Feb. 12, 2016

Furry Rider

I am a huge proponent of subways for Scarborough (as most of you know), but this statement in 2013 by then TTC head Andy Byford was (and still is) right on the money

Let's slow down, use our heads (because they have it all wrong right now), and do it right - The correct solution and sequence for transit in the east part of the city is as follows:



1 - Take the time to rethink the current transit proposal for Toronto for now [because they have it wrong (remember the gas plants scandal!)] - Let's not rush into it (just because John Tory is trying to save face because he promised to deliver), and make sure we get it right



2 - Plan and build the Downtown Toronto Relief Line, and Three-stop Scarborough (McCowan) Subway Extension, first (If something has to be sacrificed; it is the SmartTrack that should be sacrificed - There already is an existing GO train along that route for fast and express service)

They are working on a plan for a Downtown Relief Line, but they are working on plans for Scarborough first - Although I'm a staunch supporter of having the Scarborough (three-stop) subway extension built, the Downtown Relief Line should be built first – This not just good planning; it’s common sense – Building the Crosstown East LRT extension to the Scarborough UofT campus years ago would have taken pressure off of Scarborough for a few years and given them time to scratch up the dough for a proper three-stop subway, but they have left it too late; the existing Scarborough RT is at the end of its life and will cost 100s of millions of dollars just to stretch its life long enough to build the subway – The powers that be know this, and they are scrambling to do something even at the risk of getting it wrong – They were on the right track with the proposal for the three-stop Scarborough subway extension along McCowan Road – They have veered off and heading down the wrong track again – Also; the DRL would relieve pressure off the Bloor-Danforth line and the Yonge and Bloor subway station, before the Scarborough subway extension comes on line – The Scarborough subway should be extended from Kennedy and Eglinton diagonally to McCowan and Lawrence and then along McCowan Road to McCowan and Sheppard (consisting of 3 stops) - The McCowan subway could later be extended north one stop at a time towards McCowan and Steeles Avenues, the Town of Markham, and Markville Shopping Centre as the demand and population density requires it - The Three-stop Scarborough Subway Extension and the DRL need to be built concurrently, with the DRL opening first - [NOTE:  My maps do not show the subway extension extending diagonally from Kennedy and Eglinton to McCowan and Lawrence - This will be updated on my maps at a later time (Hopefully late March or April) - If there are any Adobe Illustrator users that would like to assist me with my maps, let me know - My daughter did them for me up to now, but; between a fulltime job and a 1-year old, she can't keep up with my pace)]



3 - Plan and build the Downtown Toronto Relief Line, and extend the Crosstown East LRT to Malvern as per the latest planning update - The Crosstown East LRT is a great idea and the right thing to do



4 - If required; build SmartTrack later, with stops at Kennedy and Eglinton, Ellsmere, Sheppard, Finch, and Steeles - A Kennedy and Lawrence stop would be optional - Ellesmere buses could stop at Scarborough Centre and continue through to and from Kennedy and Ellesmere from there



5 - Build a high-capacity parking node at McCowan and Sheppard (See my blog page entitled "LRT vs SHEPPARD AVENUE SUBWAY EXTENSION" for more information on my proposal for a high density parking node at McCowan and Sheppard)



6 - Have the McCowan subway branch off at McCowan and Sheppard and loop back to connect the Sheppard subway to the Scarborough Centre including a high-capacity subway station at McCowan and Sheppard * - This extension would add at least 3 new stops and require a retrofit of the existing Don Mills and Sheppard subway station - The cost to retrofit the Don Mills and Sheppard subway station would actually be far less than the cost of building a transitional station if an LRT were to be built [My guesstimate would be $150 to $250 million for a subway retrofit versus almost a$1 billion for a transitional LRT station (Mr. Tory; have your planners give you a thumb-suck number on that one; my guesstimate is free] *



7 - Plan for a future mode of rapid transit to connect the Scarborough and Sheppard subway lines at the McCowan and Sheppard and Sheppard subway station with Pickering (the Pickering rapid transit line could also turn south at the McCowan and Sheppard station towards Scarborough Centre to provide a one-seat ride and avoid an extra transfer) - [It is unlikely that a subway could ever be justified east of McCowan as the greenbelt and Rouge Park east of Scarborough would never allow the density to ever justify it, however; another mode of faster rapid transit between Scarborough Centre and Pickering/Ajax would make sense here] - See my SmarterTracks plan at SmarterTracks.com for my ideas on this



Building a new high capacity station servicing 2 subway lines while incorporating a tight t/y-shaped branch and future connection for a Pickering Rapid Transit line (which would provide more local service than the existing GO Train) is going to be tricky - The track from Scarborough Centre to the Sheppard subway line would have to start curving north of the McCowan and Sheppard subway station - It would have to be a gradual curve and turn back west south west before straightening out at Sheppard Avenue - See my SmarterTracks plan at www.SmarterTracks.com for my ideas on this, the high-capacity parking nodes, and soon to come, new TTC maintenance and railyards



My apologies to the West GTA - As a long time resident of Scarborough; I am not as familiar or knowledgeable about the transit issues in that area of the city, however; I will try and tackle the west GTA at some point in the future - P.S.; I started this blog on Feb 2'16, so it's only a few days old, I am starting from virtually from scratch, and I have lots still to do just to address issues in my end of town - The only thing I have been doing over the past few years is e-mailing public officials, planners, politicians, the media, and other interested parties; to no avail






* Please be sure to Write a comment; or Share on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ *

Also visit www.SmarterTracks.com for complete details on my SmarterTracks plan 


And finally; STAY TUNED to www.torontotransitblog.com - My next step is take a look at the west portion of the GTA - I will start posting my ideas over the next few weeks and months
(See also the Main Page and the Subpages under Scarborough SE)