A few days ago I found out that the TTC was planning to run buses over the recently built Portlands LRT bridge until the mid 2030s to the 2040s. Well, if that isn’t just the Toronto way:
- Build a huge new developable area, but
- Don’t fund high-capacity, high-frequency, reliable transit in the area, and
- Be ‘surprised’ that cars take over and that congestion is a major issue.
The above played out in the HBS, and it’s starting to play out in the Portlands. It’s also a symptom of a systemic problem in how Toronto tackles challenges: city leadership and departments are timid, chintzy and under-deliver on everything they put their mind to.
From transit (no transit priority on the Crosstown, a decade-long rollout for ‘dedicated’ bus lanes, and a completely-missing Waterfront LRT) to density and development (an infuriatingly timid, study-heavy approach to densifying, poor oversight of developments and their ground-realm approach) and public space (reduced funding for city parks, overly-wide travel lanes, a concrete-heavy streetscape and poor street-tree maintenance) – Toronto shows a complete lack of vision or ambition.