Toronto, Ontario is about to transform the TTC into an oasis-like trip, as you travel though the city. A new expanded and integrated transit system call “Transit City” will see new rapid transit lines to every corner of the city. No longer will there be the packed buses zooming by, leaving you standing waiting for who knows how long.
This all sounds wonderful and would be an awesome except for one thing, it’s a mirage! The diagrams show wide streets, a fast-moving LRT with stations (glorified stops). I’m sure there are studies and mapped out routes; in my sheltered world of reasoning, it doesn’t make sense. Surface routes are not faster. Variables such as weather, traffic, pedestrians and construction are potential factors that cause delays. If dedicated center lanes are allocated, where is the “space”? Two lanes in each direction will be reduced to one lane.
What will happen to intersecting cross streets between stops? Currently drivers can drive straight across or turn from either direction. Would they be cut off, causing drivers to divert away from their usual route, adding to even more traffic? What about crossing tracks; where will they be? Will there be fines for not crossing at the correct spot? I see the LRT can run under the street as well; why not run the line underground? That would be common sense.
Now we could compare the LRT to Subways. Which one in the long run pays off? Let’s see which hauls more people in less time, does not have a negative long-term impact and creates more jobs.
The subway makes more sense to me in this way. You have major construction that will disrupt the area and the businesses around, only one time. You will get people moving quickly and safely regardless of traffic or the weather. The LRT has continued effects just as a route, not to mention the traffic congestion if it remains on the surface. My main concern is, what happens if this system doesn’t support the needs of the public (lack of saved travel time and volume on LRT) or turns out to be a congested traffic nightmare? Do they then put the communities through another construction project and build subways? The cost will have ballooned by who knows how much, not to mention the commuters affected by the upheaval. Where would the money come from then?
Between their spite and increasingly short-sighted decisions, the over zealous council members will screw the very people of Toronto, who they’re suppose to serve. Before they act on “Transit City”, I hope that the vision-deprived people at city hall give their heads a shake. The facts and figures are not always correct; sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees. The people voted for, and elected Mayor Ford based on his vision for Toronto. Whether you like him or not does not matter, he has tried to do as he said he would; subways were apart of that election. Yes city council has voted for the LRT, but before them, the people voted. The type of transit is a big issue that will define Toronto from this point on.
My personal opinion:
The lack of respect from some council members towards the Mayor is obvious. I’ll admit Rob Ford comes off kind of crass at times; he needs to be more calculated. A shorter leash on his brother couldn’t hurt either, but at least Mayor Ford is not disconnected from Torontonians and their needs in the future. To me he speaks common sense; not the “blow smoke up your you-know-what”; that runs wild throughout the political profession.
The council vote was not a landslide. I think if you took into consideration and removed the members who voted with an element of spite against Ford (this is hypothetical and could not be substantiated), the subway that people voted for and want would be going forward. The correct thing to do is to hold a public vote, so tax payers can have their voices heard again. If a separate vote is impossible, defer “Transit City” until the next election and place it on the ballot. The people can decide, not 24 council members who lack vision of the population growth and demands on the city in the future. (See how disconnected they are? Click this link. If you take her seriously, well I guess for you I’m a clueless rambling idiot)
Many things look good on the surface. As Forest Gump would say, “Mama always said, don’t judge a book by it’s cover, it’s what’s inside that counts”.
We’re in this life together; I hope I’m wrong about this book.
- Rob Ford vs. David Miller. Left vs. right. Subways vs. Island Bridge. The Facts. (urbandaddy.wordpress.com)