So much has been going on with the gradual disintegration of the SmartTrack plan and its replacement, at least in part, with elements from the Transit City network that it has been hard to keep up. I will write about this in more detail as reports and other information become available.
Meanwhile, there has been an interest on Twitter in the original EA documents for Scarborough-Malvern which vanished from view years ago in the anti-Transit City years.
I have created a repository for these files on my site.
Steve, if Pape requries demolition to build the station, is there a better BD connection point?
Gerrard Square is on the ST ROW. let it get redeveloped with/by ST/GO.
Steve: Part of the problem is that with a DRL coming out of downtown via Front/Eastern, it would link up with and follow the rail corridor on a diagonal from the Don eastward. This makes chosing where to swing north a bit simpler and the Greenwood Yard connection isn’t bad (although it would have some effect on the residential neighbourhood immediately to the west. The route north (and BD connection) would then be via Donlands.
However, if the line comes east on Queen, there is no direct path to Donlands, it would completely miss Gerrard Square, and we would have the anomaly of a Jones Avenue subway.
And so the question is whether a connection track via the rail corridor from Pape east to Greenwood Yard is the best solution.
The Sheppard subway crossing of the East Don River solved this exact problem. Cheaper to go over and design a strong bridge than to go under the Don.
It appears that a subway that fits in a smaller tunnel and has the ability for sharper turns would really be an asset to get through the downtown, across the Don, to curve north onto Pape and to cross the Don again.
Steve: The problem with a bridge as I said in an earlier reply is that necessarily this put the alignment either north or south of Queen, not under the road. Doing this directly conflicts with existing buildings including two btrand new condos. Going under them isn’t an option if one is on the upgrade approaching a bridge. As for Sheppard, it has the advantage that there is a real valley to cross, and the line never actually rises to Sheppard Avenue’s street level.
As for a smaller form factor (eg ICTS) subway, it still would be too tight to make streetcar-radius curves needed to follow the street grid exactly. There will always be issues where a line curves.
Do people proposing a bridge to cross the Don River realize that it has to clear the DVP on one side, and GO tracks on the other? You can’t just mirror one of the road bridges, because the grades would be far steeper. A quick google street view check should make the difficulty fairly obvious.
If you want to propose putting a hole in the middle of Corktown Common after looking around, have fun.
With all due respect you shouldn’t refer to 2nd tier lines were not even in the Province’s “Next Wave”. If it wasn’t for Ford cancelling transfer City the SMLRT would never have been a priority.
Not saying Ford actually had a plan. But he saved Scarborough from a legacy of poorly integrated LRT lines which although is unfortunate to have to delay. It’s worth it in the end & Scarborough will be in much better shape if Tory’s revision gets built.
The Miller-Ford-Tory Mashup is a decent plan.
Please explain to me how any other funded plan was better than the one on the table?
The SSE to STC is a great benefit for connecting Scarborough “Center” to Toronto’s main backbone & saves transfer for those traveling with children, elderly & disabled heading downtown. Add in Smarttrack to cover the “industrial RT” stops & it’s a nice upgrade
The SMLRT provides the greatest benefit to Scarborough as it covers East to West, right thru the middle & cuts thru “priority neighborhoods” along the way.
The Sheppard funding is still floating around. Unfortunately that LRT line only helps on the East end of the route & inconveniences the West so it needs to be reviewed. Convert the current stubway to LRT, build a subway/LRT hybrid, or revert back to the transit city LRT plan. To be honest I can actually somewhat accept the LRT to stubway plan now that it would connect to a broader local network & I believe we need to get out to Malvern or at least Markham/Sheppard area as soon as possible.
But the template for an effective & attractive system would now be in place under Tory’s revision.
Don’t think it gets much better in this Political landscape for any side of the argument. Let’s start building.
Steve: The missing piece, if we believe all of the boosterism about the manifest destiny of the STC planning district as a new centre of the universe, is an east-west route with several stops right through the middle of the area the city claims it wants to develop. The SSE give one stop, on a north-south alignment, and leaves a lot of the planning district (west of Brimley to Bellamy) far from rapid transit service. That’s what the LRT line would have provided.
Also please note that the SmartTrack route and stations do not exist to serve the industrial areas (which don’t generate much traffic) but to intercept the busy east-west bus routes with a fast route directly to downtown.
I’m optimistic that these projects will allow the TTC to completely redraw the transit map in Scarborough. As Steve and others have regularly pointed out, STC sucks in so many different bus routes, despite it not being clear that most riders actually want to end up there. And it doesn’t help that the current bus terminal is a major pain for buses to get in and out of – a more accessible terminal, if that’s even possible, could really help (maybe roughly where McCowan station is right now?).
Between the SSE, SmartTrack, and the SMLRT, many Scarborough bus routes will see new connections to rapid transit lines which may bring big changes to passenger flow, or may even obviate the route in part or entirely. Others currently pass sufficiently closely to those lines that adjustments may make sense. By increasing the number of rapid transit stops, it will be much easier to make those connections without designing routes to converge on any one station, which may lead to much better service in Scarborough even for those who don’t ride the rapid transit lines.
Steve: There is a fundamental conflict in the alleged planning goals for Scarborough of (a) improving access to STC and (b) improving local service within Scarborough. The Crosstown East serves the latter goal, but in a completely different part of town than STC. Stats about people within X metres or minutes of transit have merged figures for both lines together and likely have made the overall plan look better because of the Crosstown’s contribution to accessibility.
An LRT on Sheppard east to Kennedy, south to Progress, east to Centennial College, then northeast to Malvern Town Centre.
It needs a name that even a Tory staffer could love.
“The Smaller U”
During this downtown-Danforth route selection process, I have been worried that insufficient weight or consideration has been given to the route north to Eglinton. The 2nd crossing of the Don (to Thorncliffe) should be a key consideration of where the RL’s intersection with Danforth is sited.
Maybe the City planning department isn’t convinced such a section will ever be funded, but I find it hard to ignore as soon as you start building a RL. The diversion of Yonge line passengers is very compelling, even if the line never gets north of Eglinton.
J. Pagliaro of the Star discusses surface or tunnel:
From page 5 of the TTC report
Again from Pagliaro
Since you studied Lawrence Ave 54 and you were asked to include 86, and I would add 116. Plus looking at route statistics — you can see there is a compelling case that the Lawrence Ave East station is significant if 86 & 116 routes were to be based there.
Something about Tory’s “evidence based decison making”.
Steve: I am not quite sure which point of view you are arguing for here. Definitely the TTC’s claims about outdoor subways are overstated, but this is also in the context of challenging geometry for the line (curves and grades). It is ironic that an LRT line in the RT corridor would, of course, be outdoors. The RT is particularly troublesome in bad weather because of the design of its propulsion system (linear induction motor) and side-running power pickup.
If we are going to entertain schemes that involve long shutdowns of RT (or even subway) service, then one of the big anti-LRT complaints falls off of the table.
As for studies of lines, I look at operations, not demand flows.
Are you suggesting the use of Midland to get in to Progress? Will the subway station at STC be close enough to LRT station on progress? Has Metrolinx ever considered this as an option to include Centennial college?
Steve: Not Midland, but the cross-country route proposed for the Sheppard subway southeast from Agincourt Station to Progress. As for the subway station, the city is a bit vague on that, and the maps show it out at McCowan.
There is one problem with this suggestion and that is the distance between LRT line and Agincourt Go station (future ST). I think it may be possible to use McCowan to get in to Progress (turning toward west from McCowan and then getting in to Progress) and continue as per your suggestion. This way the subway station should be built a bit closer to Progress which I think it is possible.
Steve: I was talking of the west end of STC/Progress, not the east. The Sheppard LRT would directly connect to Agincourt Station, then swing south to reach Progress, but this assumes that a right-of-way (surface, or shallow cut-and-cover tunnel) can be found across the diagonal as an alternative to a dogleg via Midland.
Steve – my familiarity with Scarborough is limited to driving on the 401 and major arterials but would not rerouting the Sheppard LRT (say along Midland) to Progress help to develop STC, provide local transit as well as connections to the subway extension and ST, link the Centennial College and UofT Scarborough? Is this a viable route? Sheppard – Midland – Progress – Markham – Ellesmere? There seems to be plenty of space on these roads.
Steve: You’re ok until you turn south on Markham Road back to Ellesmere because this misses a good chunk of Centennial’s campus further east on Progress and the turn north into an alignment that could reconnect to Sheppard or continue north to Malvern.
Can Midland accommodate that LRT line? I’m not sure about under those bridges where it becomes narrower.
Steve: Yes, I agree this would be a problem, but there is definitely a need for something east-west through the STC area.
Regarding Malvern area, do you think there is more ridership compare to Sheppard-Morningside area?
Steve: Not sure, but in any event, Sheppard-Morningside trackage will be needed to link up with the UTSC service, and the proposed Conlins Road carhouse.
Building a station under the existing STC station/bus terminal without closing it seems impossible to me. There’s a parking lot on the south side of Bushby opposite McCowan station which they could presumably use as a TBM extraction site. There many even be enough space there for a bus terminal, especially if you were able to demolish McCowan station and reroute Bushby a little (though I think it’d be tight). Not as accessible to STC itself, but better for the buses.
There’s no way this can get underway soon no matter how much money Trudeau throws at it. The construction industry doesn’t have any capacity to absorb any of the work.
Steve: We are talking primarily about a road reconstruction project for the Eglinton extensions. If the construction industry cannot absorb that, then how does our boom in tower building continue?
Don’t shoot the messenger! I’m only parroting what little information Metrolinx has made known to us.
Steve: That was the BS message from Metrolinx when Queen’s Park didn’t want to spend money. Now they want to show results, the tune will change, albeit with Ottawa’s money.
There are three main reasons for fast-tracked infrastructure investment:
1) you get the infrastructure up and running;
2) you recirculate $7 through the economy for every $1 spent;
3) You create new (possibly temporary) jobs as the industry grows to absorb the work.
If we can’t build a couple of LRTs at the same time, how will we build RER, electrification, Smart Track, and whatever subway we settle on within the next decade or so?
Is a connection track even a possibility? Look at the rail corridor in this area…currently we have two GO lines (Stouffville and Lakeshore East) plus the occasional CN local freight. Plans call for additional service (all day two-way service on GO‘s Stouffville line, and the ST) on these lines.
The corridor is only so wide, but it looks as if 4 tracks (occasionally 5) would be the limit. With both GO lines running at scheduled capacity how do you shoehorn in ST, let alone a DRL connection track?
As a surface track via the rail corridor would take up space needed for ST and GO RER tracks, would the line stay underground? If so, what are the long term maintenance issues of having heavy rail run on top of the tunnel?
With full day two-way service on GO‘s lines on dual track, and maybe a third/fourth set of rails to accommodate rush hour express service, is there sufficient space in the rail corridor for ST to have the dedicated tracks it will require for its planned headways? Doubt it!
A quick look at ST East now reveals problems with electrification at Union sheds, traffic volume issues on the Lakeshore/Stouffville corridor main line and again on just the Stouffville section North of Kennedy.
John Tory keeps wishing his supporters had left their maps and crayons alone.
Steve: The connection would be underground, possibly only a single track tunnel although I am sure there would be all sorts of arguments about making it two track for “redundancy”.
As for John Tory, it was his brillliant “expert” advisors who cooked up SmartTrack as a sure-fire way to win the election, even though it contained major flaws. Afterwards, Tory said “I didn’t have expert advice”, but that didn’t stop him from slagging people who critiqued SmartTrack. Some “experts” are more expert than others, and some have their own agendas such as suburban property development.
When will we know the exact location of this subway station?
If it is right at McCowan, the only way to include Progress Ave. in LRT plan is using McCowan and getting in to Progress via Gangway Ave.
I think this is part of the problem with the back and forth debate of rapid transit for Scarborough. The people need rapid transit to cover the exceeding long bus routes in Scarborough. The proposed rapid transit routes purportedly address business development initiatives. I feel to the detriment of transit requirements.
Demand flows will show you don’t need Stouville/SmartTrack and Subway. An RT train in the Stouville corridor, can easily give 5 minute headways to hub Scarborough bus routes as well as Markham commuters. When the line gets to Scarborough station we’ll have to tunnel under the GO tracks to Queen and then under Queen to University.
We relieve the Yonge/Bloor jam, and the GO jam at Union Station.
Let’s start talking about demand flows.
Steve: To be clear, I am not demeaning demand studies — they are essential, provided that they are trustworthy and do not rest on unrealistic land use assumptions. The detailed route analyses I do look at vehicle movement, headway reliability and traffic congestion.