Cherry Street EA Update

If you were not able to get to the Public Information Centre meeting last week, the handout can be accessed on the Toronto Waterfront website (scroll down to the end of the list of reports). 

This package does not include drawings of proposed treatments of the underpass at the railway viaduct.  Although there have been some proposals, detailed design and evaluation is part of the study of the area south of the railway including the complex problems of connecting both parts of Cherry, Lake Shore and Queen’s Quay.

6 thoughts on “Cherry Street EA Update

  1. I’d like to know who did the 3D renderings of the street concepts. The CLRV model comes from a guy in the United States by the name of Matt Harter and was probably used without permission. (A promotional advertisement for a Toronto condo development did that before except with the bizarre inclusion of a re-coloured Boston PCC model from the same guy!) What irks me further though is that the models weren’t corrected to make them consistent with the current appearance of the CLRV and to remove some minor errors in the original.

    There also appears to be an absolutely horrible rendition of an ALRV made by butchering together two copies of the CLRV model – it even has both trolley poles still! Upon closer inspection you can see that the ‘artist’ simply put two CLRVs nose-to-tail and boxed over the section with a simulated articulation membrane, however the side mirror of the second vehicle is protruding through the side.

    I realize this is just a mock-up, but I’m tired of seeing this repeated laziness make a mockery of our transit vehicles. It would have taken very little effort to correct these renditions. It is certainly a step I would have taken if I had been the artist doing the work. If you’re going to steal someone’s artwork at least show some respect by making the effort to use it accurately. If in fact they paid for it then they should have at least gotten their money’s worth. (They bothered to put “504 DON LANDS” in the rollsign, so why not fix the other details?!?)

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  2. Has there been any recent discussion on service patterns for this branch? It’s only two stops long for the time being and the merits of having a scheduled route or branch to serve it during off-peak periods seems questionable. 504 service on Broadview can be pretty questionable already.

    Steve: At this point, I believe that the TTC sees this as a supplementary service to the main 504 service so that better headways can be scheduled in the west end than to Broadview Station. Living at Broadview, yes, the service here can be rather dubious and I have waited 20-30 minutes for a car at Queen Street while a frequent service, clearly short turned via Parliament, comes down Broadview westbound.

    The usual culprits are club district traffic or foul-ups in Parkdale due to Gardiner Expressway overflow.

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  3. I think that the south part of the Cherry Street LRT should be built at the same time as the north part – a two stop line is completely useless and building the full line would avoid the need to built a loop north of the train tracks.

    Steve: We are mired here in the mysterious workings of the waterfront regeneration. Originally, the studies for the transit lines were going to be done all at once. Then the Ministry of the Environment (Queen’s Park) asked that they be split apart, although in practice there was a huge amount of overlap in both professional staff and community groups. The junction between the Queen’s Quay and Cherry lines is part of the design for the new outlet for the Don River and the general reorganization of Cherry / Lake Shore / Queen’s Quay.

    One thing about Cherry: The development around it is likely to occur first, and we need to built the transit infrastructure at the same time as the street. It’s a shame about the loop, but cheaper than tearing everything up a few years later. I’m hoping that the Don study will progress far enough that the integration of projects is more technically viable before the actual construction starts on Cherry, or at least we will have a better idea what we are aiming for down there.

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  4. I agree with Andrew that it’s a pity that the Cherry Street streetcar line will initially end at a loop just north of the railway berm. I actually discussed this with Bill Dawson from the TTC at the last public meeting and he told me that the problem is that the Mouth of the Don EA is still underway and until they know the whole layout of the area south of the tracks from the Don (east of Cherry) to Parliament it makes little sense to go south of the berm. He also told me that it is likely that the Queen’s Quay East streetcar line will initially end at Parliament for the same reason. According to him the two loops will continue to be useful for scheduling (I guess he meant short-turns :-> ) even after the lines are linked.

    At the public meeting there was a sketch – interestingly NOT on the website – of two possible ways to get through the berm; one using one of the existing bridge arches – restricted to streetcars, the other building a new tunnel just east of the existing bridge. Though these were “concepts” rather than “plans” neither sounded too suitable to me. Using one arch for two streetcar tracks means all vehicles would share the remaining arch and building a new streetcar tunnel would be very expensive as the Cherry Street signal box sit just above where it would go. Another possibility, not mentioned, would be for the streetcar tracks to share the two existing bridge arches with other traffic. This, of course, is not “streeetcar in its own ROW” – which seems to be the TTC’s new mantra, but I suspect most 504 service on Cherry will continue to end at the loop above the tracks and most QQ East service will probably end at Parliament – unless they decide to run through cars from Union to Broadview.

    As you, Steve, say it is hoped that the Mouth of the Don EA will be completed by the time Cherry Street construction starts in 2009/10 (according to the TRCA website it is due for completion in 2008) and I assume “they” are continuing to look at options for going through the berm. The Cherry Street line will be built first as it is supposed to be completed in mid-2010. Under the terms of the transfer of TEDCO property along Queen’s Quay to the Waterfront Corporation in the summer the Corporation is obligated to build an operational LRT line along QQ East “from Union Station to Parliament Street” before December 31, 2011.
    There seems to be agreement that the Cherry Street streetcar and the Queen’s Quay East streetcar lines will meet; the question is how.

    Steve: One option I proposed at the last consultative meeting which has not made it into a public design, but I hope will, is this: build two new pedestrian underpasses on either side of the existing structure, put the bike lanes where the sidewalks through the underpass are now, and use the two road lanes for autos and streetcars. Yes, it’s mixed traffic, but it’s not the end of the world.

    A pedestrian underpass can nestle in, I believe, without disturbing Cherry Street Tower because pedestrians, unlike streetcars or other fast-moving traffic can deal with dodging around the building. As for service design, the real test of both lines, especially the one on Queen’s Quay, will come with the streetcar into the Port Lands and the proposed developments down Cherry Street.

    Mind you, I wouldn’t mind a direct service to the waterfront from Broadview Station since I live two blocks away, but I’m not the sort of person who designs transit systems to serve his own back yard.

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  5. I have seen photographs of LRT right-of-ways that had grass. At least from the photographs, they looked like the regular green growing kind. The Cherry Street right-of-way looks like solid blocks or concrete. Has the powers-that-be looked at putting grass between the tracks?

    The TTC should do tests to see which type of grass can be use on LRT right-of-ways here in Toronto. The tests could be done on a portion of the Queensway right-of-way using different grasses, including the “low-maintenance” “Eco-lawn” which is drought resistant and slow growing. After a couple of years, we can see which grass would survive and be maintained for a LRT right-of-way, or not.

    Steve: Alas, all of the rights-of-way under consideration are paved, not grassed. Partly this is a question of weather, but mainly it’s due to the desire that the lanes be useable by emergency vehicles and even buses.

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