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Rainforest

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None of these projects were contemplating additional lanes so far as I know; they were contemplating repurposing within the existing curb to curb portion of the row.

If anyone knows different, I will duly stand corrected.

* to further clarify, level boarding platforms would still involve widening into the boulevards where they are built.

Then it should be doable, but not sure it will give much speed improvement compared to just running mixed-traffic express buses.

Yonge Street (Finch to Steeles) has curbside bus lanes. Yet the express buses (53E, 60E) and VIVA buses often prefer to run in the mixed traffic lanes, to pass local buses stopped at the curbside.
 

crs1026

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None of these projects were contemplating additional lanes so far as I know; they were contemplating repurposing within the existing curb to curb portion of the row.

This is an overarching destiny issue for the city…… how to find the right balance of uses on a road network that has a finite width. I suspect this means that most of our 4-lane arterials are destined to be 2 lanes for autos and the rest for other uses eg BRT, active transport, etc. This transition seems to me to be unarguable and unstoppable, read ‘em and weep, motorists.

It’s really a question of whether voters will accept a big-bang change (I predict not) or whether this has to be phased in incrementally with less ramming and more sugar coating ( I believe so). I am not a supporter of a wholesale plunge, but I am a lot happier to see a mayoral candidate propose a much more aggressive dip than Tory’s one-toe-at a time milquetoastery.

Having said that, a mayoral candidate needs to show awareness and system building focus on a citywide basis. Penalosa’s agenda certainly seems to be aimed at getting votes from certain parts of the city. I would have been a lot happier if he also showed which of the on-paper previous projects he is also committed to delivering. A new mayor whose primary interest in transit is vote getting is, well, status quo. Transit planning needs to have.a better foundation than that.

- Paul
 

Northern Light

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This is an overarching destiny issue for the city…… how to find the right balance of uses on a road network that has a finite width. I suspect this means that most of our 4-lane arterials are destined to be 2 lanes for autos and the rest for other uses eg BRT, active transport, etc. This transition seems to me to be unarguable and unstoppable, read ‘em and weep, motorists.

It’s really a question of whether voters will accept a big-bang change (I predict not) or whether this has to be phased in incrementally with less ramming and more sugar coating ( I believe so). I am not a supporter of a wholesale plunge, but I am a lot happier to see a mayoral candidate propose a much more aggressive dip than Tory’s one-toe-at a time milquetoastery.

Having said that, a mayoral candidate needs to show awareness and system building focus on a citywide basis. Penalosa’s agenda certainly seems to be aimed at getting votes from certain parts of the city. I would have been a lot happier if he also showed which of the on-paper previous projects he is committed to delivering. A new mayor whose primary interest in transit is vote getting is, well, status quo.

- Paul

I know there will be at least one proposal next year to remove car lanes on 8km of major roads (16 linear km of lane, as this is bidirectional). I think it will be more than that; but can't speak to that just yet.

I think you are correct that this involves a measure of incrementalism at least for now, but I also think it naturally gains speed over time as it actually shifts how people get around.
 
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crs1026

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I think you are correct that this involve a measure of incrementalism at least for now, but I also think it naturally gains speed over time as it actually shifts how people get around.

Yes, I would like to think that a tipping point will come where there is enough built to a new mindset that people get accustomed to it and stop opposing its spread.

But here I sit in Etobicoke, waiting for the much improved redesign of Bloor/Danforth to continue westwards across the Humber…. and hearing the candidates promise that this will never happen….. we’re not there yet LOL

- Paul
 

allengeorge

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As much as I would like wholesale change, I admit that incrementalism is the way to get non-car improvements to happen in Toronto. I appreciate politicians like Gil shifting the Overton window however: it’s time that people understand and acknowledge that with our current and projected population we can’t drive everywhere for everything in Toronto.

Part of insulating this change from politicians is to ensure that road diets, bike lanes and bus lanes are incorporated by default into any new reconstruction and are almost impossible to remove during the planning process. I’m not sure if Toronto is there yet. I think Complete Street principles have to be taken into account, but am unsure how much specificity and depth there is.
 

afransen

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While I agree that more space needs to be given to active transport and transit on downtown streets, I believe that the "complete streets" framework is the wrong approach vs ensuring there are independent networks to provide mobility for all modes.
 

crs1026

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: it’s time that people understand and acknowledge that with our current and projected population we can’t drive everywhere for everything in Toronto.

This is indeed the absolute truth that needs to be front and centre in the planning process. If everyone has a car, the cars just. won’t. fit. Let’s not waste time being in denial about that fact, and let’s not plan in a way that sidesteps that truth.

Some of the advocacy for change is failing because it is either based on grievances or on visions that don’t resonate with voters - I may sympathise with the ideas - but being angry at people won’t encourage them to change their habits.

What works better is pragmatism, and less self interested advocacy, and recognition of truths.

I do believe that transit will have to be made much more effective in this city before people can get behind the switch. BRT lanes will help that, but only if the buses that use them are run reliably and are less crowded.

- Paul
 

ARG1

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This plan strikes me as very similar to Transit City. It's a mode that hasn't been substantially used before (at least in the City of Toronto), run on the corridors that are next in line for rapid transit upgrades. Here's my take on each corridor:
- Eglinton East: I'm mixed on this one. It's already planned for LRT, and if I know anything about the way we do things, a more full version of the current RapidTO program would push LRT back by a decade. $4 billion is a lot of money though ...
As @Northern Light mentioned, and as has been discussed on this board before, the choice of LRT for Eglinton East has always been questionable, and even benefits like throughrunning with Line 5 are now up in the air as the city is looking into making it an isolated line. It is apparently going to be slower than the existing RapidTO implementation, and with the SSE it is questionable whether or not it even needs the capacity. The Eglinton East LRT was planned at a time period where the only other form of rapidtransit was the SLRT which serves a completely separate segment of Scarborough, but with the introduction of the SSE, DSBRT, and most importantly GO RER, Eglinton East has a significantly smaller use case, basically only really being good for funneling riders on Eglinton to Kennedy and LSE, as well as UTSC students to LSE. I doubt that the demand is high enough to necessitate LRT and it's vicious price tag.
- Sheppard East: This will be a Scarborough RT situation, where we will complain about the forced transfer at Don Mills from day one. Better to build this as a full subway extension.
The big difference between BRT and LRT is just how much cheaper BRT is in comparison. It basically comes down to a situation of "it's not ideal, but we can deal with this". While the plan seems to be a bit more in depth than RapidTO, it's still not at a point where a BRT would delay proper rapid transit for that long. As I've often said on this board, BRT could be an excellent way to improve the transit experience along a corridor as a short term stopgap until something better is implemented. This is in contrast to LRT whose high capital costs and design to last 30+ years basically push back any form of higher order transit for decades.
- Finch: Eeeeh, this could be LRT. But that will be when I'm retired (so the 2060s, or something), so we might as well have some bus lanes now.
There's probably merit to have the LRT extended east to Yonge, and then have brt running from there to the east. I don't find Finch West to be that great of a change point (plus for one of the busiest bus corridors in the city, having a linear transfer doesn't exactly smell good), but it's liveable.
- Jane 'n' Dufferin: This is another corridor which arguably should be some form of rail transit. Building *both* Dufferin and Jane as BRT will leave not many options for the Ontario Line to go west (if it can handle the crowds - Queensway I feel is more suited for an extension of Lakeshore West LRT. Different conversation.). However, building one as BRT and the other as LRT/metro is a promising idea.
Ditto for what I said about Sheppard East
 

T3G

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Ya, I believe that SRT replacement service will require 60 buses, which isn't too many, though I have heard Steve Munro say a few times he believes there is a swath of older buses, specifically the original hybrids that are quite unreliable now, and they rarely leave the garage unless absolutely necessary. I imagine there's always around 100 (or 5%) old lemons in the fleet that are near-permanently parked at the garage.
I don't think the original hybrids were ever very reliable! They have been absolute nightmares for the TTC's maintenance forces from the beginning, though I imagine the fact that so many of them have been retired now suggests that they have been able to get rid of the absolute worst performers.
 

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