Archive for the ‘Toronto’ Category
Last Sunday, I visited the Toronto incarnation of The Word on the Street. Queen’s Park Crescent, surrounding the park and provincial legislative assembly of the same name, was blocked off for the day-long street book festival.
I can’t speak about the morning, but the afternoon was a beautiful day. It was quite nice to spend a bright warm September summer afternoon in the middle of the city surrounded by books. Getting my picture taken with Polkaroo was an added benefit.
Livejournaler jsburbidge notes things that Torontonians are talking about regarding the municipal election, and notes many more things that Torontonians aren’t talking about but should.
1) I have seen tweets this morning regarding waiting for space on trains downtown. (In particular: a complaint about Chester Station and one about Bloor/Yonge).
Chester is a good example of what a DRL would fix; the DRL as usually planned would cross the Bloor-Danforth Line at Pape, and would draw off at least a portion of the flow downtown (it would also allow a one-station jog against flow to Pape from Chester) relieving stations between Pape and Yonge.
Bloor/Yonge would also obviously benefit from a DRL; but I’m less sympathetic to complaints about waiting 20 minutes for a free train there. I’ve sometimes been in a potentially similar position, but if I’m starting from Bloor/Yonge, or even have reached it on a heavy morning, I just choose to walk: I know from experience that it’s about 25 minutes from there to Downtown (Downtown being defined as King/Bay).
Now there are lots of people for whom a walk from Bloor to King is unreasonable — the elderly, the very young, those with mobility problems — but I’m willing to bet that most rush-hour commuters would both be capable of and would benefit from a 25-minute walk downtown — at least on a day like this (clear, not cold, not too hot).
2) I hate to be cynical about this but I’m going to be cynical about this: the reason that John Tory continues to have a significantly higher level of support than Chow or Ford despite the manifest problems surrounding SmartTrack (there was an article in Torontoist this morning by Steve Munro taking it apart: torontoist.com/2014/09/john-torys-transit-vision-is-short-sighted/) is that nobody actually believes that Tory would have a snowball’s chance in hell of pushing it through in any case. The rail lines belong to Metrolinx, the financing would have to go through vetting by the city staff (which it wouldn’t get), real power resides here with the province (which is pushing ahead with RER in any case, which saves the scheme from being a complete fantasy the way the Ford subway scheme is), and Council will be all over the map.
Transit is by far the highest profile issue in this election (other than the Ford identity itself), but it poses a real challenge for the candidates: just about everything that can be done is either already being done or being studied. It’s been so over-analyzed that the chance of a genuinely new positive contribution is nil. The financial and management power lies, by and large, with the province and Metrolinx, except for smallish TTC improvements (smallish because large TTC-only improvements require money which is not currently there, and nobody to the right of Ari Goldkind — and that includes Olivia Chow — wants to talk about large general tax increases) which were pretty well all covered in the report passed by the TTC board in August. Even Chow’s deliberately small-scale bus-oriented plan is impractical as it currently stands, running up against limits in the TTC capacity.