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

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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.

(https://www.facebook.com/groups/140997182582942/permalink/819865268029460/?stream_ref=3)

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.

(https://www.facebook.com/groups/140997182582942/permalink/819865268029460/?comment_id=820901844592469&offset=0&total_comments=12)

References:

Waterfront Toronto | Gardiner East Environmental Assessment – www.waterfrontoronto.ca/explore_projects2/the_wider_waterfront/the_gardiner_expresswaygardiner east environmental assessment

Video of the evening’s proceedings: http://hosting.epresence.tv/livemedia/52/page/Home.aspx

Future of the Gardiner Expressway East – Public Forum #3 – Presentation Slides: http://www.gardinereast.ca/sites/default/files//documents/GE%20-%20Presentation%20-%20PIC%2002%20-%20FINAL.pdf

Live Twitter feed of the hashtag, #gardinereast – https://twitter.com/search?q=%23gardinereast&src=hash

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) – http://fluidsurveys.com/s/GardinerEastEA-PIC3-HaveYourSay/

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