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Roads: Six Points Interchange Reconfiguration (City of Toronto, UC)

W. K. Lis

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I can't be the only one perplexed that it took 15 years to reconfigure an intersection?
See PDF link.

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The intersection from above in 1959, a year before construction started on the interchange,
In the 1950s as suburban development mushroomed in the area, and in Mississauga further to the west, traffic built as more and more people poured along Toronto's gridded arterial roads—Kipling and Bloor—plus along Dundas, a wandering former trail that has always bucked Toronto's gridded order but which slips neatly into Mississauga's grid where it vaults over the Etobicoke Creek. With the three main streets crossing each other at virtually the same spot, and with further increases foreseen with the opening of Islington subway station—drawing many people to its commuter parking lots, kiss'n'ride, and multi-bay bus terminal—an interchange was built, starting in 1960, to handle the expected traffic.
If all you wanted for the area was smooth traffic flow, the interchange worked. Cars got through the area more quickly, and traffic accidents decreased. In 1980, however, the subway was extended to Kipling, plans to move Mississauga buses to Kipling were also considered, and plans to improve the land between the two stations began to slowly percolate. Many notions were considered over time, including using much of the area for a subway yard, but that was rejected as Toronto got more serious about a new downtown for Etobicoke without an interchange carving up the land
Years worth of planning finally began to be realized when construction started in the summer of 2017, preparing the land for new roads. ...
See link.
 

allengeorge

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I will say that I’m not a fan of how NotJustBikes made the point, but, those roads are overly wide (they could stand to lose the left-turn lanes, for example) and will do little - in my opinion - to create a lively, walkable neighborhood.
 

W. K. Lis

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Will metered street parking be allowed on the side streets? Jerry Howarth Drive, Adobigok (“where the alders grow”) Pathway, and Biindagen (“enter” or “welcome”) Trail.

Will metered street parking come later for Dundas Street West, Bloor Street West, and Kipling Avenue? (Unlikely.)
 

crs1026

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I will say that I’m not a fan of how NotJustBikes made the point, but, those roads are overly wide (they could stand to lose the left-turn lanes, for example) and will do little - in my opinion - to create a lively, walkable neighborhood.

That’s the somewhat paradoxical challenge of this location…. how do you funnel the three most important arterial roads in the west end of the city into one location, and then not make some accommodations and compromises to facilitate vehicular flow.…. while seeking to make the location free from vehicular impacts.

If there were no ability to make left turns at the junction of these three routes, too many trips would have to be rerouted, and some very disfunctional backstreet routes would emerge. This intersection should enable changes in future transportation patterns, but one can’t force those changes by only changing this one intersection.

I’m just thankful that the cloverleaf is gone. Small steps.

- Paul
 

allengeorge

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That’s the somewhat paradoxical challenge of this location…. how do you funnel the three most important arterial roads in the west end of the city into one location, and then not make some accommodations and compromises to facilitate vehicular flow.…. while seeking to make the location free from vehicular impacts.
Then we should be honest that there is not going to be a livable, walkable neighborhood there. It’s disingenuous to pretend otherwise.
 

EnviroTO

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Then we should be honest that there is not going to be a livable, walkable neighborhood there. It’s disingenuous to pretend otherwise.
True. There was a link to the busiest intersections in Toronto in another thread recently and that map showed that outside old Toronto there are almost no intersections where the number of vehicles don't vastly outnumber the number of pedestrians. The data was a bit old, and it would be nice to see an update, but at that time the heart of North York even with all its development, was not a place with a significant number of pedestrians crossing the street in comparison to the volume of cars. I have a hard time believing that Six Points will be become a pedestrian draw to the extent of North York so clearly pretending this is a new pedestrians paradise is a bit of a joke.
 

crs1026

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^I don’t have a problem with the aspiration…. better to start with optimism than with an expectation of failure. The things that have been done at Six Points are desirable and constructive. The reality is that a lot of transformation is iterative. People who envision some brave new world and expect it to just fall into place at one go are only deceiving themselves.

But yeah, it’s important not to wax poetic or declare victory about things that objectively are only slow progress. I feel the same way when agencies declare a new “Transit Hub” that turns out to be nothing more than two new bus shelters.

- Paul
 
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MisterF

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True. There was a link to the busiest intersections in Toronto in another thread recently and that map showed that outside old Toronto there are almost no intersections where the number of vehicles don't vastly outnumber the number of pedestrians. The data was a bit old, and it would be nice to see an update, but at that time the heart of North York even with all its development, was not a place with a significant number of pedestrians crossing the street in comparison to the volume of cars. I have a hard time believing that Six Points will be become a pedestrian draw to the extent of North York so clearly pretending this is a new pedestrians paradise is a bit of a joke.
Even a very busy major road can be made pleasant and safe to walk and bike on. North York Centre does get substantial pedestrian traffic, and cycling will no doubt increase substantially when Yonge and Sheppard are both rebuilt. Six Points could have had narrower lanes, which would have given us a narrower, more humane street without losing any lanes.

The thing that isn't appreciated enough about traffic is that how we design streets affects how people get around. And car traffic tends to fill up the amount of space available. If we add lanes people drive more. If we take lanes away people drive less. If we redesign a major road to be less hostile to walking and biking then more people will walk and bike. And then you don't need as much space for cars.

While Six Points was a bit of a missed opportunity, the redesign of streets like Sheppard makes me optimistic. Big suburban arterials don't have to be dangerous traffic sewers.
 

crs1026

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The thing that isn't appreciated enough about traffic is that how we design streets affects how people get around. And car traffic tends to fill up the amount of space available. If we add lanes people drive more. If we take lanes away people drive less. If we redesign a major road to be less hostile to walking and biking then more people will walk and bike. And then you don't need as much space for cars.

This is true, but one has to take a “network” view. Designing Six Points restrictively would not by itself change the transit habits of people in Etobicoke when the broader network of roads is still what it is. It would simply introduce a choke point that frustrates motorists (making them more aggressive, not less). You won’t induce people in Richmond Gardens to take the bus to Sherway Gardens by designing Six Points differently….you will simply persuade them to take Rathburn to the West Mall…in the process, putting more cars on smaller local streets.

I’m surprised that no one really pushed for bus lanes or transit priority through this intersection. The focus seems to assume that if we structure Six Points correctly, people will live there, and never venture beyond the range of destinations that one can reach on foot or on bicycle, or Line 2. That makes the roads less busy, but at the price of a huge loss of overall mobility.

A restrictive approach to road design might be viable once there is much more higher order transit through Etobicoke, and a different approach to bus service, or maybe smaller AV shuttles and the like. But Six Points 2.0 needs to work well enough to bridge us to Six Points 3.0. We aren’t at the tipping point, yet.

- Paul
 

MisterF

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This is true, but one has to take a “network” view. Designing Six Points restrictively would not by itself change the transit habits of people in Etobicoke when the broader network of roads is still what it is. It would simply introduce a choke point that frustrates motorists (making them more aggressive, not less). You won’t induce people in Richmond Gardens to take the bus to Sherway Gardens by designing Six Points differently….you will simply persuade them to take Rathburn to the West Mall…in the process, putting more cars on smaller local streets.

I’m surprised that no one really pushed for bus lanes or transit priority through this intersection. The focus seems to assume that if we structure Six Points correctly, people will live there, and never venture beyond the range of destinations that one can reach on foot or on bicycle, or Line 2. That makes the roads less busy, but at the price of a huge loss of overall mobility.

A restrictive approach to road design might be viable once there is much more higher order transit through Etobicoke, and a different approach to bus service, or maybe smaller AV shuttles and the like. But Six Points 2.0 needs to work well enough to bridge us to Six Points 3.0. We aren’t at the tipping point, yet.

- Paul
Which is why streets need to be redesigned as a network. But they obviously can't all be done at once. Most urban car trips are shorter than your hypothetical commute from Richmond Gardens to Sherway. Those shorter trips can have a big dent put in them by a solid cycling network, which fees up road space for longer trips.

The thing is, what you call a restrictive approach really doesn't restrict much at all. Narrowing lanes from 3:5 m to 3 m and building protected intersections doesn't restrict car traffic. It might slow drivers down a bit when conditions are free flowing, which is a good thing.
 

sche

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Then we should be honest that there is not going to be a livable, walkable neighborhood there. It’s disingenuous to pretend otherwise.
Yes! This has to be the biggest failure of this project. Being next to a traffic sewer is just not pleasant - noisy, polluted, dangerous. No matter how nice North York Centre may be, King Street is just better, and the centers of Copenhagen or Amsterdam are even better. Attempting to build a liveable neighbourhood encircled and divided by three giant traffic sewers is just a bad idea, even if it's a great location transportation wise.

A better solution would have been to just put Etobicoke Centre south of the rail corridor where there is only 1 traffic sewer, or maybe extend the subway and build a new GO station somewhere further west like West Mall.

Probably to actually build a nice place at Six Points, at least one of the arterials needs to go in a cut and cover tunnel.
 

W. K. Lis

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Yes! This has to be the biggest failure of this project. Being next to a traffic sewer is just not pleasant - noisy, polluted, dangerous. No matter how nice North York Centre may be, King Street is just better, and the centers of Copenhagen or Amsterdam are even better. Attempting to build a liveable neighbourhood encircled and divided by three giant traffic sewers is just a bad idea, even if it's a great location transportation wise.

A better solution would have been to just put Etobicoke Centre south of the rail corridor where there is only 1 traffic sewer, or maybe extend the subway and build a new GO station somewhere further west like West Mall.

Probably to actually build a nice place at Six Points, at least one of the arterials needs to go in a cut and cover tunnel.
Irrelevant. Why do people live right next door to the Gardiner Expressway?

Panorama-condos-May-8-2011-IMG_5797.jpg
Panorama-condo-tower-at-Concord-CityPlace-March-29-2011-IMG_4211.jpg
Panorama-Condos-August-17-2011-IMG_3641.jpg
Panorama-condos-May-8-2011-IMG_5789.jpg
From link.
 

sche

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Irrelevant. Why do people live right next door to the Gardiner Expressway?

Panorama-condos-May-8-2011-IMG_5797.jpg
Panorama-condo-tower-at-Concord-CityPlace-March-29-2011-IMG_4211.jpg
Panorama-Condos-August-17-2011-IMG_3641.jpg
Panorama-condos-May-8-2011-IMG_5789.jpg
From link.
Would you rather walk, shop and eat there, or here?

1638478705824.png


What about here?
1638478888972.png


There's a reason there is essentially zero retail or restaurants facing Lake Shore/Gardiner.
 
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