Thursday, December 26, 2013

Full Court Press Against New Urbanisms' Complete Streets Underway across North America

For example:

"Sick of congestion? Build roads, not transit"
The Globe and Mail - Dec. 26 2013 -
- by Brian Lee Crowley

As noted in a post here earlier, representatives of the dinosaur industrial economic sectors are gearing up to paint the Bicycle as the source of all evil in a campaign focused squarely at New Urbanisms' progress in City Planning via Complete Streets thinking that is slowly winning over voters with their proposed switch away from the inefficient car mode of transportation as we continue to renew the aging transportation infrastructure of our North American Cities.

Image (toronto traffic) via: TorontoToday | Traffic gridlock stymies growth | http://www.torontotoday.org/economy.php


Here's the fairly weak nut of the Globe story, written by the Managing Director of the "Macdonald-Laurier Institute" - as Wikipedia says - 'a right-leaning public policy think tank' out of Ottawa:

".. Phoenix, for example, had the 10th worse congestion among major urban areas in the U.S., despite being only 35th in population. It has more than doubled in size in the ensuing decades (it is now the 12th largest urban area in the U.S.), but its traffic congestion has fallen to 37th."
.

The argument doesn't stand just a little reflection. Phoenix has just exploded in size and this expansion began to level out just as the Financial Collapse of 2008 hit. So yes --- their extensive road building program - plus the ensuing economic downturn - has not *yet* resulted in the congestion predicted by New Urbanisms' 'Build it and they will come' central plank.

.______________


The Globe and Mail - Dec. 26 2013 - "Sick of congestion? Build roads, not transit" http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/economy-lab/sick-of-congestion-build-roads-not-transit/article16107135/

Thread at Facebook Group, City of Toronto Cycling (noted in the first paragraph above) was a discussion about an approaching, 'War on the Bicycle' which began with a link to an article from the Boston Globe - December 15, 2013:  

"Conservatives’ new enemy: Bikes"
The bicycle is emerging as a new conservative front in the culture wars.
http://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2013/12/15/conservatives-new-enemy-bikes/NoLMjnocHg28jZ4hw3F4oI/story.html



mh

(Originally posted at Facebook Group, City of Toronto Cycling: https://www.facebook.com/groups/140997182582942/permalink/795066257176028/)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Visioning a Cycle Track on the Dundas / Carlaw Corridor using "StreetMix"


By Michael Holloway

A Cycle Track can move many more people per hour in one lane, than two traffic lanes with cars can. If we build bike lanes in a congested city - people on bikes will come ... thus reducing the number of people using their cars. Adding cycling infrastructure will reduce the congestion that we are all experiencing on Toronto's arterial roadways - at all hours of the business day it seems these days.

Using this "StreetMix" application I can visualize Carlaw Ave in different configurations based on a known Roadway Footprint measurement. For this test I've chosen a 13 metre wide footprint (property line to property line).

Here's Carlaw Avenue as it exists now (assuming 13m) at off-peak hours: two traffic lanes; two parking lanes; and very narrow sidewalks (a function of the Industrial 'built-form' - the architectural and cultural history of the area).

Play with the 'Carlaw Avenue (Existing)': http://streetmix.net/-/96671


Now there are just two car lanes, one northbound and one southbound - wider sidewalks, and a "Cycle Track" (a two-way Bike Lane) on the West side of Carlaw. I also added a separation island for the Cycle Track, and made the sidewalk as wide as I could...




Below I narrowed the Cycle Track and the separation device so it equals the 2.8 metre width of the car lanes. (total car lanes: 5.6 metres). I've widened the sidewalks as much as possible once again.





That feels better. :)



Play with 'Carlaw Avenue (remix)': http://streetmix.net/-/96663

StreetMix: http://streetmix.net/



mh

Friday, December 13, 2013

@Ward30Bikes attending @TTCLeslieBarns Community Liaison meetings - Monitoring Cyclist & Pedestrian Construction Detours


By Jo Oppenheimer.

The TTC Community Liaison Group (CLG) met the evening of 10 December. These meetings are used to report actions taken on items noted at the previous month’s meeting, report construction updates, and to identify problems/issues since the last meeting. Community delegates, Community Liaison employees, City of Toronto staff, Chief Project and site engineers, and [General contractor] Pomerleau staff were present.

Cyclist Safety Signs and Enforcement at Temporary Entrances and Detour points, due in part to Ward 30 Bikes feedback - LESLIE BARNS & CONNECTION TRACK Construction Liaison Group Meeting #5 Presentation - December 10th, 2013 (page 13 of 30) - http://www.ttc.ca/PDF/Transit_expansion_PDFs/CLG%20Meeting%205_December%2010%2020131.pdf


Twelve action items from the past meeting were addressed or partly addressed and carried forward for further action. Of significance to cyclists: Response to Action Item #9: The new timeline for the Phase A full closure (north side Lake Shore to plaza driveways) has been revised to be in effect from January 6 to end of February 2014 – weather permitting.

Construction updates, which affect cyclists, included: 

1) The opening of one northbound lane on Leslie at Lake Shore (until 6 Jan, closed again Jan 6 to Feb 28, 2014);

2) Opening the east-west crossing on the north side of the Leslie/Lake Shore intersection;

3) Changing the water main on the west side of Leslie north of the plaza entrances (requiring narrowing of the southbound lane – Dec 5-Dec 20);

4) Christmas construction break until 6 January;

5) Leslie Street north of the plazas to Eastern will be closed from March to May 2014.

New action items, affecting cyclists: 


1) **A site safety walk will be held on Wednesday, 18 December, 6-7pm. We will meet at the Community Office (1258 Queen St E). Ward30Bikes members are welcome to join the group;

2) A safety related ticketing “blitz” at the temporary plaza entrances off Lake Shore will take place from Monday, 16 Dec to Wednesday, 18 Dec, and a request will made from TTC to Police to assign an officer to monitor on Saturday as well to address the problem of cars not stopping at the entrance stop signs, adjacent to the trail,

3) The signage requested at CLG Meeting #4 that is not required in the present north side ped/cyclists crossing - but will be required in the next Lake Shore traffic shift in 2014, will be printed now and stored for future use;

4) Some signage indicating access to the Martin-Goodman Trail is now blocked by hoarding. All new sign locations are to be confirmed on site walk, Dec 18.


In addition, several cycling-related issues were identified during the month. Telephone calls and emails were sent to the Community Office. If anyone sees a safety problem when you are in the construction zone, you can report it to Liz or Niki at 416-981-7362 or email niki.angelis@ttc.ca.

_________________

Links:


TTC | Construction Liaison Groups | Leslie Barns | (updating document cache from previous meetings) | http://www.ttc.ca/About_the_TTC/Projects/Leslie_Barns/Construction_Liaison_Groups.jsp

Get Construction Detour Updates, and updates about future TTC Community Liaison Group meetings, Follow "Leslie Barns" TTC Twitter Account: @TTCLeslieBarns | https://twitter.com/TTCLeslieBarns  

TTC LeslieBarns Email Updates: LeslieBarnsPublicCorrespondence@ttc.ca


Ward 30 Bikes blog Label: "TTC Community Liaison Group" | http://ward30bikes.blogspot.ca/search/label/TTC%20Community%20Liaison%20Group

Ward 30 Bikes blog Label: "Cycling Infrastructure Detours" |  http://ward30bikes.blogspot.ca/search/label/Cycling%20Infrastructure%20Detours



mh

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Bicycle Repair Clinic Schedule - South Riverdale Community Health Centre


This address will update monthly with a new calendar - so bookmark this post so you can check the SRCHC Bike Repair Schedule.

The South Riverdale Community Health Centre's Bike Repair Clinic happens every Thursday from 1pm to 3pm in the front lobby of the Health Centre (in the front doors, to your right).

Health Centre employees Paul Young and Roxanne Smith plus a group of regular volunteers provide guidance and the tools so you can maintain your bike year-round.

Bicycle Repair Clinic - South Riverdale Community Health Centre - 955 Queen Street East: http://www.srchc.ca/program/bicycle-repair-clinic

View Map Larger




June Schedule: Open June 5th, 12th, 19th. Closed on the 26th.





May Schedule: Open Every Thursday this Month - May 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th.




April Schedule: Open Every Thursday this Month - April 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th! 


NOTE: April 24th is Earth Day 2014 at SRCHC! The Bike Clinic is open - AND -  a whole lot more is going on that day too, from 1pm - 5pm (and even after that!) Check it out!

SRCHC Earth Day - April 24, 2014
  • Bike Tune ups – 1 – 3
  • Community Art Project 1-4
  • Food 2-4
  • Guided Walk to the Ship Channel 5 -6:30
  • Dancing, music and more...!

ALL ARE WELCOME, BRING A FRIEND / NEIGHBOUR.



March Schedule: Open on Thursday the 6th, 20th; 27th closed on Thursday the 13th


February Schedule: Open on Thursday the 6th, 13th, 20th; closed on Thursday the 27th


January Schedule: Open on the 9th, 16th,  23rd, and 30th - Closed on the 2nd


December Schedule: Open on the 19th - closed on the 5th, 12th and 26th

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

My Workbook submission as per the Port Lands and South of Eastern Study


Below is a cut-and-paste of the online "Participant Workbook", a digital version of a hard copy version provided to participants at "Port Lands and South of Eastern" Public Meeting #1:
Port Lands and South of Eastern
November 28, 2013 Public Meeting
Riverdale Collegate 1094 Gerrard Street East
City of Toronto Planning - WaterFront Toronto - Toronto and Region Conservation
 Below the the cut-and-paste are my submissions which were originally written in under each numbered Question in the online Workbook.

Online Participant Workbook: http://cityoftoronto.fluidsurveys.com/s/Port-Lands-and-South-of-Eastern/

Hardcopies are available via Ward 30: Toronto-Danforth Councillor Paula Fletcher's web site here: http://paulafletcher.ca/discover-ward-30/community-planning/#portlands



_______________________


100%

Participant Workbook

Port Lands and South of Eastern

This is your opportunity to provide feedback and suggestions on the new studies being initiated for the Port Lands and South of Eastern area. Your responses may be as brief or as detailed as you like and you may choose to skip some questions.

Participant Workbooks must be completed by December 12, 2013.

OVERVIEW OF INITIATIVES
Port lands Planning Framework
At 356 hectares, the Port Lands are a tremendous redevelopment opportunity for the City. Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto are developing a planning framework for the Port Lands that builds on the momentum from the Port Lands Acceleration Initiative adopted by City Council in 2012. The planning framework will guide revitalization efforts in the Port Lands and will provide the foundations for affirming and refining the vision for the Port Lands in the Central Waterfront Secondary Plan


 

Precinct Planning
Precinct planning is being undertaken by Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto for Cousins Quay and the Film Studio District.  Precinct Plans outline development principles and guidelines at a more detailed level and illustrate how lands can be developed to meet the policies of the Central Waterfront Secondary Plan. Precinct planning forms the bridge that allows the City to move from Secondary Plan policies to Zoning By-law provisions.
South of Eastern Strategic Direction
The City of Toronto is undertaking the South of Eastern Strategic Direction that will build upon the South of Eastern Planning Study completed in 2008, which resulted in proposed amendments to the Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw.  The Strategic Direction will focus on economic development, urban design and transportation.
Port Lands and South of Eastern
Transportation and Servicing Master Plan EA

The City of Toronto is undertaking a Transportation and Servicing Master Plan (TSMP) for sections of the Port Lands and South of Eastern area in accordance with the requirements of the Municipal Class EA.  The TSMP will identify the necessary infrastructure (streets, transit, watermains and sewers) to support revitalization in the Port Lands and continued economic growth in the South of Eastern area.

Please indicate which of these initiatives are of interest to you?

  • X
  • X
  • X

PORT LANDS PLANNING FRAMEWORK QUESTIONS


      PORT LANDS DRAFT OBJECTIVES
Six draft objectives to assist in the evaluation of options/alternatives and to inform the vision for the Port Lands have been developed and are provided below.

CREATING AN INTERESTING AND DYNAMIC URBAN MIX
The revitalized Port Lands is a dynamic and vibrant area of the city. A number of new, inclusive, sustainable, urban-scaled, compact, mixed-use communities and employment areas will be created. Each new urban area will have a unique local identity and character. Water permeates and influences all facets of the revitalized Port Lands given its proximity to the waterfront, new river valley and continued port activity. A number of new destinations and special places are developed which promote walking and taking transit, provide opportunities for social interaction and contribute to an interesting urban life.

CONNECTING THE PORT LANDS TO THE CITY
Enhanced physical, social and visual connections are created in the Port Lands, connecting the Port Lands to the city. These connections include new public streets, higher-order transit, new bridges, enhanced pedestrian and cycling connections and the renaturalized Don River. New public street connections provide permeability into, out of and within the Port Lands. The public streets promote synergies between the South of Eastern area and the Port Lands by stitching these two areas together, and better connect the Port Lands with the rest of the city. The Port Lands’ unparalleled views, including those of the city's skyline, are protected, framed by development and celebrated. New views to the water's edge, river valley and iconic structures are created.

LEVERAGING THE PORT LANDS ASSETS
The Port Lands are an important remnant of the city's industrial past and portions have since evolved into wonderfully diverse natural areas. There are a number of important and iconic heritage resources that are conserved, repurposed and appropriately leveraged to contribute to placemaking and to celebrate the Port Lands' industrial heritage. The new Lake Ontario Park, which includes Tommy Thompson Park, the Base Lands and Leslie Street Spit, is a key asset that distinguishes the Port Lands as a unique destination for people and provides habitat for wildlife.

DEVELOPING A HIGH-QUALITY PUBLIC REALM

A comprehensive network of public parks and open spaces are developed that capitalizes on the Port Lands’ waterfront setting, the new river valley and Lake Ontario Park.  High-quality streetscapes, outstanding parks, new natural linkages and design excellence for public facilities are secured to ensure that complete communities created in the Port Lands are great places to live, work and visit.

CONTRIBUTING TO THE SUSTAINABLE FUTURE OF THE CITY
A dynamic mix of uses developed in a walkable urban form, the creation of new employment opportunities and continued port activity are the cornerstones of the Port Lands' and City's sustainable future. Equally important is ensuring that all aspects of redevelopment contribute to a healthy and sustainable environment. Leading-edge and innovative approaches are utilized that showcase the revitalized Port Lands as a leader of sustainable development on the world’s stage. Reducing resource consumption, providing low-carbon developments, minimizing dependency on the private automobile and fostering new technologies are just some of the principles that are employed to optimize the sustainability of the revitalized Port Lands.

PROVIDING FLEXIBILITY AND CERTAINTY IN THE PLAN'S IMPLEMENTATION
The Port Lands, at 356 hectares, will incrementally redevelop over an extended period of time. The planning framework for the Port Lands must allow for a high degree of flexibility to accommodate changes over time. Notwithstanding this flexibility, it must also be specific enough to ensure that public and private investments contribute to the long-term vision for the Port Lands and have lasting value.

SOUTH OF EASTERN QUESTIONS

   PORT LANDS AND SOUTH OF EASTERN TRANSPORTATION AND SERVICING MASTER PLAN
 
Based on a review of existing conditions and objectives to revitalize the Port Lands and ensure continued economic growth in South of Eastern, problems and opportunities to be addressed in the Environmental Assessment process have been developed.   

PROBLEMS
  • Existing infrastructure is insufficient or is non-existent.
  • Major infrastructure like the Gardiner Expressway, Lake Shore Boulevard and rail corridors are impediments for better connections.
  • Street networks are limited.
  • The areas lack defined streetscapes and pedestrian amenity.
  • There is no higher-order transit service and introducing higher-order transit on Commissioners Street requires resolving the hydro transmission towers located within the right-of-way east of the Don Roadway.
  • Existing connections across the Ship Channel are insufficient or are in disrepair.
  • New streets and servicing requires resolving soil contamination issues.  Moreover, the area has a high water table.
  • The long-term revitalization of the lands necessitates developing strategies to ensure compatibility between existing industrial traffic and revitalized city environments.

 OPPORTUNITIES
  • Located within close proximity to the City’s downtown.
  • Opportunities to improve existing infrastructure comprehensively as the Port Lands and South of Eastern undergo redevelopment, including:
    • introducing and extending higher order transit routes;
    • improving existing streets and establishing new streets;
    • providing complete streets;
    • capitalizing on the Ship Channel and Turning Basin for water-based transportation opportunities;
    • managing transportation impacts of growth on established, stable residential neighbourhoods;
    • providing innovative, state-of-the-art stormwater facilities; and
    • providing the needed capacity for other municipal servicing.

  • X
  • X

Advisory committees / working groups are being established for the different initiatives. These are smaller groups of interested community members which would provide  input on the different initiatives at key stages in the process.

Please advise if you would like to participate on an advisory committee / working group for any of the initiatives identified below and provide your contact information above.

  • X
  • X
  • X

The formal notice of any public meeting held by the City will be sent to:  property owners within 120m (400 feet) of the property; anyone submitting a written request to the City Clerk’s Office to be notified; and anyone entering their name on a Sign-in or Comments sheet provided at the Community Consultation Meeting.

The personal information on this form is collected under the authority of the City of Toronto Act, 2006, the Planning Act, and the City of Toronto Municipal Code.  The City collects this information to enable it to make an informed decision on the relevant issue(s).  Individuals who submit correspondence should be aware that any personal information in their communication will become part of the public record.  The City will make it available to the public, unless the individual expressly requests the City to remove the personal information.  Questions about the collection of this information may be directed to the Planner listed above.


_______________________

My Submissions

(typo's were corrected - street address redacted - email robot-protected)

1. What do you see as the two or three key issues and/or opportunities that need to be addressed in the Port Lands Planning Framework?

CONNECTING THE PORT LANDS TO THE CITY - Connecting neighbourhoods with sustainable transportation models.

Leslie has been cut off from the Waterfront by three Box Store developments that rely on car traffic as part of their business model. These create high volumes of car traffic on a narrow street that prevent separated cycling infrastructure where it is needed because of (ironically) the volume of traffic.

The TTC Leslie Barns project extends these peak hours congestion.

The new Cement Plant at the East end of the shipping channel also adds to automobile traffic congestion by adding dangerous noisy heavy trucks to the mix.

These barrier conditions call for new roadways across the Grand Boulevard at Pape, Carlaw and Logan. This three-street area should be considered a Complete Streets corridor - with separate for pedestrians / separate of cyclists, fly-over bridges across the Shipping Channel. The new streets should accommodate a mass public transit corridor as well.

A place that through Complete Streets in neighbourhoods West, North and East of it, will connect the city to the Great Lake Ontario; a corner stone towards creating a liveable city - that would become a show-case for the Complete Streets transportation visioning for the entire Greater Toronto-Hamilton Region - and the world.


2. What types of land uses and/or character would you like the different areas in the Port Lands to have?

Lower Don Lands:
Mix of residential and commercial - service industries and knowledge work. Park Lands along the existing dock to expand park area around a naturalized Don River. Suggestion: Design around recreational fishing as an existing form.


Film Studio District:
Design Towards Biggest Film Studio in North America - big indoor Spaces and Sound Stages and ancillary businesses. Surround with Art, Design and Information Technology Schools and Colleges.


East Port:
Mixed residential / commercial area with Complete Streets that connect neighbourhoods to the Lake. Suggestion: Use Community Gardens as an existing form fdesigh parameter.


South of the Ship Channel:
Mixed Residential/Commercial with an accent on connectivity to the Waterfront - especially recreational cycling.

Existing forms: Urban Wilderness, Tommy Thompson Park (TTP); the Yacht Club; various recreational cycling forms; Martin Goodman Trail. Community Gardens.

Tommy Thompson Park users are 50% cyclists now (2012 data - TRCA. Road cyclists are currently using the Urban Wilderness to train on during the week - towards this subcultures' long, weekend, Group Road Rides. (See "Beaches Cycling Club" ... and many other such road-cycling clubs - a vast much-unknown subcultural reality.)

Add a Separated Cycling Training Track now (as TRCA doesn't want road cyclists training on the Park due to the sensitive habitat and trail user conflicts). Visioning a circuit the length of the Port Lands, separated by layers in depth, of staggered hedges. :)

Use the reality of this road biking, training infrastructure as an existing form in later phases.

[N.B. - I am on the TTP-User Group as a Cycling Representative; and a Cycle Toronto Ward 30 Captain; a commute cyclist, not a group road cyclist - done much research and outreach on this issue.]


3. Do the draft objectives reflect how you see the Port Lands developing? Provide us with your ideas and suggestions on how to improve these objectives.

[see Answer 1. and  2.]

4. Are there specific improvements that you would like to see in the South of Eastern area? Are there areas that you think need special attention?

Coming up with employment business models that do not rely on the car transportation model is key to creating and maintaining good connections between the city and the waterfront.

5. What types of businesses and economic activity would you like the City to promote in the South of Eastern area?

Business models that do not rely on the car transportation model. See Answer 2. subheadings for each area.

6. Do you think these problems and opportunities reflect the issues that need to be addressed in the Port Lands and South of Eastern area from a transportation and servicing perspective? Are there other problems and opportunities that should be considered?

Perhaps canal transportation! (Venice, Rotterdam...) Extend the water channel North and South from the shipping channel! Fascinating. Could redefine the entire vision.

OPTIONAL: Please PRINT name, address, and email:

Michael Holloway
Jones Avenue,
Toronto Ontario M4M 2Z8

michaelholloway111(at)gmail(dot)com

Writing on this a lot, at Ward 30 Bikes BLOG: http://ward30bikes.blogspot.ca/


END


Submitted by Michael Holloway - December 12, 2013 at 1:33am



mh

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Mapping 'SmartStudio' Proposed Development - vs - Existing Developments in the South of Eastern Employment Area Study


Comparing Existing and Proposed

UPDATE 2013/12/13: I completed another portion of this mapping experiment. Using Google Maps line drawing and distance calculation function - I measured the square area of the proposed SmartStudio development --- and compared that with the combined areas of the lots of the three 'Plaza' existing developments at Lake Shore Boulevard and Leslie Street. (see updated map embed below - my method and calculations are there)

RESULT:  .0019% less parking at StudioCentre than at the existing Three Plaza at Leslie.
CONCLUSION:  StudioCentre will pull enough car traffic that it is likely to create congestion on area roadways much like at Leslie and Lake Shore Boulevard - a Barrier to Complete Streets; a Barrier to the Waterfront.

Studio Centre:
86,966.5 m2 lot size with 891 parking spots proposed = 0.0103 parking spots per meter of lot size.
Leslie / Lake Shore Three Plazas:
72,070.05 m2 lot size with ~880 parking spots = 0.0122 parking spots per meter of lot size.

Next: research square footage of proposed uses at Studio Centre (Retail, Hotel, Film Studio) and figure out the square footage of Retail at the three Plaza - and compare Parking to Commercial Space ratios.
 
________________________


It's hard to tell what we're talking about. So to take a metaphorical Step Back I made a map (as usual).

This Map (so far) outlines the boundaries of four properties in the South of Eastern Employment Area Study: the proposed StudioCentre development and the thee Plaza at the corner of Leslie and Lake Shore Boulevard anchored by FreshCo. (Northwest) Loblaws Northeast and Canadian Tire (Southwest) - that draw enough car traffic to the intersection to make Complete Streets on Leslie impossible (according to City Planners in 2012) - thus creating a Barrier rather than a Gateway to the Waterfront and surrounding neighbourhoods.

When  I started this mapping project I was convinced that the Loblaws Plaza and the SmartCentres parcel were about the same size. The boundary estimates that Google Maps provided with each boundary line I plotted show that the proposed StudioCentre is almost exactly 3X larger the Loblaws Plaza parcel.

Fascinating how we can't see the scales of stuff on the ground.

Here's an embed of the map:

South of Eastern - Transportation and Servicing Master Plan Study Area – Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (EA)
Comparing Existing and Proposed

View South of Eastern - Transportation and Servicing Master Plan Study Area – Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (EA) in a larger map


I've continued to work on the map ... drawing lines and counting parking spots.

The idea is to estimate the total area of the 3 Plaza at the corner of Leslie and Lake Shore - which are existing, operating business models that use the standard car-centric design method - then count the car parking spots these businesses were designed with - then calculate the total number of parking spots per square footage of retail floor space ... so to arrive at a 'Parking Spot/Retail Area Ratio'.

We can then take this information and compare it to the SmartCentre | StucioCentre proposal down the street - in order to answer the question:

Is the SmartStudio development a car-centric business model like those at the three corners of Lake Shore and Leslie?

Without the 'Parking Spot/Retail Area Ratio' yet calculated --- just looking at the map one can easily see that it's looking bad for SmartCentres.

The area of proposed development at Pape is about equal to the area of the 3 Plaza; the number of car parking spots in the 3 Plaza is almost exactly the same (880) as the SmartStudio plan proposes (891).

If the SmartCentre mirrors the Box Store Parking Lot fiasco at Leslie - then can we assume Planning will turn down their application ,,, since it creates barriers rather than Gateways to the waterfront and congestion instead of connections to adjacent neighbourhoods?

In the end it's a political decision. What do you want South Riverdale / Leslieville to feel like? More of the same 6 hours a day of raging grid-lock - or a place where cycling to the waterfront is a 'ride in the park'.

Online Participant Workbook for the study now underway on this | http://cityoftoronto.fluidsurveys.com/.../Port-Lands-and.../

Closes on Thursday.

Area dimensions and counted parking spots data from the sidebar of the map:

StudioCentres
North boundary: 353.69 m (1160.4' )
East boundary: 195.15 m (640.3' )
South boundary: 371.26 m (1218.04' )
West boundary: 315.4 m (1,035' )
Parking Spots Proposed: 891 (all above grade.) Blogto article*

Loblaws
North boundary: 111.23 m (364.9' )
East boundary: 240.5 m (789' )
South boundary: 101.71 m (333.7' )
West boundary: 238.12 m (781.23' )
Parking Spots: ~370

FreshCo.
North Boundary: 185.27 m (607.8' )
East Boundary: 83.71 m (274.6' )
South Boundary: 156.8 m (514.44' )
West Boundary: 134.17 m (440.2' )
Parking Spots: 170

Canadian Tire
North Boundary: 289.82 m (951' )
East Boundary: 229.89 m (754.2' )
South-West Boundary: 378.91 m (1243.1' )
Parking Spots: ~439 (extrapolated under box)

Total Parking Spots at Leslie and Lake Shore ~880

Google Map: http://goo.gl/maps/zXtQc

*BlogTO - May 14, 2013 | Massive retail development and hotel planned for old Toronto Film Studios site - by Chris Bateman | http://www.blogto.com/city/2013/05/massive_retail_development_and_hotel_planned_for_old_toronto_film_studios_site/



mh

Monday, December 9, 2013

South of Eastern / Port Lands Planning Study - Deadline for Submissions December 12th!

Deadline for submitting you feedback in this phase of the "South of Eastern / Port Lands Planning Study" is Thursday, December 12th!

Online Participant Workbook | http://cityoftoronto.fluidsurveys.com/s/Port-Lands-and-South-of-Eastern/

 Landscape Annotated Conceptual Plan | StudioCentre | Smartcentre | 629 Eastern Avenue Toronto Ontario, Canada M4M 1E3 | Copyright Diamond and Schmitt Architects | 384 Adelaide Street West | Suite 300 Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5V 1R7

(see large size: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-qKK9Pxz-pPw/UqXM3rTwP5I/AAAAAAAAFG4/YKuMEePpmKc/s1600/SmartCentres_Landscape_Annotated_Conceptual_Plan.JPG )

The South of Eastern part of the study includes the Smart Centres proposed development at Pape and Lake Shore - which is a car-centric plan which will pull traffic into the neighbourhood and become a hindrance to Complete Streets connections North/South and East/West.

Notably the Smart Centres' proposal cuts the Lower Don Rec Trail twice - with two entrances to their development site alone - a very bad precedent for future development if this is allowed to proceed with out a radical re-visioning.

There are only 5 streets that cross the Lake Shore Boulevard to the Port Lands - Leslie Street is too narrow for complete Streets + On-street parking - so that's out as a Gateway to the Port Lands and the Waterfront.

Now the next development after the Big Box Shopping and Drive-Thru Extravaganza at Leslie is Pape. The wall of development continues - and connecting neighbourhoods to each other takes another big hit.

Take an hour - read the documents - fill out the Online Participant Workbook (at the link).
.

Documents and Resources:

Port Lands and South of Eastern - November 28, 2013 Public Meeting | PowerPoint Presentation Documents | http://www.portlandsconsultation.ca/sites/all/themes/portlands/files/CCM%201%20%28November%2028%29%20Presentation.pdf

Online Participant Workbook | http://cityoftoronto.fluidsurveys.com/s/Port-Lands-and-South-of-Eastern/

More Resources at paulafletcher.ca | http://paulafletcher.ca/discover-ward-30/community-planning/#eastern
(At the November 28th meeting Planners said the public feedback deadline is not a hard one - but the web portal will likely close at 11:59pm, Thursday December 12th. Councillor Paula Fletcher has a hard copy link to the Participant Workbook at her site, linked above - so my interpretation is that - for some days after the Close your feedback may be accepted and become a part of the data base in this first phase - depending on the pace of the work of the various Planning teams in this.)

BlogTO - May 14, 2013 | Massive retail development and hotel planned for old Toronto Film Studios site - by Chris Bateman | http://www.blogto.com/city/2013/05/massive_retail_development_and_hotel_planned_for_old_toronto_film_studios_site/

BikingToronto | @Blog_Free_Wheel (me) - May 16th, 2013 | East/West bicycle network considerably harmed by proposed “StudioCentre” development on Eastern Avenue | http://bikingtoronto.com/michaelhollowayblog/2013/05/16/east-west-bicycle-network-considerably-harmed-by-proposed-studiocentre-development-on-eastern-avenue/



mh

Saturday, December 7, 2013

I invented hashtag #BTRto - Bicycle Traffic Reports(Toronto)

UPDATED 2 13/12/08 11:50pm edt Toronto Wiki adds an entry for Metro Morning's #mmbike Traffic Report tag in Twitter (see below)
UPDATED: 2013-12-07 11:17 am edt apparently @metromorning 's "#mmbike" is already accomplishing this (see below)

I had to go across Toronto; at night; to a bar; in the "Entertainment" District.  :\

I rarely leave my East End Leslieville. I rarely drink. I find the idea of cycling into the core of  Toronto on Thursday night absolutely insane! But the CycleTorontoVolunteers Appreciation Night was at King and Spadina, so OK. What the hell - you only live once!

I asked in Facebook if anyone thought my proposed route along the Waterfront was particularly insane. Someone told me Queen's Quay was a mess. So I just winged it. I ended up taking Queen Street all the way to Spadina and then alleyways down to King.

The next day I was adding Follows to @Ward30Bikes, and I came across David P Leonard's #DLWS (David Leonard Weather Service).

See: Toronto Wiki / #DLWS | http://torontowiki.org/%23DLWS

I already had a Bicycle Traffic Route Reporting Service on my mind; and all the construction detours in town that don't serve cyclists well; and I was thinking about News Talk Radio's car-centric Traffic Reporting ... and David P Leonard's #DLWS hashtag crystallized it!

A Crowd Sourced Cyclist Route Traffic Reporting Hashtag!!!

Here's what I'm about to Tweet in my @m_holloway Twitter account:


Toronto needs crowd-sourced Bicycle Traffic Reports: #BTRto
Tweet your route - help others commute. #biketo (Props: @davidpleonard #DLWS)



That's the idea - might need some tweaking - we'll see if it resonates. Tweeting it now, and then I'll embed the Tweet below...


UPDATED: 2013-12-07 11:17 am edt

Well the feedback is in. Apparently a local Talk Radio show CBCToroto's "Metro Morning" has already accomplished my objective with their #mmbike hashtag. Wondering how popular that can get amoungst people who don't listen to CBC Radio? Anyways, here's an embed of the feedback I got from my Facebook Friend and Twitter Cycling expert, Kevin Montgomery @kemosite

Thanks Kevin!




UPDATED 2 2013/12/08: 

Here's the genesis of the #mmbike tag in the Metro Morning Twitter stream September 24 6:37am et:



And even more cool - our new Chief Planner of the City of Toronto, Jennifer Keesmaat was watching or listening - and gave it the official *bump* that didn't hurt...



And so the great event, another golden brick in the road to Liveable Cities was laid! And so into "Toronto Wiki" it goes: http://torontowiki.org/%23mmbike - due to the leaver pulling of Toronto Wiki user (and founder I believe) @HiMYSYeD



mh