Transit Toronto is sponsored by TransSee.ca bus tracker and next vehicle arrivals. TransSee features include vehicle tracking by route or fleet number, schedule adherence, off route vehicles and more advanced features. Works on all mobile devices and on any browser.
Supports Toronto area agencies TTC, GO trains, MiWay, YRT, HSR and GRT, as well as NY MTA, LA metro, SF MUNI, Boston MBTA, and (new) Barrie.

Don Valley transit plan stuck in gridlock

Scheme begun in 2001 sent for more study

Idea calls for Redway Rd. extension

JOHN SPEARS AND PAUL MOLONEY
CITY HALL BUREAU

A $500,000 environmental assessment is needed to examine ways of improving transit in the Don Valley, city council decided yesterday.

The assessment, to be completed by the end of 2006, was approved by city council in a 29-10 vote despite the TTC’s admission that it has higher priorities for transit expansion.

Preliminary work suggests adding a 600-metre extension to Redway Rd. south of Eglinton Ave. E. that would allow buses on Don Mills Rd. to access Bayview Ave. and the Castle Frank subway station at Bloor St. E.

Council ordered city staff to look at transportation needs in the whole Don Valley corridor back in 2001, after rejecting a proposal to build separate toll lanes along the Don Valley Parkway.

Transportation planner Rod McPhail said staff looked for ways to boost transit use and increase the number of people riding in each car using routes though the corridor, as well as trying to increase capacity for more vehicles.

Planners looked at a wide variety of proposals to create new parking areas near transit terminals, provide more bus lanes or build streetcar lines, or reserve lanes for high occupancy vehicles.

One of the most controversial elements of the initial plan is to help traffic moving south on Leslie St. get to the Bayview Extension so commuters can travel downtown.

It involves extending Redway Rd., which now ends at a supermarket, southward to connect Millwood Rd. with Bayview.

Currently, traffic southbound on Leslie travels through the south end of Leaside to reach Bayview; the Redway Rd. extension would bypass Leaside.

But Rosedale residents have worried that routing traffic onto Bayview would result in more traffic filtering through its residential streets.

Councillor Jane Pitfield (Ward 26, Don Valley West) pushed for the project on the understanding that the Redway Rd. extension would be for transit vehicles only, not for cars.

Buses would take passengers to a point below the Bloor St. Viaduct, where they could be transported by an elevator or covered escalator to street level, to board the subway at Castle Frank station.

“This is a busway,” Pitfield told council, and would not destroy green space because it would follow the route of a railway line.

Mayor David Miller also supported further study of the proposals.

“The DVP has huge traffic problems and the way to address that is through rapid transit,” he told reporters. “What we’re trying to do on the DVP corridor is provide an alternative by bus.”

Transit advocate Gord Perks slammed the proposal because it isn’t part of a network plan.

Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong (Ward 34, Don Valley East) found another reason to criticize the plan, which suggests one way of controlling traffic on the Don Valley Parkway is to limit access from on-ramps when it gets jammed.

Minnan-Wong said that means Toronto drivers would be kept off the road to speed traffic for people from north of the city.

“We’re spending all this money to help those people from outside the city get to work, while our own constituents, who pay taxes, we’ll actually make them wait,” he said.

However, Councillor Howard Moscoe, chair of the Toronto Transit Commission, noted the project, which could cost $70 million to build, could go nowhere depending on results of the environmental assessment.

“If it shows there’s a high probability of improving transit flow, it has a chance. If it shows that for the investment we’re not going to get much in return, then it doesn’t have a chance.”

with files from Gabe Gonda




dividerinside