Waterfront Revitalization Five and Ten Year Plans

A report on the Policy and Finance agenda for July 18 sets out the business plan for various waterfront projects.  Like the Spadina Subway (discussed elsewhere) this work will be funded through a trust to which various governments will contribute.  Much of this report is dry financial stuff where we take money out of one pot, put it in another, shuffle the cards around, and hope it all comes out in the end.

The interesting stuff is in Appendix A which describes the various projects.  Here we learn the current plans for construction of LRT lines to the eastern waterfront.

  • EA studies to complete by the end of 2008.
  • Construction start in the West Donlands in 2008 and the East Bayfront in 2009.
  • West Donlands LRT (the Cherry Street Car) to be completed by 2008/09 or 2010/11 depending on which page of the report you believe. 
  • East Bayfront LRT (the Queen’s Quay Car) to be completed by 2010/11 or 2014/15 depending etc.

Development of the Port Lands (east of the Don River) is not mentioned probably because it lies beyond the 10-year horizon of this plan.

I mention these schemes in the context of the TTC’s fleet planning.  We are developing a huge new part of the city, and it will need transit service.  Decisions about new streetcars cannot be delayed indefinitely if we are serious in the “transit first” commitment to new neighbourhoods.

Spadina Subway Financing

A report on the Policy and Finance Committee’s agenda for Tuesday, July 18 goes into the rather dry business of setting up a trustee for the Move Ontario Trust.  This creature will be used to hold the moneys contributed by various governments to the Spadina Subway project.

The current project cost estimate, all the way to Vaughan Corporate Centre Station, is $2.1-billion (2006).  To date, the Province has contributed $670-million, slightly less than one-third and with no provision for inflation, in the fund.  York Region’s share is yet to be determined, and everyone looks with hope on Ottawa for a matching contribution.  We shall see. Continue reading

St. Clair Update

Construction is finally underway west from Avenue Road and St. Clair to Tweedsmuir.  At this point, the work is on sidewalks and utilities, but you can see the extent of the road widening from the cuts into lawns between Avenue Road and Russell Hill.  Traffic in the construction area is now confined, more or less, to the streetcar lanes in the middle of the road. Continue reading

Flights to Nowhere Revisited (Updated)

A staff response to the Commission’s queries about escalator reliability appears as item 35b in the agenda for the July 19th meeting.  You can read the report here.

The report proposes a system that will alert Collectors and the central escalator maintenance office at Ossington Station when a problem occurs.  The basic problem is that most units are not wired back to the Collector’s booth and the way station staff find out about stoppages is that someone complains.

I might be understanding about this situation at, say, King Station where the Melinda escalator, often stopped, is old and miles from the booth.  However, the guinea-pig station for this project is Bayview on the Sheppard line.  It’s so nice to learn that our $1-billion bought us some tolerably interesting architecture, but no system to alert staff when an escalator is stopped.

Assuming the trial at Bayview is successful, all escalators and elevators on the Sheppard line will be hooked up by the end of 2010, and the rest of the network will follow by 2012.  Then, finally, mechanics can be dispatched to the scene.

Maybe while they’re putting in all of the new communications gear for this project and station security upgrades, they can snap a photo of all those teenagers who are alleged to be stopping the escalators.  Run mug shots on the platform video screens.  Catch those villains!

Meanwhile, the report is silent on the simple question of why route supervisors at major stations like Kennedy or Finch don’t report escalator problems and, where possible, deal with them as a basic part of their job.

My original post on this subject follows below. Continue reading