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I agree with your point. Canada is a cheap land when it comes to infrastructure. We overspend where it’s not needed by tunneling a line when it could be above ground. However we don’t invest anything in the beauty of the street. These are not avenues but they are traffics sewers. Meant to get people from A to B. Nothing more.

In North American car culture these things aren’t valued.
 
As to the grouting I was seeing for the line, it looks like it's the Dutch Edilon Sedra embedded rail track system that is being used, This uses a Corkelast grout to hold the rails into slots in a concrete track bed (https://youtu.be/KOE5LpQDKRM)

Wondering how this compare to other methods on all levels?

Strange I never noticed this when we were in Amsterdam and Rotterdam last year nor 2012 while I was in Amsterdam.
Grouting is a relatively new method of rail fixation - as far as I can tell, it's really only existed perhaps in the past 30 years or so?

As such, the data on its longevity is still somewhat limited. It seems like a good idea in theory, as the grout is softer than the concrete and so (in concert with the lack of physical rail restraining such as Pandrol Clips) is supposed to both make it easier to replace the rail and help dampen out ground-borne vibration/change the vibration characteristics of the rail.

And it has been used world-wide in that time, so I don't think that we need to be concerned with its immediate performance - if it was problematic half-way through it's projected lifespan, we would have heard about it by now, and they certainly wouldn't be using it on Finch West.

Dan
 
I agree with your point. Canada is a cheap land when it comes to infrastructure. We overspend where it’s not needed by tunneling a line when it could be above ground. However we don’t invest anything in the beauty of the street. These are not avenues but they are traffics sewers. Meant to get people from A to B. Nothing more.

In North American car culture these things aren’t valued.
Even if we did invest in nice things, we hardly maintain them.
 
In North American car culture these things aren’t valued.
I fail to see how it being a car culture is related. Historically it more likely stems from Protestant ideas of minimalism and more functional design, where people don't value aesthetics too much.
 
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If you have travelled to cities in Europe or South America you will recall the beauty of their Avenues and Boulevards. What could be Toronto's Avenues and boulevards are simple traffic conduits. There's nothing beautiful about any of the major streets criss crossing the city Sheppard, Finch, Steeles, Wilson, Lawrence or north-south routes like Keele. Why are there no centre landscaped medians, no curb side plantings or even dare I say roundabouts with art installations, fountains, monuments or sculpture. With all the money spent on re-imagining Finch St W, I see absolutely nothing beautiful in the cold, pragmatic, efficiency of the new traffic conduit. Let some European or Latin American city planners have a go.
Totally agree.

Where is the grass ROW we see in Europe and elsewhere outside of NA? Oh!! can't have grass as the EMS needs to run on that grass ROW. The pilot project plan for the Cherry St ROW for testing grass is a joke.

We do so many things wrong with our street scape, but that's the car planners for you.
 
Totally agree.

Where is the grass ROW we see in Europe and elsewhere outside of NA? Oh!! can't have grass as the EMS needs to run on that grass ROW. The pilot project plan for the Cherry St ROW for testing grass is a joke.

We do so many things wrong with our street scape, but that's the car planners for you.
If dual-direction cycling lanes were used, emergency vehicles would be able to use the cycling lanes to bypass the traffic congestion caused by the single-occupant motorists. Just make sure the curves in the dual-directional cycling lanes could handle the longest fire trucks.

 
I fail to see how it being a car culture is related. Historically it more likely stems from Protestant ideas of minimalism and more functional design, where people don't value aesthetics too much.
I'm not sure I can see this line of argument. Traditionally Protestant countries like England, Germany, or Switzerland typically have a much more attractive public realm than do 99% of places in North America.

I reckon car culture being to blame is it. If people don't have to walk to where they're going, they're not going to be up in arms about the places they're going through being ugly.
 
I'm not sure I can see this line of argument. Traditionally Protestant countries like England, Germany, or Switzerland typically have a much more attractive public realm than do 99% of places in North America.

I reckon car culture being to blame is it. If people don't have to walk to where they're going, they're not going to be up in arms about the places they're going through being ugly.
Except both England and Germany have massive car cultures...
 
Except both England and Germany have massive car cultures...
Not in the way car culture is typically referred to in the North American discourse, though.

Germany may have a rich history of car design and racing, but they also have walkable cities and robust public transit systems. In North America, "car culture" usually refers to sprawling concrete suburbs of no significance, to asocial cagers who think having to drive 10-15 minutes just to access basic services is the peak form of urban design, and any attempts to make corrections to that as being an attack on their personal freedoms.

These kinds of loonies exist in every nation, but there are precious few nations outside of the Anglosphere that actually cater to them in terms of policy.

There's nothing wrong with being interested in cars, or having a legacy of building or racing cars. What's a problem is when we neglect our public transit systems and public realm in service of the car.
 
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Not in the way car culture is typically referred to in the North American discourse, though.

Germany may have a rich history of car design and racing, but they also have walkable cities and robust public transit systems. In North America, "car culture" usually refers to sprawling concrete suburbs of no significance, to asocial cagers who think having to drive 10-15 minutes just to access basic services is the peak form of urban design, and any attempts to make corrections to that as being an attack on their personal freedoms.

These kinds of loonies exist in every nation, but there are precious few nations outside of the Anglosphere that actually cater to them in terms of policy.

There's nothing wrong with being interested in cars, or having a legacy of building or racing cars. What's a problem is when we neglect our public transit systems and public realm in service of the car.
The entire problem I have with this idea is that somehow "car culture" led to this. Do you really think people who sit in cars absolutely detest greenery and want to drive in soulless roadways? I'd frankly wager no.

Below is Carrville Road in Richmond Hill, a wide arterial with a large grassy median spanning the entire length, and let me tell ya, people absolutely love this grassy median. It gives Carrville Road a very distinct look compared the rest of York' arterials, adding a lot of greenery that is often meeting. So if its not Car culture that causes bland streets what does?
1682949631459.png

I think it has less to do with cars and more to do with conservative spending and wanting to be cheap. People in this country don't like paying taxes, and politicians constantly run on keeping taxes low, and by doing so, they need to find ways to cut costs. The best way to cut costs, make sure whatever you build doesn't need to be maintained much. So, there go your grassy medians, your on street flower parts, nice looking street lights, are all crossed off.

In fact, we don't even have to see this. Looking at York Region again, there is a horrible problem where it might take years to get basic road maintenance. The section of Bathurst Street was finally repaved after years of disrepair last fall, prior to which the surface looked like this:
1682950501713.png

Please explain to me what part of "Car Culture" asked for the road to be degraded to this state before getting repaved? Fact of the matter is, it has nothing to do with Car Culture, its all about conservative culture on spending money on what's only necessary to make sure you don't reach damaging consequences, only doing maintenance whenever things get bad enough to warrant it. If we truly had a government that spent money based off what "Car Culture" wanted, Toronto would look very different.
 
The entire problem I have with this idea is that somehow "car culture" led to this. Do you really think people who sit in cars absolutely detest greenery and want to drive in soulless roadways? I'd frankly wager no.

Below is Carrville Road in Richmond Hill, a wide arterial with a large grassy median spanning the entire length, and let me tell ya, people absolutely love this grassy median. It gives Carrville Road a very distinct look compared the rest of York' arterials, adding a lot of greenery that is often meeting. So if its not Car culture that causes bland streets what does?
I think it has less to do with cars and more to do with conservative spending and wanting to be cheap. People in this country don't like paying taxes, and politicians constantly run on keeping taxes low, and by doing so, they need to find ways to cut costs. The best way to cut costs, make sure whatever you build doesn't need to be maintained much. So, there go your grassy medians, your on street flower parts, nice looking street lights, are all crossed off.

In fact, we don't even have to see this. Looking at York Region again, there is a horrible problem where it might take years to get basic road maintenance. The section of Bathurst Street was finally repaved after years of disrepair last fall, prior to which the surface looked like this:
Please explain to me what part of "Car Culture" asked for the road to be degraded to this state before getting repaved? Fact of the matter is, it has nothing to do with Car Culture, its all about conservative culture on spending money on what's only necessary to make sure you don't reach damaging consequences, only doing maintenance whenever things get bad enough to warrant it. If we truly had a government that spent money based off what "Car Culture" wanted, Toronto would look very different.
Let's not be naive to the fact that all this greenery costs money, our tax money. When it comes down to choosing they will for sure choose the more economical option regardless on whether people like them or not. Not to mention this is frankly wasted space in the eyes of development. They would very rather use to for gfa on building than to make a nice fancy garden in the middle of the road.

Btw once 16th grows to the the point of expanding these median lawns will probably be the first to go
 
The entire problem I have with this idea is that somehow "car culture" led to this. Do you really think people who sit in cars absolutely detest greenery and want to drive in soulless roadways? I'd frankly wager no.
Well, apart from the fact that people desire to live in places like this....

You're right that it has to do with being cheap, but it's much easier to get away with cheaping out on this stuff when the majority of people using this place will be doing so in a car. If you recall Not Just Bikes' tale of walking in Houston, it is telling that basically no one walks here, so the public realm was permitted to be degraded in such a way. To a motorist, an ugly landscape is a brief ugly thing they see before they move on. To a pedestrian that moves much slower, they become one with the scenery. There is no hope for them of a fast reprieve.

 
The entire problem I have with this idea is that somehow "car culture" led to this. Do you really think people who sit in cars absolutely detest greenery and want to drive in soulless roadways? I'd frankly wager no.

Below is Carrville Road in Richmond Hill, a wide arterial with a large grassy median spanning the entire length, and let me tell ya, people absolutely love this grassy median. It gives Carrville Road a very distinct look compared the rest of York' arterials, adding a lot of greenery that is often meeting. So if its not Car culture that causes bland streets what does?View attachment 473355
I think it has less to do with cars and more to do with conservative spending and wanting to be cheap. People in this country don't like paying taxes, and politicians constantly run on keeping taxes low, and by doing so, they need to find ways to cut costs. The best way to cut costs, make sure whatever you build doesn't need to be maintained much. So, there go your grassy medians, your on street flower parts, nice looking street lights, are all crossed off.

In fact, we don't even have to see this. Looking at York Region again, there is a horrible problem where it might take years to get basic road maintenance. The section of Bathurst Street was finally repaved after years of disrepair last fall, prior to which the surface looked like this: View attachment 473358
Please explain to me what part of "Car Culture" asked for the road to be degraded to this state before getting repaved? Fact of the matter is, it has nothing to do with Car Culture, its all about conservative culture on spending money on what's only necessary to make sure you don't reach damaging consequences, only doing maintenance whenever things get bad enough to warrant it. If we truly had a government that spent money based off what "Car Culture" wanted, Toronto would look very different.
So car culture created spread out suburban development which has all the infrastructure subsidized by older and more dense downtowns. For example dt Markham of old Richmond Hill town center contribute much more in property taxes per hectare than the same amount of land in any suburban area. The low density of the house cannot cover the cost of the vast kilometers of road, sewers, electrical wires, etc. Hence why in the past cities could fund themselves while today city need significant grants from higher levels of government to rebuild infrastructure. If you want more information check out strong towns or not just bikes video that demonstrates these issues.

 
Let's not be naive to the fact that all this greenery costs money, our tax money. When it comes down to choosing they will for sure choose the more economical option regardless on whether people like them or not. Not to mention this is frankly wasted space in the eyes of development. They would very rather use to for gfa on building than to make a nice fancy garden in the middle of the road.

Btw once 16th grows to the the point of expanding these median lawns will probably be the first to go
That's my point... maintaining these is expensive, and spending money on "luxury items" is low on the priority list. Had we had a more "pedestrian/transit friendly" culture, I honestly doubt things like maintenance would be much better.
Well, apart from the fact that people desire to live in places like this....
First, I think you'll have a hard time finding people who "desire" to live in places like these, or that think that these areas are somehow peak visual and aesthetic design. The majority of people simply don't really care, and don't want to pay more taxes to make the neighbourhoods look nicer. Seriously, have you ever met what you'd consider an "average suburbanite" go on vacation to Napoli or Barcelona, and say that they hated the visual design and how they make things look nice? I seriously doubt it. They go to Napoli, say "wow this city is beautiful", then go back. If you'd ask them if they'd want their taxes increased to make the arterials nicer, they'd likely say no because the status quo is perfectly adequate and functional (and well... it is).

You're right that it has to do with being cheap, but it's much easier to get away with cheaping out on this stuff when the majority of people using this place will be doing so in a car. If you recall Not Just Bikes' tale of walking in Houston, it is telling that basically no one walks here, so the public realm was permitted to be degraded in such a way. To a motorist, an ugly landscape is a brief ugly thing they see before they move on. To a pedestrian that moves much slower, they become one with the scenery. There is no hope for them of a fast reprieve.

Ok first, NJB, ugh

Second, you might be right on in that streetscape is less important than in a car, so let's look at some other cities shall we?

NYC, 64% of the city travels on modes that aren't car, namely subways. The Subway stations? Degraded mess filled with sludge. The streets? Bland and soulless. Maintenance has been completely whack for decades as the city rested on its laurels accomplishing basically no maintenance work. Please explain to me how "Car Culture" led to stations like Chamber Street reaching where they are today.

Want a non-american example? Check out Copenhagen Denmark, a city where transit is highly favoured, yet politicians routinely scale back transit project turning them into something that would make 2000s era go stations look anxious.

This is Copenhagen's BRAND NEW INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT Station.
lufthavn1.png

No Canopies, no washroom, literally absolutely nothing.

Here's a bus renovated bus stop:

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Yes I did post that in the correct order, that second crap shelter is in fact the "new" shelter.

Here's the render for the new tram route along Orbital Ringway 3:
herlev-station-final.png

That is in fact a render, and it makes Eglinton look like an architectural marvel.

Now please, I want to hear about how Copenhagen is a car culture city and how transit riders a treated as second class citizens, instead of Copenhagen simply having a cheapskate culture where everything is done as cheaply and as minimalistic as possible.

Remember, Correlaction != Causation, and we should absolutely be aiming our ire at the correct issues, not tangentially related scapegoats.
 

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