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How Germany dealt with their Gardiner expressway

Towered

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We lack the vision and political will. Toronto always takes tentative steps, especially when it comes to shifting away from our car addiction.
 

Undead

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Man, terms like "car addiction" really get me. Germany after all was one of the birthplaces of the automobile; they've also been a mecca for performance driving and automotive innovation for many, many years. But somehow we're the auto addict capital of the planet? Come on.

Granted, Germany also builds public transit fairly well; but that just reinforces my point that these things are not nearly as mutually exclusive as often claimed.
 

T3G

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Man, terms like "car addiction" really get me. Germany after all was one of the birthplaces of the automobile; they've also been a mecca for performance driving and automotive innovation for many, many years. But somehow we're the auto addict capital of the planet? Come on.

Granted, Germany also builds public transit fairly well; but that just reinforces my point that these things are not nearly as mutually exclusive as often claimed.
With respect, being the birth place of a technology doesn't necessarily mean that technology is most widespread there. The US was the birth place of the PCC streetcar, but the PCC capital of the world was the USSR, with over 14,000 Tatra T3s alone having been delivered there. The train was invented in the UK, but their network these days is, regrettably, about average. There's nothing wrong with automotive innovation in Germany; clearly it doesn't take away from transit in the population centres... the criticism, as far as I can see, lies elsewhere.

I would be hard pressed to call Toronto the "auto addict capital of the planet", there are much worse places stateside for this kind of thing, but it's hard to deny that, in comparison to basically any German city of appreciable size, Toronto's urban landscape is downright inhospitable. We have made some minor in-roads towards rectifying this ill in the last decade or so (such as in halving the number of lanes on Queen's Quay) and programs such as ActiveTO, but we still have a great deal of progress to make before we can truly consider Toronto a pedestrian friendly city.
 

Undead

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I stand by my comment. The car rhetoric is hyperbole that's often counterproductive in demonizing a vast number of people who simply have few viable transport options because of the way we built things in the past.
 

T3G

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That's kind of a circular argument, though, isn't it? Those very same people, frequently, actively resist any kind of attempts to rectify the situation you're referring to. We can't talk about having transit only lanes downtown because it would take away space on the roads for cars. Ford Nation made a whole big thing about the proposed Transit City LRTs being built in the median of the road and taking capacity away for cars. Then there is of course the problem that many of this city's drivers are extremely badly behaved, and thanks to the breakdown in enforcement, actively make the streets more dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists.

I understand and appreciate that Toronto has a history of shockingly bad infrastructure decisions, and I sympathize with those who must use the car because they have no other viable option available. However, for those who resist attempts to make the city more usable for those who must otherwise rely on the car, or endanger those around them? World's smallest violin.
 

afransen

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Man, terms like "car addiction" really get me. Germany after all was one of the birthplaces of the automobile; they've also been a mecca for performance driving and automotive innovation for many, many years. But somehow we're the auto addict capital of the planet? Come on.

Granted, Germany also builds public transit fairly well; but that just reinforces my point that these things are not nearly as mutually exclusive as often claimed.
Same for NL. They have very good car infra. They just don't always and everywhere prioritize that mode.
 

Northern Light

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I stand by my comment. The car rhetoric is hyperbole that's often counterproductive in demonizing a vast number of people who simply have few viable transport options because of the way we built things in the past.

I think as comments go, @Towered 's was relatively muted.

He didn't target drivers per se, he targeted the way things operate day-to-day.

Car addiction vs infrastructure that disproportionately induces driving and insufficiently incents other modes may be an over simplification, but it isn't really inaccurate, nor does it vilify anyone.

The current provincial government continues to invest in the Bradford Bypass, the 413, and assorted smaller highway widenings and extensions in the GTA.

These collectively eat up more than 10B over a 10-year capital plan (the actual highways plan is ~25B over 10 years, but some can rightly be described as necessary maintenance, and other bits as necessary expansion in parts of Northern Ontario where there is not and will not be a transit alternative in the near to medium term future.)

If we simply shifted the 10B to transit, we could:

1) Install Platform Edge Doors on every Line 1 Station over 10 years

2) Deliver a 1-station extension of Line 2 to Cloverdale

3)Extend the Hurontario LRT to DT Brampton

4) Upgrade the Milton GO Line to 2WAD service - 30M frequency

5) Extend Eglinton Crosstown to Pearson

6) Build the Waterfront East LRT

7) Build the Waterfront West LRT (phase 1)

8) Extend the Sheppard Subway East to VP

****

All of that, without a parking tax or tolls, just by redirecting highway expansion money.

Now, if you also took your choice of tolls or a congestion charge, with a modest goal of raising 600M per year, or 6B over 10 years, that would buy the entire western leg of the Sheppard Subway and get you as far east as Warden too.

If you charged for parking at GO Stations, and used that money to improve service/reduce fares, you could boost service levels by 25% above pre-pandemic levels and introduce GO Co-pay in Toronto, and cut GO fares by reducing the base fare to $3.20 (from $3.70) and cut the increment pricing on GO a further 20%

****

In Toronto, charging market rates for on-street parking, including permits would easily raise another 50M per year net (very conservatively). Split that between service and fares, and you can introduce a 40-fare cap for students and seniors for monthly pricing, and still improve service on a dozen bus routes and add another 4-5 Bluenight services.

****

There's also the matter of policies, as opposed to funding; a simple choice to cap store size for food stores at 30,000ft2 or even a bit less, grandfathering existing stores, would result in more grocery stores closer to home for people, increasing walkability, and bikeability.

There's also the provincial policy on wine/beer sales, were these opened up even to every supermarket, never mind convenience stores, you would greatly reduce the number of car trips required for people's weekly needs, even if people continued to driver to pick up said supplies. (one or two less destinations)

****

In the end, perhaps 'car addiction' isn't the most useful descriptor; but neither is it wrong, nor particularly inflammatory.
 
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Northern Light

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As for the project at the start of the thread, its worth remembering that yes, Germany and with many countries spends to bring about some wonderful public projects from time to time.

So do we (see the Portlands/natural mouth of the don project); but its fair to say they do more.

But, we do need to remember the difference in tax rates. While I'm an advocate for higher rates that what we currently pay...........

Lets remember Germany's VAT (HST) is 19% (not 13%); so immediately imagine adding 6% to the price of everything you currently pay HST on; then, consider, Germany's VAT also applies to food at a rate of 7% and Housing (including rent) at the same.

That's not a knock on Germany, just a reminder that everything involves trade-offs and even some of the most progressive members here might be jarred at the thought of that VAT rate.

That's an additional 4k out of pocket for a lower-middle income household.

So yes, you can get some wonderful things, but they do have a price.
 

Admiral Beez

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Thank god I live downtown. I would hate to have to commute to Mississauga or Oakville every day
I live downtown but for years worked in Vaughan, Markham and Port Credit, plus a stint once a week in K-W. Reverse commuting was a little better, but not so much nowadays. Since Covid in March 2020 I’ve been working from home and love it. I walk the dog every day over the DVP just to remind myself of what I’m missing.
 
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Fresco

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I live downtown but for years worked in Vaughan, Markham and Port Credit, plus a stint once a week in K-W. Reverse commuting was a little better, but not so much nowadays. Since Covid in March 2020 I’ve been working from home and love it. I walk the dog every day over the DVP just to remind myself of what I’m missing
I used to live in Oakville and had to commute every day.
Finally had enough. Bought a condo in FD and never been happier.
There is so much more to do downtown as well
 

Undead

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I live downtown but for years worked in Vaughan, Markham and Port Credit, plus a stint once a week in K-W. Reverse commuting was a little better, but not so much nowadays. Since Covid in March 2020 I’ve been working from home and love it. I walk the dog every day over the DVP just to remind myself of what I’m missing.
Realistically, we already have the solution for rush hour congestion: work from home. But unfortunately people just don't get it. Or choose not to.
 

gabe

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Realistically, we already have the solution for rush hour congestion: work from home. But unfortunately people just don't get it. Or choose not to.

Thousands of people cannot work from home. Commuting sucks by car, but usually it's still faster and better than taking the TTC or GO transit. I say this as someone who doesn't have a car. Our transit sucks compared to Germany
 

T3G

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Thousands of people cannot work from home. Commuting sucks by car, but usually it's still faster and better than taking the TTC or GO transit. I say this as someone who doesn't have a car. Our transit sucks compared to Germany
Where are people commuting that it's faster to take the car than GO? Surely not downtown.
 

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