Davenport Community Rail Overpass
is the ‘script’ for my presentation. Many thanks to local resident Robert
Haskett for his wealth of knowledge and will credit him as a co-author of my presentation.
As well, in an attempt to highlight the
Davenport-Japan comparison in the next blog post I have provided an edited version of the back-up
provided to me by Robert for you to review.
Community Benefits for Metrolinx Rail lines
I found an old email the other day.
It was the first email I’ve ever
received on the railway projects. The date. March of 2009.
2009! For over 6 years our community has been
thinking about, toiling with, fighting for and stressing over these Metrolinx
So now finally in 2015 we are
about to talk about “Community Benefits”.
Okay. Here we go.
Let’s talk about real
benefits for our community. Substantial Benefits!
What would we like to see?
Most of the concerns residents
have regarding the project are with regards to
· Noise and vibration
· Diesel pollution
Metrolinx (MX) on the other hand
has the challenge to:
the Regional Express Rail Plan
have the people who live in Barrie arrive on time for Little Billy’s baseball
How do we achieve all this?
Improve GO Transit and Reduce Community Concerns: Electrify the Trains
GO Transit service would be
greatly enhanced and our community concerns and objections to the overpass
would be greatly reduced if the GO trains were electric from the very
Of course, electric trains create
· Less Noise and Vibration – We know electric trains are
lighter and quieter thus significantly reducing noise and vibration – AND would
probably not require Noise Walls
· No Diesel Emissions –Thus addressing resident’s
concerns about the pollution and the affects on theirs and their children’s
well, electrifying the rail line would make it more suitable for
Local Stations which would Better Service Our Community
Think about it….
§ If GO service became more like an above-ground
subway with local access, not only would ridership (i.e. revenue) increase
significantly, but local community objections to this project would be
§ As it stands now, for the Davenport community our
closest access to the Barrie GO line is Union Station, which obviously is not
at all convenient.
§ Additionally, much of Davenport currently lives in a “transit
I work downtown Toronto. It takes less time for my
colleague to get downtown Toronto from Whitby on GO transit than it does for me
to get downtown from here (Davenport & Weston Road) via the TTC.
It’s no wonder people want to
drive to work!
We need Local Stations to improve Community Access
A Station at Bloor is an absolute must. Everyone who comes from Barrie does not need to
go to Union Station. A connection with the Bloor subway would improve the MX
service to their long distance riders who work mid-town as well as increase the
accessibility to the local residents.
Why not a St. Clair Station? With electric trains, a station could be
established at St. Clair to connect with the St. Clair LRT
Why not Other Local Stations? With electric trains, local stations could
be established at other appropriate locations between Union and York University,
thus providing convenient north-south rapid transit in western Metro
electric trains, the GO line could basically operate as both a local transit
and longer-distance commuter rail service
example, on most commuter train lines in
Japan there is a combination of local trains (stop at all stations), rapid
trains (stop at about half of the stations), and express trains (stop only at
trains could make multiple runs especially during morning and evening rush
hours, thus actually making efficient use of the actual trains
In Japan the design and
routing of rail lines and the selection of station stops is done to maximize
service for the entire community through which the rail line travels.
In Japan, commuter rail
lines do not just pass through a community.
Why would they?! Why would they bypass all those potential riders? It just doesn’t make economic sense.
In Japan, rail lines
serve the entire area through which they pass.
As a result, it makes sense that most communities generally welcome a
new rail line since it provides greatly improved local transit access to other
neighbourhoods and communities.
Suffice it to say that increasing
the number of stations would result in a significant increase in ridership and
revenue (i.e. the MX bottom line), in other words: A Win-Win for MX!
For the community specifically:
* Electrification would mean
quieter, cleaner trains running over our heads and homes.
* Local stops at Bloor and
Eglinton etc etc. would mean accessibility to efficient transit to West End
This in turn, would relieve some
of the congestion on the over-crowded TTC.
And… would decrease the number of
drivers cutting through our residential streets looking for a quick route to
Over the years, many of us have
spent many hours not to mention lots of blood, sweat and tears working to
improve our community and make this a place to be proud of. We are proud to be
Davenport residents and we are proud of the work we have done.
This rail project however has the
potential to undo our efforts and really can Make or Break our community.
Regional Rail is important but as
it stands now Davenport bears the brunt of the negative impacts while other
Ontarians reap the benefits. Let’s fix that.
Let’s make history!
Let’s make it efficient, quiet,
pollution-free – and reasonably priced so that few people will choose to
commute by car.
Let’s demand Design Excellence.
Let’s seek proposals from the most skilled teams of designers from around the
globe and make the most magnificent piece of industrial architecture. Something
that we all can be proud of.
We need to make it useful.
We need to Do it once.
And we need to Do it right.
And lastly but not least….Let’s
also build a connected transit system. One that can help a single mother
in North Davenport get home to her kids as quickly as a mother in Barrie.
Labels: commuting, Dig In, junction triangle, Metrolinx, TTC