Comment 111978

By mdrejhon (registered) - website | Posted June 03, 2015 at 18:39:09 in reply to Comment 111964

Roads can still be friendly to both cars and humans. But right now it is offkilter for Stonechurch in super-car-friendly-super-ped-unfriendly. It is correct for Ryan to debate the merits of changing the balance.

It can be MUCH more human friendly while only being slightly less car friendly, increasing grand total number of happy car users (very few car users upset by changes) and pedestrian and business users (massive increase of people).

Let me give you a very famous quote,

...."Cities were built for people and not cars. If we are building a transportation system to serve the automobile, the Spadina Expressway would be a good place to start. But if we are building a transportation system to serve people, the Spadina Expressway is a good place to stop."

-- Bill Davis, June 1971

...And hereby cancelled the Spadina Expressway which would have decimated a lot of the west edge of Toronto downtown. We also now have monuments of the old Gardiner near Carlaw Ave, that woukd have fmerly cut across many areas including a nice Beaches area that would have been destroyed, and all the growth along the Kingston highway 2 corridor.

Other world cities and surrounding municipalities has built massive rail and metro systems, includi light rail components. We are far behind. The GO expansion and all the new Ontario LRTs will really help, as will some readjustment of pedestrian-unfriendly streets to increase number of peiole (cars+pedestrians combined) using the road. GTHA has a transit deficit compared to many cities, even Los Angeles has been installing several light rail systems alongside their much vaunted freeways.

GTHA's huge mistake is having too few freeways AND too few rapid transit options. Fir the first time in our lives, we are finally seeing a gradual 20-year big catchup in transit (massive 13.5 billion dollar GO electrification + 7 LRTs funded or under construction). The GO RER electricifation (15-min all day GO trains everywhere eventually) as well as all the seven new Ontario LRTs, all connect to at least one GO or VIA railroad, and to their respective muni rapid transit such as TTC, MiWay, HSR, OCTranspo, and more.

To attract many times more people to a rapid transit station a couple blocks away, streets need to be more pedestrian friendly. It is observed it really massively helps -- just simply look at Calgary C-Train, first year moved less people (under 10,000 per day) than today's Hamilton B-Line -- and now moves over 150,000 people per day on that original line, with over 300,000 per day LRT-network-wide. They made surrounding roads much more pedestrian friendly in many areas over the years, and it has worked magically over time, as a combined multi-pronged effort.

Optimizing a toad to be 5 percent faster and faster for cars can destroy far more than 5% of existing pedestrian traffic, causing the road to end up moving less grand total number of people.

Careful use of expressways is fine. I own a car. But Stonechurch ain't the place to kill the golden goose (reduce number of total car+ped people) by making it as fast as possible for cars. And ending up people not wanting to walk to rapid transit or local businesses. And ending up reducing the total number of people using the road, even if cars increase a little, you short-sighted buddy...

Bill Davis agreed in 1971. But we then dropped the ball big time in screwing up rapid transit and pedestrian-friendliness in Ontario.

Let me give you another example. A TTC subway train holds 1000 people including standees, and a single GOtrain holds nearlt 2000 sears, or up to 4000 people when including standees. A single freeway lane only moves about 1700-2200 cars per hour. The eight peak-period Lakeshore West trains move more people between 4:45pm and 5:45pm than eight lanes of Highway 401. Trains are amazingly efficient at moving large numbers of people using less land, even if there is a big gap between the trains. But we cannot get as many people to walk to the brand new Hamilton LRT if a lot of downtown roads are very pedestrian-unfriendly. We have done a great job on some roads like James St, but not as good a job with John St (which has less revitalization potential than Main/King)

Roads, especially most city roads, are for people (cars+bikes+pedestrians).

Cars contain people.

Many downtowns in North America have died (flight to the suburbs, and uglification of city cores) in part because of excessive optimizations only towards the car for too many roads. We can't do that for every single road, we must optimize for people, move more people on roads, by increasing grand total number of people in cars and non-cars.

Comment edited by mdrejhon on 2015-06-03 18:59:15

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