Feb 4, 2007

The old timers had it right

Karem Allen of Transit Nightmares has left the following comment on this blog…

Well I went to the Town Hall with the double bill Tories, Jim and Christine and was given the impression that Jim would see to it that Durham was funded. However he did not say the number of $50 millions, so let's see what happens. What do you think about Dave Ryan and his Transit Ideas? Could you see Dave Ryan as Durham's rep on the GTTA ? I am thinking he may be a good fighter for Transit in Durham? Future needs, he is in agreement about using the Hydro Corridor for Light Rail or other types of Rapid Transit. Think about it and post your thinking over on my blog for it ? I am sure I have readers but getting comments is like pulling teeth I think.

My comment: This is nothing new of using right of ways for some form of public transit. Starting in the 1890’s outside of The City Of Toronto, there existed a network of suburban and cross-country electrified railway lines. They were electric streetcars that ran along a right of way. The lines were known as "radial" railways because, they "radiated" outward from most of the larger towns and cities. Going eastward the first section, from Queen Street and Coxwell Avenue to Victoria Park Road, opened in 1893. By 1901, the railway had been extended to a point known as Halfway House (Midland Avenue) while, in 1905, the line finally reached its goal of Scarborough Township (Markham Road).In 1906 the radial street-car line in Scarborough was extended to West Hill. Port Perry residents in 1913 were looking into the proposed radial railway and power line proposal which would link Toronto, Uxbridge and Port Perry. Talks with the Radial Railways came to a halt in 1916.

1936 saw the radial line removed from Kingston Road. This resulted in the loss the right of ways!

In 1968 I had been working three years with the TTC when one of the drivers decided to take a run at the office of Mayor of Scarborough. Al Early had a vision for transit. One of the items that he proposed was to have a network of streetcars using the hydro right of way. Al lost the election to Bob White. These things are all part of the past… but today the transit options are being reconsidered.

With adjoining housing already constructed along side some of the hydro right way, don’t expect to see any BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) or LRT (Light Rail Transit) routes. The residents in Pickering have already prevented other uses of the land. Either way, there is there is flaw of using the the lands for public transit. You can read about it here… The GO-ALRT Program.

If anytime in the future some form of rapid transit line arrives in Durham, it must be constructed in the correct location. I don’t want to see the same mistakes repeated here that were made in The City Of Toronto. The University and the Spadina subways were place in the wrong location. They should have been located further west on Bathurst St.

Yes… I believe the old timers had it right with their system of radial cars.

Thanks to various web pages that helped me with info for the above.

The Toronto & York Radial Railway
Transit Toronto
Port Perry, Scugog Township Heritage

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