The Jones Express

While I cannot take credit for calling the Spadina Extension to Vaughan the “Sorbara Subway”, I will do so for calling the Yonge Extension to Highway 7 the “Jones Express”. It is no secret that York Region Transit Committee Chair and Markham Deputy Mayor Jim Jones is all gaga over this subway extension like a kid in a candy store (see his April 24 letter to other York Region councillors here as well as a motion he made on coucil here).

In the near future, I will be adding a page covering the LRT versus subway points in detail for both extensions. In the meantime, here is the latest cartoon on the issue with Jones wanting his turn to play (along with Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti giving his thumbs up just as he does here)…

Jones Express

One Response to “The Jones Express”

  1. Mrs. C. Stuart Says:

    This comment was posted to New MPPs in Thornhill and Richmond Hill but is also appropriate for this section, so it has been added here…

    I have lived in this area for the past 34 years. The traffic on Yonge Street now, is unbearable. I literally have to push my way into the traffic in order to make a left hand turn onto Yonge Street from Kirk Drive. What will it be like if they go ahead and add a middle lane for buses only?? It certainly will not take away the the traffic that is already there….but will add to the congestion we now have. We desperately need a new Subway on Yonge Street to take away some of the congestion and allow us, who live in this area….a normal life without the additional stress this situation is causing.

    Cal’s comment: This is perhaps a good example of an opinion that, while well meaning, is not based on knowledge of transit options. This is the fault of our politicians who jump on one option and promote it like it was the best thing since sliced bread without providing any information on alternatives. This is made easier for them when the idea they are promoting is something the public is very familiar with, such as a subway extension.

    A new middle lane for buses could improve the situation, as it would result in alleviating congestion caused when buses get in the way of other traffic and when other traffic gets in the way of buses. That said, I am opposed to building reserved bus lanes as there is provincial funding available for doing more.

    As for a “Subway”, paying for the extension of a heavy rail system such as the TTC’s Yonge line past Steeles is overkill and our return on rapid transit improvement and how many people that it will benefit is much lower than what is possible with a light rail alternative. The section on Yonge from Steeles up to at least Centre Street might be best served by a light rail implementation that is tunnelled underground - an “LRT Subway” if you will. Though this would be more costly than a surface LRT that would either be built in a centre median (just like the bus proposal) or on a right of way adjacent to the street, a tunnelled LRT solution is less costly than extending the existing subway line. The savings could be used to build that LRT line possibly as far north as Major Mackenzie Drive.