Updated December 18 at 12:50 pm:
Yes, at long last, the new stairway from the surface loop down to both the eastbound and westbound tracks opened as advertised this week.
There is still no sign over the stairway saying “To Trains”, but people find their way down nonetheless. This has one great benefit of shifting a lot of the pedestrian traffic away from the main entrance and the crowded single stairway down to the original mezzanine.
We still have temporary signs at the bus bays, one of which appears to be held up (crookedly) with electrical wire.
Updated November 15 at 8:20 am:
As of the morning of November 14, the new bus bays were in operation, but with overhead signs that are clearly temporary (given the length of time this project took, one would expect real signs to have been manufactured and delivered ages ago).
The hoarding around the new eastbound stairway has been removed at platform level.
Now we wait until November 25th to see if they make their opening date for that connection.
Updated November 12 at 7:40 pm:
- Much of the construction debris is gone.
- The station layout map has been installed showing the new locations even though they are not in use yet, and there’s no announcement that it’s not in effect until Wednesday.
- No change on the stairway.
But look on the bright side — all of the escalators were actually working!
Updated November 12 at 12:20:
As of today at 9:30 am:
- The notice from the TTC website advertising changes in bus bay locations is not posted at the station.
- A considerable pile of construction debris is still sitting on the bus platform blocking access to two of the bays.
- New signs indicating which route stops where have not been installed.
- The new stairway from the bus platform to the mezzanine remains closed, and no signage has been installed there (although it was delivered to the station weeks ago and sat languishing in the parkette for several days).
The advertised date for the change is Wednesday (two days hence). I will let everyone know how the situation evolves.
The Original Post From November 5:
This morning, as I gazed upon the parkette beside Broadview Station, my heart beat a little faster to see a new concrete pathway under construction while a bulldozer spread fresh topsoil on areas where plants will grow.
We who live near the station have almost forgotten what it was like to have no construction, somewhere, in “our” station, and the long-term loss of the parkette took the neighbourhood’s tone down several notches. I understand the need for construction staging areas, but this interminable project gives a new meaning to “staging”.
Meanwhile in the station itself, the new platform and stairway have been almost finished for a few weeks. New signs sit in boxes waiting to be installed, although the electrical work for new overhead signs no sooner started than it stopped again. As with this entire project, the contractor and the TTC seem to be doing it in their spare time with little thought to the attractiveness or capacity of the station.
Why is this taking so long? One reason advanced by the TTC is that several small projects were originally proposed as one renovation, but the stages were split up for budgetary reasons. Not only did this take longer than planned, it cost more. Meanwhile, the neighbourhood kept expecting to get their station and park back together, only to be told every year that yet another piece of work had been tacked on. When the construction trailers finally left the parkette a few weeks ago, I finally believed that the work would finish soon.
For those who don’t know the history, this project involved several changes:
- addition of a second streetcar platform so that King and Dundas cars could arrive and leave independently
- addition of more bus platform capacity to handle the many routes at Broadview
- addition of elevators linking the street, mezzanine and platform levels
- addition of hands-free doors for easy access both to the street and to the bus platforms
- addition of new stairways linking the bus/streetcar platforms to the westbound, and later the eastbound platform
- repairs to the bus roadway and station structure for waterproofing and other structural problems
- addition of ventillation equipment as part of a fire control project
Of the list above, only the fire control system seems to have been dropped. I say this because the proposed structural changes shown on the original drawings to support this work have not actually been made to the station.
I am quite sure that if this had been launched as a consolidated project, it would have finished at least a year ago. This is an example of what can happen when projects are undertaken piecemeal on the basis that we will pay for a little more as and when money is available. (Anyone who has lived through house renovations will understand this concept.)
According to the TTC’s Website, this project should have been finished last Wednesday. It’s not, like so many other TTC construction projects that seem to linger indefinitely with nobody quite knowing what’s happening. Yes, things do go wrong, but long periods of inactivity without any notice to regular users of the station give the impression of waste and mismanagement. That’s not the image the TTC would like to project with everyone complaining about new taxes and the runaway, spendthrift public sector.
Some projects run with impressive speed and precision (Kennedy Station bus loop repaving) while others drag on forever (will the transit shelters ever arrive on St. Clair). The TTC must take seriously its role as the largest of our municipal agencies and recognize that badly managed projects (whether in reality or perception) undermine calls for added public funding.