Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

St. Clair: Our new midtown highway

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St. Clair: Our new midtown highway

Although the TTC initiated the project ostensibly to improve the reliability of the St. Clair streetcar, the City’s Transportation Department quickly hijacked the scheme to divert criticism and detailed analysis of its real goal, namely to severely rebuild the street into a city highway slashing through the very heart of midtown.

Howard Levine, National Post

Published: Friday, December 01, 2006

Howard is rightly upset. The TTC hung on to streetcars when most cities in Canada, the US and UK were scrapping them. They have been very successful, and have become part of the identity of Toronto. They have even built an extension (the Harbourfront line) and separated streetcars from traffic on Spadina (pictured below), which is a model for other cities to reclaim street space for a wide variety of urban uses.

Streetcars on Spadina

What seems to have gone wrong here is that somehow the planners got sidelined and the engineers took over. A familiar story.

Written by Stephen Rees

December 6, 2006 at 8:01 am

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