Archive for the ‘Sheppard East LRT’ Category

Council Approves Sheppard East LRT

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

It required over another half day of debate, but at about 2:40 pm, the main motion on going with the LRT plan for Sheppard East came to a vote and was passed 24-19. Here is a photo of the results of the vote (click on it to see a larger version):

 Vote results

The day started with some comments about the attempts to filibuster on Wednesday before continuing with the questions on Councillor Thompson’s motion to defer everything. There was a motion to amend his motion by adding a deadline to the deferral that required a report back to council for the May 8 and 9 meeting. At 11 am, the deferral and its amendment went to a vote. The amendment passed, but the main motion itself failed and discussion returned to the main motion.

There were a few “no strings” motions put forward to essentially create a committee or mechanism that would be on-going to study ways to create on-going funding for transit development and even look into studying the priority of future projects. These are “no strings” because they were not tied to whether Sheppard East would be LRT or subway. Personally, I believe this is a good idea as it could create a way of doing things that keeps looking to the future for transit needs instead of just coming up with a new line on a map when it either makes a good election promise or another level of government is waiving some cash at the city.

I suspect that the lack of any 3P way to fund Ford’s plan whatsoever may because the city has lacked this sort of initiative until now. After all, if you had a load of cash to invest and the city came to you looking for it and you asked what sort of planning structure they had in place, what should your reaction be when they respond with, “Uh, our plan was to just ask you”?

These motions were intentionally left open-ended to allow what ever body exists to explore all possible sources of funding. Anything goes - be that going to the province or feds to beg, make use of existing or asking for new revenue tools, going to the private sector, or even holding a bake sale. Still, Councillor Ford had to ask if it would include looking at 3P sources. When told ‘yes’, he continued to ask, until he became frustrated and made a comment about “working with a bunch of monkeys.” He had to apologize for this comment, but his lack of understanding what the word ‘yes’ means shows that Councillor Cho was correct on Wednesday when he asked Doug Ford if he understood the language.

Council Meeting on Sheppard East

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Today was the special meeting of Council on the transit choice for Sheppard East.

The morning, and part of the afternoon, was spent on questions for staff. The chair of the special panel on Sheppard, Professor Eric Miller, was not present as he is at a conference that was arranged long before this meeting was set for today (it was originally set for March 15). In order for him to be asked questions, a teleconference connection was to be used, but as this has never been used by Council and there are no official rules regarding it, Council needed to approve it. Councillor Minnan-Wong rose on a point of order questioning what the long term effects of this vote would mean. The City Clerk indicated that the vote would only apply to this one situation and would not be precedent setting. The vote to allow the teleconference questioning passed.

Councillor Kelly had a motion to allow another speaker to answer questions. Since this was an agenda change, it required a 2/3 majority vote and did not pass.

Councillor Glen De Baeramaeker presenting motion

A little after 3 pm, the main motion was finally presented by Councillor De Baeremaeker, followed by questions on the motion. After this, other councillors either spoke on the motion or presented other motions.

(more…)

Sheppard East LRT Update

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

I received this notice about the current state of the Sheppard East LRT construction, along with this notice about the public information office that has been set up.

SRT/SELRT Connection Recommended to be Underground

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

At its meeting of May 17, 2010, the City of Toronto Executive Committee recommended that Toronto City Council approve the Scarborough Rapid Transit (SRT) project with an underground service connection to the Sheppard Avenue East Maintenance and Storage Facility. Further details with a map showing the connection track are on this document.

The connection involves a single track in the middle of the tracks on Sheppard starting about half way between Washburn Way and Gateforth Drive and descending into a portal about half way between Gateforth Drive and the top platform for the connection. The converted and extended SRT will pass under Sheppard Avenue at this stop and the connecting track will form a wye with the east (northbound) track of the SRT.

Unfortunately, this connection design eliminates any possibility of future interlining between the two routes. The one thing that may be possible would be to allow out of service SRT trains to continue in revenue service along Sheppard as they head for the car-house, as they do in Melbourne.

Another Extension to the Sheppard East LRT?

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

The original concept of the Sheppard East LRT was for a surface median line from Don Mills to Morningside, estimated at $550 million in 2007 dollars. After the first round of public open houses, two substantial changes were added. The first was placing the line underground from Consumers Road to Don Mills station, and the second was an eastward extension of nearly 2.5 km to Meadowvale Road. These changes plus two years of inflation has brought the price-tag of this line up to $950 million, and this funding is secured.

One of the motions that city council will address today, is the following:

City Council request Metrolinx and the TTC to report back to the Scarborough Community Council by April 2010 on Scarborough Community Council’s position that the Sheppard East LRT will terminate at the Toronto Zoo. 

This extension makes sense. The zoo is a major trip generator that is within 2 km of the intersection of Sheppard and Meadowvale. I suspect that if approved, this would not hold up the rest of the line, but instead would be treated as a separate project that would need funding in place before it began. Hopefully, it could get such funding and be started before the current project is completed similar to the way the Bloor-Danforth subway extensions to Islington and Warden were begun before the line opened from Keele to Woodbine, and the way the Yonge North extension to Sheppard was underway when they added a further extension to Finch (though, due to delays with the initial project, it initially opened to York Mills and then to Finch).

Possible Zoo Extension AlignmentThe one thing with the current project that may be altered by an extension to the zoo is the alignment at Meadowvale. Instead of staying in a median on Sheppard all the way to Meadowvale, I can see an advantage with leaving the median a short distance west of Meadowvale and heading north to northeast towards the zoo. Considering that a maintenance facility may be built around there, having the alignment leave the median would provide a small benefit of having the connections to the facility off road.

The downside of this is that the stop at Meadowvale and Sheppard would not be there, but further west on Sheppard. Of course, there could be a separate branch to the intersection for when service does not need to go to the zoo, or when it need not go there as frequently.

End of day update: the motion before council about this extension was ruled out of order and was withdrawn. It was ruled out of order because the meeting’s purpose was to discuss funding of current city development. Thus, new proposals are out of order. This does not mean that new projects cannot happen, just that Thursday’s meeting was not the place to launch motions on them.