Broadview Station: The End Is Nigh? (Update No. 4)

Updated December 18 at 12:50 pm:

Yes, at long last, the new stairway from the surface loop down to both the eastbound and westbound tracks opened as advertised this week.

There is still no sign over the stairway saying “To Trains”, but people find their way down nonetheless.  This has one great benefit of shifting a lot of the pedestrian traffic away from the main entrance and the crowded single stairway down to the original mezzanine.

We still have temporary signs at the bus bays, one of which appears to be held up (crookedly) with electrical wire.

Updated November 15 at 8:20 am:

As of the morning of November 14, the new bus bays were in operation, but with overhead signs that are clearly temporary (given the length of time this project took, one would expect real signs to have been manufactured and delivered ages ago).

The hoarding around the new eastbound stairway has been removed at platform level.

Now we wait until November 25th to see if they make their opening date for that connection. 

Updated November 12 at 7:40 pm:

  • Much of the construction debris is gone.
  • The station layout map has been installed showing the new locations even though they are not in use yet, and there’s no announcement that it’s not in effect until Wednesday.
  • No change on the stairway.

But look on the bright side — all of the escalators were actually working!

Updated November 12 at 12:20: 

As of today at 9:30 am:

  • The notice from the TTC website advertising changes in bus bay locations is not posted at the station.
  • A considerable pile of construction debris is still sitting on the bus platform blocking access to two of the bays.
  • New signs indicating which route stops where have not been installed.
  • The new stairway from the bus platform to the mezzanine remains closed, and no signage has been installed there (although it was delivered to the station weeks ago and sat languishing in the parkette for several days).

The advertised date for the change is Wednesday (two days hence).  I will let everyone know how the situation evolves.

The Original Post From November 5:

This morning, as I gazed upon the parkette beside Broadview Station, my heart beat a little faster to see a new concrete pathway under construction while a bulldozer spread fresh topsoil on areas where plants will grow.

We who live near the station have almost forgotten what it was like to have no construction, somewhere, in “our” station, and the long-term loss of the parkette took the neighbourhood’s tone down several notches.  I understand the need for construction staging areas, but this interminable project gives a new meaning to “staging”.

Meanwhile in the station itself, the new platform and stairway have been almost finished for a few weeks.  New signs sit in boxes waiting to be installed, although the electrical work for new overhead signs no sooner started than it stopped again.  As with this entire project, the contractor and the TTC seem to be doing it in their spare time with little thought to the attractiveness or capacity of the station.

Why is this taking so long?  One reason advanced by the TTC is that several small projects were originally proposed as one renovation, but the stages were split up for budgetary reasons.  Not only did this take longer than planned, it cost more.  Meanwhile, the neighbourhood kept expecting to get their station and park back together, only to be told every year that yet another piece of work had been tacked on.  When the construction trailers finally left the parkette a few weeks ago, I finally believed that the work would finish soon.

For those who don’t know the history, this project involved several changes:

  • addition of a second streetcar platform so that King and Dundas cars could arrive and leave independently
  • addition of more bus platform capacity to handle the many routes at Broadview
  • addition of elevators linking the street, mezzanine and platform levels
  • addition of hands-free doors for easy access both to the street and to the bus platforms
  • addition of new stairways linking the bus/streetcar platforms to the westbound, and later the eastbound platform
  • repairs to the bus roadway and station structure for waterproofing and other structural problems
  • addition of ventillation equipment as part of a fire control project

Of the list above, only the fire control system seems to have been dropped.  I say this because the proposed structural changes shown on the original drawings to support this work have not actually been made to the station.

I am quite sure that if this had been launched as a consolidated project, it would have finished at least a year ago.  This is an example of what can happen when projects are undertaken piecemeal on the basis that we will pay for a little more as and when money is available.  (Anyone who has lived through house renovations will understand this concept.)

According to the TTC’s Website, this project should have been finished last Wednesday.  It’s not, like so many other TTC construction projects that seem to linger indefinitely with nobody quite knowing what’s happening.  Yes, things do go wrong, but long periods of inactivity without any notice to regular users of the station give the impression of waste and mismanagement.  That’s not the image the TTC would like to project with everyone complaining about new taxes and the runaway, spendthrift public sector.

Some projects run with impressive speed and precision (Kennedy Station bus loop repaving) while others drag on forever (will the transit shelters ever arrive on St. Clair).  The TTC must take seriously its role as the largest of our municipal agencies and recognize that badly managed projects (whether in reality or perception) undermine calls for added public funding.

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34 Responses to Broadview Station: The End Is Nigh? (Update No. 4)

  1. David C says:

    I moved to Toronto in spring 2002 and it seems to me the project(s) at Broadview started shortly afterwards. (When did the work start?) There is no doubt that the speed of the work was glacial and the number of workers on site at any time seemed miniscule.
    I wonder if as soon as the park is completed (apparently ‘next Spring’) the TTC will decide that the fire control system upgrade needs to move ahead and they need it back again.
    As you say Steve, the poor execution of projects like this give the whole TTC a bad name and a (not totally deserved) reputation for sloppy project management. Hardly what is needed when they are trying to get $$$ for Transit City. I hope they invite you to the full re-opening of the station!

  2. Annika says:

    In other shocking news, construction has started on the westbound shelter at St. Clair Ave W and Deer Park Cr.

    Steve: Now what will be truly shocking will be when it finishes!

  3. Ed Drass says:

    Well stated, Steve.
    On the plus side, the thing is nearing completion and there will be welcome new access to platforms, especially westbound.
    For the cons: it was interminable; riders were kept out of the loop on construction progress; and it’s unclear whether more work remains to be done — at the very least some of the metal awning supports have already begun rusting.

    As an aside, it stuns me that neither the TTC nor the city have ever closely studied the costs to infrastructure from damaging (but cheap) salt.

  4. Chris W says:

    This morning, as I gazed upon the streetcar loop at Oakwood and St. Clair, my heart beat a little faster to see a couple of streetcars sitting there. I was a passenger in a car at the time and didn’t get a chance to investigate. While heading home this evening, I was dissapointed when a 512 bus pulled up at St. Clair Station. There were 2 more buses behind, but then we passed 2 eastbound streetcars as we headed west.

    My heart beat a little faster again as I gazed upon the beginnings of platform shelters at the first few stops west of Yonge.

    This TTC flyer (http://www.toronto.ca/ttc/pdf/512_track_0711.pdf) indicates streetcar service returns Wednesday Novermber 7th from Yonge to Oakwood.
    These things were expected but after all the delays, seeing things actually progressing is kind of exciting.

    (Steve, sorry about plagiarizing your opening sentence, just trying to be funny.)

    Steve: It has been said that plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery.

  5. Michael Greason says:

    I needed to get from Yonge & Eglinton to King and Shaw at about midnight on a very cold night. Knowing that the King car runs sporadically at best, I thought I might go to Broadview Station and catch the King car while waiting inside rather than in the cold bluster of Yonge Street at King. It was about minus 20C. The easy to use hands free doors were locked open and the inside of the subway was the same minus 20C as the outside. Before today’s post, I never understood why these very heavy doors were supposed to be better. Now I know. They are “handsfree” from both directions. Locking them open in late night hours seems to be conterproductive to providing a tolerable waiting area. Of course they are still very heavy.

    Other renovations at Broadview (and Dundas West) seem to be oriented to facilitating the worst of the TTC’s poor service on the King and Dundas routes. A separate departure track would not be necessary if either of these routes had proper service. (And no – I am not unfeeling for the operators – they deserve a break – but if the cars were scheduled anything like regularly, the requisite break would fit in the run of the car schedule of both routes. Many dollars have been spent to allow cars to “sit” at both ends of the route. That is not moving anybody.

    Steve: The other thing you would be victim to sitting up at Broadview Station is the considerable amount of short turning at Parliament by the King car late at night. From time to time when I know I have half an hour to kill, I actually try to make a transfer connection east to north at Broadview and Queen. The service coming south is always more frequent than the service going north, and this tells me that some of it, at least came south from Gerrard after a short turn.

    Your best bet, actually, would have been to take the subway west to Ossington and then the 63 down to King. It runs fairly reliably even at 1 in the morning.

    As for dollars spent, the separate platforms at Broadview Station barely hold three cars each, and will only hold one of the new streetcars when they arrive. The traffic jams of cars waiting to enter the loop will be spectacular. It is quite common to have to walk around the ass end of a 504 sitting half on the street (I did that earlier this evening), and the 505 has so much extra running time for the track construction diversions (now largely ended) that three cars in the loop is a common sight even on wide headways.

  6. J. MacMillan says:

    Correction:

    Another interminable project is the apparent waterproofing at the north end of Finch station in the vicinity of the elevator to the parking lot. It, too, seems to be getting done on someone’s spare time. Remarkably, no sign is posted explaining the work in progress or apologizing for the mess and inconvenience.

  7. Geoff says:

    Speaking of projects that took longer than planned – do you have an ETA for the completion of St. Clair West’s underground loop and other tasks? (it’s my new home station).

    Also – has Bathurst north of Bloor been moved to next year’s non-rev replacement schedule?

    Steve: St. Clair West Station doesn’t have an announced opening date, although streetcars were back as of Monday, November 5 from Yonge to Oakwood.

    Bathurst north of Bloor is indeed in next year’s construction projects.

  8. David Cavlovic says:

    The time frame for rebuilding Broadview Stn. does not bode well for the future rebuilding of other stations on the B-D line. How long will it take to rebuild Pape, or —horrors of time in limbo—-Victoria Park!!!!

  9. Richard White says:

    Steve, Speaking of on going construction… Any idea what’s going on at Union station with the construction there… they have the metal stripping off the wall yet that’s as far as they have gotten with regards to the new platform in the past 3 months…

    Steve: All of the major work is going on outside of the station with a sewer relocation. The metal slats were taken down because they were filthy and there wasn’t much point in repairing wall coverings that were only going to come down again for construction next year. The wall was painted black so that it didn’t show the dirt.

  10. The other day in a conversation, the character of Eldon – the painter on Murphy Brown (played by Robert Pastorelli, who passed away in 2004). This character was always working on something at Murphy’s home, but never seemed to finish anything.

    In the conversation about Eldon someone said, “Like Broadview Station.”

  11. John F Bromley says:

    A solution to the Broadview Station backups is reasonably simple and would leave both tracks for 504 cars (probably necessary once low floor artics run there. Put the east end of the old HARBORD line to Pape Station back in service. Alternatives to that – not requiring extra track installation – (a) extend 505 to Main Station over the 506, or (b) run the 505 alternately via Queen and Kingston Rd to Bingham Loop and dump the 502, with alternate cars to Neville so that Beachers might actually see an occasional streetcar east of Woodbine Loop.

    Yer welcome!

    Steve: Pape Station is not workable as a streetcar terminus, especially with the new cars, because of the loop configuration. It’s tight for buses and will get tighter with the proposed reconstruction. The east end of the 505 has always been something of a problem, but it is well used, and there is good through riding into downtown (or at least there was when the line actually went along Dundas Street). With only the 504 running north of Gerrard, Transit Control would have to actually let the King cars make it past Parliament Street.

    Kingston Road is another difficulty due to the appallingly bad service provided on the 502 as I have discussed here before. I’m not sure than running the 505 all the way to Bingham is the answer, however, as a lot of them would probably turn at Woodbine or Coxwell-Queen loop. I believe that the real issue with Kingston Road is that it has been starved for service, and nobody can be bothered to do anything about it. Riding fell off, but what surprise is that with a 20 minute scheduled off-peak headway and gaps over half an hour not uncommon.

  12. Dave says:

    In the old days, like the 1960s, streetcar-track reconstruction would proceed without disrupting service. Streetcars had to pause occasionally while a worker finished a weld or whatever, but the tracks and roadbed got replaced and the streetcars kept running over their regular routes.

    Why could the TTC do construction that way then, but take months–with all traffic shut down–to replace the tracks and roadbed now?

    Steve: The single biggest change is that in the old days, the roads were not paved with concrete, but with granite setts (of which an example survives at Dundas Square). This allowed track to be rebuilt in sections overnight and be back in service the next morning. With several layers of concrete, each must be placed and cured without vibration disturbing the process.

    One important thing, however, will show up the next time the tracks need rebuilding. Because the concrete was placed in layers, the TTC will only have to excavate down to the bottom of the existing rail to the top of the ties. The length of the shutdown will be shorter because they won’t be rebuilding the entire road, right down to the foundation, as in today’s projects.

  13. David C says:

    Steve: You may have been optimistic about the Broadview renovations. Yes, the Park is getting sorted out as promised on the TTC website but, as of yesterday afternoon, the new stairs and part of the bus platform were still barricaded off with, as usual, no sign of any workers. The stairs look finished to me but I think that they intend to extend the new glass shelter a bit further along the bus platform. The one they put up a couple of years ago is not very well placed because when it rains the rain runs down between the shelter roof and the existing bus bay’s concrete roof: the newer shelter is better designed and deals with this. There is also a problem of the supports of the slightly older shelter being right in the middle of the pathway through the newer shelter. Ahhhh.

  14. John F Bromley says:

    Steve said: “Kingston Road is another difficulty due to the appallingly bad service provided on the 502″.

    This is sort of the point. My remark about the old east end of HARBORD was more fantasy than suggestion. If they actualky provided a service on Kingston Rd and promoted the damn thing perhaps things might pick up. I used to live at various points around the east end of the 502 and even I, a dedicated transit supporter, wouldn’t use it with a 20-minute service that is often twice that because of the short-turns at Woodbine. A 505 there, even with some shorts to Woodbine Loop, would be a great improvement.

    Steve said “With only the 504 running north of Gerrard, Transit Control would have to actually let the King cars make it past Parliament Street”.

    And that would be a bad thing?

  15. Harold says:

    I agree with John Bromley’s suggestion for the re-installing of rail on the far end of the old Harbord line up to Pape Stn from Gerrard. Although, it might not suitably fit into the grand plan of things now, had they left the rails in there and designed Pape station with the rails in place I think it would have been fine. I believe, if the will was there, that Pape Stn could be redesigned and/or expanded to accommodate streetcars or LRV’s. Even if it was not used for the “in service” Dundas car (which I think is a good idea) it certainly could have provided good back-up service should there be a problem on Broadview, north of Gerrard, and that situation I have seen several times which creates chaos with the passengers involved trying to get to/from the subway.

    I have always thought that the TTC was far too quick to remove trackage that was abandoned from active service but which would have contributed greatly to the efficient movement of passengers when problems arise on the regular surface routes. One can see this all over the streetcar system with places like the downtown trackage (Queen, Wellington, York, Church) in mostly deplorable condition and unable to make full use of it, the removal of rail on Adelaide St between Bathurst and Spadina, removal of tracks on Coxwell from upper Gerrard to Danforth, the soon to be “removal” of Townsley loop on the St. Clair Line. Dare I say the St. Clair Carhouse? Here would have been an ideal location to keep streetcars for St. Clair and Bathurst routes. The carhouse could have been “the location” for receiving, testing, modifications etc, etc, etc of the new streetcars that Toronto is to receive in the not too distant future. The St. Clair line would probably have been a good test route for the new cars and certainly would have been easily accessible to the St. Clair Carhouse.
    I realize that these non-revenue tracks and overhead cost money for installation and maintaining, but what is the cost of not doing it in relation to the transit traveling public and the TTC’s image of “service to the public”?

  16. Mark Dowling says:

    Given the high likelihood of Don Mills LRT terminating at Pape, that will likely have a serious impact on what service is provided south of Pape Station, hopefully in the form of downtown relief to “relieve” the zoo that is Yonge/Bloor. Accordingly it might be a bit premature to promote an extension of the existing streetcar network to Pape until we can see what happens with DMLRT.

  17. Andrew says:

    I think that in the absence of a (presumably underground) downtown relief line south of Pape station, it would make the most sense to terminate the Don Mills line at Broadview. This would allow streetcars to continue downtown via the existing track (or at least allow passengers to transfer to the 504/505 if this is not considered feasible).

    Steve: There are major capacity problems at both Broadview and Pape Stations. The Don Mills line will have to be underground through East York and a downtown connection is easier to build from Pape (or Donlands) than from Broadview as originally proposed for the downtown relief line.

  18. Austin G says:

    Well it will be nice when/if construction at Broadview Stn. actually wraps up, what about the Dundas track reconstruction?

    It was suppose to end in September, but they keep delaying it. There is hardly any work going on. Dundas Street from River to Sumach has been left untouched since mid October. The only thing needed to restore this stretch is covering the tracks with concrete. All work ends at about 3 pm daily and they don’t work weekends.

    This could have been done on schedule, if not in advance if they had worked weekends.

    Steve: Dundas east of Parliament was never slated to open until November due to the bridge reconstruction project. I don’t know why work may have stopped there.

  19. David C says:

    On the TTC web site (rather ominously under “Service Disruptions” :-> ) it is announced that effective Monday 12 November some bus bays will change location. Could the work there REALLY be finished? (At least until they start the ventilation project…) Steve, we expect a report!

    As of 5:30 pm on November 11, there is no sign of impending changes at Broadview Station. Maybe elves will come overnight!

  20. David C says:

    Though the TTC notice about the changed bus bays NOW says Wednesday November 14 it was originally posted on website last Friday saying Monday November 12. I really want to like the TTC but they do make it difficult!

  21. Stephen Cheung says:

    It brings me a chuckle to find out about the placement of the new platforms that the boarding for the main 100 Flemingdon Park route is smushed up against the structure where the operators “do their business”, while the 100A and 100D branches to Wynford get their own, unobstructed bay. Why couldn’t they put the 8 Broadview next to the “relief station” and assign the 100 to two unobstructed platforms, hmmm?

    Better yet, why not designate that bus bay where 62 Mortimer was going to be as a designated unloading platform, and reduce the 100 to a single loading platform, hmmm? (and still relegate the 8 Broadview next to the relief station?)

  22. Chris W says:

    Back to St. Clair for a moment.

    Installation of the new shelters appears to have come to a complete stop. In fact, I think last Monday was the only day work was done. Some posts, low barriers and signs have been installed at Deer Park and Avenue Road. Nothing to actually shelter under unfortunately.
    What is going on?

    What’s the full story on the delay in getting shelters installed?

    Will temporary concrete barriers be put back on the new platforms?

    I suspect we will just have to wait and see what happens.

    Steve: I will be at the TTC meeting on Wednesday and will try to get an answer from “the horse’s mouth”.

  23. Matthew Kemp says:

    I hope you do get an answer from the TTC about this, I used to use Broadview Station everyday when I went back to school and for a couple of years escalators and a bunch of crap piled up in places that interfered with passenger flow really burned my butt. (So tempted to use profanity.) Now that my travel patterns are diffrent and use the system on a wider context, I wonder if they have a template excuse for each one of the issues on the system, oh wait am sorry it’s on page 238 on how to lie to the public!

  24. David C says:

    Steve: Try to control your excitement … the TTC website now says:

    This multi-phase project to improve service operations and public access at Broadview Station has encountered on-site and structural challenges as well as a work stoppage, which has caused delays to completion. The final phase of work is scheduled for completion by the end of November 2007.

    The last phase of work to the station includes:

    • Construction of a new stairway leading from the eastbound subway platform to the bus platform level. Scheduled opening; week of November, 25th.
    • An additional bus bay into the existing bus platform. Scheduled opening: November, 14th.

    Ventilation seems to be off the lists – until next year…..

    Steve: As of the morning of November 14, the new bus bays were in operation, and the hoarding around the new east stairway had been taken down at platform level.

  25. Emily Green says:

    Steve, I really like the stairway down to the west platform it puts me in the perfect spot for the Stairway closest to my bus route at Kipling Station, Hence the love affair with the 30 Lambton, lol..

    Especially when I am coming home from a late night with friends at Golden Pizza on Broadview..

    Accessibility can be fun (sarcasm) of course during construction!

    News Headline: watch the blind person stumble around trying to find the right bus! watch while there is NO tactile map of bus bay allocations! HA! how Funny!! Seriously though the TTC REALLY dropped the ball on this one, they could have made on in-house, they have the ability to make steel signs in braille , why not a embossed map of the station layout for buses and streetcars??

  26. Samuel says:

    It’s so bad. For example. If they really worked hard and planned it efficiently I don’t see how this can take all these years. People build townhouses in one year, why not renovating a subway station. I see they don’t want to rush it and PAY more. I find it funny how the TTC trys to make the service look better by its appearance, but not by improving the service they have now.

    Like we all say.. They have some work to do.

  27. Driver Bob says:

    Speaking as someone who has had to crane to see around that pile of debris in the parkette for years, I have always wondered how many people thought to call the contractor of the Broadview job, as opposed to calling the TTC complaint line and getting soft-soaped by a customer service rep?

    I cannot count the number of people who have demanded of me (rhetorically, I assume, for how could I know?) “When is the TTC going to finish this job?” Words to this effect were even scrawled on one of the temporary barriers on the 504 platform.

    Truly inspired activism, particularly since that person’s time would have been better served turning around and observing that the pile of debris had a huge sign posted above it boasting the contractor’s logo and contact info.

    They’re called DINEEN Construction. They made $2,987,700 on this deal.

    I’m sure we’ll all agree this must be a Good Price. After all, the private sector is the meritocracy from which we can select only the best work for the best price. That’s conventional wisdom. We don’t want those corpulent, indolent TTC workers on the case. Let the market decide.

    So those debris lingered until last week. I wonder if DINEEN got even a tenth of the calls the TTC got about this? I wonder if anyone giving journalistic coverage of the problem called them for a statement, or publicized their actual name in reporting on the problem? Does anyone have any examples of the private contractor getting any of the blame?

    Steve: The issues I have raised here have to do with TTC’s management of the contract, and by extension, with their role in other major works:

    • Splitting the project into three separate pieces so that it would fit into the budget a year at a time, but then putting them back together again trying to manage them as one.
    • Providing very poor public information about the ongoing status of the work.
    • Failing to ensure, somehow, that Dineen had someone actually on the job working to complete construction rather than leaving various steps half-finished for weeks on end. This cannot all be blamed on labour problems because it happened far too many times.

    The TTC isn’t a construction company (thank goodness for that!) and much of the work at Broadview is not something that TTC workers could have handled.

  28. David C says:

    “Driver Bob” is certainly sounding more and more like “TTC Manager Bob”!

    I absolutely agree with you, Steve, that the problems at Broadview (and at St Clair?) are with the MANAGEMENT of the contracts. Was nobody in TTC management getting after Dineen about the delays? Did the contract not have time or penalty clauses? If not, why not?

  29. Driver Bob says:

    “Driver Bob” is certainly sounding more and more like “TTC Manager Bob”!

    Oh yes, management has approached me a few times. Rest assured I’m far too clever to fall into *that* trap. ;) But that doesn’t mean I automatically assume that everything management says is a lie or that every problem can be ascribed simply to how stooopid they are. Many of these decisions, like spreading a big job over successive budgets, is obviously a result of chronic underfunding. These projects are getting nickel-and-dimed to death. Surely that should be the target of our ire?

    “The TTC isn’t a construction company (thank goodness for that!)”

    Actually, the Commission has quite a large infrastructure; including construction equipment, some rather sophisticated machine shops and other facilities.

    All I’m saying is Dineen bids on and recieves a lot of contracts in this town, not just from the TTC but from government and other agencies. At some level, their professional reputation must be earned too. I think it’s quite likely that, had their phone started ringing off the hook or, even worse, had their name even once appeared negatively in journalism covering this ongoing problem, you would have seen that pile of junk disappear pretty quickly. They had their name on a 10′x4′ sign posted over a pile of trash. Just imagine that pic in the paper. Yet this company gets a pass. Only the TTC is to blame. Does that seem fair to you? Does a construction company really need to be *told* by those who hire them that cleaning up their mess is part of the job?

  30. David C says:

    Steve: As you probably saw today, the new staircase at Broadview is NOT open and the TTC website now says: “Scheduled opening; by year end”. Which year do you think they mean? Words fail me…

    This multi-phase project to improve service operations and public access at Broadview Station has encountered on-site and structural challenges as well as a work stoppage, which has caused delays to completion. The remaining portion of the final phase of work to the station includes:

    Construction of a new stairway leading from the eastbound subway platform to the bus platform level. Scheduled opening; by year end.

    Steve: Down in the station and from what was visible at mezzanine level, everything seemed ready to go, and then on Monday, a hoarding went up at the platform level entrance to the new stair. There is still a pile of construction material around the entrance up at the bus level.

    I have seen and heard little evidence of any activity. The excuse about work stoppages, etc, is long worn-out, but like so many TTC excuses, it gets trotted out to explain everything.

  31. Robert says:

    Hah, just wait till the escalator at Broadview goes out of service for a refurbishing in the near future. =)

  32. Nicholas Fitzpatrick says:

    Ah – interesting. I made a rare arrival to Broadview on a streetcar on Monday evening (I don’t think I’d arrived at Broadview by streetcar since the 1980s!), and simply walked out of the car, down the first stairs I saw without thinking. I thought it odd that everyone else seemed to be walking in a different direction!

    (the only reason I was there, was because after half-an-hour waiting on a stranded 506 at DeGrassi, and another 20 minutes waiting for a following 506 at Broadview to detour around Queen to Coxwell, I’d hopped on a 505 to get to the subway – is it me, or is the city’s inability to deal with cars parked on streetcar tracks particularily bad this year. In times past, I’ve seen the police there and cars towed in under 20 minutes … are the police on a work-to-rule or something?)

    Steve: More to the point, when is the City going to demand changes in Provincial legislation so that cars can be towed away on the orders of TTC supervisory staff rather than requiring that a Police Constable attend and order this? We talk a good line about transit priority and the woes of cars blocking the tracks, but never take the most important first step, empowering a wider range of people to enforce the traffic laws we already have. I suppose it’s easier to gripe about the problem than to address it seriously.

  33. Lisa RR says:

    Today the staircase at the 505 platform was closed at 6pm, with metal doors one landing down.
    However the “new” double staircase was open at the main platform.

    In the “ours is not to wonder why category” ….

    Thanks for all your hard work!

  34. Ed Drass says:

    The doors to the 505 platform were also shut when I visited last week. I explored the station Thurs., Jan. 10, after first strolling along a finished pathway in the recently-sodded parkette next door. Ahh, at last.

    I enjoyed hanging out in the little corner alcove with the unusually-shaped windows that look onto Broadview. The nearby lift was constantly in use.

    It was just before afternoon rush period, and for about 30 minutes or so the bunch-up of 504 streetcars meant that approaching cars either had to wait in the street for the platform to partially clear, restricting traffic while they waited, or pull in behind the other two cars. With this maneouvre, the streetcar blocked the sidewalk and patrons were only able to exit from the front doors.

    Since the double-tracking of Broadview was presumably focused on providing more space, I have to hope the backlog I saw was rare… It did disappear eventually.

    Steve: There is a constant problem with too many cars at Broadview Station on both the 504 and the 505, although now that the 505 is running through to Dundas West and uses all of its running time, the 505′s don’t sit with their ass out onto Broadview all the time.

    The “expanded” platform at Broadview increased the capacity by about one car, and will be a big problem when we have the new LRVs which will only fit one per platform (just look at the 504 platform in the morning when an ALRV and a CLRV are there together). The TTC should have been much bolder and expanded Broadview Station into the adjacent parking lot, but parking is a hot button issue for the locals (both residents and merchants) and as such, that lot is untouchable.

    I am always amused any time someone talks about putting even more service in this station because there is no place for it to go.

    The metal columns that support walkways at surface platform level are prematurely rusting at the base. I have heard from TTC that the appropriate manufacturer/contractor will rectify this. (Not at TTC expense, I believe.)

    Steve: Another great manufacturing problem just like the mess with the St. Clair shelters.

    The new transfer corridor between the surface and subway platforms is complete, although there is a serious leak — rusty water covered the stairway toward the westbound subway level. A structural flaw, evident so soon?

    Steve: This problem existed when the first of the stairways opened and is a constant problem. If you know the old geography, you would know that there is an underground stream that crosses above Broadview Station and runs down into the Don. It has been a problem down in the station for years, and provision for it should have been made in the new design and construction. Looking at the station carefully, the leak appears to be mainly at the point where the new structure abuts (I would hardly say “joins”) the old.

    Of minor note was the evidence of graffiti on the walls of the new transfer corridor. The tiles were clean, but paint was still very visible on the caulking/grout between the tiles. Also, the motion sensor for the easy access door leading to the bus bay behind the collector booth was often activated by patrons walking past — not through.

    Steve: Yes that’s another wonderful piece of design. There have been times this winter when the motion-activated doors at the main entrance were shut off to prevent the cold gales blowing through the station. These doors are a wonderful idea, but they’re open a lot more than the old ones.

    In all, it’s great to see the station done — even if it isn’t really done until the flaws are fixed.

    While I was there, the trusty old escalator (the one with three pre-steps to street level) did not disappoint, and stopped sometime during my visit. I’ve heard tell that some collector booths once had signals warning of stopped escalators — but these have not worked for years. However, I had thought that at least a loud bell would ring when an escalator stops, as a safety precaution.

    I heard no bell and when I notified the collector, he had been unaware and surmised it was ‘kids hitting the button’. (Years ago a janitor told me the Broadview unit often stops — due to chronic overheating. I have never been able to confirm this, but still suspect…)

    Steve: “Kids hitting the button” are the escalator equivalent of “traffic congestion” — a catch all excuse for not fixing things that break all of the time. I have been on that escalator a number of times when it stopped for no apparent reason. No bell. No kiddies either.

    Part of the TTC’s corporate mythology is that they are almost never responsible for anything that goes wrong.

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