Fords condemnation of St. Clair streetcar is off-track

TheAi??Globe & Mail article by Marcus Gee;

Ford’s condemnation of St. Clair streetcar is off-track

published on January 5th, shows how the successful St. Clair streetcar line speaks against mayor Rob Ford’s plans to cancel Transit City and most LRT projects.

It is depressing to see that the same dunderheaded opposition to light rail in protected lands is advanced in Toronto as in Vancouver, the Fraser Valley in BCAi??andAi??other city’sAi??in English speaking countries. The Globe and Mail article sets out the arguments quite well and shows that a properly laid out street with light rail, works.

It is worth pointing out that a streetcar line with a car every 3 minutes will be offering a capacity of over 4000 passengers per hour, per direction when the new Bombardier low floor cars are delivered, whereas a single automobile lane has a capacity of 1000 – 2000 vehicles per hour, at normal urban loadings of 1.2 passengers per automobile that is 1200 – 2400 passengers. So the streetcar increases lane PASSENGER CARRYING capacity and leaves what appears to be an ‘empty’ lane whereas 1000 motor cars an hour is a solid wall of steel……..and then one has to think about where all these automobiles will be parked.

new Bombardier LRV for Toronto

This publication by the Pembina Institute

Making Tracks to Torontonians

examines the costs and benefits of the subway extension proposed by Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in December 2010, compared to the light rail transit plan that is already underway with funding on the table.

The subway extension would provide less service per dollar invested than the existing light rail rapid transit plan for Toronto, and wouldn’t deliver transit service to the communities that need it most.



2 Responses to “Fords condemnation of St. Clair streetcar is off-track”
  1. Latifa says:

    Ha ha, this reminds me of the Seattle gnlrebeets’ of the 70s. At the time, the city loved to display maps showing broad swaths of green, providing wonderful wildland buffers for wildlife and citizens. When I asked if this was parkland, or what, a city planner told me it was just private land that the city thought was too steep to build on, and thus, it would remain green.In this case, it’s obvious that some poor soul was told to make a map . The format chosen is the schematic so beloved by lost travelers trying to figure out foreign (and that could include the NYC subways for innocent Puget Sounders) transit systems, but entirely pointless when neither the system nor the lost travelers actually exist.In fact, worse than pointless- notice that according to this map, you could leave King Street, go past Colman Dock, and then to Westlake- a route that has never existed, past, present, or future. Similarly, there is no direct connection between the UW and South Lake Union, even though the most obvious next’ streetcar would be a line from UW down Eastlake to the South Lake Union Streetcar. Columbia City and Rainier Beach are shown as being on one line even though the historical (i.e., built environment) interurban line and the Link are blocks apart.This map may represent some perfectly grand thought from a perfectly grand report, but, viewed skeptically, it looks like the planning for the future’ here is a straight-line projection of the past- with some glaring errors.


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