When Stubbornness Trumps Financial Logic

Respect for the Taxpayer. That was Rob Ford’s mantra that got him elected. He will stop at nothing to save the city’s taxpayers a few bucks.

Nothing could possibly be more important than saving the taxpayer a few dollars, right? Well, not if it involves some form of rail transit construction on the surface.

According to Steve Munro, Queen’s Park offered the city $2 billion towards the Sheppard Subway project provided that the¬†they would allow the eastern part of Eglinton to remain on the surface. The city slammed the door on this idea. Not that an extension of the Sheppard line is a great idea, but if half of its funding could be secured this easily, why wouldn’t it be?

My position on the plans for the Eglinton line is that at least the section from the eastern portal between Leslie and Brentcliffe and Don Mills Road, the line should be built on the south side of Eglinton rather than down the middle. Looking further into this, it should be possible to continue a side-of-the-road right of way at least as far as Victoria Park or even Pharmacy. Between there and where it would go underground near Kennedy station, a median right of way is likely the best implementation.

Taxpayers be damned in order for the Fords to get their way.

One Response to “When Stubbornness Trumps Financial Logic”

  1. Ben Smith Says:

    Even better: Elevate the line above traffic along the eastern stretch, and take $1 billion for the Sheppard subway. Here’s hoping whoever runs against him in 2014 remembers this tidbit…

    Cal’s comment: Elevated lines down a road tend to make that road a very dingy place to be, though the stretch of Eglinton between Victoria Park and Kennedy has mostly low-rise development that is fairly well set back from the road, so I wouldn’t be totally opposed to that way of implementing the line. I still feel that an at-grade side-of-the-road alignment from the portal west of Leslie to Victoria Park is a better way to implement the line. West of Don Mills, it could easily be placed on the south side of the road and east of there on the north side. The station at Don Mills was already to be underground, so it would provide an underpass crossing of Eglinton.

    West of Don Mills, there would be no grade crossings at all. East of Don Mills, there would be three grade crossings (Switft Dr., Sloan Ave., and Jonesville Cres.) and only one driveway (east of Sloan Ave.) that would require level crossings. The line would need its own bridge over Wynford Drive, which would also eliminate the need for level crossings in that location. While a north side-of-the-road alignment could be possible between Don Mills and the DVP, it would make better logistical sense to extend the underground portion of the station to just east of the DVP. The line could be elevated from just west of Victoria Park until the point where it must go underground for Kennedy Station.