Thursday, February 6, 2014

Never Side With a Crack-Smoking Mayor

The Gardiner Expressway is a dilapidated elevated freeway through the heart of downtown Toronto.  Does that sound familiar?  There has long been calls to do something with it, but never serious plans.  Well, the city of Toronto has just completed an environmental assessment of it and the recommendation is strongly on the side of a tear-down.

You can find a powerpoint summary of the EA findings here.

Besides learning that their crack smoking clown of a mayor, is against it (citing 'traffic'), the most interesting part of the study to me is the number used in their traffic model for how much traffic will get pushed over to transit (15%).

If a similar percentage of traffic was pushed from 345 to DART that's increased ridership of 25-30,000 new riders per day.  DART's ridership is in the vicinity of 200-250,000 per day (100k or so on rail, 135k on bus).  That is a hefty and needed bump in DART's numbers.

We lament why it DART ridership isn't higher, yet we do little to actually make DART more convenient than driving (despite driving's significantly higher costs).  We let the convenience of the singular driver extinguish the convenience of all in a more adaptable, resilient, and empowering city laden with choice in transportation mode, route, housing, and neighborhood.  By making DART more convenient than driving, the real estate market will begin adapting much more quickly to DART routes.

In sum, you never want to be on the same side as a crack smoking mayor.