WWLRT Public Meetings: Park Lawn to Long Branch

There will be two public meetings to discuss the design for this section of the WWLRT, essentially an upgrade of the Long Branch streetcar.

Monday, May 11, 2009
2:00pm-4:00pm 6:30pm to 9:00pm
Mimico Adult Learning Centre
255 Royal York Road

Tuesday, May 12, 2009
2:00pm to 4:00pm 6:30pm to 9:00pm
The Assembly Hall
1 Colonel Samuel Smith Park Drive

For further information, including the display panels from the previous open houses, please see the project’s website.

After the first round in December 2008 where many felt that the available information and proposal left much to be desired, this is described as a “re-start” of a “new consultation process”.

10 thoughts on “WWLRT Public Meetings: Park Lawn to Long Branch

  1. Just out of curiosity, you have two days with four time “slots”.

    Is it 2pm-4pm open house then 6:30pm to 9pm presentation or two open houses on each day? I saw the same thing at the project’s website.

    Steve: According to the meeting notice (linked from the project website), the afternoons are open houses, while the evenings include formal Q&A sessions.


  2. I know there is a group in the Lake Shore Blvd. W. area that wants to stop the idea. I just hope that the TTC can respond to them – for example, allowing left turns where lights are located currently.

    Steve: The real issue out there is that the TTC needs to avoid tearing the neighbourhood apart, especially where the road isn’t wide enough, in the name of “improved transit”. Considering how little and how irregular the current service is, all of this proposed spending is rather dubious.


  3. As a former Humber Lake Shore student, I can’t believe they want to stick a ROW down the middle of Lake Shore. I have never seen traffic cause significant delays between Park Lawn and Long Branch. When streetcars do come, they generally move fairly well through this stretch. Regular service and all door loading would have a much bigger impact.

    (I know the 501 is supposed to allow all-door loading already, however it is rare for drivers to open all of the doors on Lake Shore, and most passengers don’t seem to know they are allowed to board through the rear doors when they do. The new streetcars will fix this.)

    There are few intersections that have a lot of left-turning traffic, and the ones that do already have advanced-left turn signals (Islington, Royal York, Kipling, Park Lawn) to help traffic move along.

    I cannot for the life of me see how turning this area into a St. Clair or Spadina-like ROW, where the streetcars get the shortest amount of green time, could improve anything. It would likely make service slower.


  4. Wouldn’t a western leg of a DRL do the same job as this line in the old City of TO?

    Steve: This would serve a completely different market. The DRL would link Dundas West Station, Queen/Dufferin and a northern corner of Liberty Village to downtown. The WWLRT is intended to connect southern Etobicoke, Parkdale and the south side of Liberty Village, plus the developments between the CNE and Spadina south of the Gardiner, to Union Station.

    And does the Etobicoke portion of this route really need to be upgraded to a ROW?

    Steve: I have seen nothing in my analyses of 501 Queen operation to suggest that there is ever anything remotely like “congestion” as we know it on Queen or King out on Lake Shore. The overwhelming source of delay to riders is infrequent and unpredictable service.


  5. I think that the Lake Shore Blvd. W. portion of the WWLRT should be built last. The Queensway portion is already undergoing work, so I would consider that the very first Transit City project, not Sheppard East. Before the Lake Shore Blvd. W. undergoes any construction, the eastern portion from the Queensway to Union Station should be finished.


  6. W. K. Lis raises an interesting issue. If they opened the line up in two stages, Humber-Union first, would that risk Steve’s argument being proven?

    Steve: Oddly enough, the WWLRT originally did not go all the way to Long Branch, and that extension grew only as part of the Transit City map. I agree that there should be direct service to between Long Branch and Union if all the bits and pieces are ever in place, but have my doubts about the right-of-way on Lake Shore. This is a classic example of the flexibility of LRT where it can run in varying types of reservation on the same route.


  7. I think the TTC should conduct an experiment before even implementing an LRT on Lake Shore. Something such as a car only lane on streetcar tracks from time A to B on certain days. I know it would be hard to enforce but I think this is the way to go if the TTC really thinks a ROW on lakeshore will pay off, instead of them wasting millions of dollars if it won’t. But since the TTC seem to be boneheads when it comes to this matter I don’t think its going to happen.

    Steve: Hmmm … on Queen’s Quay all we needed was a very large order for potted petunias.


  8. Hi Steve,

    I have a quick question for you.

    When the WWLRT meets up with Union Station will this line use the Union Street Car loop. My understanding is that the TC vehicles are to be double ended and use crossovers to switch directions. After looking at the drawings you have posted for the expanded loop, the turnaround looks like a fairly tight corner. Will TC vehicles be able to negotiate this turn, or will alternate loading and unloading platforms have to be created for this line?


    Steve: There are several issues here. First, Union Loop will remain a loop for years to come because of co-existence with the CLRV fleet. Next, there are big problems at Queen’s Quay where the ramp gradient exceeds what the TC cars can handle, and the curves are too tight (if WWLRT comes via Queen’s Quay). The various designs I have seen for other pieces of WWLRT include some aspects that could give TC cars problems, and in any event it would not be a good idea to get a TC car “trapped” on a portion of the “city” system and unable to take an alternative route. WWLRT will run with “city” cars.


  9. I haven’t been the biggest fan of that Park Lawn loop, but since it’s an apparently indespensible part of the WWLRT perhaps it should only be to turn back the 501 cars with all Long Branch cars running on the new ROW to Union Station.

    Steve: That would be the arrangement if the WWLRT goes all the way to Long Branch.


  10. The Jane’s walks for New Toronto and Long Branch were led by one of the more vocal foes of the LRT. His argument was along the lines of “everything was fine thirty, forty, fifty years ago, and we can’t be changing and densifying as it will destroy the character of the neighbourhood”.

    I think he’s wrong in his opinions, and I also suspect that his claim that South Etobicoke is at an all-time population peak is suspect as well. (“Humber Shores” has certainly increased, but it looks like New Toronto and Long Branch both lost population between 1996 and 2006 which is what I could easily find).

    There were a couple of us arguing against his position. I find his “if you haven’t lived here all your life, you don’t know what you’re talking about” attitude annoying. And the other one really bristled as the “condo owners do nothing for the community”, as she was a recent purchaser of a condo on the Goodyear tire plant lands.

    Whatever the argument from a transit and system perspective, the anti-LRT faction in south Etobicoke doesn’t strike me as being a very logical one — I can’t deny their sincerity and vehemence, though.


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