For five years I have said we need a public inquiry into the failure of planning in Toronto.
Now Councillor Josh Matlow has announced he wants a judicial inquiry into the Scarborough subway.
I can get behind that. We would be able to tell the judge that an LRT is a local line and that a subway is regional and casts a wide web of surface feeder routes.
We would be able to tell the judge that the planners have misled city council by using LRT figures to project subway ridership.
The ridership of an LRT comes essentially from the corridor in which it runs. But how many commuters on the Yonge Street subway actually live within walking distance of Yonge Street?
What is the capacity of the LRT systems the planners tout for Scarborough? Planners expect people in Leaside, Davisville, Oriole Park and Forest Hill to walk half a mile or more, in rain, in snow, in cold, late at night, to and from an LRT station when until the LRT opens they could walk two blocks to a bus stop.
The LRT model is a model of two Torontos, one in condos on arterials who are, in theory, dependent on the LRT and one in the houses still dependent on their cars. And how will that reduce emissions, even with a carbon tax?
How will that create the conditions necessary, for instance, to reduce the number of lanes on Yonge Street north of Hwy. 401?
If the Scarborough subway were extended north to Sheppard, the Sheppard East station would become the terminus of dozens of surface routes in north Scarborough and Markham, just as Finch Station has a dozen 905 bus bays.
On the witness stand the planners could not deny that and the potential for a Scarborough subway.
Eglinton Avenue East
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