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TTC: Scarborough Subway Extension (formerly LRT replacement) (City of Toronto, Design Phase)

W. K. Lis

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Wow, streetcars travelling 15kph down suburban streets sound like a dream!
So saith the Toronto Transportation Department (Roads), so it will be done.

so-let-it-be-written-so-let-it-be-done.jpg
From link.
All hail the almighty automobile.
 

superelevation

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I'll never understand this city struggle with "RAPID" transit. LRT isn't the problem, the unwillingness to implement true transit signals and/or grade separation to speed up operation and reliability is baffling. I'll never get it.
LRT is part of the problem, it's a technology that makes sense in completely different contexts from where we are using it in Toronto and mark my words - we will know our mistake when Eglinton opens!
 

ARG1

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I'll never understand this city struggle with "RAPID" transit. LRT isn't the problem, the unwillingness to implement true transit signals and/or grade separation to speed up operation and reliability is baffling. I'll never get it.
LRT is part of the problem. The moment you have a mode that is "flexible", you also have a mode that is "flexible to f*** up". We can build an LRT that is fully grade separated and acts like a metro, but because the mode is capable of running at grade on street without a hitch, you can have idiot politicians come in in the future and ruin what made that line great. In fact the "unwillingness to implement true transit signals and/or grade separation to speed up operation" is a symptom of this very major problem with LRT.

If we compare this with the existing TTC Subway network, what exactly can be done with that to downsize it? Reduce headways? Smaller trains? There really isn't that much room to fundamentally weaken it.
 

duffo

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LRT is part of the problem, it's a technology that makes sense in completely different contexts from where we are using it in Toronto and mark my words - we will know our mistake when Eglinton opens!
I think LRT has been done successfully in Calgary and Edmonton. The eastern leg of the Crosstown is workable at-grade but it should have followed their lead and used actual transit priority (that is, the light turns red as the LRV approaches the intersection and the gates go down).
 

ARG1

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I think LRT has been done successfully in Calgary and Edmonton. The eastern leg of the Crosstown is workable at-grade but it should have followed their lead and used actual transit priority (that is, the light turns red as the LRV approaches the intersection and the gates go down).
However in both of these cases the LRTs are less "LRTs" and more S-Bahn style services, and are designed in a manner that is quite uncomparable to Eglinton.

They are almost always built in former railway ROWs where they don't have to deal with much traffic, and where they are in road medians, its usually some form of wide expressway, rather than a regular street, and either way they both have or are going to have sections that are in the median without the gates. In Calgary, the downtown transit mall is like this (no gates, and very minimal TSP), and in Edmonton the extension of the Metro Line towards St. Alberts will run in the median where it will stop at intersections and get stuck behind red lights, no barriers in sight (although at least some stations will be grade separated). This is without mentioning the Calgary Green and Edmonton Valley Lines which will be low floor, and again not have many of these things.

The fundamental issue at play is that the main force backing LRTs are the urbanist/urban planning types that have a much greater interest in replicating this idealist vision of "complete streets" where there is plenty of space to shop, walk, bike, and access to transportation is quick and easy (no need to go into a massive station, just cross the street and you're at the platform). However, as I've mentioned plenty of times before, these idealistic visions of transit are generally mutually exclusive with features and functionalities that will make that transit fast and useful. Stuff like crossing barriers are a no go because they create a ton of noise pollution, and barriers around the tracks make the scene far less attractive. Edmonton was recently also bit by these "urbanist ideals" and this resulted in horrendous planning decisions like this curved at grade crossing that has caused a ton of collisions and traffic congestion, all because "elevated structures are unsightly". At least they put in crossing barriers:
1635478754497.png
 

Steve X

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LRT is part of the problem, it's a technology that makes sense in completely different contexts from where we are using it in Toronto and mark my words - we will know our mistake when Eglinton opens!
Transit City was really designed to be Streetcar+ or the term we really don't like, glorified streetcars. ML tried to make it more rapid transit like by grade separating Black Creek and now Eg West extension. It was never designed for a supplement to Line 2. The tunnel centre section was only there cause the street isn't wide enough while being the busiest section of the line. With this design mentality, the tunnel ended at Brantcliffe instead of Don Mills.

Is it really a mistake?
To most of the readers on this board: Yes cause most all love rapid transit and loves more deep tunneled subways or elevated structures.
To the city urban planners: Absolutely NOT! Surface LRT fulfills cheaper, easy to access, local transit that can encourage mid-rise development.
To transit users: Depends on how you use it. Those lookign for a subway alternative won't like it being slower but local Eglinton East riders would find it more convenient than widely spaced deep subway stations.
To Doug Ford: I think we all know the answer!

I think ML should really fire TTC as the operator once they realize they can't manage any lines properly.
 

TO Steve

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I haven't been following this discussion that closely so I apologize if this has already been said, but I think the overall idea of the crosstown is good, but I do believe there were bad decisions that could become quite impactful. I recall the initial designs placing the track to the south of Eglinton from Brentcliffe to Don Mills, which would have eliminated a traffic light at Leslie. Perhaps there were concerns that I'm not aware of, but I never understood why they moved it to the centre of the street for that section. The section from west of Victoria Park to (at least) east of Warden, to me, is going to be problematic. I don't see a major issue with at grade sections that have to wait for traffic lights, when you consider the significant cost savings. But with the number of traffic lights in this section, it's going to be a problem. I don't see a way trains cross this section anywhere close to the same rate trains cross the tunneled section. I suspect trains are going to cross the tunneled section much slower than they would have otherwise been able to. The section from west of Victoria Park to east of Warden should have been tunneled.
 

ARG1

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Transit City was really designed to be Streetcar+ or the term we really don't like, glorified streetcars. ML tried to make it more rapid transit like by grade separating Black Creek and now Eg West extension. It was never designed for a supplement to Line 2. The tunnel centre section was only there cause the street isn't wide enough while being the busiest section of the line. With this design mentality, the tunnel ended at Brantcliffe instead of Don Mills.

Is it really a mistake?
To most of the readers on this board: Yes cause most all love rapid transit and loves more deep tunneled subways or elevated structures.
Most people here are avid transit users who care more about transit they can use and ride on rather than "ooh shiny impressive trains". Compared to many other places on the internet, this is arguably the least foamery transit forum I have seen. Most people want to have a serious discussion on what works, instead of "elevated because elevated is cool".
To the city urban planners: Absolutely NOT! Surface LRT fulfills cheaper, easy to access, local transit that can encourage mid-rise development.
Because North American Urban Planners DEFINITELY do not have a long and storied history of making boneheaded decisions based off some idealistic goal that happens to be popular at that point in time, and developing severe Myopia when it comes to decision making...
To transit users: Depends on how you use it. Those lookign for a subway alternative won't like it being slower but local Eglinton East riders would find it more convenient than widely spaced deep subway stations.
Debatable. If it was fully grade separated, they could run the trains at significantly higher frequencies, which means while getting to the platform takes longer, on average they will have to wait for the next train for a lot less time whilst on the platform, and the actual travel time that is gained by not being on street would also significantly help offset the time (also if they only need to travel a few blocks, that's what parallel bus service is for).

Finally its important to look at Eglinton as whole. The line will be absolutely massive once fully built out, connecting to several GO, subway, and other rapid transit services (Line 1, 2, Kitchener, Barrie, Stouffville, LSE, SDBRT, Mississauga Transitway, and potentially much more), goes through all 6 of the former boroughs, the biggest airport in the region, a massive university campus, all while being on a corridor with massive development potential. All of this screams "Perfect for a Line 2 supplement".
To Doug Ford: I think we all know the answer!

I think ML should really fire TTC as the operator once they realize they can't manage any lines properly.
This line is as much of a ML problem as it is a TTC problem, if not moreso. Boneheaded decisions like putting the line in the median of Eglinton east of Brentcliffe was 90% on Metrolinx, and a lot of aspects of the line such as surface stop design were butchered and neutered once Metrolinx got a hold of the project.
 

sche

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Yesterday at Sheppard and McCowan, taken from a bus:
some heavy equipment there including an excavator and what looks like a temp construction office.
looks like some major excavation is starting (TBM launch shaft presumably)


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Steve X

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Debatable. If it was fully grade separated, they could run the trains at significantly higher frequencies, which means while getting to the platform takes longer, on average they will have to wait for the next train for a lot less time whilst on the platform, and the actual travel time that is gained by not being on street would also significantly help offset the time (also if they only need to travel a few blocks, that's what parallel bus service is for).

Finally its important to look at Eglinton as whole. The line will be absolutely massive once fully built out, connecting to several GO, subway, and other rapid transit services (Line 1, 2, Kitchener, Barrie, Stouffville, LSE, SDBRT, Mississauga Transitway, and potentially much more), goes through all 6 of the former boroughs, the biggest airport in the region, a massive university campus, all while being on a corridor with massive development potential. All of this screams "Perfect for a Line 2 supplement".

This line is as much of a ML problem as it is a TTC problem, if not moreso. Boneheaded decisions like putting the line in the median of Eglinton east of Brentcliffe was 90% on Metrolinx, and a lot of aspects of the line such as surface stop design were butchered and neutered once Metrolinx got a hold of the project.
I don't really believe in parallel bus services. They often get stuck in traffic and show up whenever they want. Sheppard parallel bus has good service only cause it's short. This 34 is going to be a mess with over half an hour gaps. What they built in Finch is good for that area.

I agree that Eglinton has now become a hybrid mess. West of Yonge is decent rapid transit while the east end would be glorified streetcar. Personally I think they surface section wouldn't be that bad except the VP/O'Connor/Pharmacy section that should been grade separated. Same as the Weston/400/Jane section on Finch. Those would be major traffic delays.
 

DirectionNorth

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I don't really believe in parallel bus services. They often get stuck in traffic and show up whenever they want. Sheppard parallel bus has good service only cause it's short. This 34 is going to be a mess with over half an hour gaps. What they built in Finch is good for that area.

I agree that Eglinton has now become a hybrid mess. West of Yonge is decent rapid transit while the east end would be glorified streetcar. Personally I think they surface section wouldn't be that bad except the VP/O'Connor/Pharmacy section that should been grade separated. Same as the Weston/400/Jane section on Finch. Those would be major traffic delays.
The problem with no bus service is mainly for local users; people who ride from, say, Kennedy to Warden might find a bus faster than walking to a station further away, then walking to the destination from a further station.

If you have 95% of the line grade separated, might as well do the rest and get a light metro or something.
 

afransen

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To most of the readers on this board: Yes cause most all love rapid transit and loves more deep tunneled subways or elevated structures.
To the city urban planners: Absolutely NOT! Surface LRT fulfills cheaper, easy to access, local transit that can encourage mid-rise development.
To transit users: Depends on how you use it. Those lookign for a subway alternative won't like it being slower but local Eglinton East riders would find it more convenient than widely spaced deep subway stations.
To Doug Ford: I think we all know the answer!
You would have a point if the thing was cheap. Instead, it is mind-bogglingly expensive for a glorified streetcar. For what we spent, we could have spent or perhaps slightly more, we could have got real rapid transit instead of what will inevitably be a problem and delay prone streetcar line.
 

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