Thursday, February 6, 2014

Future of the Gardiner Expressway East - Public Forum #3 - money, jobs and fanciful artists' renderings enable thousands of car trips

Yesterday I posted this notice in Facebook at the City of Toronto Cycling site:

Future of the Gardiner Expressway East - Public Forum #3
Toronto Reference Library (The Bram & Bluma Appel Salon)
789 Yonge Street Toronto, ON M4W 2G8
Thursday, 6 February 2014
6:30 PM to 9:00 PM

The Gardiner ends at about the middle of McCleary Park (south side of the Lake Shore Boulevard) 1 block west of Logan Avenue.

If East Side Cyclists want a north South route in the area then it would be a whole lot more possible if the Remove the Gardiner option is chosen (just like was done from Logan to Woodbine).

I have been active online in this study process - tomorrow night I'll attend this event representing Cycle Toronto's advocacy group, Ward 30 Bikes.

To my great sorrow - this is what I posted under it the next night:

What I heard tonight was business as usual. In all four options - no Complete Streets visioning. After pointing out that one of the Terms of Reference was opening the City to the Lake Front - there wasn't one mention of how any of the options would do that.

To me the key to developing a livable city; is a city that is walkable, a city that is connected - one neighbourhood to the other. A city where cycling is a major component of the transportation mix.

The presentation I watched in person tonight, spent 15 seconds on cycling - and showed slide after slide of lineal aspects of the expressway - in all four options.

Big Fail

The 4 Stakeholders sitting at the table right beside me seem OK with it. Wrong stakeholders I think.

Very disappointing.

On the positive side, all the aspects which seemed to drive this part of the process - money, jobs and fanciful artists' renderings - seemed to point to the Remove option - which with-in it, seems to only consider a 'replace' with a 'Grand Boulevard'. The Grand Boulevard, a situation we here in Riverdale/Leslieville know - solves nothing towards opening up the city to the water front - if your main threads are money jobs and badly conceived architecture.

The staring point in city building is people - that's why the public consultation process - not so you can hoodwink and confuse while the powerful developer interests ram through their unsustainable economic planning - but rather - to make the space livable.

Livable spaces are arrived at by asking neighbourhoods of people what they want. The result is place people want to be - and then the people will come. Make sure the built form will facilitate the things those people are likely to need when they begin to enjoy themselves there - and that bring the development, the businesses and the jobs - and then the housing all of which will begin to evolve the new built form of the new place.

Staring with how many cars you can slam through a neighbourhood (now all dead along the edges of this thing) is no way to vision our children's Water Front.

In the last consultation I envisioned large wide open spaces at many, many crossing points. Crossings that were Complete Streets - with wide streets that could hold: mass transit to move masses of people, wide side walks where people would feel comfortable walking, separated 'slow traffic' infrastructure - for bicycles and other emerging low carbon emission, sustainable modes - and car lanes.

Obviously no one preparing this monstrosity read that one.


Waterfront Toronto | Gardiner East Environmental Assessment - east environmental assessment

Video of the evening's proceedings:

Future of the Gardiner Expressway East - Public Forum #3 - Presentation Slides:

Live Twitter feed of the hashtag, #gardinereast -

Online Survey (same questions as the live participants engaged; watch the presentation, review the presentation slides, and then fill this out if you like - will be included in the public feedback portion of the assessment process) -


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