November 2011: A Month of Meetings (Updated)

Front Street Redesign

November 3, 2011 (Thursday) from 3:00 to 7:00 pm
Room 309, Metro Hall

This is the second public information centre as part of the Environmental Assessment process for the proposed redesign of Front Street between York and Bay Streets in front of Union Station.  The intent is to make the street much more pedestrian to support the very large volume of foot traffic to and from the station.

One through lane of auto traffic would be maintained in each direction (effectively what is now the case given parked cars, buses and taxis), but the lanes would be wider and would also provide space for cyclists.

This is a drop-in event, not a formal meeting.

For background information, visit the project page.

Updated November 4:  The display panels are now available online.

Ashbridges Bay Carhouse

November 9, 2011 (Wednesday) 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Toronto EMS, 895 Eastern Avenue (at Knox)

This meeting will present the landscape design for the new Maintenance and Storage Facility at Leslie and Lake Shore.  Site preparation work for the new building is already underway, but the contract for construction has not been let by the TTC.  There have been rumours that this will come before the November Commission meeting, but until we see the agenda as well as details of the 2012 Capital Budget this is still uncertain given funding constraints.

Note:  The public display of a mockup of the new TTC low-floor Light Rail Vehicles will likely occur over the weekend of November 11-14.  Further details will be posted here when they are available.

For background information, visit the project page.

Toronto Talks Mobility

The Cities Centre at the University of Toronto will host a two day forum on mobility in the GTA.  There will be two free events, but both of these require pre-registration.

November 9, 2011 (Wednesday) 7:00 to 9:00 pm
City Hall Council Chambers

November 10, 2011 (Thursday) 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Wychwood Barns

According to the event description:

… this event is not about re-hashing the “Transit City” vs. subway discussion debate. Rather, “Toronto Talks Mobility” will examine what we do next as a region to build on progress made to date (including the Big Move) and how we can ensure long-term success. Ultimately, the event aims to kick-start a campaign to bring a broader civic voice to our transportation future.

I can understand the organizers’ reluctance to get bogged down in debating Transit City or various alternative.  However, any discussion of mobility must address the basic questions of whether we plan for networks we can afford to build, how we will pay for them (and by extension, just what “afford” means) and the tradeoffs between transit modes, speed, road space and network capacity.  This will inevitably touch on Transit City, if only as a starting point.

A “broader civic voice” is definitely required, but this requires ears willing to hear the message.  If Queen’s Park and the City of Toronto reject funding strategies that inevitably require new sources of revenue, this will be an exercise in debating the obvious to no effect.

Calling on Ottawa for new funding is a predictable, but pointless, exercise if we are not prepared to begin the work of funding transit ourselves.  We will be talking about massive network expansion at a time when day-to-day service and quality are under attack not just in Toronto but in many parts of the GTA.

Metrolinx Board Meeting

The regular meeting of the Metrolinx board will be held on Wednesday, November 23 at 8:30 am.  I will post a summary of major issues when the agenda is released.

TTC Commission Meeting

The regular meeting of the TTC will be held on Wednesday, November 23 at 1:00 pm.  I will post a summary of major issues when the agenda is released.

TTC Customer Information Town Hall

November 24, 2011 (Thursday)
City Hall Council Chambers (final details TBA)

This is planned as the first of an ongoing series of Town Hall meetings around the city for the TTC to get public input on a range of issues.  Whether we will actually get to complain about budgets and their effect on service quality remains to be seen.

Waterfront Toronto Queen’s Quay Project

Waterfront Toronto recently hired a Project Manager to oversee this project, and they plan to hold a public meeting covering the construction plans for work on the redesigned Queen’s Quay.  Details will be posted here when they are available, but the meeting is likely to be in late November.

There is also a Community Update meeting planned for the East Bayfront (Yonge Street east to about Parliament).  This is a general update regarding land developments and related projects, but there is not likely to be much info on transit as the whole question of the “Harbourfront East” LRT is hung up in funding problems at the City and TTC.

November 22, 2011 (Tuesday) 6:00 to 8:00 pm
Corus Quay (Atrium), 25 Dockside Drive

One thought on “November 2011: A Month of Meetings (Updated)

  1. The Toronto Talks Mobility event sounds interesting but I think its organizers are being optimistic about not rehashing the Transit City but it will inevitably come up. Transit City will never go away; like it or not, it’s something that will be discussed for a long time to come. The fundamental question of what do we do next that Toronto Talks Mobility is based on is a good one. The writing has been on the wall since Transit City got axed and GO train electrification and associated service improvements has, for decades of study, still failed to move from “studying” to “doing” in order to produce results. What next indeed? Since everything’s more or less back to square one, the obvious answer is that the proposal-study-consult-assess-fail to deliver cycle is about to repeat itself. And the merry go round goes round and round…


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