St.Clair-ize? According to Rob Ford that is what other candidates want to do to Toronto.
The term “St.Clair-ize” came from Rob Ford today during the debate. It means making every line that are wanted to be turned into LRTs to be just like St.Clair’s streetcar line.
Let’s make things clear. LRTs aren’t the same as streetcars. They are two different vehicles. LRTs run faster (22km/h) and hold 30 people more than streetcars.
The Ford brothers are always insisting they are the same. When I interviewed Doug Ford back in May I showed him the differences between the two lines. Yet he said it does the same, and compared it to subways. Yes, subways can carry much more people and move faster than LRTs, but the problem here is the cost.
The cost for the LRTs in Scarborough has been fully paid for by the Province of Ontario, but since city council was indecisive and changed the vote back to subways, the city will need to pay for the cost and also the Federal government will too. Stephen Harper has committed $100 million towards the Scarborough subway line. The line would cost $1 billion.
But back to the “St.Clair-ize” theory Rob Ford suggests. Ford’s point was that with LRTs it will “rip up” streets and reduce the traffic lanes to two per side. Once again Ford hasn’t done his research. The LRT line in Scarborough won’t be going through any streets and won’t be ripping them up either. But if we were to St.Clair-ize other streets Ford would have a good point. It would reduce the amount of lanes on the street chosen. And one of those lanes will be open for side parking.
According to business owners on St.Clair, their business has gone down since they renovated St.Clair’s streetcar track. The tracks were changed to have it’s own separate lanes. Before the track lanes were open to other cars, which delayed the streetcars.
Ford stands up for business owners and the economy. If his business owners are not getting business, then he feels that he has let his taxpayers down.
I’m in favor of any transit that could move me faster. Yes subways will move me faster, but it would take longer to build. LRTs would be built faster, and it would be cheaper. At the end of the day it’s a choice that will be made by your councillor. It’s in your hands.
We will just have to wait and see.