Second Exits, Second Entrances

In response to modern fire safety codes, the TTC has an ongoing program to add secondary exits at many subway stations.  Note that these must be completely separate paths out of the station.  Two stairways leading to a common mezzanine count as one exit because a fire in the common area could block access to the surface from platform level.

As an example, the new exits at Broadview take a path up to the bus and streetcar loop that is not connected to the original path up to the main entrance.

Planning for most of the new exits had assumed that they would be “exit only” facilities as this makes them cheaper to build.  However, access to stations is improved if these exits can also be entrances.  To that end, changes are proposed for five stations.

  • College Station’s original proposed second exit was at Granby Street, one south of Carlton, east of Yonge.  The primary entrance for the station is constrained by existing buildings and cannot be made accessible with elevators.  Therefore, the second exit will be converted to a full entrance including elevators.  An alternative scheme involving connection to College Park is also under study.
  • Museum Station’s original proposal would have surfaced in Queen’s Park, but there is now a proposal for a connection to a new UofT Faculty of Law campus on the northwest corner of Queen’s Park.
  • Dundas Station will have an automatic entrance connection to the new Ryerson University development.
  • Dundas West Station has a rather odd history.  There has been a design for a full connection to GO Transit at this location for years, but for some reason, the TTC had scaled this back to an exit only arrangement.  Given the service GO (and the Air Rail Link) will run in this corridor, it deserves a proper subway connection.  The project is now in Metrolinx’ hands.
  • Wellesley Station will get a new entrance at Dundonald Street (one north of Wellesley).  The population density here is high enough to support two entrances, and this configuration will avoid passengers having to walk through a laneway to reach Wellesley’s main entrance from Dundonald Street and areas to the north.

Frankly, I can’t see why the TTC wouldn’t design second entrances (not just exits) right from the outset, and I hope that this will be the standard from now on.

Electrifying News for GO Transit

According to today’s Star, Metrolinx will today announce the commencement of a study of electrification.  Although this had been planned sometime in the future, the dates were vague depending on which report one read.  Indeed, GO seemed to be leaning more to continued diesel operation with a mix of local and express trains rather than using inherently faster electric trains for all services.

This is a great victory for the Clean Train Coalition who will release “The Better Move”, a response to Metrolinx’ Regional Plan, “The Big Move”, at a press conference on Wednesday (May 27).

The West Toronto Chapter of the Professional Engineers of Ontario plans to set up a subcommittee to study the electrification issue, and will hold a meeting on the evening of May 27.  Mike Sullivan from the Weston Community Coalition will be speaking.  The meeting is open to the public, but pre-registration is required.  For information, please see the PEO Chapter’s flyer.