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TTC’s streetcar Proposal for King ‘madness’

I don’t see anything in the news about last nights King Street Transit Mall Community Consultation other than this piece in the Post… so I’m wondering if anyone besides autocentric and narrowminded business owners went (please note that I’m not calling all business owners autocentric and narrowminded – just the ones who think that cars go to restaurants and shows and buy stuff… it’s PEOPLE who do these things… PEOPLE!):

“I have yet to decide if this is a good or bad proposal. But it has many challenges ahead of it, especially for restaurants, especially for residents,” Mr. Vaughan said. “The TTC needs to slow down and listen to the community.”

And the community — at least judging by the attendees at last night’s meeting– was not pleased.

One attendee at the meeting said: “This is a very difficult place to undertake this. I am surprised that they chose this street to attempt it. This is madness.”

He said the plan could ultimately close down the theatres in the entertainment district — one of Toronto’s most popular tourist destinations — because patrons will be unable to reach the theatre by car.

A lawyer representing the Holiday Inn on King and Peter streets, asked Mr. Giambrone how a tourist unfamiliar with the city could reach the area and park.

Make an area about people (not cars) and reap the financial riches. If you’re afraid of what you don’t know, let these links educate you:

  • Anonymous

    Actually it turns out that the national post is full of shit. I went to the meeting, and there were lots of people there to support the idea.

    The BIA folks did hog the floor for the first hour of comments though. They are full of shit as well. They are under the impression that the 70 thousand people who go to the entertainment district on a weekend night all drive.

  • Joe (BikingToronto)

    Thanks.. that’s good to know. I figured the Post had a skewed opinion, but I haven’t seen any other reports from the meeting.

    Any good comments or quotes from those in support of the idea?

  • John Spragge

    I consider the proposed transit mall (with bike lanes) a great idea. And I think Adam Giambrone should have gone to Adam Vaughn before the TTC took this idea public, and got him to sign on, at least in general principle. Then the local BIA deserved at least a consultation; that the Holiday Inn apparently felt they had to ask something as basic as how tourists in cars could reach their doors suggests that either Councilor Giambrone got bushwhacked by everyone concerned, or else he failed to give a great many stakeholders a quiet (and appropriate) heads up.

    Look, if we want better transit and bicycle lanes (as opposed to the smug feeling we get when we think about the idiocy of the motor-head morons), we have to actually make a change. That means we have to do more than shove lists of success stories at concerned stakeholders with the injunction “educate yourself” (an arrogant phrase I would love to see banned from polite discourse). We have to involve everyone in the process. We have to accommodate the odd reality that after meeting payrolls and paying taxes for twenty years, some people actually think they have earned a little respect. In my judgment, that means we commit ourselves to speaking, at the very least, with the local councilor, and preferably sitting down with the BIA before a fully formed proposal for a bike lane or a transit mall leaps onto the front pages.

    As I said above, maybe the TTC did all that, and Councilor Vaughn turned tail and fled before the wrath of the BIA. And maybe no amount of negotiation would have pacified the businesses on King. But if the arguments at that public meeting went the way the story makes them appear, then we will probably not see many transit streets and bike lanes until the politicians who represent us discover some basic concepts of effective negotiation.