Saturday, January 28, 2012

Rant: Dear Toronto News Media...

... I do so love how you're looking at Karen Stintz's new transit plan and being positively gleeful about Rob Ford being "dealt another defeat". You even went out and got quotes and everything from "supporters" on council "hopeful" that the mayor will "come on side".

What you seem to be ignoring is a simple reality: Rob Ford is going to be quite happy to run his next campaign with a list of "those big bad councillors" who "prevented him from getting things done".

In other words: he doesn't give a shit if he loses; it's just more ammo for next time.

The longer you twits at the Toronto Star continue to shove your head up your ass gloating while ignoring the reality that the people who "support" Rob Ford aren't going to end up that list and, in fact, are likely running cover for what basically amounts to the Mayor's office becoming increasingly aware that the private sector isn't inclined to foot the bill for one metre of the Sheppard extension (as I pointed out would likely happen), the longer you're giving him press to point to to back up his claim. Now, because we're at the point where consensus is that there's little to no money for extending Sheppard coming from the private sector, this means anyone with an ounce of sense realizes we need to come up with money from somewhere to get a token station built. Token? Remember: even while saying he's having problems lining up money Gordon Chong, the man in charge of finding the fictional private sector money, has maintained an expectation that getting another station done on that line is the minimum goal to show that the "Mayor has done something".

So, going forward with knowledge of the actual purpose of this station, the worst part is that we need to come up with money to get a token station built at the wrong end of the fucking line.

Why do I say that? Well, consider the following: in 2015 the Spadina Subway extension will be opening so... how are we planning to move the people to be coming in from the 905 from the Spadina line to the Yonge Line? How about those from the Yonge Line looking to go north? Ahhhh, yes... busses. In other words, increased traffic on the already overcrowded Finch bus line and/or the continuation of the Express busses on Sheppard. In the later case, busses you'd otherwise be looking to take off the route once the subway runs to York University since that's the primary reason for their existence at the moment.

But, what happens if you run the Sheppard line West to Downsview instead of East one stop to Victoria Park/Consumers Road? You move all those people looking to move to/from the Yonge line off of busses and onto a 2-3 stop subway trip, that's what. This serves much more of a purpose than shaving 5 minutes off a bus trip along Sheppard to Don Mills station. Even more relevant, this stretch of Sheppard is also seeing significant redevelopment and a bit of a condo boom - especially closer to Downsview station.

Because of this, there's more sense going West than East in the grand scheme of things if your goal is to improve the interconnectivity of the transportation network. On the other hand, the only reason to goto Victoria Park is entirely political and going to be praised by the Mayor as a win even while he's lambasting his opponents for putting the far end of the Eglinton Crosstown above ground (along a stretch of road 7-8 lanes wide. i.e.: where there's room). The Toronto Star in particular could stand to be slapped out of their current "Looossssinnggg" Charlie Sheen-esque drug infused daydream in that regard.

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