Jane/Eglinton LRT Open House

Lately I have been distracted by other events, and neglected to post information about the Jane LRT Environmental Assessment.  The display panels from the open houses can be found on the project website.  Note that three linked “display drawings” showing the detailed route layout on an aerial view of the line are quite large with the fine details visible only if they are viewed at 100% size.

There will be a joint presentation of the Jane and Eglinton LRT:

Monday September 22
6:30pm to 9:00pm
Centennial Recreation Centre West, gymnasium
2694 Eglinton Ave West
(just east of the York Civic Centre and adjacent to York Memorial Collegiate Institute)

The Jane LRT design is, putting it mildly, challenging because of the narrow right-of-way available for the south end of the route.  Alternatives including underground construction or reduction in the number of road lanes are being considered.  These will be a harder sell in the Jane corridor than on other Transit City routes because of the lower projected demand relative to the community impact and the cost of an underground option.  This would place the line underground south of Wilson Avenue, but would result in much wider average station spacing (1km if underground, 500m if on the surface).

Oddly, the same language about running LRV trains because of the difficulty of managing close headways is carried over from other EA materials.  This gives us the absurb claim that it is difficult to manage a headway of 3’30” of single cars, and a 7’00” headway of trains would be operated for reliability.  Contrast this with the Eglinton LRT EA where the proposed headways are 3-4 minutes.

At York University, there are three proposed routes to link the Jane LRT with Steeles West Station.  One stays completely on Jane and Steeles, one skirts the campus on the west side via Murray Ross Parkway, and one goes through the campus.

Two Metrolinx proposals (shown on the map published by the Star) include a northern extension of the Jane line to meet up with east-west service in York Region, and truncation of the south end at Eglinton where it would connect to whatever is built in the Eglinton corridor.  Also omitted, thanks to the ever-present Blue 22 line, is any mention of a service via the Weston rail corridor to Union Station.  Both of these schemes for the south end of the line would leave the Jane LRT serving only the portion of the route north of Eglinton with bus service remaining south to Bloor.  These options should be examined if only to determine their impact on peak service demand and the origin-destination pattern of riders in the Jane corridor.

The refined proposals for the Jane route will come back to a second series of open house meetings later in 2008.

32 thoughts on “Jane/Eglinton LRT Open House

  1. Hi Steve,

    One thing missing on panel #3, at the York U end is the incoming rapid busway route, which is supposedly to be built long before the Spadina Ext or any Jane LRT. Given the wrangling with the University over the location and route of the busway (if memory serves) then this should be in consideration, rather than reinventing the wheel. I have not seen any information on the future of the busway once the Subway is finished, but one would think it would become redundant. The University should jump at the chance to reuse the infrastructure for another mass-transit link to their central campus, as well the TTC should be looking at extending the usability of the sunk costs of building their route on the campus if only for efficiency. Foreplanning would be prudent here (if unexpected).

    Any word on how the busway will tie into this from planners?

    Steve: York U was quite forceful in wanting the busway removed once the subway opens.


  2. While logically sending the Jane LRT north of Steeles seems right, the problem with fares in York Region arises. I see 3 options: send the Jane LRT along Steeles to connect with the Spadina Steeles subway station, continue north on Jane to the Spadina subway terminal but with the city of Toronto annexing the lands surrounding the LRT and the Subway, or have York Region build its own LRT north of Steeles.


  3. This line feels a bit like it’s taking the “plan everything at once strategy” a step too far.

    It’s great to draw a line down Jane on a map and say it, not Keele or Islington, is the preferred street for a N/S line in the west end, and it’s wise to plan for corridors and connections. But the risk of actually designing the line right now is high — it’s hard to predict how traffic patterns will change once the subway extension, Finch West LRT, and Eglinton “crosstown” are in place. A Jane tunnel from Wilson would be hugely expensive, so I’m guessing property acquisition for a surface option wouldn’t be cheap either. Those costs seem pretty hard to justify with the low ridership numbers in the current forecast.

    Given the line crosses Black Creek six times, I almost expected to see swan boats added to the standard mode capacity chart.


  4. This is concrete proof that the Transit City route selection exercise was done on a napkin.

    Cutting Jane down to 1 lane isn’t an option, and putting the line underground from Wilson will add billions to the price tag, and isn’t justified. So, why was Jane even chosen? Did Miller and Giambone actually do their homework, or just say, “we need a N-S line right about here”.

    It’s time to move this route further west, to Islington or Kipling Avenue. Islington could be reduced to one lane as traffic there is light, and the line could run all the way down to the lakeshore, making it a good trunk route.

    Steve: The Jane line makes more sense if it stops at Eglinton or becomes a Weston line. Kipling would also make a good north-south route at least from Kipling Station north. A connection south looks nice on a map, but as you suggest, we have to avoid drawing lines just because they seem to fill a gap without knowing what the actual demand might be.

    The Transit City studies are in some cases hobbled by the options that they chose to examine, and I think this is a failing of the new 6-month EA process. There is no mechanism to get additional major options on the table short of doing an amended EA later after everyone says “but the study has been approved”. That sort of circular argument works against proper alternatives analysis.

    I know that we differ on our approach to mode/technology choices, but my real concern is that the credibility of Transit City would be undermined by failing to look at alternatives. (There are separate problems over on Don Mills thanks to that study’s inheriting the bus-based alignments from the Don Valley Corridor Study.) I hope that the attempt to merge the Metrolinx RTP, the original Transit City plan, and the available funding will provide an opportunity to rethink part of both schemes. In any event, Jane is not one of the “first tier” Transit City lines and we’ve got time to correct its problems.


  5. A good way to build the LRT network would be to draw more lines (perhaps 12 or 15) initially, then do preliminary analysis and determine which are best investments on the benefit /cost scale, and select those for Phase I. That way, perhaps Kipling would get LRT before Jane. But the planning process currently in place does not seem to allow this kind of substitutions.

    There are a few other issues with the Transit City’s EA process. One of them is the practice of selecting the mode (busway / LRT / ALRT / subway) based exclusively on the future ridership estimate. The ridership certainly has to be a part of equation, but other factors should not be ignored: speed (more important on long routes, less on shorter lines), existence or feasibility of parallel routes, even the fact that ridership will depend on the selected mode.

    Another issue is related to the argument that closer stop spacing on LRT lines results in shorter walks to the stops and that offsets the reduction in speed. The argument holds for passengers whose origin or destination is within a walk from the given line, but not for those who has to transfer from / to another route. Nearly all transfers will be at major intersections where LRT would stop anyway. So, the ratio of local passengers to transferring passengers should be taken into account when analyzing the preferred stop spacing.


  6. My issue with Kipling is that the density lies primarily north of Finch, which would make for a great spur line, say, north on Kipling and West to the martin grove loop or something, but for a N/S line, Jane has considerable existing density from at least Eglinton north.


  7. Yes, the lower end doesn’t make sense, but try to get sense and options into the “plans” – yes we need to do more transit etc. etc., but puttng service onto the Weston corridor makes more sense.

    I also think we should start calling it Transit Suburbs not City, as most of the plans seem to be better for suburbs than a city region, though the core will help pay for it at least once.


  8. Transit Suburbs works for me…doesn’t matter what you call it, its time has come. The suburbs have long supported investments in the core and arterials without getting comparable service of its own.


  9. The idea is to create a rapid N-S trunk/backbone service for Etobicoke that could be extended into York Region. Since Kipling ends at Steeles, Islington would be the better route choice.

    Why does the corridor itself have to be dense? If the light rail system won’t be fed by E-W buses, or if it’s not sufficiently attractive enough to divert trips bound for the Bloor subway from the Kipling, Martin Grove, and Royal York buses, what’s the point? If that’s the case, we shouldn’t be building a light rail “network” at all, because it won’t be a network. We can’t do this just to improve transit for the riders on that one street.

    On Islington, it can be done cheaply because the road can be reduced to one lane in each direction without causing traffic mayhem.

    Steve: Do you mean one road lane each way plus a parking lane? A single road lane is impractical especially at intersections. For much of its length, Islington has abutting boulevards that could be taken to allow road widening to the “standard” 2+1 (2 road plus 1 transit) lane configuration in both directions.


  10. Opps! Almost forgot the bicycle lanes! So it should be 2+1+½, plus a wide (3 slab?) sidewalk, plus a boulevard to dump the snow on, in each direction.


  11. One general traffic lane per direction will be quite problematic for turning trucks, or in case a car breaks down in that lane. Note that even the humble residential streets with no pavement marking are usually three lanes wide.


  12. Hi Steve:-

    Speaking of swan boats. The subject came up at the Eglinton Open House at the Community Centre by the Kennedy Station. A fellow I met there, who I had a good conflab with and who is a TTC planner, spoke highly of the brainstorm session which created this alternative technology proposal. He mentioned the difficulty of elevating people up from the Don at Bloor, but I failed to remind him of the trebuchet idea. A real quick here to there device.


    Steve: That would have been Bill Dawson. We were both at the same Tafelmusik concert, and the inspired Swan Boat proposal shows yet another of the beneficial value of the performing arts!


  13. On Islington (and maybe even Kipling), they could get away with widening only the intersections so that left turn lanes can be kept. I don’t know if light rail vehicles could handle the grades near the Finch Av./Humber River bridge though.

    Jane would obviously be better, but as this EA proves, the Einsteins at the TTC didn’t even visually survey the route before choosing it. This is what happens when you choose a route primarily on ridership numbers.

    Even if they divert or end a Jane line at Eglinton, we would still need 4 km of tunnel — and that would fracture the Jane service. And, an underground route from Wilson to Bloor is tantamount to a Jane subway — major overkill.

    To go forward with a Jane EA at this point is a waste of money — unless they run the line in mixed traffic.


  14. The TTC needs to seriously consider building Transit City lines on the surface on narrower 4-lane roads, by reducing the number of traffic lanes to 2 (one each way). The cost of building in tunnel (or bulldozing a lot of buildings) is ridiculously expensive, and can only be justified when very high capacities are needed. And all this additional cost is for the sole purpose of making the road 4 lanes instead of two.

    Steve: A four-lane street with streetcars is not an LRT line, it’s a streetcar route. Buildings need to have access for deliveries, stopping taxis and all sorts of other vehicles that need to avoid blocking through traffic.


  15. Another question re: Jane I’d love an answer to.

    How in God’s name is it going to loop at Jane station?

    what a stupid, stupid plan for an LRT line. The folks who would need it will either be using the Finch line, the Eglinton line, or the subway that will run from York.

    If the city thinks St. Clair was a battle, wait for the folks on Jane south of Dundas. Ban parking on Jane? Good luck.

    God, this city is far too stupid for words.


  16. Steve, I talked to the Hatch Mott & MacDonald people at the Jane LRT open house and they said they had looked at the Weston sub. There are big problems with it, most notably the apparent requirement of a physical barrier between the LRT and the railways (this, they said, is according to CN/CPR). The argument is that the weight between modes’ vehicles is too dramatic that safety becomes an issue in the event of a CN derailment. Getting the LRT from Jane to the Weston sub is itself an elaborate setup as well, which could further add to any “barrier”-like qualities that really isn’t what this mode should be about, quite the opposite. Given this conflict with CN/CPR, it is unlikely that the Weston sub is usable (at-grade) unless CN or CP discontinue their operations… which I don’t find likely for obvious reasons.

    Steve: First, the connection would be at Eglinton and the Weston sub, not at Jane so that Airport trains could come east on Eglinton and then head downtown via the rail corridor.

    Second, it’s amazing that the Scarborough RT has been running for decades right beside the Uxbridge Subdivision with no huge barrier protecting it from wayward freights or GO trains. Similarly, the Bloor Subway runs alongside the CPR east of Kipling Station. This sounds like a convenient excuse rather than an attempt to explore alternatives.


  17. The Idea of going underground starting at Wilson makes no sense to me at all since Jane street has 6 lanes (5 + center lane) from Wilson to the Black Creek Road/400 Interchange.

    What the city should do is this!

    Surface up to the Interchange then….make the LRT go underground or elevated or whatever and join the MEDIAN of Black Creek Drive. Then if you want to speed operations, put an overpass at Lawrence Ave so that it can be a real LRT stop like Lawrence West further down the road. Then after Lawrence it would have an at-grade stop at Tretheway and then at Eglinton it would terminate and join in with the Eglinton line. From there onwards, I think the line dips underground….

    All problems solved!

    Eglinton can interline with Jane in the busiest central section then Branch off to Jane. Jane is only truly vital from Wilson to Steeles and this fullfills that need. Cheap option and makes use of the tremendous amount of space along the Black Creek Parkway.

    Everyone is happy!


  18. Trey:

    Loops? We don’t need no f**king loops!

    The LRV’s will be double-ended cars, not single-ended like the current streetcars. They will be 30+m long with a driver’s cab at both ends. The current 15.4m and 23.2m streetcars have the driver’s controls at one end. The low-floor LRV’s will crossover, like the subway trains, at the terminals. No need for loops.


  19. If I was a regular Jane rider, I would be nervous about the 7-minute headways. I would be asking myself whether it would be worth it to have service half as frequently as the existing Jane bus. Fortunately at this point we are really only looking at geometric designs, not service designs.

    I find the ridership numbers in the presentation to be not terribly useful. The “existing weekday ridership” data on slide 12 is the typical data that is fine for financial number crunching but is pretty much meaningless for this context — what we need to see is a diagram showing peak hour point ridership at typical sections along the route.

    The future projections at least show point ridership, but only at one point, and we don’t know how much of the route has that level of demand, and how much lower demand is along the rest of the route. Does the 1,700-2,200 figure only last for one or two stops and then drop off significantly, or is demand expected to be more uniform along the route?


  20. Also, the speed projections seem optimistic to me. The option with 800-metre stop spacing is projected to have an average speed of 26-27 km/h. The original Bloor-Danforth subway (Keele-Woodbine) is only slightly faster (28-29 km/h) — it has a slightly shorter stop spacing (650 metres), but it doesn’t have to contend with traffic signals every 350 metres and it operates in an unconstrained environment where it can attain point speeds of 60 to 70 km/h.


  21. Looking at the map of ‘Avenues’ in the official plan. (The link I have is: http://www.toronto.ca/torontoplan/3_lenx.pdf), Jane is not an designated as such. So if the purpose of an LRT on Jane is more for urban development – then it’s in the wrong place per the plan. If it’s simply for improved transit in the zone – then it may not be the best spot either.

    It doesn’t seem that any corridor is perfect. To me, the relatively logical option would be to build the line North of Eglinton only. Assuming the Eglinton line is built underground from near Jane to the Spadina subway – riders from that direction would find that a better routing to get to more downtown destinations (i.e. slighly faster than going down to B-D and transferring at St. George. – mainly due to the somewhat diagonal orientation of the Spadina line as it proceeds South from Eglinton W. down to Bloor.)

    For residents between Bloor and Eglinton, an LRT line on the surface offers very little benefit. As they already have a only a relatively short bus trip down to B-D. The time savings from a surface LRT would be very small. (Through ridership from North of Eglinton down to B-D would be reduced somewhat because of people diverting to the Eglinton line.)

    LRT does have an advantage of flexibility. However, if the design process isn’t flexible, the advantage is lost.


  22. There was construction at Jane and Annette this week. Today is recycling day. A southbound lane has been taken away for the construction this morning. It took the southbound buses and cars about 15 minutes to get past Annette Street. With this example before us, having only one lane in each direction for traffic is not recommended.


  23. Good call Dave R.

    Taking a look at satelite maps on Google and then comparing that map, Keele seems to be a much better choice. The line could stop at Finch (or, alternately, maybe it could recycle the last bit of the busway into the York U campus… if only York U would ever allow it) since the subway would pick up from there anyway… or, we could replace the subway north of Finch West with this LRT, which would be my preference, but funds have been committed.

    From Finch, run the line south until Keele plows into the railway corridor (Weston sub), then tunnel it across through some empty spaces swinging it into Gunns, and onward into Old Stockyards until the railway corridor (CPR Galt sub), veer east, underground across the West Toronto Junction and onto that stub of Old Weston Road south of the CPR (there seems to be the perfect amount of space reserved for a portal) – this portion of Old Weston Road can even be removed from the road grid entirely as no properties actually face it – and then go back under the CPR through a portal between Dupont and Dundas until it hits the Bloor line… with potential for extension. It could, alternately, also continue down Roncesvalles even, since Ronces doesn’t have any tight turns, and a turnback switch could be accomodated at the start of King St, where it is very feasable for the incoming eastbound auto traffic coming in from the Queensway to be very briefly thrown underground for said turnback.

    Excluding the tunneled railway crossings and Dundas, there is enough space along virtually all of this route for LRT, except along Yore, which should probably just be given a Cherry St. solution since Yore east of Keele Upper is one-way anyway, so remove the eastbound Yore lane since only one property accesses Yore from the south side and can be reconfigured easily to provide vehicular access to Tretheway. This area, however, should have some interlining capability with Eglinton… if the portal for Eglinton is just west of Bicknell Ave., where there should still be enough space for such, then a breif set of tracks can flow into Keele by using space on the north side of Eglinton between Bicknell Ave. and Keele Lower.

    This is far cheaper, is far more in sync with the Avenues, and likely a much better network solution.


  24. If there are concerns regarding the right-of-way projections south of Wilson, then it is obvious that this line should be a candidate for BRT. Especially if you try to reroute the line onto Weston Road, the width of the roadway is not that much better on Weston as it is on Jane. Sure you can have your ROW north of Wilson, but south of it, you need to identify ways to bypass the traffic. Especially south of Lawrence, which I hear is atrocious for cars and buses alike.

    The use of BRT for Jane means there is a lot of flexibility on how to arrange such a route. One possibility includes routing it along Black Creek Drive. Now I know that Black Creek does see a lot of traffic, but it provides a quicker way to get to Weston Road, and thus a quicker trip for those heading downtown. Stops could be placed at Lawrence, Trethewey, and Eglinton.

    The use of BRT will solve the issue of trying to figure out what to do with service north of Steeles. As I do not forsee the VIVA network expanding to LRT any time soon, I expect a new BRT line to pick up the slack. And rightly so, YRT wants to make Jane a north-south transit corridor.

    Jane is a busy route, which is why it is getting more airtime on the LRT scene than Keele or Kipling or Islington. None of these other routes have headways less than 5 minutes at offpeak hours. Weston Road is also quite busy, not as much as Jane, but still busier than Kipling or Keele as well. At the very least, this will allow riders on the northern end of the route to head to the south end a lot quicker. That leaves for ridership room on the southern end so that buses there aren’t handicapped by a shortage of space on the bus.

    I do believe that BRT does have a role to play here, and this may be one instance where it would be of some true benefit to the TTC network.


  25. BRT on Black Creek drive substitutes for a Jane LRT as, oh, a BRT on Lake Shore Blvd. would substitute for the Queen streetcar. Which is to say, not particularly. Jane has a lot of local stops. Walking from your stop at Black Creek to Jane, and then some distance along Jane, is not a substitute.


  26. BRT can be more flexible than LRT, and in particular it can use an expressway instead of a ROW line. However, I am not sure that such flexibility will be very useful for the Jane route.

    Fast trips from YorkU or the nothern part of Jane to Bloor or Eglinton can be handled by BRT suggested by Stephen Cheung, but there exists an alternative via Spadina subway plus Bloor subway or future Eglinton rail. The higher speed of subway will partly offset the effect of such route being less direct.

    If, on the other hand, the main goal is to provide premium local service along Jane, then the service should be on-street. Black Creek is not a good alignment for that purpose.

    It looks like LRT on Jane north of Eglinton and retention of mixed-traffic bus service south of Eglinton is the best resolution.

    Btw, BRT to south Etobicoke would be a good idea (frequent stops within south Etobicoke, then express to downtown using Gardiner or dedicated lanes), if dedicated streetcar tracks on Queensway did not exist already.


  27. Hi Steve and W. K. Lis:-

    I wrote before about my opinion about not double ending the LRT cars. Even though the Toronto LRT Information blog site’s web master was not enamoured with my opinion, partly because he misread and/or ignored some of it, I still stand by my opinion that it is an unecessary expense to double end the cars.

    Off street loop sights are definitely an essential for transfer points and convenience on what will prove to be heavily used services, both LRT and the increased off shoots of more bus riders coming to the main line. The extra expenses in all areas as in the extra mechanical parts in the track and on the cars can see money better spent on increasing services and maintaining a clean and efficient interchange point between modes. True, one could use a double end car in a loop, when a stub terminal would be overwhelmed by the freqency of cars, but then why pay for two controllers when one will fill the bill. Mr. Murphy’s laws love to tinker with machinery that is unnecessarily overly complex.

    True too that off street terminals can be stub ended; but they take up a lot of real estate and add extra walkways and stairways to move people around them safely between platforms.

    Please don’t be so blinkered in the thought process that says, double end or bust, since single ending on the Boston Subway during the PCC era was proof that a heavy LRT line carrying thousands of passengers an hour is/was not only possible, but highly successful!



  28. Hi Steve and Rainforest:-

    You know, streetcar tracks don’t have to be reseved for the sole existance in city/downtown streets. They can be laid anywhere one puts there mindset to it! So if it really is desirable that a line be taken along an expressway, why use dirty diseasel buses. Put car tracks on the highway and let ’em fly (if they’re not gridlocked as I have been every time I’ve been on the Black Creek).

    Pittsburgh Railways, the privately owned for profit streetcar operator, laid cartrack on an expressway and accessed that line with a shared cloverleaf. We don’t have to have the least desirable transit vehicle employed just because some of the successful lessons of past openmindedness are ignored!

    When it comes to flexibility, streetcars have it in spades, if their owners/operators only allow themselves to think positively!



  29. Dennis: I must humbly disagree about your assessment that streetcars have flexibility in spades. Obviously you haven’t been in a streetcar tied up by an accident on the tracks. A BRT can get around that disturbance without problem. Unless the cars can sprout rubber-tired wheels and can run without power for a considerable link while it bypasses the “problem”, I can hardly call your solution “flexible”.


  30. 2 Dennis Rankin: Fast LRT running on surface but totally grade-separate is a perfectly valid design for certain routes. The fast LRT should be a trunk route for a relatively remote / isolated area, and passengers should transfer to it using buses, cars, bikes etc. Existing or potential examples within 416 are the SRT guideway, a link from STC to Malvern (along 401), and LRT in Weston corridor. I am sure that many areas in 905 could benefit from such design as well.

    However, I don’t think such design will be very useful for Jane route. Jane is not that far away from other lines, and that limits its trunk role. Those who could transfer to Jane line, can as well transfer to Spadina subway, and / or use Finch W or Eglinton W lines.

    Therefore, design that uses Black Creek (whether buses or light rail) will serve a very limited number of trip patterns: basically, living around Jane North (Steeles to Wilson) and going to to Bloor subway or to Eglinton. From the operations perspective, that won’t be very efficient: a bunch of vehicles will be busy running along the expressway / tunnel from Wilson to Bloor, and another bunch will have to provide parallel service on the remaining part of Jane from Bloor to Wilson.

    Basically, if we want premium local service on Jane, then it should be on-street. If we want a mini-subway running N-S (or diagonally), then it should be located further west, well apart from Spadina subway.


  31. The more I think about it I believe that the Jane LRT should only run north of Eglinton, and it would basically be a branch line of the Eglinton Cross-town. People going down town could transfer to the Spadina Subway.

    South of Eglington could be serviced with buses, and that would probably suffice.

    If most of the people on Jane are in the north end, it would be better to connect them to the Spadina line (which has some capacity to spare) rather than the Bloor line which is pretty much full.

    Perhaps sometime in the future, if there eventually becomes a need it could instead continue to run south down an appropriate corridor (whether that is Jane St., Weston Rd or the rail corridor)

    What do you think Steve?

    Steve: I agree. The section of Jane south of Eglinton is not appropriate for LRT. What we need to see is an origin-destination map of the riders north of Eglinton to see where they really want to go. Jane Station may actually take them out of their way if they’re going downtown.


  32. I have a better idea; Lets cancel this entire B.S. LRT crap altogether, it is the biggest waste of money I have ever seen in my life. Take a look at St. Clair an absolute disaster! You’ll save 5 min on existing surface bus routes and walk a lot more!

    Lets instead build an Eglington subway from Keele to Laird. Extend the Sheppard subway from Yonge to Downsview. Extend Yonge line to Steeles.
    They are going to extend the Spadina line anyway to York U.

    Put 6 lanes on Eglington W. from Keele to 401 and make extra lane diamond for express bus rush hour service, same from Laird to Kennedy on the east route. Yes use Weston rail route for streetcar LRT from Bloor up to Finch Hydro ROW. and use Finch Hydro right of way for north crosstown LRT way from Airport to Zoo.

    Then you can connect the Scarbrough line from Town centre to this. They can make 6 lane Sheppard from Don Mills with diamond HOV to this line as well. Don Mills rd already has HOV lane! Money spent = about the same, traffic surface disruption = much less. Future capacity = much greater as subways beat out glorified streetcar lines any day and these stupid LRT lines will disrupt surface traffic with this plan permanently causing traffic jams and much more CO2 output as well as lost time!

    Steve: The St. Clair car is only barely LRT by virtue of the fact that it has a reserved lane, but it is by no means an ideal implementation. Far too many concessions were made to motorists in the number of crossings and left turn signal arrangements, let alone parking and sidewalk width problems. The transit “priority” signals on St. Clair do as much to hold up streetcar service as to assist it, and buses running beside the streetcars can make better time in “mixed traffic” which gets better treatment.

    As for your subway dreams, don’t hold your breath. We can barely pay for what’s on the drawing boards now, and quite bluntly, the VCC extension is a travesty of politics over good planning. This should have been the beginning of an LRT network in York Region, but instead at vast expense we are building a subway whose projected demand is barely in the low end of LRT territory.


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