Signage at Eglinton Station [Updated Again]

[Updated Monday, July 9 at 10:45 pm]

I have been advised this evening by Adam Giambrone’s office that the Paul Arthur signage will not be removed at St. George Station.  This will not be considered again until this station comes up for modernization, something that is not in the cards for the near future.

The removal had been planned as part of a general cleanup of the station, something that was long overdue. 

[Updated Monday, July 9 at 1:10 pm] 

The proposed work at Eglinton Station does not involve moving the outer walls of the station back two feet.  What is proposed is that safety alcoves 5 x 7 feet will be cut into the walls to provide refuges for workers when trains come through the station.  With some careful placement, the existing signage should not be disturbed at all.

As for other stations, there is a press conference later this week that will cover already approved changes at various locations.

[Original post follows] 

Earlier today, a reader asked me to comment on the proposed redesign of Eglinton Station and the need to preserve original signs.  In writing this, I hope not to engender a slugfest among the design mavens of this town, but we shall see.  Worthwhile comments will be posted, repetitive rants will not.  If you must rant, at least be original about it.

First, it’s worthwhile asking just what we are asked to preserve, and to that end I visited Eglinton Station earlier tonight.  The only original signage still in place is the repeated word “Eglinton” on the station walls in large letters, and along the banner at the top of the wall in a smaller version of the same typeface.

For those who remember the original signs, there were not many, and they disappeared one by one from the station.  They included the “Way Out” signs to Duplex and to Yonge Street (pre Canada Square building) as well as the signs at the washroom entrances.

Completely separate from this debate (and the subject of previous threads here — please don’t post again) is the matter of hand-written signs and tattered, out of date announcements.  That is a different issue affecting the entire system including surface routes.  With luck, nobody will find a service change sign so antique that it qualifies for historic preservation.

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When Is A New Tax Not A New Tax?

The Ontario Tories have decided that they want to fund transit and roads through gas taxes!

Cue the cheering peasants dancing in the streets … well, er, um, ah … maybe not yet.

John Tory has discovered that about a third of the tax collected on fuel does not actually go to funding roads and transit.  His solution to transit’s funding problems?  Just redirect that missing third to transportation (a little over $1-billion per year).  However …

We will have to wait up to five years for this to actually happen (beyond the 2011 election) as the provincial budget digests that level of hit on programs that use the “missing” billion.  I wonder how John Tory plans to pay for this while delivering on the usual Tory promises to cut taxes and reduce overall government spending?  This is almost as bad as waiting forever for Greg Sorbara to figure out that the province had money to spend on transit beyond his pet subway scheme.

So what do we have?  “New” funding for transit based on gas taxes, but no new gas taxes.  Efficiencies will be found elsewhere in government.  A billion a year is a lot of efficiency, and over five years, the Tories would no doubt find their own boondoggles to spend on.  With that kind of money, you could bury an “adscam”-sized project in the paperclip budget.  Maybe something like changing the provincial colours to Tory Blue to match their Ottawa cousins.