METROLINX REPLIES TO GLEN ANDREW
ON THE ELLESMERE BUSWAY
At our June 24th regular Glen Andrew meeting, the Executive received a mandate to tell Metrolinx what we think about their plans to build a dedicated busway on Ellesmere.
President Iain McLeod followed up by sending Metrolinx the material posted on our Blog.
Kirstin Demasi, Senior Planning Officer, Planning and Policy with Metrolinx replied with Responses 1 through 10 as set out below.
Metrolinx thanks Glen Andrew for taking time to consider this project and invites all members of Glen Andrew to their next Stakeholders Advisory Meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Monday August 26th in Committee Room 2, on the main floor of the Scarborough Civic centre.
All Glen Andrew members interested in the future of Ellesmere can reply directly to Ms Demasi at : Kristin.Demasi@metrolinx.com or join us at the August 26th meeting. You can also comment on this proposal through Metrolinx’ survey at https://www.metrolinxengage.com/en/content/durham-scarborough-bus-rapid-transit-survey-1
Lorne Ross for Glen Andrew Community Association.
The Future of Ellesmere: Have Your Say.
By Lorne Ross
Updated August 21, 2019
Note: As some of you may already know, to enlarge the pictures in this article, just click on them and you will get a better view.
Big changes are proposed for Ellesmere Road.
Glen Andrew Community Association will be speaking up.
What should they say on your behalf?
• Two lanes of pavement
• Painted so only buses can travel in those lanes.
• Can be along the outside lanes of a road or down the centre lanes.
Response #1: The preferred design for Ellesmere Road has not yet been determined. You are correct that Bus Rapid Transit requires dedicated infrastructure for buses to provide reliable transit service. The current study considers both curbside and centre bus lanes.
We will also be looking at current and projected future traffic volumes to determine if the road will need to be widened to provide the same capacity for general traffic as it does today; that is, we will investigate if Ellesmere should be a 4-lane or a 6-lane road.
The two pictures below are part of the VIVA system in York Region. While the use of two lanes for buses matches the concept for the Durham-Scarborough BRT, the size and scale of the BRT may not. The design of stops and shelters will be determined through this study.
Highway 7 BRT in Markham
Highway 7 BRT in Markham
Highway 7 in Markham and Highway 2 in Pickering.
to work with than we have on Ellesmere.
If they build the BRT, how many lanes will Ellesmere have?
Response #2: While Highway 7 in Markham does have a wider right-of-way than Ellesmere Road in Toronto, the project team is investigating if there is adequate space to provide for six lanes, two dedicated to BRT and four (two in each direction) for general traffic. This analysis will look at both current and projected future traffic volumes, as well as the level of service provided along the road. The majority of arterial roads in Toronto have adequate right-of-way to allow for six lanes of traffic. ____________________________________________________________________
Centre lane BRT’s have concrete structures that prevent
vehicles from turning left across the busway
Davis Drive in Newmarket
SRT yard, Parkers Cleaners, Sheridan Nurseries, Grace Church, BA Bakery,
industrial bldg, Kerala Food ,2 gas stations; 4 homes on south side of Ellesmere.
Streets cut off: Stoneton for sure. Future of Grangeway uncertain.
Response #3: The project will look at the potential need for a traffic signal at Grangeway to provide adequate access. We will be reviewing site access corridor-wide to determine if other measures are required. Property access is a key consideration and will be addressed in the study.
Response #4: The study will look at the need for a traffic signal at Dolly Varden Boulevard, and the potential need for an additional mid-block crossing. Note that there are other areas in the City where centre-medians or turn restrictions are in place over stretches of roadway like this. The traffic analysis will consider the change to access in the area with a centre median, should that be the preferred design.
Response #5: As noted for the other segments, additional traffic lights, mid-bock crossings and an analysis of the impacts of turn restrictions will be evaluated as we develop the preferred design. The intent is to find a balance between ensuring priority and reliability for transit service, and maintaining local access for the community.
Response #6: The TTC services listed above are correct. DRT service currently ends at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus, and is planned to extend to Scarborough Centre. This is a logical extension of the DRT PULSE service and will connect passengers in the corridor directly to Scarborough
Centre and the subway). The exact mix of future bus services is being reviewed. Express services would likely use the dedicated BRT lanes, whereas local bus services may continue in mixed traffic in the curb lane. The primary objective of the study is to look at both physical infrastructure and transit operating considerations.
Each corridor has its own specific issues. St. Clair Avenue is not direct comparable to this project. For instance, streetcars have different acceleration and deceleration characteristics than buses. The operating characteristics of the Don Mills diamond lanes would be a more accurate comparison.
· Metrolinx forecasts a total of 7,500 people will ride buses on this part of Ellesmere in the 2 hour morning ‘rush hour’ by the year 2041.
· If they did nothing…if they did not build the busway… there would be 6,100 people riding the buses.
· So for $59Million construction cost and the loss of two lanes on Ellesmere and cutting off left turns to dozens of properties, their busway will attract maybe an additional 700 riders per hour in the morning rush.
Response #7: Improved transit service provides benefits beyond the number of people who take the bus. Rapid transit is designed to help ease future congestion, by making transit more comparable to driving in terms of travel time and reliability. By reducing the number of cars in the corridor, there will be less congestion in the future for those people who continue to travel by car. That means fewer emissions and more reliable travel times for all modes. Rapid transit service is a key element to effectively encouraging a shift toward transit use. Once rapid transit is in place to provide the backbone of a multi-modal system, other alternative modes, such as cycling, walking, car share and bike share can be supported to encourage even greater mobility choice.
The current ridership modelling numbers above are correct. The improved reliability and convenience of the BRT service is in part responsible for the increase in ridership. All riders in the corridor will benefit from the improved level of service. This will save transit users time as each trip is faster, and more importantly, more reliable.
There is also a need to consider the expected population and employment growth along the corridor in the future. This growth will require reliable transit connections to key destinations including the subway, and major institutions such as university and college campuses and hospitals.
As noted above, the number of general traffic lanes on Ellesmere Road has not yet been decided. Two options will be considered: • 1 general traffic lane per direction and 1 dedicated bus lane per direction, and, • 2 general traffic lanes per direction and 1 dedicated bus lane per direction.
The options will be evaluated using a framework specific to this project and will consider the environmental, cultural, and socio-economic impacts of the options. These options will be presented at Public Information Centre #2, where we will ask the public to provide input on the options. You can take a look at the evaluation criteria on the project website at: https://www.metrolinxengage.com/sites/default/files/final_boards_pic1_2019-05-31_accessible.pdf (scroll to page 22 of the PDF).
Response #8: Correct – express buses will most likely use the BRT lanes to take advantage of the new infrastructure. . There is the potential to look at additional stop locations to allow buses to use the BRT lanes, although this may mean changes to local service. The options and the evaluation will be presented for public input through the course of the project.
The number of stops and the locations of the stops will be analyzed as part of the project. Connections to other area bus routes, major destinations, and locations where it is safe to cross the street when boarding or alighting will also be considered.
Response #9: The 7-lane cross section shown in the first image is wider than what is being considered for the BRT, while not providing a high degree of priority for transit riders. In the short term the widened road will perform well, but as we have seen in other parts of the city, adding more lanes for general traffic still means buses are stuck in traffic.
The Glen Andrew Executive needs to hear from you, the people who live in our great community, before they speak to Metrolinx and to our City Councillors.
1. Widen Ellesmere from McCowan to Military Trail to 3 lanes each way plus centre left turn lane [same as Ellesmere west of Brimley];
2. Run whatever buses you want in the curb lanes for 3 or four years;
3. Come back later with a new study if you still want a busway.
Response #10: Implementing transit at the same time that the road is modified provides both economies of scale and reduces the impact of construction on the neighbourhood. A six-lane road is not built in the same way a 4-lane road with two BRT lanes is built, as there are stops, additional medians and utility works that are required.
The project will look at staging the implementation in sections, that is, different segments of the corridor may proceed earlier than others to provide relief where transit riders will see the greatest benefits, where road right-of-way ownership permits and to meet funding availability.
You can email your thoughts to Glen Andrew’s President, Iain McLeod at email@example.com
· Michael Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org
· Paul Ainslie at email@example.com