Today Tue Wed
It is forcast to be Mostly Cloudy at 11:00 PM EDT on April 21, 2014
Mostly Cloudy
20°/11°
It is forcast to be Rain at 11:00 PM EDT on April 22, 2014
Rain
15°/2°
It is forcast to be Partly Cloudy at 11:00 PM EDT on April 23, 2014
Partly Cloudy
11°/2°

64 Comments

news

Scarborough Residents Talk Transit

As part of the City's new push to gather public input on the future of Toronto's transit network, some Scarberians had their say.

"Feeling Congested?" is the City's attempt to gather input on the future of getting around Toronto, whether on foot, by car, or by some other means. Photo by {a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dcronin/5663226238/"}Dan Cronin^{/a}, from the {a href="http://www.flickr.com/groups/torontoist/pool/"}Torontoist Flickr Pool{/a}.

“Feeling Congested?” is the City’s attempt to gather input on the future of getting around Toronto, whether on foot, by car, or by some other means. Photo by {a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/dcronin/5663226238/”}Dan Cronin^{/a}, from the {a href=”http://www.flickr.com/groups/torontoist/pool/”}Torontoist Flickr Pool{/a}.

About two dozen Toronto residents went to the Scarborough Civic Centre Wednesday night to take part in “Feeling Congested?,” a City campaign to build consensus around transportation priorities.

In contrast to recent politically-driven conversations about the modes of transportation residents prefer, this campaign is being led by City staff. Information gathered from several public sessions and through the campaign website, FeelingCongested.ca, will be delivered to Metrolinx, Toronto’s regional transit authority.

After some introductory remarks by staff, attendees began to discuss how the City could go about improving the way it moves people and goods across the region. Norm Feder, a retired Scarborough resident who primarily uses a car, spoke up. “Improving the travel experience for commuters is my number one priority,” he said. He added that he’d like to see developments along public-transit corridors be planned in better consultation with existing residents. “The City and the province have to co-ordinate development instead of doing it unilaterally,” he said.

Others, like Guled Arale, a student and public transit advocate, argued in favour of density and an accompanying transit network as a way of addressing inequality. “People use cars not because they choose to drive,” Arale said of residents in Scarborough, “it’s because they need to drive. We need to think about building communities where people can live and work without going across or out of the city.” He favoured more walkable communities and transit connections within Scarborough.

The scale of new developments was a recurring theme throughout the evening, one that Councillor Shelley Carroll (Ward 33, Don Valley East) addressed. “Look at how long it’s taken us to build what [former mayor] Mel [Lastman] promised us,” she said, referring to development along the Sheppard subway line. “It’s a huge challenge to develop with density because many people don’t want the buildings, but they also don’t want taxes for transportation.”

Carroll agreed with a comment from one of the City staff members at the consultation, who said that the cancellation of the vehicle registration tax has made Torontonians wary of future City levies for transportation. “The mayor doesn’t seem to accept that the streams of revenue need to match the projects we want to build,” Carroll said. She accused the mayor of “playing political football with revenue tools other municipalities are embracing.”

Rob Hatton, a corporate financing staffer with the City, noted that since Metrolinx is expected to release on a report on how to fund transit in the GTA, now would be a bad time for Toronto to begin its own conversation about taxes and fees for transportation. “We’re not going there,” Hatton said bluntly. He pointed out that one quarter of the approximately $2 billion Metrolinx plans to raise annually will come back to municipalities to fund their priorities.

John Taranu, a volunteer with Cycle Toronto told staff that “the first consideration of any transportation network should be safety.” Taranu noted that Toronto’s public transit network is generally safe, but walking and cycling is often very dangerous, especially at large intersections and near highway on- and off-ramps. “Sometimes it’s very hard for people, especially seniors, just to get across the street in one light,” Taranu said. Cycle Toronto is pushing Metrolinx and the City to include considerations for cycling in all its consultations.

One issue that seemed to garner consensus was the need for dedicated funding for transportation infrastructure improvements. When moderator Nicole Swerhun polled the audience on support for dedicated revenue tools, practically every hand in the room went up. But residents differed on which tools would be most appropriate for raising revenues.

Transportation advocate Jose Ramon Gutierrez cautioned against taxing drivers who commute long distances across the city. “I see that there’s a big bias against car drivers,” Gutierrez said. He said the City should convert unused hydro and transit corridors into new highways.

Others, like resident Ross Jamieson, favoured parking levies and highway tolls that would raise revenue and discourage driving to major city centres. “The people who use the most should pay the most,” he said. Revenues derived from vehicle use dominated the discussion, while few favoured options to tax income, sales, and payrolls.

Comments

  • wklis

    The “Feeling Congested?” meeting held in the York Civic Centre was held in the upper hallway. It felt congested having tables and chairs in a hallway.

    • Torontodude

      Perhaps you should write that to the city or the people in charge of this and not here where no-one planning the event will see it?

  • Guest

    Shelley Carroll shouldn’t call anyone about political games.

  • OgtheDIm

    I thought all people in Scarborough wanted was Subways Subways Subways?

    • pdarrel

      There is a report called “Three Cities within Toronto” by UofT’s Cities Center. In it there are vast swaths of Toronto labelled “City #3” in which neighbourhood incomes have fallen substantially over the past few decades compared to the GTA average. While in areas clustered around the subway lines labelled “City #1”, the neighbourhood income have risen during the same period. Now imagine that you are from City #3: Your income does not go as far as it used to, there is very little improvement in your life or your neighbourhood but every year, your property taxes keep going up. Along comes a politician who for all intent and purposes not only talks the talk but also walks the walk, seen as more credible, and claims that that taxes are going up because of waste and spending on special interest groups. And that you don’t have to settle for streetcars if you let the more efficient private sector build subways at no cost to the taxpayers. Would you believe him or the other guys who keep shifting their position based on what is popular at the moment? Is it any surprise that City #3 voted for Rob Ford?

      Many in Scarborough prefer subways, but if you can get the conversationon beyond slogans and cheap insults, many of us will come to accept the practical option.

  • https://paul.kishimoto.name/ Paul Kishimoto

    No way, Jose.

    • http://twitter.com/TransToronto Transportation TO

      Thanks Paul for your brilliant comment.

      • https://paul.kishimoto.name/ Paul Kishimoto

        The observation that there are too many cars on our roads is comment on the misaligned incentives people have to drive them, not on the people responding sensibly to the incorrect incentives. Tolls etc. aim to correct this. Perpetrating the idea of a “bias” against “drivers” confirms a sense of victimization in people who would benefit themselves, and others, by learning to identify as “commuters” or “travellers” who have other options than driving (for instance, being passengers in another vehicle).

        With highways, as with transit and the Field of Dreams, “if you build it, [they] will come.” This phenomenon—capacity-induced demand—is something that has been studied for decades and confirmed empirically, for instance: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0965-8564(96)00019-5 . Absent good evidence that Toronto is somehow exempt from this, road-building (in hydro corridors or wherever else) can’t be considered a serious response to the problems the City is trying to address.

        I used a clichéd line to respond to clichéd ideas. Call it even?

        • http://twitter.com/TransToronto Transportation TO

          Weird. You reply to my comment, but that comment was taking away from this discussion. Is the administrator of this blog censoring my comments?

          • http://twitter.com/TransToronto Transportation TO

            By the way, capacity-induced demand is nothing but a reflection of little infrastructure provision to high density demands. It is not Smart Growth, but Irresponsible Growth, where governments increase their revenue ostensibly, but provide little infrastructure in return. You can’t expect a different result with this kind of behaviour.

          • Lee Zamparo

            #Transportation TO

            “By the way, capacity-induced demand is nothing but a reflection of little infrastructure provision to high density demands. It is not Smart Growth, but Irresponsible Growth, where governments increase their revenue ostensibly, but provide little infrastructure in return. ”

            I really don’t understand. What revenue are you referring to? And could you elaborate a bit on your thoughts about capacity-induced demand? Capacity-induced demand is a phenomenon that has been observed in many different loci in North America, which vary in how the road networks are planned, yet all result in the same phenomenon (more roads = more traffic). Do you mean that capacity induced demand is a byproduct of a sub-optimal configuration of the road network?

          • TorontoistEditors

            Nope. It is possible that a comment got caught up in our automatic spam filters though. Let us know what’s missing and we’ll see if we can retrieve it.

          • http://twitter.com/TransToronto Transportation TO

            It was rather large, so I won’t retype it again. It was posted right before Paul Kishimoto’s reply above.

          • http://twitter.com/TransToronto Transportation TO

            It’s showing up, again. Maybe, it was the later inclusion of my web link that triggered the auto-spam filter. Thanks, for your prompt reply, and my apologies for my suspicions.

          • TorontoistEditors

            Links do trigger the filter sometimes, yes. (Not always, which makes things frustrating and hard to diagnose.)

          • http://twitter.com/TransToronto Transportation TO

            Gone, again.

          • TorontoistEditors

            Sorry – no idea why this is happening. Approved again (manually) but next time also try leaving it in two shorter comments rather than one extremely long one.

          • http://twitter.com/TransToronto Transportation TO

            Removed the link. Thanks

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    “Transportation advocate Jose Ramon Gutierrez cautioned against taxing drivers who commute long distances across the city.”

    I caution against not taxing drivers who commute long distances across the city. Take that!

  • http://twitter.com/TransToronto Transportation TO

    Hi Desmond,
    Thanks for your reporting. However, you missed the main part of my argument, which was that road tolls can be a punishing tax on the people who have no choice but to drive, and who cannot afford to try to find another job, or to find an affordable home near their workplace, or when two parents work in separate city areas. Unfortunately, there are people who have this image of the rich guy coming in his luxurious SUV from his McMansion in some expensive suburbian neighbourhood. However, that is not the reality of most drivers.

    One of my main arguments about more road infrastructure, that I also exposed yesterday, is the worsening of safe conditions for walking and biking in our neighbourhoods. Planners, in this city, have continuously neglected the increasing traffic pressures on our 40-years-old road network (no road additions ever since, in Toronto), and they are still not considering any proposals for future traffic increases, which will continue to occur no matter how much transit development occurs. This neglect is putting pedestrian’s lives in danger with increasing traffic invading residential streets.

    Sure, for some people it may sound exaggerated, but the fact is that every time that an artery is heavily congested, traffic begins to divert to residential streets, which are not supposed to handle heavy traffic, but are full of seniors and children walking or biking. For example, when the city closed a lane on a main artery near my home, my young family on their way to school was many times in danger of being hit by drivers trying to avoid the congested artery. This situation will only get worse if planners continue to ignore the reality that car traffic will only become heavier in an increasingly dense city like Toronto.

    More transit development will get some people out of their cars. However, future population increase will offset this transfer of commuters, with a natural increase of transit riders AND car drivers. It has been 4 decades of anti-car policies in Toronto, and it hasn’t worked; the proportion of car vs transit commuters hasn’t changed. Don’t expect that it will change in the future, either. Therefore, instead of having a neglecting behaviour against drivers, or dismissive attitudes like Paul Kishimoto’s or tyrannosaurus_rek comments, below, people should be open to accept the needs to accommodate future traffic increases with new road capacity, as well as transit.

    • http://www.facebook.com/shaun.cleaver Shaun Cleaver

      Jose Ramon,
      Your anecdote is a great example of why the side streets of your neighbourhood should have traffic calming and restricted entry from the main arteries – if the side streets are not considered shortcuts for drivers, drivers will not use them, even if a lane is closed on Lawrence. These measures won’t affect the ability of seniors, cyclists and your family to get around on foot but will protect them from dangerous, fast-moving steel boxes.

      • http://twitter.com/TransToronto Transportation TO

        These side streets already have restrictions for entering them, specially during rush hour. Traffic calming measures like speed bumps are quite opposed where there are large populations of seniors, since it reduces the speed of emergency services.

        It is better for people to have alternatives to move around, but away from residential streets, with additional road capacity, than creating more frustration, road rage, and congestion with further traffic restrictions.

        • http://www.facebook.com/shaun.cleaver Shaun Cleaver

          Alternatives, yes, like better transit and urban planning. Your story is again a testament as to why that needs to be the priority.

          By “additional road capacity” you mean in part adding to the 6-lane roads that ring my neighbourhood and make it inconvenient and dangerous to cross except at 800m intervals. This is not the city I want to live in.

          The idea of highways running in tunnels, on massive platforms over rail corridors or through hydro fields might have traction if cars never left the highway, but unless there are on-ramps from the paved areas of dead-space used to store vehicles they will be interacting with us in the city. Which is why it is in the interest of your family that we STOP designing cities with the priorities of cars in mind and START designing them for people.

          • http://twitter.com/TransToronto Transportation TO

            Shaun,
            We can spend hours trying to convince each other, and reach no port. I encourage you to continue spreading your ideas, and I will do the same.

            Best regards,

            Jose Ramon

          • torontothegreat

            Funny cause you actually haven’t spent any time trying to discuss anything. You sure like to hear yourself talk thought…

          • http://www.facebook.com/shaun.cleaver Shaun Cleaver

            I’ll accept that truce – and not as a sign of weakness, but as one of respect. I didn’t really want to spend the rest of the day checking this page to continue the online debate anyways.
            Have a great weekend. I suspect that we’ll cross paths again, both virtually and publicly again soon!

    • tyrannosaurus_rek

      I wasn’t being dismissive of your position so much as I was snarking on how it was presented in the article.

      But since you ask:

      If road tolls are a punishment, what are decades of cancelled transit infrastructure projects, twice-daily overcrowding, service cuts, frequent signal/mechanical-related service delays, and the annual fare hikes that greet the people who have no choice but to take transit, who can’t afford to live near their workplace, and can’t sustain themselves on the jobs near where they live? Transit may not be a realistic choice for many motorists, but buying a car (and the related expenses of operating one in the city) is even less a choice for most transit-users. And I think you’ll agree the solution isn’t to take people off transit and put them in more cars on crowded streets.

      If road tolls are a punishment, then so is every other vehicle-based revenue source. But we have to pay for transit and transportation solutions (whatever they may be) somehow, and it’s only fair those who benefit the most shoulder at least some of the cost. And they would benefit the most: better/expanded transit makes it an option when it wasn’t before, fewer motorists (discouraged by tolls or whatever) frees up space on the road, and any new roads built will be primarily for motorists.

      But are new roads a realistic solution? Not downtown, unless you want to
      bulldoze entire swaths of residential neighbourhoods. But wherever they’re built, won’t you run into the same scenario in your anecdote – a delay pushes people off their shiny new arterial road and into residential streets not intended to serve as overflow lanes? If there’s a solution to that problem, implement it already. So then, transit and managing the roads we have is where we should concentrate.

      • http://twitter.com/TransToronto Transportation TO

        Trust me, I know quite well how difficult it is to go around with a family and solely depending on TTC’s level of service. We had to endure it for 2 years, since we couldn’t afford a car, then.

        Today, I can choose to drive to work in 15-20 minutes, or to take transit for 75 minutes, but allowing me to read, and to walk 1 mile for some exercise. It depends if I have to do groceries, or if there is a weekly family activity, that day. At least now, I don’t have to spend half a day to take my children to the doctor, or to spend many hours for weekly grocery shopping via transit and taxis.

        I consider road tolls, on existing roads, as punishment, since the province already gets $5 billion every year from fuel taxes, but because of magical accounting, it has evaporated into the general revenue since 3 decades ago. Today, Metrolinx comes with an overpriced transit plan ($570 million per km for Downtown Relief Line, and for Yonge Subway Extension, when Sheppard cost $200 million per km in today’s dollars), but because the government seems unable to find efficiencies in their transit budgets, and in other wasteful spending, they want to increase our taxes even more. However, if they would allow private financing, we can get more rational costs, since construction costs would be controlled, therefore, some assurance that we’re not paying for overpriced and unaffordable transit, like the Spadina subway extension. If we manage to get double the transit for the same money, or the same The Big Move plan for half the money, we would be doing a huge service to the pockets of all Ontarians.

        On the other hand, people would be more willing to accept tolls on new roads, since at least, it provides a user-pay alternative to the existing, and already paid road network. That relieves traffic pressure for the people who can’t afford tolled alternatives, or that simply refuses to pay for it.

        As for downtown, you can extend Hwy 400 to the south along the train corridor that continues south of Black Creek Dr., therefore alleviating the current and future pressures on Keele, Dufferin, Kipling, among others. And, you won’t need to bulldoze swaths of residential neighbourhoods. The technology today for building tunneled, or elevated roads, is far more advanced than 50 years ago. Certainly, every traffic delay pushes today, and will continue to push traffic into residential streets, however, it is always to have more road alternatives, than less.

        We can try to manage our roads better, but 4 decades of anti-car policies in Toronto, has simply neglected, or made traffic congestion worse. City Planners have been talking about traffic signal synchronization for decades, but that only produces laugh among the population. On the other hand, you will only be able to increase our bike road network, if you’re able to remove traffic pressure off existing roads. And that, will also help bus routes to be able to move faster, and our sidewalks to become more walkable.

        • dsmithhfx

          “4 decades of anti-car policies”

          What “anti-car policies”?

        • torontothegreat

          “However, if they would allow private financing”

          LOLWUT?!

        • tyrannosaurus_rek

          “I consider road tolls, on existing roads, as punishment, since the province already gets $5 billion every year from fuel taxes, but because of magical accounting, it has evaporated into the general revenue since 3 decades ago.”

          Do you see that changing? What would have to be cut for that money to be reallocated to road-related uses?

          “Today, Metrolinx comes with an overpriced transit plan ($570 million per km for Downtown Relief Line, and for Yonge Subway Extension, when Sheppard cost $200 million per km in today’s dollars)…”

          Are the two areas even remotely comparable? The DRL would have to tunnel under old and dense developments under narrow and residential streets, while, unless I’m mistaken, Sheppard was mostly/entirely cut-and-cover along a broad street with mostly light suburban-style and industrial development.

          “However, if they would allow private financing, we can get more rational costs, since construction costs would be controlled…”

          Why couldn’t Ford muster any private support when he had momentum on transit planning?

          “If we manage to get double the transit for the same money, or the same The Big Move plan for half the money, we would be doing a huge service to the pockets of all Ontarians.

          That’s a mighty big ‘if’.

          “On the other hand, people would be more willing to accept tolls on new roads, since at least, it provides a user-pay alternative to the existing, and already paid road network.”

          The existing road network isn’t “already paid”, it has to be maintained constantly, and the cost goes up every year. And nobody in the GTA would characterize Toronto’s roads as well-maintained as it is.

          “As for downtown, you can extend Hwy 400 to the south along the train corridor that continues south of Black Creek Dr., therefore alleviating the current and future pressures on Keele, Dufferin, Kipling, among others.”

          This extension sounds like a great way to introduce highway-volume traffic to the dozens of residential neighbourhoods along the rail corridor and the narrow streets downtown, and introduce new congestion at the those same streets as they feed onramps, to say nothing of the loss of green space if it were to come down Black Creek Drive to reach the corridor.

          “We can try to manage our roads better, but 4 decades of anti-car policies in Toronto, has simply neglected, or made traffic congestion worse.”

          I don’t know what policies you’re talking about, but it’s a wilful neglect that has led to the traffic congestion we have today. Right-wing rhetoric (“war on cars”) stirring up political opposition, and BIA-based fear, have held back all talk of tolls, traffic shaping with extended sidewalks, congestion charges, comprehensive cycle network plans, etc. It certainly hasn’t helped to have people such as yourself calling some of the solutions “punishment”. Forget about cyclists and pedestrians; once the Car Culture lobby is satisfied with a plan they haven’t ground to dust there isn’t room for anyone else.

          • http://twitter.com/TransToronto Transportation TO

            Thanks for your reply. We definitely have quite different points of view.

            Best regards,

            Jose Ramon

          • torontothegreat

            TRek just gave you thoughtful points to consider to many of your main talking points and all you do is hand wave them away? Dude, you’re a fn a$$hole…

            Have a great day in your bubble.

          • tyrannosaurus_rek

            I wish you would try defending yours.

    • pdarrel

      I am from Scarborough, and even with the proposed transit lines, car will remain the primary mode for many of us for some time to come. However, I don’t understand how building more highways is going to help us in the long term. Those new highways have to feed into local roads whose capacity to widen are limited. There will be more cars feeding into local roads because highways shorten long distance travel but where will those extra cars go on local roads to find that extra space? Aren’t you worsening the very problem you’re trying to solve. I think your solution would only work in low density cities like Phoenix where the surburbs, local roads and highways keep expanding.

      • http://twitter.com/TransToronto Transportation TO

        Not because you are adding new highways, you are adding more cars to the roads, you’re simply transferring cars from smaller roads to bigger roads. For example, Hwy 407 didn’t create excessive additional loads on the roads that it intersect, however, it did help relieve traffic loads on Steeles Ave., Hwy 7 and Hwy 401. Hwy 407 has increased its own demand, but that is because of the development that has occurred around it in the last decade and a half.

        • pdarrel

          I’ve looked at some of your proposals and I don’t necessarly agree with you but I do applaud you for your passion and the audacity of your vision.

    • torontothegreat

      From Jose’s blog. The article is titled: Toronto’s artificial gridlock

      On the other hand, road capacity reductions are the result of, in part, by the replacement of some road lanes for dedicated transit ways (like the St. Clair West LRT), or new bicycle lanes, (as it was done on Jarvis Street); but most importantly, by lane reductions due to endless periods of road construction, which is by far the most irresponsible act of government incompetence, in this respect.

      Are you in any way associated with Rob Ford or the current mayoral administration?

      • Testu

        I’m curious about that as well, although he’s been remarkably consistent with his unrealistic transit strategies since 2006 at least. He a leading mind behind the TO Viaduct (http://www.toviaduct.com), featured on Torontoist no less (http://torontoist.com/2008/04/gardiner_spacing/).

        He’s also behind a rather spectacular bit of FUD over CodeRedTO’s transit lobbying (http://c9.livejournal.com/537718.html)

        Anti-transit stooge or misguided civil engineer? You decide.

        • http://twitter.com/TransToronto Transportation TO

          Yes, an ignorant suburbanite.

          Have fun!

          • Testu

            If that’s how you wish to define yourself, that’s your right. But notice that no one here has called you that.

            You have a public history of advocating bizarre and seemingly regressive transit policy and your recent work (on your Blog) is a hotbed of talking point keywords straight from the mayor’s press conferences. So I’m curious about your background and motivations.

      • http://twitter.com/TransToronto Transportation TO

        Yes, I’m an ignorant who just repeats what Mayor Ford says: Subways, subways, subways, with little capacity to discern reality from fiction, and who happens to receive a big check from the dark side of corporate interests.

        Cheers.

        • torontothegreat

          Private funding for transit expansion
          More roads to alleviate congestion
          Anti-car policies (“war on the car”)

          The parallels are scary and the fact that you don’t see them speaks volumes on your own willingness to listen (hrmm…). On the other hand, it’s even more scary that you’re actually a civil engineer.

          At least if you were a Ford stooge we could chalk it up as blind following. The fact that you claim not to be, tells me you’re just not that bright.

          You should really bring yourself up to speed on the fact that you’re SUMMARILY wrong on all points you bring up. Points which have been proven TIME AND TIME again to be falsehoods.

          Maybe you don’t support Ford, but you are in fact a very ignorant person who is also unwilling to be challenged by anyone else in this thread who have brought up worthwhile points against your own.

      • Lee Zamparo

        “but most importantly, by lane reductions due to endless periods of road
        construction, which is by far the most irresponsible act of government
        incompetence, in this respect.”

        Those temporary lane reductions are a result of required road maintenance. If we didn’t have them, the road network would deteriorate, and be even less useful (slowing to accomodate potholes, increased chances of accidents due to unevenness of road conditions). If there is a more efficient way of performing road work, then please (seriously!) get yourself and your ideas into the MTO! We need them.

  • Tanya

    “Scarberians” is a pompous urbanite insult. I wonder why there is a rift between residents of the old city of Toronto and the old boroughs like Scarborough when those who live in the suburbs are mocked by the media?

    • George Stroke

      Yeah, how dare they! I also can’t believe people in the U.S. have the audacity to call us Canadians. It’s no wonder there is a rift between us and our neighbours to the south.

    • Torontodude

      Being a resident of Scarhio I have no problem with the term they used. Heck, I willingly hand over the term Scarhio (Scarhioans?) if they want to use that instead.

      Face it, Scarborough, baring a few decent establishments, is made up of a lot of box/chain stores and single-occupancy homes/giant apartment buildings. There isn’t a lot of variety in that sense, and few exceptions to this. Some exceptions include perhaps the Scarborough Beaches area and parts of danforth/kingston road, but there isn’t a lot of uniqueness to it that doesn’t involve looking back at the pioneer years. This is why our Civic Centre and the area around it (the supposed “downtown” of Scarborough) has no Scarborough art in it that is newer than 1995) and there has been no interest in the public to change that. “Scarborough” is just an old political entity that had too few unique qualities to it to justify your defensive reaction to using the term Scarberia.

      • tyrannosaurus_rek

        I think Scaberia is more a comment on its relative remoteness (a la Siberia) than its supposedly bleak nature.

        • dsmithhfx

          I live here, and I assure you rather large tracts of it are as bleak as any sprawling, down-at-heels industrial park and strip mall wasteland. The climate is a tad more temperate than Siberia, though.

          • tyrannosaurus_rek

            I’ll take your word for it – they’d seize my Downtown Elite card if I were to venture out there to see for myself.

          • dsmithhfx

            There’s an Effete District down near the lake…

      • pdarrel

        I think you are giving Scarborough too little credit. It is not just big box stores and suburban sprawl. The strip malls which some dismiss as a “wasteland” has potential as can be seen in Shawn Micallef’s 2012 TedxToronto talk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Nvp3d36wSw . Just imagine if we made the area more pedestrian friendly, and put a LRT there, just how much more vibriant it would be. It is one of the reasons why I think a surface LRT is the better option for Scarborough.

    • dsmithhfx

      I like “Scartown”.

  • Don Adams

    I wonder if the same Scarborough residents who attended this meeting are the same people who scream for subways but wont pay for them

    • Torontodude

      There was one lady at my table who was like this. I can sum up her argument as follows. “We are taxed enough already, I want a subway to ajax. If we had a subway to ajax (along sheppard) no one in ajax would have to drive downtown to get to work.” (basically she ignored the rest of the day when those subway tunnels would be underutilised).

    • pdarrel

      That depends on if they are the useful idiots organized by the one
      man joke called the “Toronto Taxpayers Coalition”. On the same day, there was another meeting in Scarborough with Karen Stintz organized by Councillor Raymond Cho where people were more reasonable but it wasn’t as news worthy.

  • UnknownTransit

    Thanks to Rob Ford, there will be no transit development on Sheppard East in the next 5 years. In 2014, the city election will open up the topic of what goes on Sheppard again. If the LRT plan stays, hopefully Metrolinx still have enough cash kicking around. If the subway plan goes through. it’ll be 2025 before something is done.

    Other initiative the city should take includes traffic engineers be more transit oriented. Our city isn’t going to be all about cars in the next 10 years. Transit priority and bus lanes needs to be implemented to keep surface routes running. The surface routes are the supporting network for subways and LRTs. Being stuck on a fully packed bus to the subway ain’t going to attract anyone from their car.

  • Lee Zamparo

    “He said the City should convert unused hydro and transit corridors into new highways.”

    Instead of new highways, how about some of them become BRT with widely spaced stations? It would be much more efficient in terms of road usage.

    • Testu

      It’s been covered before, the hydro corridors generally aren’t near anything that people want to travel to. They would be fast as BRT corridors but people would still have to take other connecting buses to and from their origin and destination to get to the BRT stations.

      • Lee Zamparo

        Maybe they could function as express service to other transit hubs then? This is mainly speculation; I’d have to overlay the hydro corridors with the existing transit network. A quick search shows that the idea has already been explored on urbantoronto.ca: forum/showthread.php/13504-Potential-for-Hydro-Corridor-Transitways.

        There is already one example of a successfully implemented BRT system in Toronto, see the york-university-busway-below-the-radar article on spacing.

  • Lee Zamparo

    Your auto-reload policy manages to nix a lot of my comments just prior to my posting, Torontoist. Not cool. Is there a way to turn off automatically refreshing the page?

    • dsmithhfx

      You could try composing your comments in a text editor, and then pasting them in.

      • tyrannosaurus_rek

        That’s what I did the second time the refresh ate one of my long replies in this thread.

        For some reason though, the refresh doesn’t seem to be consistent from page to page or day to day.