Joe Mihevc Visits St. Clair West Station

There is a post on youtube by Joe Mihevc, Vice-Chair of the TTC, showing the situation at St. Clair West Station that has kept streetcars out of the loop for months.

When the contractor started to excavate to install a new expansion joint, they found electrical cables buried in the concrete that were not on the station plans. These are being rerouted.

I talked to the Vice-Chair last week, and the TTC hopes to have the streetcars fully back into the station in about a month.

Some Things You Just Have To Say

I received a comment from Roger Bal in the thread about Trams to the Airport, and this really deserves a post all of its own.

Roger comments:

Steve, I believe you are too one sided and political and you failed to see the proposal of LRT I mentioned via the rail corridor. It seems to me it’s either your way or the highway with every proposal and idea that is put forward by anyone.

gettorontomoving is just an idea like other ideas brought forward time and time again through out the years. Why does someone’s political affiliation have to do with an idea. Anytime a new road is mentioned or brought forward your underwear becomes fouled. Remember that we all share the roads and that’s the way it should be. Cars and our population is going up and nothing you say will change that. The ideas of roads being added to vacant land beside railway tracks shouldn’t be political. Those ideas are valid and they benefit everyone and it eliminates a lot of unused lands in our city. I don’t view the world as everything being political.

I dissed the gettorontomoving scheme not for its LRT to the airport, but for its expressway extensions as shown on their map, specifically:

  • The Weston Corridor expressway as a southerly extension of Highway 400 to the Gardiner
  • The Spadina expressway extension to St. Clair
  • The DVP branch through East York and Scarborough via the hydro corridor

These roads are overwhelmingly designed to funnel traffic into the core, but it’s unclear where it will go when it gets there. They will do little or nothing to relieve congestion on the outer 416 and 905 road networks. I might have greater faith that someone was genuinely interested in road problems if they concentrated their efforts in those regions. Continue reading

Two Years

January 31, 2006 saw the first post on this blog, a retrospective of my Film Festival reviews from years past. That was something just to get the wheels turning, and the reviews took a back seat to transit right from the start.

Over two years, this site became an important venue for discussions about many aspects of transit planning, operations and funding, not to mention the odd flight of fancy. All of this could not happen without the readers and contributors to the site.

We don’t always agree, some have even marched away in a huff, but overall the level of conversation here is worth the effort of writing the original material and editing the comments as they come in. Thanks to all the regular contributors for keeping me on my toes and taking discussions down unexpected pathways.

Special thanks go to my friend Trevor who hosts this site on his system. Technology has its challenges, and regulars here have probably noticed that after a period of instability, things are more or less back to normal. It’s a long story. Let’s just say that the past few months have been challenging.

Yes, there will be more posts with oddles of charts about service even though I am now working with year-old data. The situation on the ground hasn’t changed all that much and it’s worth looking at other routes.

Yes, I will continue to argue from a position that we should consider LRT first and move to other technologies only when they are appropriate. I am sure that the definition of “appropriate” will fill many comments.

Yes, I will maintain my belief that transit really can make a difference even if it will take decades to see the effect on parts of the GTA. Doing nothing is easy, but unproductive. We have wasted far too long on bad projects that have more to do with political favouritism and support for the engineering and construction industries than with useful development of the Toronto region.

To the staff of transit and planning agencies around town who yearn for better days, don’t give up yet. I may be a feisty opponent when we disagree, but good plans that can make Toronto’s transit great will (almost) always have my support.

To the politicians, learn how to get things done. Announcements won’t make service on the Queen car any better, and won’t build a millimeter of rapid transit, whatever technology you may prefer.

Thanks to everyone who has sent supporting messages, with a special salute to the professional media for their compliments. I’m not a working writer, but enjoy both the act of putting my ideas “on paper” and the cut and thrust of moderating all those comments.