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You've gotta be bloody joking. There was an opportunity to improve this city. All the experts were in agreement that the boulevard was the way to go - former planners for this city, the architecture faculty of the U of T, even former mayors. Not to mention the architecture critics of the major journals. You must be kidding.
It would not be improving the city beyond selling out the cleared land for more glass box condos. We'd essentially be removing transportation infrastructure to benefit condo developers.

In hindsight we should have demanded all those condos built along the Gardiner pay for burying the thing. Otherwise we're just helping the developers while not helping the city. In fact adding thousands of condos without any requirement for transportation infrastructure improvements (roads, transit, etc.) is a directly negative relationship with good city life.
 
It would not be improving the city beyond selling out the cleared land for more glass box condos. We'd essentially be removing transportation infrastructure to benefit condo developers.

In hindsight we should have demanded all those condos built along the Gardiner pay for burying the thing. Otherwise we're just helping the developers while not helping the city. In fact adding thousands of condos without any requirement for transportation infrastructure improvements (roads, transit, etc.) is a directly negative relationship with good city life.

This is my issue as well. I used to be pretty hardcore in the Remove camp. But about a year ago when we learned the City concocted a plan out of the blue to sell large sections of the corridor, I began questioning the decision. If they were to just plant trees on the opened land, that's one thing. But to build entire communities on a few narrow acres - and sell off a strategic/important ROW - it just seemed like a bad idea. And I also found it a bit silly that they wanted to make a grand boulevard, literally a block away from Queens Quay (which is in the costly process of becoming a grand boulevard of its own).
 
This is my issue as well. I used to be pretty hardcore in the Remove camp. But about a year ago when we learned the City concocted a plan out of the blue to sell large sections of the corridor, I began questioning the decision. If they were to just plant trees on the opened land, that's one thing. But to build entire communities on a few narrow acres - and sell off a strategic/important ROW - it just seemed like a bad idea. And I also found it a bit silly that they wanted to make a grand boulevard, literally a block away from Queens Quay (which is in the costly process of becoming a grand boulevard of its own).
There would be more trees in the remove option. The boulevard would be tree-lined. There would be less car pollution with the remove option, before even factoring in the plentiful more trees.

There is a reason why the Minister of the Environment and the Toronto Public Health endorsed the remove option.

So what if the developers and the city intended to develop it? We would be building a good, nearby community to the downtown core. Now how many more people are going to settle in the suburbs contributing to sprawl, pollution and congestion?
 
There would be more trees in the remove option. The boulevard would be tree-lined. There would be less car pollution with the remove option, before even factoring in the plentiful more trees.

There is a reason why the Minister of the Environment and the Toronto Public Health endorsed the remove option.

So what if the developers and the city intended to develop it? We would be building a good, nearby community to the downtown core. Now how many more people are going to settle in the suburbs contributing to sprawl, pollution and congestion?

There were more trees in the Remove option because they put more trees in the Remove option. If they put more trees in the Hybrid option, there'd be more trees in the Hybrid option. Regardless, I was just using "trees" as an example. My underlying point was that I wanted the highway ROW to be kept. They could've kept it as a temporary dirt farm for all I care, just so long as it wasn't sold off to the nearest bidder.

The last time this city sold off a strategic and important corridor it was at the hands of Dough Ford to help balance his brother's bungled budget. Now we're unable to use the Richview corridor to run a RT line.
 
What makes you think plans for the WELRT is compromised (other than financially/lack of will) by either option?
 
What makes you think plans for the WELRT is compromised (other than financially/lack of will) by either option?

I don't recall saying I thought that, or didn't think that. But interestingly I feel like the WELRT should've become part of the Gardiner debate in some way, or at least explored. The WELRT is virtually moribund. So what better time to reactivate the study than when there's talk of completely reconfiguring a wide swath one block north of the original planned QQE route?

If we exchanged the mammoth elevated Gardiner for a sleek elevated light RT line, I'd probably be on board. Not saying it can work, but there's no denying the WELRT had a lot of flaws (i.e cost and complexity). As well, area developers and 3C owners simply were not happy with the streetcar plan (I've provided links of this fact in the Transportation forum). They wanted something better, and I think the Gardiner issue was an opportunity to explore opportunities for improved public transportation.
 
Why do you assume that consensus must always come from external coercion (e.g. fascism). Very often (particularly within democracies) consensus emerges when one initiative can be shown to be objectively superior to its alternatives based on the rational comparison of costs and benefits. In these cases the only reason that consensus would not emerge is because some parties find it more advantageous to ignore reason and instead whip up irrational fears (e.g. like the fear of the "war against the car"). In fact, spreading irrational fear rather than working out political decisions rationally is exactly what sparked fascism to begin with. Reason has always been democracy's greatest defense against extremism.

Thank you for your incites into democracy; however, the realities of what passes as a working democracy at the present, well lets just say they differ from utopia.
 
If we exchanged the mammoth elevated Gardiner for a sleek elevated light RT line, I'd probably be on board.
100% me too. If you want the Gardiner gone, don't do it in penny packets only to replace one road for another. Instead, rip the whole thing down, restrict Lakeshore to local traffic only (via tolls, or other means), and build huge parking lots outside of the city and then connect the lots to offices downtown via RT, or just GO expansion.
 
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Why the whole thing at once. If your intention is to bring the whole thing down eventually it makes just as much sense to do it piecemeal. Instead of disrupting access to and from the core across the entire city for years you break it up so there's always other access points. Whether that's done methodically as each section is complete or over a period of decades as each section nears it's expected end of life would seem to make little difference.
 
Why the whole thing at once. If your intention is to bring the whole thing down eventually it makes just as much sense to do it piecemeal. Instead of disrupting access to and from the core across the entire city for years you break it up so there's always other access points. Whether that's done methodically as each section is complete or over a period of decades as each section nears it's expected end of life would seem to make little difference.
I'd agree if we were being organized and honest about it. When we tore down the portion west Leslie Street this should have been part of a larger plan for the entire expressway. Instead we simply chopped off a piece and left the rest to rust and patches. As for being honest, IMO the supports of the tear down proposal saw it as the beginning of a plan to tear down the entire thing. Well, if that's a motivator, let's have that plan upfront.
 
I'd agree if we were being organized and honest about it. When we tore down the portion west Leslie Street this should have been part of a larger plan for the entire expressway. Instead we simply chopped off a piece and left the rest to rust and patches. As for being honest, IMO the supports of the tear down proposal saw it as the beginning of a plan to tear down the entire thing. Well, if that's a motivator, let's have that plan upfront.

I'm a supporter of the tear-down option and the only motivation in my mind was that the elevated option is just overkill for what the city will need in the future and a waste of money. There is no ulterior motive for getting rid of the whole thing. I probably would support a decision to tear down the rest of it as pieces begin to degrade, but that in no way influenced my choice for the portion of the Gardiner east of Jarvis, and I would bet that's the case with the majority of the tear-down supporters as well.
 
I'm a supporter of the tear-down option and the only motivation in my mind was that the elevated option is just overkill for what the city will need in the future and a waste of money. There is no ulterior motive for getting rid of the whole thing. I probably would support a decision to tear down the rest of it as pieces begin to degrade, but that in no way influenced my choice for the portion of the Gardiner east of Jarvis, and I would bet that's the case with the majority of the tear-down supporters as well.

Yeah, Beez, I was in the ttk77 boat, too. I spent a lot of time driving on that stretch of highway and the Lake Shore underneath it, and (barring an accident) it was never, ever close to busy. That's completely different from the Gardiner west of the CBD to the 427, which is almost always busy.

One of the weirder arguments to keep the eastern Gardiner was the rabbit hole of commuter times we spiralled down. It was if the traffic engineers were about to throw up a drawbridge and portcullis at the end of the DVP, rather than an 8-lane roadway. C'est la vie.
 
You have to rip the dirty bandage off and get the job done. Disruption lasting decades will cause more problems.
 
You have to rip the dirty bandage off and get the job done. Disruption lasting decades will cause more problems.

I think that's a flawed analogy when applied to projects that will still take a long time even with the fast band-aid pull option. How long would it take to tear down the whole elevated portion and replace it with an at grade boulevard? 5-10 years? Imagine the chaos that would be caused without any access to both the Gardiner or Lakeshore during that period. At least when it's done in sections restricted access is limited to a much smaller area.
 
I think that's a flawed analogy when applied to projects that will still take a long time even with the fast band-aid pull option. How long would it take to tear down the whole elevated portion and replace it with an at grade boulevard? 5-10 years? Imagine the chaos that would be caused without any access to both the Gardiner or Lakeshore during that period. At least when it's done in sections restricted access is limited to a much smaller area.

The construction timeline was 6 years for the "remove" option, with both the gardiner and lakeshore closed throughout. The hybrid option would keep lakeshore open most of the time, with construction lasting 1.5 years. Knowing delays/over-runs on these kinds of projects, I'd say we should assume they construction goes 30% longer than quoted.

I wish the debate hadn't centered around travel times - the larger issue at heart is, would a 8-10 lane at-grade expressway serving 120,000 cars/day, with no room for transit or bike lanes, create a nice neighbourhood? Here's a section of the existing lakeshore boulevard which is 50m wide, the approximate width of the boulevard option. People have idyllic ideas of what a "boulevard" is, but few people have actually gone through the thought experiment of imagining what life on the street would be like.

I also wish the city was a bit more progressive and non-apologetic about experimenting. The best thing to do would be to just shut down the Gardiner East for two months and see how traffic responds... will it disappear like theories suggest? Will Richmond/Adelaide get gridlocked and thus gum up traffic on all of the downtown arterials? Will transit ridership increase? At the very least, it'd be an accurate picture of what would happen for the construction period of the boulevard option. And if traffic does evaporate, you have a good case for softening/reducing the expressway/boulevard into something more like the 6-lane option of the Hybrid approach, which is much more humane at street level.
 

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