As part of the Transit City Initiative the TTC is proposing to take the existing Street Car track from Long Branch to Park Lawn and turn it into a dedicated Light Rail Transit line. More information has been included in a blog post here.

What do you think about this proposal? What questions would you want answered about the proposal?

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The thing to remember is that, since we have the tracks already and the proposed LRT will use those tracks, we can make the tracks a dedicated ROW at any time in the future. Also a dedicated ROW will not prevent the street cars from being delayed as most accidents happen at intersections anyway. (and the intersections that remain will be much busier and more complicated with U-turns etc.)

I’m not sure why the TTC is so insistent of having a dedicated ROW now that even they admit we won’t need for 30 years.
In theory, the LRT is a great idea but there isn't room for a designated ROW on Lakeshore West. I used to live in Scarborough. I took the SRT many times and it was great, but it was in it's own corridor along the hydro ROW.

I'm all for more public transit. I'm unemployed now, but when I was working downtown, I took transit over 95% of the time. I picked this area of Toronto because it was close to GO and TTC - so I had a choice (in case there were strikes).

A dedicated ROW down here would reduce auto traffic to one lane in each direction. At non-rush hour times, that's sufficient, but at rush hour or when there's a problem with the QEW (especially east-bound problems) we get a LOT of overflow on the Lakeshore --- at those times, 2 lanes each way aren't enough.

A bigger problem with the ROW is the limited number of ROW crossing points. Cars will be able to cross every 4 or 5 blocks. At those intersections, there will be some limited left-turn access over the ROW. When more cars need to turn left (than reserved for turns) traffic behind them will come to a halt. NOW, drivers are smarter than that, so what will happen..... a street or two before, drivers will get off Lakeshore, drive across a side street to a street that crosses the ROW. Lakeshore traffic will be diverted into 'quiet side streets'. If you live on nearby streets, YOU will host RUSH HOUR traffic overflow.

As an example, I live on 40th street. Right now, If I want to go to the QEW, I go up to Lakeshore and from there make a left to go up Browns Line.
Once the ROW is there, I will HAVE to go down to James, across to 37th to get to Lakeshore to get to Browns Line. On the south side streets like James, Marina, Ash, Alder and likely Lake Promenade will all see significant traffic increase, as well the ROW cross-streets.

As to commerce on Lakeshore. ROW will be a big problem. I'd like to go to that restaurant or shop on the other side of the street. I'll have to wait for the next ROW crossing to make a U-turn --- and I'll be competing for the U-turn with the drivers that are legitimately turning left. Oh, yeah - stopping traffic further.

And.... down here near in Longbranch, there are still a few manufacturing plants. Will the transport trucks be able turn into these businesses? AND... when they get out - how far will they have to travel to end up going in the right direction.
(They'd be too big to make a U-turn at the ROW crossing.)
And.... heaven forbid if the Brewers Retail trucks can't make it in and out of the BEER STORE!

and I could go ON AND ON (I'm unemployed, I have lots of time - I'll put a dozen more scenarios on here next week)

On the plus side, the ROW will save 5 minutes to the Humber Loop - that's not significant.
To me, the biggest advantage would be (and I'm kind of assuming here) that passengers getting off the LRT would have a platform where they could disembark safely.

This whole thing is still years away - hopefully we can work out something sensible by then

It's good to see someone who is actually putting much more forethought into the impacts of the LRT on our local communities, and rationalizing the effects that will occur. Most people I have spoken with who originally supported the LRT are realizing what you have found - the LRT will be of little (or no) benefit here.

The measly 5-minute trip saving will be offset by longer walking distances to the reduced number of transit stops, as well as longer boarding/unloading times (if that many more people use the new service as expected). The increased distance to stops will certainly be a barrier to the elderly and the less mobile. Maybe some age discriminaton is at work, because more transit stops that are closer for people to walk to will be necessary with an aging population.

The attitude from the City and TTC is the typical "we know better than you who have lived for so long in your community" - when in reality, they are the ones who know nothing.

What looks good on paper to some beancounter rarely translates into something useful in the real world (at least, the way Toronto operates).
Another thought on the LRT to Longbranch....
Isn't Lakeshore Boulevard also Highway 2? A PROVINCIAL HIGHWAY!
Doesn't that mean the approval of the LRT ROW would also have to go through the Province?

I would hope our MPP is aware of the situation.
I think we should start a campaign to make sure we make our opinions known to her.
We should all know what her stand is and what she intends to do about it (if anything)
before the next provincial election.
No, I believe the province downloaded all those old urban highways to the cities a few years ago now.


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