffic management planning, but finding ways to encourage more use of alternative modes of transport for mass transit – public transport, cycling and walking – must be the goal of any sustainable urban policy. This will need time, planning and investment.

Demand for urban space for living in a more pleasant environment is a major driver of change, and is one that is likely to increase – particularly as our populations become more urban and city homes become smaller and more expensive. Public, outside space is being reclaimed by communities who feel it belongs to them – and not just to the car. It is also being clawed back by city authorities keen to make the most of their land, largely through the policy of reducing parking. The Swiss city of Zurich declared as early as 1996 that there would be no more parking: officials placed a cap on the amount of parking spaces that would exist there, putting in place a trading system by which any developer proposing new parking spaces would be required to remove that many parking spaces from the city’s streets. The result has been that the city’s streets have become more amenable to walking, cycling and public transport. Other cities around the world are thinking similarly; São Paulo got rid of its minimum parking requirements and implemented a maximum that could be built into specific projects. Beijing, Shenzhen and Guangzhou are hoping to emulate San Francisco’s dynamic pricing approach.

A 2011 study by the University of California, estimated there are upwards of 800m parking spaces in the US, covering about 25,000 square miles of land. And a study showed that drivers cruise looking for parking for an average of 3.3 minutes. Based on the number of parking spaces in the area studied, this adds up to 950,000 extra miles travelled over the course of a year, burning 47,000 gallons of gasoline and emitting 730 tons of CO2. In London alone in the United Kingdom parking spaces are estimated to take up nearly 20 square miles of land.

Scope and evidence
(…)
 

drum118

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Yes, it does save money. By tearing it down and turning the road into a grand boulevard, the city could save $500 million in the short term, and around $1.50 billion in the long term (10 year period).
Not only you will see the saving as noted, but you open up land for more development that will not only cover the yearly or decade cost of maintaining the boulevard. You will have extra income from these developments yearly that can be apply to other things the city needs or money to cover the yearly cost.

With the rearing down of the eye sore, you get the redevelop Harbour St look.

More and more are cities in Europe removing roads and better off without them.

The bottom line for Toronto to remove anything, you need better transit and it needs to be faster than it is today.
 

EastYorkTTCFan

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The problem with saying that we should do it now to save money is their is no plans in place yet to do all of this and also no finding to do it yes we can say that they should just divert the funds that they have for maintaining it to take it down. Again the problem is there is no plans in place yet to do it, also city council would have to approve it and they are on break until September as far as I know. I honestly don't really see any plans being anywhere near ready for a few years at least and by then we could have a city council who wants to do something completely different.
 

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