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During this year’s election campaign, there was a lot of talk of new subways in the suburbs, but very little discussion of how we could improve transit for the part of Toronto that depends on it most: the downtown. With dust now settling, and a bit of backpedalling on the ripping-of-streetcar-tracks from mayor-elect Rob Ford’s camp, this is a good time to have a reasoned and realistic public conversation about how we could improve downtown transit.
An east-west subway or underground LRT through downtown would be ideal, but given the downtown relief line’s low priority in Metrolinx’s The Big Move, and considering how heavily contested capital funding for transit has become, it is unlikely we will see either in the near future. So how can we, in the interim, improve on-street streetcar operations while enhancing the streets that we all walk, cycle, ride, and drive along?
Above are five options for the streets that house Toronto’s two busiest streetcar lines: King and Queen. Both are long overdue for an overhaul, and with thousands of new residents and workers expected along these routes in the coming decade, the time for discussion is now.
What option do you feel works best along different segments of King and Queen streets? What other options could be considered? Torontoist readers, give your best ideas!