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Olivia Chow may be committed to tearing down the Gardiner, but she's also committed to not using the strong mayor powers. We'll see what wins out:


Speaking to reporters Tuesday afternoon, Chow was asked if she's rethinking her earlier promise not to use the strong mayor powers afforded by the Ford government to Tory last year.

"I believe in democracy," she replied, adding that today in Hong Kong, the place where her parents came from, "democracy warriors" including lawyers and former legislators are in jail for pushing for democracy.

"I do not want to violate the principle of democracy because that is pretty sacred."
 
I think that whats going to happen is all the Rehabilitation contracts will be canceled. Olivia will wait and get a transportion toronto report that states the gardiner is unsafe to use and will close it down for public safety. Only hope is ford has the MTO take over.
 
we’ll see what happens to this pledge. I suspect it’ll end up like Tory’s pledge for Smart Track or to toll the Gardiner and DVP.

The biggest issue with the promise is that the city just spent $300 million rehabilitating the portion she is promising to demolish - unless Chow wants to be the poster child of municipal waste, tearing down that portion would be very ill thought out.

The part you can tear down, east of cherry, is so small that the Gardiner would ramp down, hit a single signalized intersection, then ramp back up again to connect to the DVP. It’s pointless. Demolishing that portion would likely save almost nothing in infrastructure costs, would not save any land to allow for more development, and would create a very odd traffic situation with a single signalized intersection on a freeway which I imagine would become quite dangerous

In fact given the point we are in the rebuild process, going back and redesigning the highway would likely end up in additional costs at this point from redoing studies and delays over the small amount of construction costs you would save.
 
The biggest issue with the promise is that the city just spent $300 million rehabilitating the portion she is promising to demolish

True that money was spent, foolishly, and those who proposed and approved it, ought to be sent the bill, rather than the rest of us, who advised against it having to pay.

That said, the money expended does not cover the entire segment in question. The tail end of the expressway (Cherry to Don Roadway has not been rehabbed as yet)

- unless Chow wants to be the poster child of municipal waste, tearing down that portion would be very ill thought out.

We will have to disagree.

The part you can tear down, east of cherry, is so small that the Gardiner would ramp down, hit a single signalized intersection, then ramp back up again to connect to the DVP. It’s pointless. Demolishing that portion would likely save almost nothing in infrastructure costs, would not save any land to allow for more development, and would create a very odd traffic situation with a single signalized intersection on a freeway which I imagine would become quite dangerous

In fact given the point we are in the rebuild process, going back and redesigning the highway would likely end up in additional costs at this point from redoing studies and delays over the small amount of construction costs you would save.

I would argue this entire thesis misses the point.

The point isn't to save money on the one-time capital costs.

Nor is it really to save the life-cycle money, though, there are some savings when you consider the need to rebuild again, and the ongoing maintenance costs for the bents and the deck which are greater than the costs of maintaining an at-grade roadway.

***

The real point of tearing down the Gardiner east of Jarvis is the land you free up for development, its associated value, first as public land that can be built on, leased or sold; but then also as a generator of property tax.

The total benefits of freeing up the land far exceed 300M in sunk costs.

****

All that said, I'm not sure she gets this promise through Council. Its not a hill worth dying a political death on.
 
I mean politically it'll be a bad look to tear down a highway 2-5 years after spending 300 million on that stretch of highway.. And it'll feed into the perception of "the left throws money out the window".

I've said before that the tear down made more sense in 2016, but now that the city has gone and spent $300 million on rebuilding it between Jarvis and Cherry, you either throw that $300 million down a hole or continue on the current path, and having spent that $300 million, the demolition option is a lot less appealing now. It's not 2016 any longer.

Chow's whole idea was that tearing down the Gardiner east would save money to redirect to other programs - but the reality is that tearing it down at this point in time is unlikely to save any money in the next 30 years or so, and indeed may actually cost more money in the short term.

At this point it's best to use the infrastructure the city just sunk a quarter billion bucks into and revisit it a generation from now when it needs it's next major rehab.

with regards to who should pay the bill - the taxpayers, obviously, as we as a collective whole elected a government which supported the rebuild. Maybe you personally didn't, but our democratic system did it's job at the time, and the Hybrid option vote from what I recall wasn't even a particularly close council vote either.
 
with regards to who should pay the bill - the taxpayers, obviously, as we as a collective whole elected a government which supported the rebuild. Maybe you personally didn't, but our democratic system did it's job at the time, and the Hybrid option vote from what I recall wasn't even a particularly close council vote either.

In all seriousness, I don't support this line of thinking.

The idea that elections in Canada at any level of government represent the will of the people on every decision that follows over the subsequent 4 years is just unreasonable.

It presumes:

a) That there was a clear and cohesive platform point with all the facts, that the larger public could then weigh.

b) That the majority (not a plurality) voted for the candidate(s) or party(s) with said platform item.

c) That no additional material information came to light between the the election and the time of any vote to proceed.

d) That there were no other significant platform issues being voted on my voters. (a typical platform may have from 5 to more than 150 commitments, most voters are unaware of the majority of them, but even if they were,
one might support a candidate/party for positions 3, 11 and 38 and not for 19.

An election is rarely, if ever, a plebiscite on one particular project. We used to have those in Toronto, by the way. Long before you or I were born, the Yonge subway, and filling in Ashbridges Bay, among many other measures were put to the electorate specifically as stand-alone approvals. (for better or worse)

*****

I will then add, no one would run for politics if they were personally, financially, on the hook for every decision if it went sideways, or the public later expressed disapproval. As such I can't really endorse 'sending the bill' to politicians or their donors or lobbyists for routine decisions with which I disagree, should the political winds shift.

However, I would support removing parliamentary immunities from being sued where there is a clear case of bribe-taking, or other favour-trading, or where a politician or bureaucrat clearly knew prior to casting a vote or signing off on a project that it was contrary to the public interest.

I don't mean should have known or anything fuzzy; but clear, written or video evidence or the like that the person pushing a project knew and understood it was adverse to the public interest. In such cases, I do favour the ability to sue and recover costs, in part, from politicians, lobbyists, bureaucrats or others, as I feel this would reduce poor decision making.
 
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I mean politically it'll be a bad look to tear down a highway 2-5 years after spending 300 million on that stretch of highway.. And it'll feed into the perception of "the left throws money out the window".
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunk_cost

We have to realize that this isn't a decision with a 5 or 10-year return period, it's a generational opportunity to dramatically improve the quality of the city not only for us, but multiple generations to come.

The smart thing to do is pause all work, create a masterplan of an at-grade boulevard for the entire stretch, and then figure out how we get from the current to the ideal state. It's going to happen regardless, use this opportunity to do it as efficiently as possible.
I still support tunneling the elevated portion of the Gardiner from Dufferin St. to Queen St. E at the DVP.
Me too, but not on the dime of Toronto taxpayers. That infrastructure is of benefit to the province, not the city. If Doug (or whoever succeeds him) want that, they can pay for it. I'm sick of my tax dollars subsidizing someone else's unsustainable commute at the expense of the health and well being of my community. Delivery trucks will be fine.
please read literally any study done on highway removal in the past 50 years.
Louder, for the people in the back.
 
Olivia Chow may be committed to tearing down the Gardiner, but she's also committed to not using the strong mayor powers. We'll see what wins out:
...

There's nothing in the strong mayor powers that assists in tearing down Gardiner. Strong mayor powers only apply when advancing provincial priorities, and removal of roadways is not a legislated provincial priority.
 
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunk_cost

We have to realize that this isn't a decision with a 5 or 10-year return period, it's a generational opportunity to dramatically improve the quality of the city not only for us, but multiple generations to come.

The smart thing to do is pause all work, create a masterplan of an at-grade boulevard for the entire stretch, and then figure out how we get from the current to the ideal state. It's going to happen regardless, use this opportunity to do it as efficiently as possible.

Me too, but not on the dime of Toronto taxpayers. That infrastructure is of benefit to the province, not the city. If Doug (or whoever succeeds him) want that, they can pay for it. I'm sick of my tax dollars subsidizing someone else's unsustainable commute at the expense of the health and well being of my community. Delivery trucks will be fine.

Louder, for the people in the back.
agreed on the fact the province should be maintaining the Gardiner.. it's always struck me as very silly that the city maintained the DVP and Gardiner (Just as Hamilton maintains the Linc and RHVP). These roads serve provincial purposes and there is no reason local municipalities should be maintaining them.

That said, Don't expect the province uploading them to get you the result you want.. MTO isn't known to be very pedestrian friendly.
 
.. traffic for the removal option is expected to be heavy enough to require a flyover from lakeshore to the dvp. That boulevard will see freeway traffic, and some of it will move at freeway speeds. Its not going to be a fun road to cross or live along..

1687971692687.png


ps .. if the removal option is a thing .. can we just make this a full normal T? .. ty.
 
.. traffic for the removal option is expected to be heavy enough to require a flyover from lakeshore to the dvp. That boulevard will see freeway traffic, and some of it will move at freeway speeds. Its not going to be a fun road to cross or live along..

View attachment 488512

ps .. if the removal option is a thing .. can we just make this a full normal T? .. ty.
traffic calming measures and automated speed limit enforcement exist. Narrowing of lanes within the boulevard, reducing drivers field of vision with heavy tree coverage, speed cameras and tactile strips as already used on ontario off ramps would ensure that safe speeds are maintained.

You are right that relatively heavy levels of traffic will not be great for the area, but the solution to that is properly committing to tearing down the Gardiner. Imo a comprehensive plan for removal east of Park Lawn road should be looked into asap.
 
.. traffic for the removal option is expected to be heavy enough to require a flyover from lakeshore to the dvp.
I assumed that removal of the Gardiner east of the Jarvis exit would be combined with initiatives to reduce commuter car traffic to/from downtown, such as a mix of improved commuter rail, transit and bike infrastructure, financial disincentives to driving such as road tolls, punitive parking fees and taxes on parking lots, and a degree of relocation of jobs to the suburbs and permanent WFH. If we don't first reduce the car traffic we can't cut off the Gardiner from the DVP - the cars will keep coming otherwise, causing massive gridlock.
 
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There's nothing in the strong mayor powers that assist in tearing down Gardiner. Strong mayor powers only apply when advancing provincial priorities, and removal of roadways is not a legislated provincial priority.
Yeah, I thought that was the case last night, but I didn't have a chance to Google it.

And also: I think that if she actually pushed hard on this file, Doug Ford would come in and find a way to legislate it out of her hands. (Without uploading the costs.)
 
Patently false, there is not a single staff study or report that has indicated this. Your uninformed opinion is not fact, believe it or not.
Except, for, you know, the report which was submitted to council in February of this year..


Over $500 million has already been spent by the city on Gardiner East.

Changing course on the implementation of the Gardiner East EA, and pursuing the "Remove" Option which was previously considered would have the following consequences:

I. Around $340 million in throw-away costs for the recently completed rebuild of the elevated Section 1 between Jarvis Street and Cherry Street; and the engineering design work for Section 5 between Cherry Street and the DVP. Reverting to the "Remove" option in the EA would necessitate demolition of the newly completed Section 1 (Jarvis to Cherry).

II. Any deviation from the currently approved Hybrid 3 option would require new design work. Given this, we are not able to say if any funds would be saved by reverting to the "Remove" option, or if any funds would be available for reallocating that would not impact the delivery of the necessary state-of-good repair work.

III. Require Ministerial direction on the opening of the previously approved EA and whether an EA amendment would be required.

IV. If an EA amendment is required, based on the original Gardiner East EA experience, we could expect the EA amendment process to:
1. Take up to three years (i.e. development of EA Alternative Solutions through to EA approval took from 2013 to 2017).

2. Cost several million dollars (i.e. the Individual EA cost, including a second round to develop "Hybrid" solutions cost $8.5 M total).
3. Examine different options, some of which may have previously been considered and some of which could be new. Costs associated with implementing any new preferred option could potentially cost more than what has currently been budgeted due to:
a) Cost escalation due to delayed construction.

b) Additional interim repair costs between Cherry Street and DVP (Section 5), due to the delay, to keep the facility safe and operable until the construction could be undertaken.
c) Demolition of the newly constructed Expressway between Jarvis Street and Cherry Street (Section 1) if the new preferred option differs from the current alignment.
d) Potential impacts to the Port Lands Flood Protection work at the mouth of the Don River if there are changes to the Gardiner pier locations.
e) Potential modification of the Lake Shore Boulevard Bridge over the Don River/Keating Channel that is currently under construction.

None of what I am saying is an "uninformed opinion". At all.


Gardiner East "hybrid" was estimated to have a capital cost of $414 million and $505 million for operations and maintenance over the anticipated 100-year lifecycle. So a total of $919 million.

Gardiner east "removal" was estimated to have a cost of $326-million in up front in capital costs and $135-million for operations and maintenance costs over the anticipated 100-year lifecycle. So a total of $426 million.

So sure, Removal would have saved $458 million, over 100 years. But we have already spent $350 million+ now which would be "throwaway".

Returning to the "hybrid" option would likely increase short term capital costs as there was only a difference of $88 million in up front capital costs between the two.. Lots of cost escalation has occurred since then increasing costs, but I imagine not so much as to offset the $350 million we would be throwing away by switching now.

The city has made the decision on the matter. The city has spent hundreds of millions on it, including roughly half of the entire Gardiner East project. It's literally half-built. Switching now would throw away all of money spent so far, and negate the original cost savings of demolition.
 
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