News   Apr 19, 2024
 1.3K     0 
News   Apr 19, 2024
 759     2 
News   Apr 19, 2024
 1.2K     3 

Transit City: Sheppard East Debate

It has to do with urban innercity core vs. suburban sprawl as well. Neighbourhoods like Queen Street did not emerge overnight, but through decades of trial and error moderated growth which proved sustainable over time. There's kilometre long stretches of the Queen car that look pretty dismal, then there's Queen West BIA. To say that the streetcar/LRT alone was a determining factor to Queen's success and rather not the City's implemented zoning by-laws and the type of residents that set up shop there is a false analogy. Eglinton West/Way BIAs with no streetcar can easily be mistaken for Queen Streets in their own right.
 
If Queen's doing so well with the streetcar, why are some DRL proponents pushing for a Queen subway? How would that help business? This line of argument is without merit.

And it's not like 2 billion worth of LRT's benefits everybody either. Residents along Sheppard in Scarborough will get something. But if you live along Finch, Steeles, or Ellesmere (all just as busy or more busy than Sheppard), the planners of Transit City just told you to screw yourself. A short subway extension would have attracted new ridership by getting people out of their cars on all these corridors. Buses would have been diverted to meet a subway. Which rider from those corridors is going to go out of their way to take the Sheppard LRT?

The Morningside LRT is even worse. Ridership will be entirely restricted to less than the current ridership of the Morninside bus (since a good chunk comes from Malvern where the LRT is not going now).

So tell me how this $2 billion helps more riders than a subway extension?

Rail bias maybe real but it's not going to get people to go 2-3 km out of their way at their origin and at their destination to catch a LRT.
 
If Queen's doing so well with the streetcar, why are some DRL proponents pushing for a Queen subway? How would that help business? This line of argument is without merit.

Oh, well if "some DRL proponents" are saying something, I guess it's true. I assure you, the DRL is not being proposed for the purposes of businesses on Queen Street, it is being done to relieve rush hour congestion on the subway network.

And it's not like 2 billion worth of LRT's benefits everybody either. Residents along Sheppard in Scarborough will get something. But if you live along Finch, Steeles, or Ellesmere (all just as busy or more busy than Sheppard), the planners of Transit City just told you to screw yourself. A short subway extension would have attracted new ridership by getting people out of their cars on all these corridors. Buses would have been diverted to meet a subway. Which rider from those corridors is going to go out of their way to take the Sheppard LRT?

The Morningside LRT is even worse. Ridership will be entirely restricted to less than the current ridership of the Morninside bus (since a good chunk comes from Malvern where the LRT is not going now).

So tell me how this $2 billion helps more riders than a subway extension?

Rail bias maybe real but it's not going to get people to go 2-3 km out of their way at their origin and at their destination to catch a LRT.

All very good points, although I don't know why you think buses like Finch East, Steeles, or Ellesmere will be diverted to reach the subway on Sheppard? I can't imagine that happening, and there's no logical reason they would.
 
Oh, well if "some DRL proponents" are saying something, I guess it's true. I assure you, the DRL is not being proposed for the purposes of businesses on Queen Street, it is being done to relieve rush hour congestion on the subway network.

You missed my point. If streetcars are supposed to be soooo good for business and LRTs even better, why are people pushing for a subway on Queen? Wouldn't such an outcome severely harm business on Queen Street? If that's true then surely such proponents are severely misguided, don't you think?


All very good points, although I don't know why you think buses like Finch East, Steeles, or Ellesmere will be diverted to reach the subway on Sheppard? I can't imagine that happening, and there's no logical reason they would.

Why not? You have this one today:

http://www3.ttc.ca/Routes/139/Eastbound.jsp

How much more popular would this service be if riders were that much closer to the subway to begin with? Instead, from northern Malvern today they are probably taking a bus for at least 30 minutes just to get to STC or they ride the Finch bus for 45 mins to Finch Station or 45 mins to Kennedy station on the Morningside bus. The SRT extension will help. But for most of these riders from Malvern (save the Sheppard bus patrons), Transit City does absolutely nothing for them.
 
Last edited:
You missed my point. If streetcars are supposed to be soooo good for business and LRTs even better, why are people pushing for a subway on Queen? Wouldn't such an outcome severely harm business on Queen Street? If that's true then surely such proponents are severely misguided, don't you think?

The logic you are using here is very poor. Just because a proposal exists, does not mean it is good for business.

I'd say that losing the streetcar should definately be a concern for businesses. Personally, I'd prefer to see the DRL run on a different route.

Yonge street businesses suffered immensely following the end of streetcar service on Yonge. For many years through the 1960s and 1970s, it was considered one of the biggest slums in the city. Most businesses became sex shops, peep-shows, and the people who hung out in the area had a generally bad reputation. Like Times Square in New York, the glamour and safety of today's Yonge street is a very recent development.

Some theorize that the loss of eyes on the street were to blame. Instead of businesspeople watching Yonge Street on their way to work, they were now looking at a dark underground tunnel, leaving the businesses on the surface to lose visibility, and fewer witnesses to any crimes. Of course there were other non-transit related factors to the decline of Yonge Street too.

Does that mean that anybody who proposed the Yonge subway was wrong or bad? No. I think Yonge Subway is a very important part of our city. It just shows that replacing a streetcar with a subway is not exactly good for nearby businesses.




Why not? You have this one today:

http://www3.ttc.ca/Routes/139/Eastbound.jsp

How much more popular would this service be if riders were that much closer to the subway to begin with? Instead, from northern Malvern today they are probably taking a bus for at least 30 minutes just to get to STC.

How would you change this route in the case of a Sheppard extension? Would you rather that 139 Finch-Don Mills should connect at Agincourt Station rather than Don Mills Station, and only serve the far east stretch of Finch? I'm not convinced that that would be much better than the current 139... it would serve fewer people.
 
The logic you are using here is very poor. Just because a proposal exists, does not mean it is good for business.

I'd say that losing the streetcar should definately be a concern for businesses. Personally, I'd prefer to see the DRL run on a different route.

Yonge street businesses suffered immensely following the end of streetcar service on Yonge. For many years through the 1960s and 1970s, it was considered one of the biggest slums in the city. Most businesses became sex shops, peep-shows, and the people who hung out in the area had a generally bad reputation. Like Times Square in New York, the glamour and safety of today's Yonge street is a very recent development.

Some theorize that the loss of eyes on the street were to blame. Instead of businesspeople watching Yonge Street on their way to work, they were now looking at a dark underground tunnel, leaving the businesses on the surface to lose visibility, and fewer witnesses to any crimes. Of course there were other non-transit related factors to the decline of Yonge Street too.

Does that mean that anybody who proposed the Yonge subway was wrong or bad? No. I think Yonge Subway is a very important part of our city. It just shows that replacing a streetcar with a subway is not exactly good for nearby businesses.

I still think it's quite a stretch to say that Sheppard will vastly improve because there's a tram on it and eyes on the businesses. The same people taking this tram are already seeing these businesses everyday while riding the 85. So how will LRT improve anything? We could debate that a subway would make it worse (and even that's doubtful in the context of Sheppard), but you definitely can't argue using the "eyes on" argument that LRT would have a more substantial impact than a bus. In fact, given the reduction in the number of stops, I'd question the argument that LRT has more "eyes on" than what's there today.

As for subways ruining the street, Sheppard is not Queen West or Yonge. The Sheppard subway certainly did not have a detrimental impact on Sheppard from Yonge to Don Mills.

How would you change this route in the case of a Sheppard extension? Would you rather that 139 Finch-Don Mills should connect at Agincourt Station rather than Don Mills Station, and only serve the far east stretch of Finch? I'm not convinced that that would be much better than the current 139... it would serve fewer people.

I would argue that ridership would improve and make the route more viable if the route was shorter. People taking this route are mostly north-eastern Scarborough riders who want to access the Sheppard subway, usually heading to a mid-town destination. Right now, it's still not any better of an alternative than heading to STC and going up Yonge for any mid-town destination. Bring the subway closer and it becomes far more attractive.

Riders between Don Mills and Kennedy who miss out on 139 service will always have the option of taking a north-south route right to the subway line. Previously their alternative to the 139, was to head south and transfer to the 85 and then transfer at Don Mills. With a subway extension, they just head south and transfer directly to the subway.
 
Except for LRT's capacity, reliability (buses get stuck in traffic),ride quality (rails are smoother), streetscape improvements (even if we ignore bike lanes and beautification, a street with a streetcar median is much easier to jaywalk across), station infrastructure (shelters with next vehicle displays), and noise levels (a diesel engine is louder than an electric one). Oh, and buses tear up pavement and cause potholes like nothing else on the street.

Bussess can and are run in their own ROW, i.e. no traffic issues

A landscaped median is just as easier to jaywalk across, and should we actually be encouraging jaywalking? We've seen what a human-streetcar collision causes

VIVA (glorified) BRT stops have station arrival times and, shock! they have the arrival times for normal busses not just the VIVA buses not to mention that some stops are served by 3 separate transit agencies.

Shelters are simply capital expenditures, if the transit agency is willing to build them. LRT or BRT is not a defining factor

Some would argure that streetcars/LRT are as loud or louder than a bus, plus the visual clutter of overhead wires
 
I still think it's quite a stretch to say that Sheppard will vastly improve because there's a tram on it and eyes on the businesses. The same people taking this tram are already seeing these businesses everyday while riding the 85. So how will LRT improve anything? We could debate that a subway would make it worse (and even that's doubtful in the context of Sheppard), but you definitely can't argue using the "eyes on" argument that LRT would have a more substantial impact than a bus. In fact, given the reduction in the number of stops, I'd question the argument that LRT has more "eyes on" than what's there today.

As for subways ruining the street, Sheppard is not Queen West or Yonge. The Sheppard subway certainly did not have a detrimental impact on Sheppard from Yonge to Don Mills.

Agreed. I don't expect LRT or subway to be that much different in the case of transforming Sheppard for better or worse. I was just disputing the rubbish LAz was spewing.

I would argue that ridership would improve and make the route more viable if the route was shorter. People taking this route are mostly north-eastern Scarborough riders who want to access the Sheppard subway, usually heading to a mid-town destination. Right now, it's still not any better of an alternative than heading to STC and going up Yonge for any mid-town destination. Bring the subway closer and it becomes far more attractive.

Riders between Don Mills and Kennedy who miss out on 139 service will always have the option of taking a north-south route right to the subway line. Previously their alternative to the 139, was to head south and transfer to the 85 and then transfer at Don Mills. With a subway extension, they just head south and transfer directly to the subway.

You might be right, I don't know enough about the travel patterns here to say.
 
Agreed. I don't expect LRT or subway to be that much different in the case of transforming Sheppard for better or worse. I was just disputing the rubbish LAz was spewing.

Given the experience of Sheppard with the current subway, LAz is not necessarily wrong. Subway has been proven to do a lot for this corridor. There is no guarantee and certainly no logic that would dictate that LRT would accomplish as much. And I think LAz was just trying to respond to drum's assertion that LRT would vastly improve the streetscape and business on corridors they are deployed in. I think a healthy scepticism is callled for with such claims.

You might be right, I don't know enough about the travel patterns here to say.

And now you understand why some of us are pushing for subway extensions. I am not one of those subway at all costs kind of people. I am even ambivalent on an SRT extension. I just find it galling that all this money is being spent to specifically benefit so few people: the people live within about 500-600m of Sheppard. Had the Transit City planners been a little more balanced and measured in their plans, I probably would have accepted some of the flaws with their plans.

Is a short subway extension that bad? Heck, even if they had gone just to VP and started the LRT from there, it would have done a lot. They are using the congestion at Don Mills as an excuse to take the LRT all the way there and completely rule out any extension, when really the congestion is caused by poorly designed bus access routes into the station and the fact that it's just a terrible place for a terminus. If this isn't railroading (pun not intended) then what is?
 
Is a short subway extension that bad? Heck, even if they had gone just to VP and started the LRT from there, it would have done a lot.
I actually agree with you on this. In my mind the significant traffic at VP would have been worth the extra 750 metres of subway (given they aleady need to tunnel to near Consumers Drive) and an extra underground station; and then build the interchange station at Victoria Park. If Metrolinx still wanted connectivity to Finch West, then they could bring LRT down Finch East to VP ... which would then also serve Senca college properly (though I still think that idea is a bit overcooked).

I think a concerted campaign to alter something like this, rather than the attempts to completely get rid of Transit City, would be a lot more fruitful.
 
When you extent it to Victoria Park, then it's not at all far to take it to Kennedy. While you're at it, why not go the extra mile as the saying goes?
 
When you extent it to Victoria Park, then it's not at all far to take it to Kennedy. While you're at it, why not go the extra mile as the saying goes?

Well that's what we're pushing for. But the original EA actually went to Vic Park. It wouldn't take much to dust it off and begin construction.
 
When you extent it to Victoria Park, then it's not at all far to take it to Kennedy.
It is though ... you'd need an extra 750 metres of tunnel beyond the portal to get to Victoria Park; it's about 3 km further to Kennedy ... 4 times the distance. So instead of an extra $200-million your looking for $1-billion - give or take.

While you're at it, why not go the extra mile as the saying goes?
Closer to an extra two miles!

If you look at the RTES study (which does seem to overestimate a bit, but proportionally is likely correct), the demand to Victoria Park was much higher than to Kenendy.
 
As long as you don't build massive subway stations, the costs shouldn't be as high as 1 billion, and cut and cover should work for that stretch.
 
As long as you don't build massive subway stations, the costs shouldn't be as high as 1 billion
What? Inflation has caused costs to almost double since the Sheppard subway was built (compared to starting it now). It's pretty simple math ...

Though I'd think cut-and-cover would be more expensive ... and the disruption would be huge. As for the stations ... I'd hardly call any of them massive. Have you been to Montreal?
 

Back
Top