Saturday, February 28, 2009

Toronto Councillors Like Congestion, Don't want Subways

"In general, downtown politicians are more inclined to object to subway expansion. For one, subways gobble up oodles of cash they want diverted to beefing up already enhanced but over-subscribed service in their wards." Royson James, The Toronto Star, 29 January 2009
This is very strange, for subways were never completed in the inner city, so you'd think they'd want to keep on building them. There is the Pape-Downtown Relief line studied to death and badly needed. There is the lower Queen station already built, ready to become part of a completed Queen subway line, the one line that would pay for itself. But the downtown Toronto Councillors -- with the exception of Mayorlty candidate Jane Pitfield -- seem to have taken on former Premier Mike Harris' mantle of subways are bad, probably because they feel they won't ever be able to have them built where they're most needed, where the most people live, work, and play, and so no one else can have them.

However, back in January, they grudingly agreed to extending the Yonge line north, after the Spadina line is extended north, after the congestion at the Bloor-Yonge line is fixed, after new trains are purchased that allow people to move from car to car, and after the the whole system is computerized. Why didn't they take a stand and also insist that the more-needed downtown lines be built first? Why don't they say out loud what every TTC user knows -- the system is too congested. And while big world-class cities like London, England continue to build new subway lines, our politicians buck that green and smart trend in favour of indulging in another kind of green.
"Subway supporters can take comfort that the projects are administered by Metrolinx, the cross-border transportation agency set up to fly above parochial interests."
Isn't that the same government authority that has no stable, realistic funding to make their big plans happen?

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