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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Most popular posts of September on Spacing Wire

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Today marks the return of our monthly feature: the most popular blog posts of the previous month. Transit, the Gardiner, and the upcoming election dominated the discussions.
New Toronto street signs: 26 comments. I wasn’t the only one who thought the new signs were a step backwards, at least from a graphic design perspective. The Transportation department received a number of complaints, as did city councillors. So the Works Committee asked Transportation to go away and come up with a new design. The motivation for change also came from the City’s renewed interest in improving the appearance of the city’s streetscape, specifically the new street furniture program.

Low floor buses a flop: 19 comments. Both Howard Moscoe and Chief General Manager Gary Webster say the new low-floor buses have been a failure due to their poor seating in the rear of the vehicle.

The TTC ponders 24-hour service: 18 comments. TTC Commissioners directed TTC staff yesterday [Sept. 20] to investigate the possibility of operating subway service overnight instead of shutting service down between 1:30 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. The experimental service could be operated next year on the Yonge-University-Spadina line.

Gardiner details revealed [Spacing Votes]: 18 comments. The report that details the future of the Gardiner Expressway was released today. David Miller held an information session with the media to give his opinion on the report, while mayoral challenger Jane Pitfield is desperately trying to making this a wedge issue. She said to reporters at City Hall today, “The Gardiner is not a barrier to the waterfront. Everyone knows the best view of lake is from the Gardiner.”

New blood needed? 17 comments. This is the period during an election where the finer points of platforms are not usually debated in the media. Instead, over-arching persepctive pieces seem to dominate, setting the tone for the next 60 days. Today, the Star‘s Royson James dicsusses the need for new blood on City Council.

JOHN LORINC COLUMN: Tolls, the Gardiner and David Miller’s political capital [Spacing Votes]: 10 comments. So it’s time for [Miller] to make a bold move and spend some of the political capital he so loves to hoard. Here’s how: Miller and council are sitting on a report that lays out a plan to pull down the Gardiner as a means of improving the waterfront and its connection to the city. The mayor’s said he hasn’t yet seen a compelling business case for such a megaproject, which means he doesn’t have the money. The answer is a combination of highway tolls and a downtown congestion charge, of the sort that’s been implemented in London and now large cities in Sweden.

Subway extension to East Mall proposed: 10 comments. This past Wednesday [Sept. 15], Etobicoke community council voted to ask city staff to investigate the possibility of extending the Bloor-Danforth subway one stop westward from Kipling to the Dundas/East Mall intersection. The details were reported in Inside Toronto. Councillor Peter Milczyn (Ward 5 – Etobicoke-Lakeshore) made the motion, to update an older Environmental Assessment and assess the costs required to acquire property for the extension. ** Added bonus: Councillor Milczyn responds in comments section.

Power Plant plans finalized: 10 comments. The CBC is reporting that Mayor David Miller and residents near the Port Lands have lost their battle to stop the construction of a new power plant in the area. The plant’s construction is meant to stop the oft-quoted threat of “rolling blackouts” by 2008. The mayor and residents had hoped for a smaller, greener energy centre, but, as is often the case with waterfront revitalization, it was not meant to be.


One comment

  1. Milczyn’s response is disappointing. He doesn’t appear to agree that $100 million a year on incremental subway construction could be much better spent on busways and light rail that would serve many, many more people.