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Roads: Gardiner Expressway

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I don't support doing nothing, I should make that clear again. I think the Gardiner needs some love, but not a teardown.

I agree, there are many world cities that seem to cope with it.

Here is a pic of an elevated expressway that makes the Gardiner Expy. look tame.

City-C2.jpg
 

AKS

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I wouldn't exactly say the photo of the city is very photogenic and there's no body of water near it I think? Looks like an inner city photo. Anyhow why would we want to copy something like that o_O

If they keep the gardiner, it would be nice if it looked better at least. Maybe something fancy like this but tamer version.
70790821.jpg


But something has to be fixed underneath for pedestrians.
 

TKTKTK

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Urban places need to be designed around people, and not the motor vehicle.

Who do you think drives these motor vehicles? Robots? Vegetables? Raccoons? No, it's people.

If you want to design urban spaces around people, you need to also design urban spaces around what people do, and like doing. That isn't so say that everything ought to be a drive-in, but it's just as unrealistic to assume that everything can be a street-car route, and a pedestrian walk-way.

For a city to thrive it needs multiple ways to move people and goods, and needs to give its citizenry the freedom to live their lives without undue programming.
 

nfitz

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I still dont understand till this day what all the negativity and red tape was about, of building this new road west from Bathurst to Dufferin St. :confused:
But it was not just a road. It was an expressway - essentially a ramp to the Gardiner - pretty much for the sole purpose of diverting the Gardiner into downtown. It had little benefit to the local community, except putting an expressway ramp along the edge of the neighbourhood.

Now that that plan is dead, I'm sure we will see a local road developed.
 

3Dementia

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The Viaduct is such a ridiculous science-fiction concept. Billions of dollars to make an elevated highway more elevated. But now it will be higher and have cabling! And people will LIVE in the support pillars! And the robot butlers will make all our dreams come true.

Hey Matt... you kinda come off as yet another poster boy for the antiquated "think small, it's Toronto" movement (or more precisely, lack of movement).

Dismissing the viaduct out-of-hand as ridiculous "science fiction" seems just another typical, home-grown pre-emptive strike against ... wait for it ... bold thinking. A wearisome song sung loudly and ad nauseum by so-called Toronto decision-makers, planners and managers.

While the "condos in piers" element is perhaps approaching your sci-fi characterization, the fundamental premise of the viaduct isn't crazy at all:

1. what if the rotting downtown portion of our "psychological" barrier (elevated Gardiner) could be replaced with a cable-stayed, boulevard-paced mobility corridor (traffic, transit, ride/walk) which.... thanks to it's proposed location over the rail corridor using cantilever construction techniques (a cable-stayed specialty)... could be built with little disruption to the existing expressway (avoiding anything approaching Boston's 13 year chaos and cost).

2. "make an elevated highway more elevated" - that's just dead wrong.

The western section (CNE to Union) of the structure is proposed to float just above grade, over the below-grade rail corridor... that canyon that is also known as a "real" physical barrier to the waterfront. The notion is actually (given the viaduct"s proximity to grade), it could also act as a sort of structural spine to host a number of north/south pedestrian connections over the rail corridor barrier... something that humanoids in the waterfront, Cityplace and even the entertainment district might actually consider a good idea.

3. what if the project cost (mitigated somewhat by the value of land reclaimed when the Gardiner is demolished, and perhaps even tolls) was roughly half of the oft-discussed tunnelling concept? Now there's a piece of science FICTION for you - namely any past, present or future budget estimates for a tunnelling option.

Indeed there are dozens of reasons why the viaduct wouldn't work (Union Station obviously wouldn't welcome such a neighbour) but there are more than a few nuggets in the proposal such as rebuilding the east of Yonge barrier... the elevated rail berm ... with north/south pedestrian connections to East Bayfront through newly harvested functional space (parking, shopping etc.). This idea is hardly science fiction. It's a brilliant way to penetrate that particular permanent barrier.

It's pretty clear the viaduct concept will never be given the time of day in this city, but dismissing it out-of-hand with little more than a roll of eyes is of no merit. I'll wager 3 cases of UT green whine that we'll one day see something like this used to solve a similar urban challenge, somewhere... in the right circumstances, the cantilever, modular construction elements available to cable-stayed designs offers an invaluable alternative to massive civic disruption.

IMO the legitimate contribution this concept makes is proposing we do indeed try to find a way to rid the city of the Gardiner, without having to sacrifice the quality of city life for a decade. With due respect to future generations, I'd really like to continue enjoy living downtown while bearing witness to an irresistible city-building exercise such as vaporizing the Gardiner.

It's easy to play clever by taking superficial forum swipes at thinking that doesn't conform, but I see little merit in it... just contributes to censorship of occasional blue-sky ideas. This city sorely needs more of this pie-in-the-sky thinking as a foil to the guaranteed do nuthin' or do little city mantra.

Afterall, the only completely absurd component of the viaduct concept is the public realm skyPATH... but this can be excused as it was birthed from the recently lobotomized grey matter of someone coping with early on-set dementia.
 

Woodbridge_Heights

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When I think of tunnelling under the Gardiner, I think of Boston's Big Dig;
Lengthy, disruptive, hyper-inflated infrastructure project.

When I think of tearing down the Gardiner and improving Lake Shore Blvd, I think of New York's West side highway or San Fran's Embarcadero;
Both vibrant, public urban spaces.

Car ownership is on a decline and transit ridership in on the rise, despite low(er than usual) gas prices, increase in fares, and minimal improvements to transit infrastructure. Urban places need to be designed around people, and not the motor vehicle.

Comparing Toronto to Boston in this case is a bit of a re herring. Tunneling the Gardiner would be nowhere near as complex as the big dig in Boston. Take a look at just how much work was done in Boston and you'll see that the Gardiner would be a fraction of the big dig.


Flack. :D

I don't see how a bridge across Humber Bay is warranted. and a 4km span? That's insanity! Sure it could be done with some engineering magic and nanotubes, but that money could be better spent on the DRL, Airport Rail Link, electrifying and grade separating our rail network, green infrastructure, promoting transit use through competitive travel times, providing safe bike routes, nuclear power, ect. ect.

I overestimated bridge span lengths :eek:. Still there are bridges built and being proposed that have main spans of 2-3 kms. So we'd have to drop pylons in the lake to shorten the span, not ideal but still doable.

Why do it? So that we can rehabilitate Lakeshore blvd as a grand boulevard and reintegrate it into the city's street grid. Right now Lakeshore blvd runs in the shadow of the Gardiner and splits and swerves at the whim of the Gardiner.
 

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I wouldn't exactly say the photo of the city is very photogenic and there's no body of water near it I think? Looks like an inner city photo. Anyhow why would we want to copy something like that o_O

That inner city pic that i posted isnt about trying to copy a pretty similar version of our Gardiner, but how other citys cope with elevated expressways, and maybe the money that this city is spending on finding a solution of how, if or when to dismantle it can be better spend on finding ways to beautify and keep it.
Maybe bring in a Santiago Calatrava for some ideas
 
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dunkalunk

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Who do you think drives these motor vehicles? Robots? Vegetables? Raccoons? No, it's people.

If you want to design urban spaces around people, you need to also design urban spaces around what people do, and like doing. That isn't so say that everything ought to be a drive-in, but it's just as unrealistic to assume that everything can be a street-car route, and a pedestrian walk-way.

For a city to thrive it needs multiple ways to move people and goods, and needs to give its citizenry the freedom to live their lives without undue programming.

People will do anything if you can sell them on the idea. Urbanity needs to be sold in the same way that suburbia was sold in the 50s. There's nothing wrong with a little romanticism of a lifestyle if it takes cars off the road.

People also Take to GO train, ride streetcars, bike and even walk. Even some robots ride bikes. Not everyone drives, especially in downtown. I can understand the need to design spaces around cars in the suburbs, where the density and distance from amenities makes the car a necessity. But in Urban spaces, the private automobile is incredibly cumbersome, often being caught idling in traffic jams.

car-bus-bike.jpg


Although more walkways, bikeways, and transit lines could definitely be used, we also need highway and road improvements such as the deceased (for now) Front extension, the Dufferin jog correction, ect. But its my belief that transit should take priority over any road constrution. We should fix what we have, and tear down what is too expensive socioeconomically to keep before we fund any new projects.
 
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adma

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Why do it? So that we can rehabilitate Lakeshore blvd as a grand boulevard and reintegrate it into the city's street grid. Right now Lakeshore blvd runs in the shadow of the Gardiner and splits and swerves at the whim of the Gardiner.

But if you're talking about the Humber Bay stretch, Lakeshore ran in the shadow of the railway long before the Gardiner existed, and it was enlivened more by the populist honky-tonk of Sunnyside than anything "grand boulevardish", and besides, the only stretch that was at all "integrated" into the street grid in the first place was the Dunn/Jameson/Dowling segment--which is probably most "reintegratable" as it stands without needing some extravagant Humber Bay Viaduct as an alibi. (And out at Swansea, it's probably more palatably "integrated" now than when industry like Stelco dominated the railway zone.)

Besides, where would such a viaduct begin and end? After all, the QEW/Gardiner doesn't even hit the lake until the mouth of the Humber, and otherwise you might have to take out big portions of parkland and/or urban Mimico in order to facilitate such a thing, or pile traffic in places that can't handle piled traffic, or risk the kind of environmentalist protest that'd make the anti-windmill Guildwood Scarberians blush--given that, perhaps playing kid gloves with the existing status quo is preferable...
 
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dunkalunk

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Its been brought up at lest 3 times in this thread. Personally, I think the money could be spent better elsewhere.
 

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