Thursday, October 13, 2005

Saint Clair Street Car? Stop There!

(title must be read with a Newfoundlander's accent. I know it's silly, but I assumed the Sun had already used the title "St. Clair Street-car Derailed". Haven't checked yet.)

Sad news for Toronto. The street car construction on St. Clair has been put on hold because of complaints from local business owners regarding parking. (actually I don't know if that is their current complaint, but it was in the past) I guess they just don't see the potential for future intensity of traffic, pedestrian traffic, that would bring them more customers.

This site looks like it represents or covers the people protesting the street car expansion.

Judging by what I've heard at the bike meetings I've been to in the past month, I would extrapolate that this could be a bad sign for the future of the bike plan. The significance of the cancelled street car plans means that local residents have the ability to override the city's grand plan which looks decades into the future. The same could happen with any of the bike lanes laid out in the Bike Plan.

There is obviously a good side and a bad side to what has happened. Locals (are there any residents or is it just businesses? I don't know.) still have the ability to protest through the courts and have an impact. In this case though, it's not clear that they really represent local interests, as there are a lot of people who live in the many buildings on St. Clair who would probably love to have faster transit service, and avoid owning and parking a car. Hopefully it's just a matter of time before this project and future similar projects get back on track.

I've written way to much on a subject I know little about. I'll stop there.

Addition:
I just noticed Joe's comments on the matter. Looks like there is some grass-roots momentum growing to support the street car right of way.

Darren J 10/13/2005 12:51:00 PM

1 Comments:

From what I know about it, most of the business-people against the ROW actually live out of the city (Woodbridge), while most of the ones for it live in the neighbourhood. Apparently, at the 54 (!) community meetings the city had to try to appease the anti-ROW people, the turnout was usually 75%-25%, in favour of the pro-side. I don't know all this for a fact, but I've heard it multiple times from different people.

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