A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘smarttrack

[URBAN NOTE] Five Toronto links: Kanagaratnam, Bloordale, Bloor and Dundas, Etobicoke, Bloor West

  • Fatima Syed and Wendy Gillis tell the story of Kirushnakumar Kanagaratnam, a Sri Lankan Tamil whose failed application for refugee status in Canada after travelling on the MV Sun Sea led directly to his death at the hands of McArthur. The Toronto Star has it.
  • The developer hoping to transform the southwest corner of Bloor and Dufferin has opted to redesign the development following community criticism. CBC reports.
  • The sheer scale of the planned development on the southeast corner of Bloor Street West and Dundas Street West is such that a new neighbourhood would come into being. Wow. The Toronto Star has it.
  • The plan for SmartTrack would leave the residents of an Etobicoke development next to a GO rail yard subject to terrible levels of noise and air pollution. The Toronto Star reports.
  • Is Bloor Street West going to become the next Yonge Street, an uninterrupted string of high-density development? Not without differences, at least. The Toronto Star looks at the issue.

[URBAN NOTE] Five Toronto links: Toronto Maple Leafs, 1904 fire, Sidewalk Labs, SmartTrack

  • Edward Keenan is quite right to note that the very high prices of Toronto Maple Leafs tickets would be easier to deal with if the games were better. The Toronto Star has it.
  • Toronto Guardian shares some archival photos of the great fire that destroyed large swathes of downtown in 1904, here.
  • Torontoist notes the surprising and perhaps worrying failure of its reporters to gain access to the City of Toronto’s agreement with Sidewalk Labs.
  • John Lorinc at Spacing notes how Sidewalk Labs hired fixer John Brodhead, apparently to handle problems with implementation and PR.
  • The question asked last week by Steve Munro, asking how SmartTrack will actually be paid for, remains very relevant today.

[URBAN NOTE] Five Toronto links: Yonge-Dundas Square, mass transit, book sales

  • Some criticism of Yonge-Dundas Square may be merited, but I think it might be a bit too harsh. What we need is more seating on the square itself. Metronews carries it.
  • Humber Bay Shores is a lovely booming neighbourhood, but it really does need much better public transit options. For starters. The Toronto Star examines the neighbourhood.
  • Steve Munro has some more questions about Metrolinx planning in the GTA.
  • The Smarttrack solution proposed by Mayor John Tory may not be popular among some people in Scarborough. The Toronto Star reports.
  • The upcoming massive book sale at the Toronto Reference Library is one I will be paying attention to. blogTO reports.

[URBAN NOTE] Five Toronto links: new rail stations, neighbourhood voergrown, Myseum, The Ward

  • Steve Munro takes a look at designs for new Smarttrack and GO Transit stations.
  • While it’s good that the population of Toronto is growing so strongly, that so much of the growth is concentrated in underserviced neighbourhoods is a problem. The Toronto Star reports.
  • In some neighbourhoods, new construction means some parents can’t send their children to local schools. The Toronto Star reports.
  • NOW Toronto profiles the Intersections program of pop-up museum Myseum, looking at gentrification and other change in neighbourhoods.
  • In The Globe and Mail, Chris Bateman uses old census data to identify a young girl and her brother photographed in 1913 in the now-vanished Ward.

[URBAN NOTE] Four Toronto notes: new TTC stations, Davenportage on Davenport, Lawrence West, Trump

  • Transit Toronto notes that, on the 28th, three new TTC stations will be open for visitors.
  • Samantha Beattie describes Davenportage, a recent exploration of Davenport Road’s past as a portage route, at the Toronto Star.
  • Edward Keenan talks about how the Lawrence West SmartTrack station can be made a success, over at the Toronto Star.
  • The Toronto Star reports on how Donald Trump was the only person to profit from the former Trump Tower in Toronto.

[URBAN NOTE] “Taxpayer-funded transit report kept secret by city”

What can be said but that this, reported by the Toronto Star‘s Jennifer Pagliaro, is unacceptable?

A $100,000 consultant’s report meant to help determine whether transit projects worth billions of dollars are cost-effective has been kept secret by the city.

In June, the city paid the firm, Arup, which consults on transportation projects worldwide, to provide business case analyses for several projects planned by the city, including Mayor John Tory’s original “SmartTrack” idea for additional stops along the GO Transit rail line travelling through Toronto, and the controversial one-stop Scarborough subway extension.

The report produced by Arup, however, was never publicly released as part of a city staff report to executive committee in June, which was then debated at a July council meeting.

The missing consultant information adds to a series of questions over future transit plans that include delayed reports and a secret briefing note on the Scarborough subway extension that has been called a “political football,” and still-incomplete analysis of the mayor’s key campaign promise for an additional heavy rail service that is moving ahead, while heavily modified.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 21, 2017 at 8:45 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Crombie questions Mississauga’s ability to pay for LRT airport extension”

CBC News’ Laura Howells reports on an epic absence of communication between Toronto and Mississauga municipal governments, as well as a worrisome incapacity on the part of the latter.

With Toronto set to vote this week on funding for Mayor John Tory’s SmartTrack transit plan, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said her city can’t afford to kick in some $470 million to expand the Eglinton-Crosstown lightrail line into Misssissauga and Pearson Airport.

“If we were asked to contribute such and amount – half a billion dollars – it wouldn’t allow us to build any of our own priorities for well into a couple of decades,” Crombie said Monday on Metro Morning.

A report from Toronto’s city manager surfaced last week that suggests Mississauga and the Greater Toronto Airport Authority pay 19 per cent of the cost of expanding the Eglinton line into Mississauga.

A problem for Crombie is that no one from the City of Toronto had talked to them about this payment idea before publicly releasing the report.

Crombie said she supports transit, but points out that her city isn’t equipped to raise the money to cover such a project.

Written by Randy McDonald

November 7, 2016 at 8:00 pm

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

  • The Boston Globe‘s The Big Picture shares photos of Spain’s Pueblos Blancos of Andalusia.
  • blogTO reports on Toronto’s biggest pumpkin parade.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly talks about the immigrant’s dilemma on election date.
  • Dangerous Minds notes the importance of Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s concert for Hillary.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a report on hot Jupiter Kelt-17b.
  • The Dragon’s Tales suggests Sputnik Planitia may dominate Pluto.
  • Far Outliers talks about Cherokee language revitalization movements.
  • Language Log looks at a Korean tradition of satirical poetry in Korea and classical Chinese.
  • Marginal Revolution links to a fascinating book about manuscripts.
  • The NYRB Daily talks about Trump as a consequence of the Iraq War.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw notes the recent discovery of evidence for ancient habitation in Australia.
  • The Planetary Society Blog notes the advance of plans for a lunar-orbit space station.
  • Peter Rukavina shares headlines in the Guardian of a century ago on Romania’s entry into the First World War.
  • Torontoist annotates the SmartTrack report.
  • Towleroad shares Robyn’s new track, “Trust Me.”
  • Understanding Society celebrates its 9th anniversary.
  • Window on Eurasia reports on Russia’s escalating HIV/AIDS epidemic.

[URBAN NOTE] “A Brief History of SmartTrack, so Far”

Torontoist’s David Fleischer explains the backstory behind SmartTrack, Toronto’s latest foolishly half-hearted flirtation with ambitious mass transit plans.

As a branded proposal, SmartTrack is just over two years old, but writing a “brief history” of the transit proposal first launched in May 2014 is daunting.

What is SmartTrack? Where does it come from? Where is it going (literally and figuratively)? These are some of the great questions of our age. There’s great analysis of them here and all around by Steve Munro and others. We’re going to try to sum up the history of what is, for better and worse, Mayor John Tory’s signature transit policy.

Working backwards to find SmartTrack’s Ur-moment—the point at which it crawled out of the primordial ooze onto the land of transit-planning reality—is tricky, but it definitely doesn’t start with John Tory and the 2014 mayoral campaign.

[. . .]

Since they first hit the rails in 1967, GO trains have operated (especially outside the Lakeshore lines) as little more than one-way, rush hour-only service for commuters. That changed with the announcement of Metrolinx’s The Big Move in 2008; this included plans to replace the existing diesel GO vehicles with electric trains that would provide all-day, two-way service. It’s the sort of thing that has long existed in actual “world class” cities, like Paris and New York. It’s called—brace yourselves—Regional Express Rail! (RER for short, obviously.)

Metrolinx began studying how to turn this idea into reality a few years ago and has had a real plan [PDF] since 2014. The short-term upshot was to first electrify the Lakeshore line. New stations, twinning of rail lines, expanded parking lots (of course); it’s all happening over the next 10 years.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 3, 2016 at 11:29 pm

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • Centauri Dreams considers the oceans of Pluto and Enceladus.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes a disintegrating exoplanet.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that the American military can’t afford Iron Man suits.
  • Language Hat notes a study of fragmented language.
  • Language Log looks at multilingual signage in Manhattan.
  • The Map Room Blog shares a typographic map of San Francisco.
  • Marginal Revolution’s Tyler Cowen reports from the Belgian neighbourhood of Molenbeek.
  • Steve Munro looks at SmartTrack.
  • The New APPS Blog considers Brexit in the context of regulations and austerity.
  • Torontoist notes the importance of Pride for people just coming out.
  • Understanding Society looks at how organizations deal with their errors.
  • Window on Eurasia argues Georgia is sacrificing its relations with the North Caucasus.