New LRT Poll is worthless – by Karl Haab

A poll based on misleading information is absolutely worthless. The TTC and Metrolinx have been touting LRTs as beautiful and rapid transportation for years and obviously there are still plenty of Torontonians drinking that Kool-Aid.

These LRTs are nothing of that sort. The misleading architectural drawings they circulated showing an LRT without the noxious 8 inch platform they will be running on and showing wide boulevards are misleading. The fact is that these LRTs will result in much narrower main thoroughfares in some cases down to only one lane for cars in each direction creating much more gridlock than we have now. These LRTs will not solve our transportation problem, but will make them far worse.

And the 8 inch platform will prevent cars from making left turns at most intersections and slowing down traffic where these cars and trucks have to make U-turns to get to where they need to go.

Rapid they are not. It’s not the speed they can attain on an unobstructed line that counts, it’s the speed they can attain in traffic which will be no more than 13 to 18 km/h depending on the time of day.

Then there will be the forest of traffic signals so confusing, motorist will have to slow down to a crawl if they don’t want to obey the wrong signal.

If Mr. Soknacki were to do his homework and take the time to travel west on St. Clair Avenue West a few times at different times of the day all the way to Weston Road and study the various studies showing the many pitfalls that make LRTs useless and even illegal, he might stop his sugar and spice LRT campaign. And when Soknacki claims that LRTs are cheaper to build, he uses Metrolinx’s inflated figures of 3.1 billion for the Scarborough Subway, while the Metrolinx consultants say it will cost only 1.4 billion. Metrolinx added 100 % for contingencies (the usual amount is 10%) and $360 million for HST!

People living in “old” Toronto couldn’t care less what happens in Scarborough and don’t depend on transit out here so why ask their opinion? Asking people whether they want to spend an additional $1B without including the fact that the cost will be amortized over a much longer period rather than being treated as an upfront expenditure, that the tunnels will be there ostensibly “forever” as adverse the SRT lasting 25 years, far short of its planned lifetime before it has to be replaced. 7 stops vs 3 stops is like comparing apples with oranges. Most people will have to take a bus from their house to the nearest rail station be it LRT or Subway. The majority of Scarborough residents aren’t living on the rail line so won’t be walking anyway.

And while Toronto City Council, the TTC and Metrolinx have dilly-dallied on what to do for several years, do we really need a Soknacki or the grand-standing publicity seeker Josh Matlow who thinks he should be the next TTC chairman, to start all over again?

Give us a break! We are tired of the NDP circus at City Hall!

Karl Haab, President

New Conservatory of Music Ltd.

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