Coalition of community groups wants answers on Gardiner East costs
Forty community groups have signed a letter to the city’s deputy mayor calling for a full accounting of the controversial Gardiner East project costs and any revenues which might be left on the table after the expressway is rebuilt.
Complaining about congestion caused by removing downtown highways completely misses the fact that those cars are immediately met by congestion as soon as they exit the expressway.
The bottom line is we don't have the physical space in the downtown core to accommodate all the single passenger automobiles that wish to travel here. We do ourselves no favours by ensuring they have supremacy of access on the way in. The problem is exacerbated by directing traffic through the core which is better diverted around it.
Hard pill, but we have to swallow it eventually.
Albert Koehl, a spokesperson for the coalition, said it's time to have an open and clear discussion about the cost implications of the project.
"This is a fabulous opportunity for council to say we'd like to see the facts, we want to see the updated numbers around the construction costs," he said.
"And we want to see what we're losing out on in terms of foregone revenues."
In 2016, councillors decided to spend just over $1 billion to retain the eastern portion of the expressway, moving it farther north while tearing down a ramp over Logan Avenue. The so-called "hybrid option" was chosen instead of a proposal to tear down a 1.7-kilometre section of the Gardiner east of Jarvis Street and replace it with a surface-level boulevard for less than half the cost.
But the project was, and remains, controversial. It represents approximately 14 per cent of the city's overall 10-year capital plan, according to staff.
Last month, in response to questions from Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie, city staff provided that briefing note. In it, Barbara Gray, the city's general manager of transportation, outlined the possible impacts of changing course on the project.
"Any deviation from the currently approved … option would require new design work," she said in the document.
"Given this, we are not able to say if any funds would be saved by reverting to the "Remove" option, or if any funds would be available for reallocating that would not impact the delivery of the necessary state-of-good repair work."
Lyn Adamson, of ClimateFast, said the Gardiner rebuild runs counter to the city's climate change targets and needs to be revisited.
Infrastructure projects like the Gardiner East certainly need to be looked at with a critical eye, especially given the flawed premises underlying the initial discussions. Does it, in 2023, make sense to be rebuilding something that would, from a urban function perspective, make more sense to be removed? Cities around North America that have built elevated expressways by their waterfronts have taken steps to remove them over the past decade or so. Seemingly we're one of the few to double down on this instead.
Cutting off the south eastern part of the city from the highway network had added to so much congestion on all of arterial roads leading to and from the east end. Any solution that is better than backing Jarvis up from dundas Street, or lakeshore from river would be an improvement.
The best time to do the right thing was seven years ago. The second best time is now.
This is an example of what so few things get built in Toronto. Decisions are made, plans modified, and then canceled.
The city is growing and the Gardiner East is a vital piece of the network that helps keep traffic flowing .Removing it would be disastrous, plain and simple. Does it cost a lot to fix and maintain yes but worth every penny if you want to keep a major arterial road available for a rapidly expanding city. People who use on a regular basis know how important it is. When we look back in 20 -30 years people will wonder why this was even debated.
The provincial government (regardless of the party, OPC, LPC, or ONDP) wouldn’t stand for a tear down of the highway, as so many of their voters from outside the DT core rely on it. Queens park has the final say, not council, and the current government is pro-highway.
So, this is just unnecessary debating/delay tactics, since we basically already know the highway will remain and will be refurbished.
I'm behind. Removing the east ramp has been a disaster for work, but I didn't know more of the highway is planned to be removed or rebuilt. They must really hate this city and live outside of it to make such as backwards decisions. Add that mess alongside people who can't drive...repair shops and insurance companies are going to love this.
And if we wanna fucking keep the goddamn piece of shit up have the goddamn car users pay for it.
The decision was made. End of story.
They've already pumped 500 million into it. Cancelling it now and tearing it down would be the height of stupidity.
This coalition of community groups should explore trying to be a nurse or doctor that needs to travel to their hospital for work but spends two hours sitting on the Gardiner eventually trying to get there because an entire offramp was closed. Or as a Field Engineer that needs to leave the downtown office to go support the creation of future battery manufacturing in St. Thomas or Windsor. Or maybe as an adjuster whose responsibility it is to go make sure a family farm out toward Barrie is covered. Or a transit operator that can't afford to live within transit and needs to commute into the city for work. Or the young men who are going to build the next condo to help alleviate the housing supply shortage. None of these people matter at all to these NIMBYS.
Same Nimby crowd with a slightly green veneer. This Matlow fellow really does seem to thrive on causing delays to construction.
even if we break even to remove at this point isn't it still saving money in the long run by not having to maintain the thing anymore moving forward?
Way. Too. Fucking. Late.
If we revise infrastructure projects with every new council, nothing will ever get finished. Oh wait... It's Toronto. This is what we do.
People in the east end of the city have been completely foresaken by this fucking project. One lane to get on a major artery? What the fuck. Good luck to anyone trying to get anywhere west of town.
GET IT FUCKING DONE.
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