Toronto Mayor pays price of obstinacy in councilís rebuke of his transit vision


mentalfloss
#1
Ford pays price of obstinacy in council’s rebuke of his transit vision

He almost got away with it. For more than a year, Mayor Rob Ford has been pushing his simplistic vision for transit expansion, hoping to prevail through sheer bluster and force of will.

He ignored the host of transit experts who called his vision nonsense. He refused to take his plans to city council, bypassing the city’s supreme democratic body. He spurned the TTC manager and TTC chair who dared to question him. But on Wednesday, council struck back, handing the mayor his worst defeat and rubbishing his transit blueprint.

City hall veterans are struggling to remember a time when a mayor of Toronto suffered such a humiliating and public setback. Mel Lastman eventually lost a bid to ship Toronto garbage to the Adams Mine. David Miller failed in his first try at passing the land transfer tax. But this – this was on a whole other scale of magnitude.

More than $8-billion in funding was at stake. The shape of Toronto transit for decades to come was on the line. It is one of the biggest files on any mayor’s desk, and Mr. Ford is no longer in control of it. He called the council vote “technically speaking ... irrelevant,” a breath-taking statement for a mayor to make after a full day of sincere and passionate debate on an issue about which everyone cares. But it is his own leadership, not city council’s legitimacy, that is now in doubt.

Transit City, the light-rail network that Mr. Ford declared dead, is suddenly alive and breathing again, having emerged like Lazarus from its underground tomb. Karen Stintz, the estimable TTC chair whom Mr. Ford was foolish enough to underestimate, is the hero of the hour, talked about as a contender for mayor in 2014.

It is hard to imagine a more galling outcome for Mr. Ford, who has said over and over that “people want subways” and that he would never stand for more “streetcars” (his sneering shorthand for light-rail) on city roads. It undermines one of his central campaign promises: to deliver subways and only subways. It hurts his strategy for re-election, which relies in part on delivering a subway to vote-rich Scarborough.

While Ms. Stintz took the high road, calling the vote a “common-sense compromise” instead of a defeat for the mayor, the Ford brothers were clearly displeased. A bitter Doug Ford blamed downtown interests, saying they have created a “two-tier city” in which the downtown enjoys subway travel and people are “freezing their backsides off up on Eglinton.” He warned, “This fight is not over. We need to bring it to the streets.”

It was a sign of the Fords’ frustration that instead of dominating council, as they did through much of their first year, they are now threatening to go around it. It is pure populism, an appeal to go over the head of city councillors straight to the subway-loving people.

Yet the mayor has only himself to blame. He killed Transit City on his very first day in office, upending a plan that was negotiated, approved, funded and under construction. He took it on himself to cook up a new one with the provincial government that would have wasted nearly $2-billion by burying a light-rail line designed for surface travel. He promised to build a vastly expensive Sheppard subway without any real idea of how to pay for it.

When Ms. Stintz tried to throw him a lifeline, suggesting that he could start building his Sheppard subway with money saved by running Eglinton above ground on its wide eastern stretches, the mayor refused to grab it. Now council has adopted a plan that could put surface light-rail not only on Eglinton but on Finch and parts of Sheppard.

It’s not a bad result for commuters. Conceivably, they could see Sheppard subway extended to Victoria Park. They could get some rapid transit on busy Finch Avenue West. The Eglinton-Scarborough Crosstown line, in a tunnel in the central city and above ground to the east, is still a valuable project.

The tragedy for Mr. Ford is that he could have grabbed Ms. Stintz’s compromise and claimed a win. Now, a new transit plan has been rammed down his throat at an open meeting of city council as the whole city watched. Such is the price of obstinacy.

Ford pays price of obstinacy in council's rebuke of his transit vision - The Globe and Mail
 
Walter
+1 / -1
#2
World-class cities have massive subway systems. The LRT's will clog traffic during construction and once they are running, St. Clair Avenue comes to mind.
 
DurkaDurka
+1
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by WalterView Post

World-class cities have massive subway systems. The LRT's will clog traffic during construction and once they are running, St. Clair Avenue comes to mind.

As far as I understand, running an LRT underground does not make it a subway. Ford's plan for the actual Sheppard subway expansion is stillborn unless the Mayor is willing to implement all sorts of taxes to make up for difference between what the private industry will contribute.

This is part of the problem with the Toronto Transit System... Politicians. Every time there is a new mayor elected, transit plans get scrapped and we start from square one again.
Last edited by DurkaDurka; Feb 9th, 2012 at 08:50 AM..
 
TenPenny
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by WalterView Post

World-class cities have massive subway systems. The LRT's will clog traffic during construction and once they are running, St. Clair Avenue comes to mind.

So, Toronto should do whatever other cities have done. Because, of course, what works for Tokyo or Beijing must be the perfect solution for Toronto.
 
mentalfloss
+1
#5
Here's a comparison grid of the four plans:





The Plan that Stintz has won over councillors with is the 2012 compromise proposal.

The full analysis of all plans can be downloaded here (external - login to view).
 
Walter
-1
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by TenPennyView Post

So, Toronto should do whatever other cities have done. Because, of course, what works for Tokyo or Beijing must be the perfect solution for Toronto.

Yes.
 
DurkaDurka
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by WalterView Post

Yes.

Wow, that's an intelligent answer. Have you ever compared the population density of lets say Tokyo to Toronto?
 
Walter
-1
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by DurkaDurkaView Post

Wow, that's an intelligent answer. Have you ever compared the population density of lets say Tokyo to Toronto?

No .

Stintz vetoes voters choice.
Toronto city revolt pits councillors against voters | Full Comment | National Post
 
mentalfloss
+2
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by WalterView Post

No .

Stintz vetoes voters choice.
Toronto city revolt pits councillors against voters | Full Comment | National Post


The reason why councillors "revolted" is because their constituents (read: the taxpayers) told them they don't like Ford's plan.

The only thing revolting is McParland's tripe - he's almost as much of a shill as Sue Ann Levy.
 
DurkaDurka
+2
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by WalterView Post

No .

Stintz vetoes voters choice.
Toronto city revolt pits councillors against voters | Full Comment | National Post

Nice try, last time I checked, municipal governments were not a dictatorship where the mayor unilaterally makes the decisions.
 
Cannuck
+1
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by WalterView Post

No .

Stintz vetoes voters choice.
Toronto city revolt pits councillors against voters | Full Comment | National Post

From the article...
Quote:

Her job was to run the transit system according to the platform he was elected on

No. Bureaucrats do not take direction from a politicians platform. They take direction from council, the legislature or from the H of C. Regardless of what else is in the article, that statement alone shows that McParland is a little out of his depth.
 
mentalfloss
+1
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by DurkaDurkaView Post

Nice try, last time I checked, municipal governments were not a dictatorship where the mayor unilaterally makes the decisions.

I came across this little piece of electronica recently. Nothing in the realm of Skrillex or Deadmau5, but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless.

“They Want Subways”: A Rob Ford Remix | culture | Torontoist (external - login to view)
 
TenPenny
+3
#13  Top Rated Post
Quote: Originally Posted by WalterView Post

Yes.

That's an interesting perspective. So I gather you'll be arguing for more government control and regulation of everything, since it works for Beijing.
 
Walter
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by TenPennyView Post

That's an interesting perspective. So I gather you'll be arguing for more government control and regulation of everything, since it works for Beijing.

No. This thread is about public transit and since it's public and run by the govmint the govmint should control and regulate it.
 
mentalfloss
+2
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by WalterView Post

No. This thread is about public transit and since it's public and run by the govmint the govmint should control and regulate it.

Government.
 
CDNBear
+3
#16
I'm with Fuzzy here. Tdot's congested streets need more buses and street cars. Tdot most certainly needs another weather problem ridden LRT.

And why the hell would we look to other cities with greater population densities, for working models and to troubleshoot issues. When we have the time honoured Canadian tradition of reinventing the wheel.
 
mentalfloss
+1
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBearView Post

I'm with Fuzzy here. Tdot's congested streets need more buses and street cars. Tdot most certainly needs another weather problem ridden LRT.

Congestion should sort itself out if more Torontonians take public transit - which would be the case if we go the LRT route or with Stintz's compromise.
 
CDNBear
+1
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

Congestion should sort itself out if more Torontonians take public transit - which would be the case if we go the LRT route or with Stintz's compromise.

If I had a nickel for every time someone has said that, before each new TTC project, I'd be a wealthy man today.

TTC, the not so better, way.
 
DurkaDurka
+1
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

Congestion should sort itself out if more Torontonians take public transit - which would be the case if we go the LRT route or with Stintz's compromise.

If anything, before we build another line, we should have a relief line built on the Yonge seeing as if there is any sort of malfunction on that line, the whole show slows to a crawl.

Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBearView Post

If I had a nickel for every time someone has said that, before each new TTC project, I'd be a wealthy man today.

TTC, the not so better, way.

It works great for me 90% of the time, it gets me to work a lot quicker then a car would.
 
CDNBear
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by DurkaDurkaView Post

It works great for me 90% of the time, it gets me to work a lot quicker then a car would.

I feel for ya bud and I'm sure it does. My Yota gets me where I want to go, 100% of the time, lest I brake it off roading, lol. But then I have the Civic to fall back on. The biggest benefit, I don't have to rub elbows with the unwashed masses.
 
mentalfloss
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBearView Post

If I had a nickel for every time someone has said that, before each new TTC project, I'd be a wealthy man today.

TTC, the not so better, way.

lol

Well, at least we know at this point that in terms of cost and service, Ford's plan isn't a good one.

When you consider that they even factored in how many low income earners would ride for each plan, we should all be on board the LRT routes as these are the people that most desperately need the ride.
 
DurkaDurka
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBearView Post

I feel for ya bud and I'm sure it does. My Yota gets me where I want to go, 100% of the time, lest I brake it off roading, lol. But then I have the Civic to fall back on. The biggest benefit, I don't have to rub elbows with the unwashed masses.

It's not for everyone, I pretty much zone out on it and catch up on news while I take my 30 minute trip to work.

Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

lol

Well, at least we know at this point that in terms of cost and service, Ford's plan isn't a good one.

When you consider that they even factored in how many low income earners would ride for each plan, we should all be on board the LRT routes as these are the people that most desperately need the ride.

But what about the Ferris Wheel, the Ferris Wheel!!!
 
CDNBear
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

lol

Well, at least we know at this point that in terms of cost and service, Ford's plan isn't a good one.

If you don't prefer your car to the worst way.

Quote:

When you consider that they even factored in how many low income earners would ride for each plan, we should all be on board the LRT routes as these are the people that most desperately need the ride.

Ya, I saw that. Neat, all the earmarks of a good sales pitch for the unwashed and those that pander to them.

I'm still waiting for the last claims from the TTC boosters, to come to fruition.

I'll believe it when I see it.

Quote: Originally Posted by DurkaDurkaView Post

It's not for everyone, I pretty much zone out on it and catch up on news while I take my 30 minute trip to work.

I'm used to open spaces and people who understand BO isn't the part of their culture, I wish they'd share with me.
 
mentalfloss
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBearView Post

Ya, I saw that. Neat, all the earmarks of a good sales pitch for the unwashed and those that pander to them.

lol

C'mon - Pembina's good about this stuff.
 
CDNBear
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

lol

C'mon - Pembina's good about this stuff.

I'm not disputing the fact that the proposed lines will go through areas that are currently considered under serviced. Some of the past routes in those areas, were abandoned, because the market wasn't there. Then there's the possibility that the "If you build it, they will come", while a great premise for a movie, maybe not so much for transit.
 
TenPenny
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by WalterView Post

No. This thread is about public transit and since it's public and run by the govmint the govmint should control and regulate it.

wow, that almost makes sense. In other words, the mayor shouldn't be allowed to impose his schemes on the city, it's the job of council to determine what happens.
 

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