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TTC has designs on Fleet Street

Wants two lanes for right-of-way

Would clear way for streetcar lines

KEVIN MCGRAN
TRANSPORTATION REPORTER

TTC staff want the city to hand over a stretch of Fleet St. so that the Bathurst and Harbourfront streetcars can run in their own right-of-way.

“We’ll have faster, more reliable, higher quality service into (what) is expected to develop into a dense residential area,” said Mitch Stambler, the TTC’s manager of service planning.

TTC commissioners are expected to debate the plan, which has been proposed by staff, when they meet tomorrow. Under the $3 million plan, two of Fleet St.’s four lanes between Strachan Ave. and Bathurst St. would be designated for streetcar use only. That would allow streetcars to better avoid traffic slowdowns. The right-of-way could be installed in 2006, when the road is due to be reconstructed.

The TTC hopes the plan won’t run into opposition. Its plan to redevelop St. Clair Ave. W. is before the courts after a residents’ group opposed the proposal for a streetcar right-of-way. That plan calls for two of St. Clair’s six lanes to be used by streetcars.

“Right now, (Fleet St.) has very few established land uses that would be affected by the changes proposed. It makes it relatively non-controversial,” Stambler said.

The TTC previously had permission to build a streetcar-only right-of-way on Lake Shore Blvd. W., back when the city was expected to merge Fleet St. and Lake Shore into one road as part of waterfront redevelopment.

That plan is now dead, and the TTC is looking for a way to run the 509 Harbourfront streetcar on its own right-of-way west of Bathurst. The 509 runs on its own right-of-way along Queens Quay W. The Fleet St. route would also benefit the Bathurst 511 streetcar as it heads into and out of the grounds of the Canadian National Exhibition.

The plan would still require approval from the province’s environment ministry.

The staff report argues the streetcar right-of-way “has already been endorsed in principle by city council,” and the new alignment on Fleet St. meets the goals of the original plan at a “relatively modest additional cost.”




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