Waterfront East and Scarborough RT Updates

The draft Terms of Reference for the Environmental Assessment of the eastern waterfront transit plans goes to the TTC for approval next Wednesday.

This draft is the product by much work in full public meetings as well as a community consultation group.  I must commend the team who worked on the draft for their openness to changes, expansion in scope and generally inclusive approach.  The stage of building a ToR can be extremely tedious, but it is vital to ensure that all of the alternatives are considered in the EA itself.  This is a refreshing change from the St. Clair project.

Assuming that the TTC approves the draft, it will go to the Ministry of the Environment for review over the next few months.  While that is underway, some preliminary work will continue collecting information needed for the study and also presenting some technical workshops so that the community can better understand the work behind transportation planning and design.

Meanwhile, the Scarborough RT study is not included on this week’s TTC agenda although it was originally planned for a June presentation.  I suspect that recent events at the TTC coupled with the relatively tighter timelines on the Waterfront studies have pushed the SRT report off into the summer.

One thought on “Waterfront East and Scarborough RT Updates

  1. Having attended both of the TTC-TWRC workshops on the Eastern Waterfront transit EA, I must say I too was impressed by the meetings and the fact that significant changes occurred between the first and second meetings to take account of public suggestions.  The most major change was probably the inclusion of looking at how best to connect to the Bloor-Danforth subway not only to Union Station.  If streetcars turn out to be the best alternative this could include an extension of the Parliament Street line to Queen’s Quay – useful of only for short-turns! – and eventually to Castle Frank station and, when the Portlands gets streetcars, an extension down Broadview to Queen’s Quay/Lakeshore.

    What is rather horrifying for an “EA Virgin” is how long the process of EAs takes.  The public part of this started in February/March 2006 and they are hoping for a final report in June 2007.  Then there is the problem/challenge of funding and actually building something, and finding enough vehicles.  If transit is really going to be there by the time people start moving in there had better be no delays!

    Steve:  The EA process is very cumbersome, although it was born out of a profound distrust for the quick-and-dirty studies of years past.  The typical routine would be for a proposal to be totally worked out in advance of any consultation.  One thing I’m glad to see is the degree to which the “professionals” are learning about detailed local concerns.  If this experience carries forward to other projects, there is hope for better relations between the TTC and affected communities.  We don’t need any more of the bad press that accompanied the St. Clair fiasco.

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