This morning as I tucked into my Raisin Bran my eyes wandered over to the front page of The Star
, lurking as usual, near the corner of the
kitchen table. The headline read:
Council supports one-stop subway to Scarborough
Toward the end of the article two more extensions of the subway were mentioned, one being an extension of the Sheppard Line, beyond Don Mills Station,
which had been rejected earlier when a proposed LRT Line to Scarborough was still on the table and another extension of the Bloor Danforth line from
Kipling Station to Sherway Gardens in Etobicoke, at the western edge of Toronto.
Here is a map (2017 TTC Projection) of the subway system that does not include either of these suggested extensions but which does show stops on the
extension of the University line up to Vaughn and stops on a proposed Scarborough extension between Kennedy Station and and even beyond the stop at
Scarborough Town Center, which was just approved by City Council.
The extension projects underway and those proposed or "envisioned" represent significant increases in the carrying capacity ambitions
For the general public, it might be well to take a step back at this point and suggest to them a way of thinking clearly
about transit matters
and subway expansion in particular.
There is a lot of political clamor around the subject. People want to be included into the system. Politicians respond to the desires of the public
for inclusion. Planning battles will always have much more than a tincture of strictly political considerations involved in them. But let's leave
politics aside for a moment and look at the subway expansion problem in strictly logistical terms.
In theory, as Subway Extension
increases, Street Traffic Congestion
should decrease. The theory being that people will park their cars
in the suburbs and take the subway downtown instead of driving there.
Unfortunately, the corollary to this is that as Street Traffic Congestion
decreases, Subway Congestion
increases, particularly in the
downtown core of the system.
It would seem logical therefore, that any extensions
of the subway system at the outskirts of the city, should be accompanied by
of the system in the core in a kind of subway improvement "two step".
An engineer might even attempt to bring abstract logic into the world, as it were, and suggest that expansion of the downtown core should
precede and prepare the way for extensions of the system at the fringes.
It's a question of balance
and moving forward in a deliberate
As things stand now, I don't see evidence of anything resembling a balanced, prudent approach to subway expansion, that anticipates and takes into
consideration the fact that what you do at one end of the system, the suburbs, will have an effect at the other end of the system, the downtown
This process, expansion, would seem to require a "two step" approach. Extension of the extremities would always need to be accompanied by an expansion
of the core. Am I wrong in thinking that?
Nobody, at this juncture appears to be talking about "downtown relief". Maybe this is method and not madness. I hope that is the case but I am not
confident of it.
edit on 14-7-2016 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)