Shiner slams LRT plan
Sep 22, 2009 - 3:42 PM
Toronto commuters are being shortchanged by plans to criss-cross the city with a network of light rapid transit (LRT) lines, Willowdale Councillor David Shiner says.
"A world-class city, which is what we want Toronto to be, deserves a world-class transit system, not a bunch of toy trains taking over the road," he said at a North York community council meeting Sept. 15.
"I want to send a message we don't want this system."
LRTs physically divide neighbourhoods, are unfair for drivers, force transit users to walk long distances between stops and fail to generate the economic wealth and development that subways do, Shiner said.
He was responding to a letter to council from the Toronto Transit Commission dealing with connecting the new Sheppard LRT with the end of the Sheppard subway line at Don Mills Road.
The correspondence said an environmental assessment looked at two options - a light rail line connecting at and continuing east from Don Mills subway station or an extension of the subway to Consumers Road with an LRT line connecting there and continuing east.
The TTC favours the first option, according to the letter from general secretary Vincent Rodo.
"An LRT connection at Don Mills station would provide the most convenient connection between these two services, allowing customers to walk along a single continuous platform between the subway and LRT without having to change levels, as would be necessary if the subway were extended to Consumers Road," he said.
In addition, connecting at Don Mills station would cost $120 million less, Rodo said.
However, councillors voted to tell the TTC that of the two options, they prefer having the subway extended to Consumers Road.
They will also inform Scarborough community council they support the construction of the Sheppard subway to the Scarborough Town Centre. But the subway doesn't appear to be in the cards.
On May 15, Premier Dalton McGuinty and Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced almost a billion dollars in funding for the 15-kilometre Sheppard LRT line.
The line to Meadowvale Road tops the list for Metrolinx's regional transit improvement plan.
The Sheppard LRT came on the heels of a $7-billion funding announcement from the province in April to build three LRT projects: the construction of a Finch LRT from Humber College to Don Mills Station; a 32-kilometre line running above and below ground along Eglinton Avenue; and the refurbishment of the Scarborough Rapid Transit line.
Although not priorities, there are also other LRT projects contemplated for the future.
But Shiner said the LRT lines should be scrapped.
"I know what is going to happen when these are built in North York. We will have nothing but people complaining," he said.
"It is not a great system. It is a stop-gap system. It is to say we're doing something (to address transit problems) when we're not doing it right. I was always taught if you're going to do something, do it right. It seems no one is listening."
Interesting to note that councillors have informed the TTC that they prefer the subway be extended to Consumers (and further to STC) over having a transfer at Don Mills. Which councillors other than David Shiner, I'm not sure. But he's totally right in this case for sure.
From the Scarborough RT thread lined by Ryan: http://www.insidetoronto.com/news/local/article/151391--shiner-slams-lrt-plan
Unfortunately, it seems like too little too late. Where were they when the plan was being drafted? They seem to be coming out now in support of the subway. I am guessing they've heard a earful from residents who don't want to be restricted to left turns every 400m in their cars. I'd wish people would rise up against these slow moving LRT lines. However, I think its far more likely that it's suburban drivers who will have the most impact on this project.
I can't wait for the digging to start and then the councillors will really have their hands full when residents realize that the traffic restrictions will be there even after the construction period.
you really get the city that you deserve...
Seconded! We can always nit-pick the details, but I agree with the sentiment.I love my city and I think it's one of the best places to live in the world. To add to that I think our mayor is doing a decent job and the city is moving it self in the correct direction in terms of transit, urban development, and the overall.
So... yeah. I guess I deserve the best.
I love my city and I think it's one of the best places to live in the world. To add to that I think our mayor is doing a decent job and the city is moving it self in the correct direction in terms of transit, urban development, and the overall.