Ward 39 Feeling Congested Review – Letter to Feeling Congested by Patricia Sinclair

Dear Daniel and Team,

We hope you found the meeting last night informative.  As you learned, Ward 39 Residents do not wish to be taken for fools.

We understand what Network means and happily explained it to you.

It is the concept of direct, interconnected and continuous line routing.  Continuous being critical to the success of any system because 25% riders are lost due to detours from direct line routes and/or requirements to transfer between technologies.

As we indicated, the Downtown Relief Line already exists.  It’s called GO Transit.

On our behalf, you need to be demanding 30 minute serve on all lines but particularly Richmond Hill to ease the pressure off TTC’s over-capacity Yonge Line.  Longer term, we need to be electrifying.

There is no Density Fairy.  That is a myth which was debunked long ago.

Over 75% of Toronto subway riders arrive via bus.  There are less than 20 subways stations that have sufficient density to generate walk in ridership.

We hope we were able to express to you the difference between price versus cost.

Successful urban transit systems never need earn a dime.  They pay for themselves many times over through their beneficial impact on real estate values and increased investments.  Development is used to offset some or all of a transit systems capital costs.

The Sheppard Subway is the most recent example of how effective this can be.  2002 built cost $934 Million; building permit value as of 03/2012 $2.74 Billion and, still planning.  The new and increased property taxes subsidize operating while passenger levels grow.  Not to forget the provincial and federal taxes that also blossom.

How on earth will we ever recoup the $10 Billion for the Cross-town with low to mid rise development?  We won’t.

We also won’t be providing any transit utility along this collector-distributor corridor.  In a feeder system, subway lines, in order to be effective, should be one bus route apart (8-10 KM) not 4 KM.  Example: Spadina, too close to the Yonge Line.

Gridlock is crippling us.  If we provide public transit to take people where they need/want to go they do abandon their cars.

69% of transit riders are going to work or school.  Downtown Toronto accounts for 25% of the GTA jobs but 80% of transit.  So where are the 75% of jobs located?

The data is available that shows how we move.  When pushed, you did understand that the second biggest area is the Airport and Area.  You failed to mention that the Airport Corporate Centre has the capacity to triple or more in size.   Instead, you rally around recent employment in Liberty Village.  Downtown has very little opportunity to expand the employment base.

The third biggest area is Markham.  11% of Scarberians work in Markham.  People living in the Annex, at Queens Quay, Etobicoke, North York also work there. It too has capacity to grow.

We in Toronto have potential employment growth areas: Victoria Park and Sheppard; McCowan and Sheppard; Downsview Park; Woodbine….lots of  commercial and residential development potential just north of the 401.

Your argument of insufficient job creation in the Sheppard Subway corridor is something of a joke when you look back at the City plans and zoning in this corridor.

City Planning needs to understand Toronto’s Bedroom Community status in relation to the GTA and, implement better policy guidelines to maximize employment.  Planning did a very successful job for high density residential development in the Sheppard Subway Corridor.

For the first time, I finally saw something about Goods and Services Movement being mentioned. Wow, Planning must have just realized this is important because the last study was done in 1987!  We have been asking for a new study for 4 years through Rod McPhail and Metrolinx.

But really, the funniest thing was you folks coming to the suburbs and giving top billing to Bicycles.  According to you, 30 years ago Amsterdam didn’t have a bicycle philosophy.  Please do a little research:

http://www.roadswerenotbuiltforcars.com/netherlands/

My family have lived in Toronto for 125 Years, I think I can safely say we will not become North America’s Top Cycling City.

And, in closing I want to share with you Prof. Flyvbjerg’s paper on “…The dubious ethics of the American Planning Association”

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2278887

We understand that political pressure is being brought to bear in the transit arena.  However, we depend upon our civil servants to protect our interests and see through the rhetoric and ideologies that are so often fobbed on us.  Too many ‘experts’ strategically misrepresent the facts to ensure their project gets accepted.  We have daily proof of the expensive consequences of listening to the so called ‘experts’.

Thanks for coming up to Ward 39.  We appreciated the opportunity to express our concerns and provide you with much needed feedback.

 

Regards, Patricia Sinclair

Ward 39 Resident for 34 years

Pouncette/Sinclair Family 1889-2014 — 125 Years

Lead for Real Torontonians Dig Subways

 

Attachment: A Plan that meets our needs.

Transit Plan 2013

Transit Plan 2013

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