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

WislaHD

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I don't know why tolls are such a dirty word. I hear it everywhere I go, on here, on reddit, dealing with colleagues, talking to my f riends. It seems like tolls are universally deemed as a terrible terrible idea.

Yet, tolls are probably the best and most effective way of reducing congestion, encouraging development in the core, is a great way to raise revenue, and are used by cities of Toronto's size globally. In every continent.

Finally, I see tolls as an opportunity to finally get rid of the Gardiner and DVP from municipal books. They are some of our biggest yearly expenditures, especially the Gardiner which is falling apart. If we wanted to get those costs uploaded to Queen's Park and off of our books, then we just need to threaten to impose a toll. It would harm any ruling government's re-election chances big time in the 905, forcing the province's hand to uploading. Otherwise, Toronto get's a new revenue source.
 

BurlOak

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The Gardiner was ready to be uploaded in 2014 and the citizens of Toronto said loudly and clearly that they wanted to retain all those maintenance costs.
 

nfitz

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The Gardiner was ready to be uploaded in 2014 and the citizens of Toronto said loudly and clearly that they wanted to retain all those maintenance costs.
Where did anyone in the provincial government say they were ready to upload the Gardiner?
 

Juan_Lennon416

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Yet, tolls are probably the best and most effective way of reducing congestion, encouraging development in the core, is a great way to raise revenue, and are used by cities of Toronto's size globally. In every continent.

Tolls will reduce congestion? No it won't! Tolls on the Gardiner would just push the congestion somewhere else.
 

crs1026

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A toll for the DVP? I already have a 407 transponder and an EZPass transponder on my vehicle. There isn't a lot of room for another one.

What in heavens' name is left for vendors to offer as options?

And, why do we hit a political brick wall when we suggest extending tolls to the Gardiner?

Imposing a toll to use the DVP is about as revolutionary as asking someone to use a smartcard as the fare payment medium to ride a TTC streetcar. It's so 2014.

- Paul
 

innsertnamehere

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TheTigerMaster, it was one of the better proposals from what was a very weak platform. It was largely meant to go along with the uploading of the subway network to Metrolinx control, but the general idea was to bring the provinces entire freeway network under provincial control, and to repair a bit of the damage done by Harris's late 1990's downloads of many provincial highways. It would have saved municipalities a lot of money, and likely would have seen a lot more investment into the highways to modernize them and make them safer. The DVP is vastly inferior in terms of modern highway design, a lot could be done to it to improve safety without necessarily increasing capacity. In a few years the only cloverleaf interchange in the province (still one in Belleville, but is likely to be replaced very soon) will be on the DVP. A lot of other interchanges have horrible geometry and the main freeway has substandard shoulders, etc.
 

Euphoria

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This is a topic I've been researching and blogging about for some time to no avail or shortage of ridicule. I feel very strongly that Metrolinx and council need to plan all of these projects together (DRL, Smart Track, GO, Gardiner burial/remediation) and respect the great planning work done decades ago on a Front Street Extension. I have proposed and continue to propose the following:

1. Extend Front Street west of Bathurst and build on/off ramps to the Gardiner.

2. Provide an exit from the highway onto Front just west of Bathurst. Have the highway shoot underground at Bathurst and run north under Bathurst. The eastbound lanes turn east from Bathurst under Adelaide. The westbound lanes run under Richmond. Have very simple on/off ramps that rise to street level, flowing in the same direction as the traffic. Let the traffic and civil engineers debate the locations, but I suggest just east of Bathurst, just east of Spadina, just east of University and/or Yonge, and one more set to the east before connecting with the DVP.

3. With tunnels under each of these roads, it is very feasible to provide room for an eastbound subway (Adelaide) and a westbound subway (Richmond) within the same tunnels. Stations can easily be located underneath the north-south streets that intersect both Richmond and Adelaide, equidistant between the two streets, so that the walk to the platforms isn't too far. This subway, running between King and Queen would be similar to Montreal's Line One that runs parallel to and between St. Catherine and Sherbrooke streets.

4. The highway could have tolls, though it doesn't have to. Road tolls could at least partly pay for the tunneling of the DRL. On the other hand, we have to tunnel the DRL anyway, so how much more would it cost to add a highway in the tunnels? Surely less than burying both of these projects in separate locations. Burying the Gardiner this far north prevents the concerns of lake water entering the tunnel. We also avoid the other complication of Boston's Big Dig: tunneling a highway beneath an elevated highway that stays open throughout the project. The existing elevated Gardiner could stay untouched until this parallel buried expressway is completed. At that point, the elevated Gardiner could be removed. Diverting the billion dollars we would've spent on a hybrid revamped Gardiner toward this other project would defray some of the construction costs.

5. Turn Lakeshore Blvd. into a grand , tree-lined street with bike paths and 4-6 storey buildings (or point towers with podiums). I'm sure there would be countless great ideas for public spaces along this route.

Additional Options to Consider:

6. I suggest building a GO station along the Front Street Extension on the Lakeshore Line. Doing this would divert Lakeshore Line GO trains from Union and allow more stations and more frequent train service on the Smart Track line without having to bury more track and platforms under Union. Build a parking garage at the new GO station, which, if combined with a DRL station, would get more people out of their cars before they head into the core. Having this GO station still allows for a Liberty Village Smart Track station at King or Queen, and the Relief Line can still be extended west of Bathurst close to Queen in accord with the long term plan. The DRL dip down to Front is just a spur.
 
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Euphoria

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As for the existing rail lines coming into Union? Develop above them as much as possible. I'm surprised this hasn't happened already. The casino/convention centre proposal wasn't bad for the stretch adjacent to the Dome and CN Tower, and was definitely better than nothing, which is where we are now. We need more entertainment options there.
 

crs1026

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How difficult can it be? One overhead 407-style gantry at South Kingsway, one on the DVP south of Eglinton. There's no need to wire each and every entry/exit lane. Flat rate entry/exit points. Take the Gardiner in and the DVP out the other side, you are tolled twice. Yes, that leaves a couple routes untolled, but few people would actually bother to take them. Not worth the effort or investment to get more complicated than that.

It shouldn't be too difficult to verify what percentage of vehicles already have a 407 transponder. I bet it's greater than 50% already.

I can't imagine any other toll collection medium being required.

- Paul
 

CapitalSeven

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That man really is too stupid to live, let alone govern. How many years in elected office, and he doesn't realize that things need maintenance.
 

Euphoria

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For whatever it's worth, here's my Quixotic transit plan for the core. I know it's a lousy graphic, but hopefully it conveys the key points that need to be addressed before we can have a complete, fast, and frequent transit network downtown that creates a greater connection to Lake Ontario:

upload_2016-3-15_23-29-20.png


In order to provide more Smart Track stations at greater frequency, it's necessary to have a final GO terminus for the Lakeshore Line other than Union. To make it effective for commuters, it has to connect with the Relief Line. In the same location there should also be a Smart Track station, since it completes a loop in the west from the Relief Line up to Bloor-Danforth. I'd suggest having a large parking garage here as well to get people out of their cars on their way into the core. I've called this the West Transit Hub because a city of Toronto's size warrants having more than one hub.

I've added an ST station at Parliament/Cherry, closer to Parliament than Cherry St., so it's sufficiently far from a Unilever ST station to justify having both stations.

Note the Front Street extension west of Bathurst, which is where the Gardiner tunnel begins. A sizeable portion of the Relief Line is buried in the same tunnel as the expressway (from Bathurst to DVP). The eastbound subway and eastbound expressway branch together under Adelaide. The westbound subway and expressway branch under Richmond. The RL stations are located on the north-south intersecting streets, in between the eastbound and westbound platforms (in between Richmond and Adelaide). At University, there can be a pedestrian exit from the westbound subway platform (under Richmond) to Osgoode Station, and a pedestrian exit from the eastbound platform (under Adelaide) to St. Andrew Station. This provides more than one transfer option from the Yonge-U Line to the Relief Line, but commuters would soon figure out that when they want to travel west transferring from the Y-U Line, it's quicker to get off at Osgoode. When you want to go east, better to get off at St. Andrew. The same kind of transfer scenario would exist at Queen and King Stations.

The Liberty Village ST Station is close to the King Streetcar ROW, but also sufficiently close to Queen that it wouldn't be a stretch for passengers on the Relief Line to transfer from a future station at Queen and Gladstone to ST.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of this plan is that it makes burying the Gardiner possible without worrying about the challenge of keeping the existing elevated Gardiner intact throughout construction. Nor would we risk seepage of lake water through the tunnel at this higher elevation. As mentioned in prior posts, the on-off ramps would simply rise to street level to merge with a lane of traffic, as the surface road traffic flows in the same direction as the expressway.

You get faster, more frequent transit service, a wider network of stations, a revamped Lakeshore Blvd., and reconnection to the lake. Yes, we still have the train tracks into Union, but they're really only an issue east of Yonge. We can build over them. For those who worry about excess traffic coming onto Richmond and Adelaide from a buried Gardiner, most of the cars on the Gardiner come into the core anyway. King, Queen, and Lakeshore could finally reach their potential as grand thoroughfares once we consolidate the traffic elsewhere and introduce wider boulevards, streetcar ROW's, bike lanes, and all manner of street improvements.

Tolls on the underground highway and funds earmarked for the Hybrid Gardiner would go a long way to paying for this bigger plan, which would receive funding from all three levels of government for both its local and regional value. Perhaps not all tunneled lanes would be tolled. Also note that drivers entering from the western Gardiner would have added access to surface roads at Front St.
 

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Steve X

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For whatever it's worth, here's my Quixotic transit plan for the core. I know it's a lousy graphic, but hopefully it conveys the key points that need to be addressed before we can have a complete, fast, and frequent transit network downtown that creates a greater connection to Lake Ontario:

View attachment 70017

In order to provide more Smart Track stations at greater frequency, it's necessary to have a final GO terminus for the Lakeshore Line other than Union. To make it effective for commuters, it has to connect with the Relief Line. In the same location there should also be a Smart Track station, since it completes a loop in the west from the Relief Line up to Bloor-Danforth. I'd suggest having a large parking garage here as well to get people out of their cars on their way into the core. I've called this the West Transit Hub because a city of Toronto's size warrants having more than one hub.

I've added an ST station at Parliament/Cherry, closer to Parliament than Cherry St., so it's sufficiently far from a Unilever ST station to justify having both stations.

Note the Front Street extension west of Bathurst, which is where the Gardiner tunnel begins. A sizeable portion of the Relief Line is buried in the same tunnel as the expressway (from Bathurst to DVP). The eastbound subway and eastbound expressway branch together under Adelaide. The westbound subway and expressway branch under Richmond. The RL stations are located on the north-south intersecting streets, in between the eastbound and westbound platforms (in between Richmond and Adelaide). At University, there can be a pedestrian exit from the westbound subway platform (under Richmond) to Osgoode Station, and a pedestrian exit from the eastbound platform (under Adelaide) to St. Andrew Station. This provides more than one transfer option from the Yonge-U Line to the Relief Line, but commuters would soon figure out that when they want to travel west transferring from the Y-U Line, it's quicker to get off at Osgoode. When you want to go east, better to get off at St. Andrew. The same kind of transfer scenario would exist at Queen and King Stations.

The Liberty Village ST Station is close to the King Streetcar ROW, but also sufficiently close to Queen that it wouldn't be a stretch for passengers on the Relief Line to transfer from a future station at Queen and Gladstone to ST.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of this plan is that it makes burying the Gardiner possible without worrying about the challenge of keeping the existing elevated Gardiner intact throughout construction. Nor would we risk seepage of lake water through the tunnel at this higher elevation. As mentioned in prior posts, the on-off ramps would simply rise to street level to merge with a lane of traffic, as the surface road traffic flows in the same direction as the expressway.

You get faster, more frequent transit service, a wider network of stations, a revamped Lakeshore Blvd., and reconnection to the lake. Yes, we still have the train tracks into Union, but they're really only an issue east of Yonge. We can build over them. For those who worry about excess traffic coming onto Richmond and Adelaide from a buried Gardiner, most of the cars on the Gardiner come into the core anyway. King, Queen, and Lakeshore could finally reach their potential as grand thoroughfares once we consolidate the traffic elsewhere and introduce wider boulevards, streetcar ROW's, bike lanes, and all manner of street improvements.

Tolls on the underground highway and funds earmarked for the Hybrid Gardiner would go a long way to paying for this bigger plan, which would receive funding from all three levels of government for both its local and regional value. Perhaps not all tunneled lanes would be tolled. Also note that drivers entering from the western Gardiner would have added access to surface roads at Front St.

You're plan is fundamentally flawed. By having a 90 degree sharp turn, you are asking for a long queue of traffic backing up to the Humber Bay area. At night, you'll have people driving into a wall at 120km/h. The speed limit of that tunnel would be like 30km/h. You'll have to waste parcels of land to build ramps and level down condos. The worst part is how are you going to build the Gardiner underneath Richmond/Adelaide. You can't use a TBM for 3 lanes of traffic. You'll have to dig out the entire corridor. You might as well build a 50 story parking lot at Bathurst/Lake Shore and have everyone take the relief line instead.

Sorry for the harsh insult but you're Gardiner Expressway is just plain stupid. It's not a transit line, it doesn't work they way you drawn it. The transit lines are fine, they can built like that but with less sharper turns.

HOT lane?
No, the entire highway.
 

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