Meanwhile on St. Clair: A Fall Update

While I was at the TTC today, I took the oppurtunity to find out what is going on with this endless project.  Here’s an update.

The Ramps at St. Clair West

Due to problems with the contractor (no specifics), the work has been on hold.  However, the impasse is now resolved, work has (or will shortly) resume and completion is planned for the end of October.

The New Shelters

The now-and-forever project to install new shelters on the completed portion of the line is getting rather comic.  They were supposed to come in August, then in September and now they might get here this month, but don’t hold your breath.  October, maybe.  Considering how long ago this line was designed, the idea that we are only now getting delivery of the shelters is a huge joke.

Why Are The Buses Not On The Right Of Way?

It seems that the buses are afraid of falling off because of clearance problems.  Of course, if they hadn’t put those dumb centre poles on the right-of-way, this would not be an issue.

I cannot help thinking that all of these and similar problems are rooted in what passes for design and project management.  The TTC can run an efficient project (just look at the recent reconstruction at Kennedy Station), but some on some projects everything that can go wrong does.  They can’t blame it all on SOS or Hydro.

8 thoughts on “Meanwhile on St. Clair: A Fall Update

  1. Have you any news about the transit priority signalling system for St. Clair? I’ve noticed that it seems to be working perfectly at the intersection of St. Clair and Vaughan Road, which defies all logic, given the TTC:

    1) a red for traffic in all directions,
    2) 6 seconds of the transit priority light for east-west streetcars,
    3) a left turn light if there are cars turning, then,
    4) a green for all east-west traffic.

    Of course, with the right-of-way out of service, no one is actually benefitting from the transit priority light.

    Steve: Until we have streetcars back again, I really can’t answer this question. What seemed to be the case when the cars were still there was that all intersections were running on a standard, preprogrammed sequence with, for example, left/U turn signals even when there was no traffic in the left turn lanes.


  2. Talking of poorly managed projects… I see that the Broadview station bus platforms are “almost’ finished. I have lived in Toronto for 6 years and it seems to me that work has been going on at at Broadview since I arrived. I know it’s “your station” so I hope you will be invited to the official ribbon cutting ceremony!

    It is rather frustrating that some TTC projects are apparently so poorly managed and are not scheduled to reduce rider inconvenience. I hear that as soon as all of St Clair is finished (fall 2008) it will be unusable in 2009 because the section on Bathurst which links the tracks to the rest of the network will be replaced!

    Steve: It would be too much to ask that Bathurst be scheduled in 2008 when the line will be shut down for construction. I am sure that there is some good bureaucratic reason, but there is far too much of this on TTC projects.


  3. I have to agree with the poles. Although the TTC has expressed a desire to return St. Clair to what it once were (with centre poles), I do not see any benefit to it rather than to waste space which could be better used for sidewalks or even bike lanes. The poles are nice, but really unneccessary.


  4. I, too, would like to thank you for the update on St. Clair. I had long suspected that nothing was getting done about the ramps. While I appreciate your doing the leg work to learn what’s behind it, I can’t help but feel a little bitter that the TTC has not bothered to keep their paying customers informed. This sort of thing would not fly in the business I’m in.


  5. If this project were managed properly, everything would be done in as short a time period as possible so as to minimize inconvenience. Both Bathurst and St. Clair West station should have been rebuilt at the same time, and there shouldn’t be multiple full line closures over a period of years. It is a shame that the TTC couldn’t figure out a way to do this. Could the TTC, for example, have hired private firms to do the work Toronto Hydro couldn’t do when the TTC needed it? Things like this could help the TTC stick to logical, less disruptive construction schedules. Of course SOS didn’t help, but that shouldn’t have thrown the construction schedule out of whack either.

    Never mind that reconstructing Bathurst would have never been a problem if we had kept the Wychwood carbarns open.

    Steve: The TTC could not have hired someone else to do the work on Hydro’s plant because they don’t own it.


  6. The tracks north of Bloor haven’t been fixed yet? If they kept construction south of College as long as they could, we’d get some use out of St. Clair. Would it have been that costly to keep Wychwood open for Bathurst and St. Clair cars? Also, one thing that should have been done is an added SB Vaughan to NB Bathurst left turn track. This would have provided an alternate loop as well as layover space to St. Clair West, so that when the station is closed, cars could run east to Bathurst at least. Also, When the platforms are closed as they no doubt will be during the next phase of construction, this loop could be used.


  7. Steve said, “It seems that the buses are afraid of falling off because of clearance problems.”

    I couldn’t help but chuckle when I first read that. I pictured a new fleet of buses being used that come out of a “Thomas the Tank Engine” story with very frightened faces on them!


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