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Two ways Toronto can learn from Calgary - Calgary Herald

Jason Markusoff
February 13, 2011
Hall Monitor
The Calgary Herald

Because, as Albertans will readily point out, ideas also flow west-east.

1) LRT can be your friend: While southeast Calgarians are begrudgingly being forced to settle for bus rapid transit instead of superior C-Train, Toronto's mayor has determined LRT simply won't do for his subway city.

Rob Ford has walked away from a three-government plan for light-rail lines stretching out to parts of Toronto subway doesn't touch.  If it's subway the people want, then subway they'll get, he's decided -- even though for the price of seven new stops on the northeast Sheppard line Toronto could extend it by 26 stations and still have $2.5 billion left over.
Like in the BRT vs LRT debate in SE Calgary, it's a question about whether something less than gold-standard transit will do.

To many Ford critics, including Franz Hartmann of the Toronto Environmental Alliance, the mayor's distaste for LRT is based on problems with the single-car light-rail streetcars that compete with (and confound) car traffic. But the Transit City blueprint for LRT is more like the Calgary model: off the streets on wide arterial medians, and grade-separated where it's easier (and affordable). It wouldn't be one-car streetcars, but multi-vehicle trains like in Cowtown.

"LRTs do not constitute a war on cars," Hartmann says.

"If fact, Calgary has learned the LRT helps get cars off the road, making it easier for motorists."

(More tale of two city mayors: Rob Ford railed against the new St. Clair streetcar line because its construction snarled the road for ages, it snuffed out traffic lanes and made some left turns difficult. Naheed Nenshi was excited to take ride the St. Clair 512 en route to a radio interview Wednesday.)

You can read the rest of the article here: http://communities.canada.com/calgaryherald/blogs/hallmonitor/archive/2011/02/13/two-ways-toronto-can-learn-from-calgary.aspx

2011-02-13 Two ways Toronto can learn from Calgary _Calgary Herald_.pdf15.6 KB