My Opinion on the BIG MOVE is varied

I have continued to work on what Metrolinx is actually planning, and that is difficult at best to locate.My latest confirmations of BIG MOVE and KWC’s transit expansion, and GO expansion in this latest Dropbox folder here:  THIS IS UPDATED OFTEN AS NEW INFO BECOMES AVAILABLE

 

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/qwj470xcrmiqeap/ozUQSXmUZS

 

 

It also contains suggestions by me, by some other organizations (Hamilton BLAST) (KWC), alternative websites regarding transit (www.feeling congested.ca among many), and a budget comparison between Metrolinx numbers for BRT,LRT, and Subway, and Government of Canada numbers for same. If LRTs can cross perpendicular, all tunnel costs I budgeted for crossing may be eliminated. I know Streetcars can cross perpendicular, you can see this at Bathurst and Spadina in Toronto.

As a commuter that has had to deal with the multiple areas of congestion of Toronto and York region, I know first-hand where transit is needed to fix the issues. As an architectural draftsman, I can create drawings and sketches faster than nearly any other designer/engineer can create them. Will this get me hired? Unlikely. Telling the Growth Secretariat Ministry what was wrong with Places to Grow and Provincial Policy, didn’t get me a job with them either. Honesty means something to the public, it is time employers, especially employers working for the government, listened to what we have to say. Metrolinx probably won’t grant me an interview, because they will be reading this post.

The post below was my earlier considerations of transit in the GTA, the Dropbox link above incorporates all of Metrolinx’s planned tasks (current and future), with better suggestions, including somebody’s GT Trains concept. Check that link instead of reading the post below.

 

 

 

You may have heard of Metrolinx (www.metrolinx.com) and THE BIG MOVE (www.thebigmove.ca).

You may also have heard them and Toronto Board of Trade suggestions for REVENUE TOOLS to allow us to spend $50 billion to fund this.

You can check their webpages for those lists, but suffice it to say, it will come from your pockets.

The TTC is known for starting projects and abandoning them, either due to city or provincial politics or just plain lack of interest.

There are tunnels under Queen Station, meant for streetcars but going nowhere, yet full of garbage nonetheless. There are tunnels under Eglinton West station, as there was originally going to be an Eglinton subway which combined with City amalgamation and Mike Harris government was cancelled to focus on Sheppard subway, more dear to Mel Lastman than Eglinton was. Bay station is actually stacked, original service used both stations at Bay for a bizarre loop system when service ran from Eglinton to St George via Union, and a bizarre track switch via Museum and Bay.

We currently have 4 boring machines creating the Spadina  extension from Downsview to the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre. I dare ask, where are they headed when this line is complete? They had better be boring more subways we need. Also the lack of forethought of Metrolinx, City of Vaughan and TTC in general to add a commuter parking lot at VMC which is directly beside a Future Shop and Home Sense and a skip and jump away from a Walmart, both with large parking lots, certain to be filled by commuters, even if they go the Yorkdale route by putting up barricades until 9am to prevent them. Your first Vaughan parking for commuters on the subway is at 407 and Jane. If anyone from Vaughan drives to 407 to park, they are more likely to stay on the highway.

I quickly drew up my own plan, not to any scale because I do not know the scaled dimensions of the subway stations, but a schematic representation of what I think we need, and what will ultimately get me out of my car for most of my trips. This image may be unclear because it is pdf version. As I live in Vaughan I added what I think Vaughan needs, as well as what I think Toronto needs. Some items are already started. Some are wishes of a sort. I’ll break down what I have added.

1. Continue Spadina loop to Yonge from VMC back to Finch as far north as Teston. This allows connection to Vaughan Mills mall, Wonderland, the future hospital, and more importantly for me, my Curling club in Richmond Hill. (www.richmondhillcurlingclub.ca)

2. Major Mackenzie line, I may have missed a few stop ideas, like adding Richmond Hill hospital, but City Hall Vaughan is necessary along this proposed line idea.

3. Hwy 7, though I have not seen dedicated bus plan in full, this is my idea for it. Much of it is under construction now.

4. Eglinton line, you need a higher cross town option, currently this is under construction as a dedicated Streetcar.

5. Downtown relief line, I keep hearing about it, without knowing where they want it, so this is where I want it, looping around Bloor from St. Clair to College, from Bathurst to Castle Frank. That keeps it west of the DVP.

6. Queen line. Yes there are streetcars now, yes an idea for underground was started and abandoned, I would prefer it go under and this is my suggested connection to Bloor Danforth line from High Park to Victoria Park.

7. Sheppard line extension and loop with Eglinton, because it should.

8. Lake Shore line, which could be streetcar or subway, likely being that close to water will prevent subway, but many have talked of burying Gardiner, which is another topic in the news today. Pay $500,000,000 to fix it and leave it and maintain it, or take some of it down, or take all of it down, and replace it with a tunnel. If you intend to tunnel the cars, tunnel a subway, and connect it to the Queen line, and Kipling on the Bloor Danforth line.

All station names on new lines are just suggestions, no doubt they would change if they ever built them. I do think Spadina should be renamed Annex on Bloor Line though.

This dream concept, would easily remove an hour off of my commute. Civic Action (http://your32.com/) insists that Metrolinx’s THE BIG MOVE will only gain you 32 minutes. It relies more on GO trains and streetcars than actual subway connections. I really doubt the GO trains will alter that much.

What will it cost? Honestly I do not have an answer, but if the BIG MOVE is $50,000,000,000, this could be double that, especially if it is all subways.

Would it make Toronto a world class transit oriented city? I think it would.

I may not have the planning credentials of my cousin who is in the board of directors of Metrolinx in THE BIG MOVE document, and part of Civic Action, and professor emeritus at both Ryerson and Uof T for Regional Planning. I am however a commuter from Vaughan near Wonderland to downtown Leslieville of Toronto, a less than 45km trip which should by rights take 45 minutes regardless of time of day. It is normally well over 1 1/2 hours daily, and far more in bad weather. I am also a draftsman for a contractor and have been in construction field for over 24 years, close to 16 with my current employer. I am a ratepayer executive for my community, and chair of our traffic calming committee, which saw several speed reduction elements implemented into our neighbourhood, and are expecting a few more.

I expect this subject to get some feedback, but wait, nobody visits my site so nobody will see it, unless they are willing to read what I have suggested.

I have a GREAT revenue tool. Remove over 40,000 of the $100,000 plus salaries the Ontario government pays for and BAM, $2 billion is available, realistically over $4 billion. I’m certain that Board of Trade and Metrolinx and Ontario Government never suggested that option. Jerry Agar did. ( www.newstalk1010.com) I’m with Jerry on that.

Now if only people will read this.MYBIGGERMOVETRANSIT

 

 

 

Newest Books

Check out the HTHH Road Sign Guide here

http://www.lulu.com/shop/john-ross-harvey/harvey-the-happy-helmets-road-sign-guide-for-the-directionally-deficit-disordered/paperback/product-18846308.html

 

Harvey The Happy Helmet's Road Sign Guide for the Directionally Deficit Disordered

The pen name is derived from Wentworth, the street I grew up on in Hamilton, and Vaughan (missing the a) where I actually live now.

Current novel is Young Adult Sci-fi and Humour.

Yet Another Kid That Must Miraculously Save The World From Destruction By Presumably Evil Alien Forces.

find it here

 

http://www.lulu.com/shop/wentworth-vaughan/yet-another-kid-that-must-miraculously-save-the-world-from-destruction-by-presumably-evil-alien-forces/paperback/product-18846296.html

 

Yet Another Kid That Must Miraculously Save The World From Destruction By Presumably Evil Alien Forces

Traffic Congestion

Green lightAmber(yellow) lightRed light

Want to understand how traffic doesn’t move?

This pure display of stupidity, lack of geometry skill, and serious inability to comprehend anything beyond themselves.

Traffic moves in more than one direction from your ego

Green DOES NOT mean GO, it never has

It has always meant PROCEED IF AND WHEN THE WAY IS CLEAR

Does this look clear to you? Does the twenty foot car fit on 4” of white paint?

Of course not, its not rocket science its Grade 1 level geometry

A 5 year old could do it

The motorists in these pics are clearly incapable of being as smart as a 5 year old.

 

New Books At Lulu

Find at new lulu weblink www.lulu.com/spotlight/tfoe

A Harvey the Happy Helmet sequel has been added, full colour road sign guide, colour makes it pricey, but it is ineffective without it.

Also a free e-book has been added, short and to the point.

Road Safety

The concept of safety is very simple, and easy to manage if there is no complacency. Sadly in today’s society, there is a whole lot of me, me, me, now, now, now, and far less of do it correctly and safely so as not to have an “accident.”

The term “accident” is incorrectly used for such occurrences. An accident is just that, an unavoidable circumstance, like having a tree fall on your house when lightning struck, or when a baseball hits a window.  A collision is what happens when a vehicle or more than one vehicle crashes. Many things cause that crash, and none of those causes are accidental.

The simple skill of reading a road sign can prevent many of these collisions. The ability to use your eyesight and judge distances properly can prevent them as well. Reducing speed when traffic slows, instead of continuing to fly down an open lane can obviously prevent these as well.

Weather is a common source of complacent attitudes. Morning dew is frequent and very few motorists ever wipe it off, resorting to lazy attitudes of using only wipers or defrost buttons. I blame auto supply stores like Canadian Tire for actually showcasing these attitudes as a reason to buy their product. Let me put this in a general way that’s easy to understand, a rhyming poem.

If your window is not clear, don’t put the car in gear. Wipe it, don’t drive it.

Snow is obviously even worse than dew for this kind of attitude, and far more dangerous, and still used in commercials, which infuriates me. Wiper blades and defrost buttons are not good enough for dew, and are even less effective for snow.  Defrost is to keep an already clear window clear, not to melt frost, ice or snow that still sits on it. Wiper blades should also never be the sole source of snow removal despite commercials by Canadian Tire which enforce this complacent behaviour. There are two things required to clear snow ice and frost, a snowbrush and an ice scraper, requiring elbow grease, and common sense. Far too many motorists attempt to drive (it’s not driving if it’s unsafe) rolling mobile Snowbanks. Far too many stare through horizontal lines of defrost rather than use an ice scraper as an intelligent person would do. Far more rely on wiper blades alone to clear the windshield alone, as though the remaining 75-80% of their vision is not required. This last one is used to sell them at stores like Canadian Tire, which is quite frankly despicable. Snow is not an essential part of a vehicle, so it should be removed from all parts of the car, especially lights which are required more often as darkness comes sooner, and tires as it prevents possible steering with giant salt deposits in fenders. I will stop 3-4 times on my commute home through a snowstorm just to see out of my car, and prevent my lights from being obscured and wheels from getting stuck.

Turning correctly seems to be the most common method of the “me” society attitude that doing things properly and safely don’t matter when I can be lazy and take multiple lanes turning instead of properly signaling each lane one at a time. So these individuals enter right lanes turning left, and left lanes turning right, which has always been 100% wrong. Left and Right are NEVER interchangeable.  One has never equaled Two, or three, or four either. You can be assured that many collisions are caused by this complacent attitude.

Intersections seem to be meaningless to people in rush hour type traffic. Side streets and full intersections complete with traffic lights are meaningless to egotistical motorists that feel traffic must move only in their direction and they must go because the light is green. First off, green never means go, it means proceed if and when the way is clear, and if it’s not clear, you DO NOT proceed. Period.  Geometry is a simple skill that can be mastered by five year olds, yet many motorists inability to comprehend space, shape, and distance required for their vehicles to FIT on the other side of the crossing street seems to amount to rocket science for them. Another poem perhaps?

If you do not fit, do not be a geometrically deficient twit.

Road signs, for many are an annoyance, and an inconvenience, but those people are not drivers. Drivers read them, and are always aware of what’s happening. Lanes ending, lanes merging, lanes turning, not crossing lines, not blocking intersections, construction warnings, speed limits, school zones (far too many speed here), hospitals, police, fire halls (far too many block these), parade routes, road closures, no U-turns, all of these things are necessary information to prevent motorists from being stuck next to a guardrail hoping to merge, parked in the intersection as opposing traffic turns green to aim at them head-on, and more importantly preventing pedestrians and children from getting hit. Never read your cell phone apps. Always read the road signs. Some of those signs are painted arrows on the road itself.

Texting/smart(dumb)phone app-ing should have your license revoked. These supposedly meaningless tasks, which are apparently more important to motorists than whether they live to see the next day, are well documented and proven as being more dangerous than driving drunk. Driving under the influence of alcohol is impaired, texting, phoning without a Bluetooth is impaired, a snow covered, frost covered, dew covered, salt covered, or mud covered vehicle is impaired (truck commercials are bad promoters of this). Eyes on the road, the mirrors, and the road signs, never in your lap, in your hand, or anywhere else that prevents you from seeing what the road ahead may present. A phone belongs at a desk, not on a steering wheel. The big difference is the desk is far less likely to kill you, and more importantly, anyone else who is innocent to your crime.

It’s time people stopped thinking only about themselves as they endanger everyone around them. It’s time auto supply stores like Canadian Tire stop promoting poor motorist activity as a reason to buy their product to keep doing it. Pedestrians are being hit, motorists are causing highways to shut down, and all of these things are preventable. They are no accident. If it means re-testing every time you renew your license, then so be it. There have been many guardrail collisions lately on major highways, it needs to stop.

Zazzle Store

http://www.zazzle.com/threeforcesofevil

Available now, 3 t-shirt designs inspired by the Three Forces Of Evil  mantra I have.

Also in store, is  a very informative bumper sticker for tailgaters.

Death of Jackass actor

I did not watch Jackass, nor care to do so, the member of that crowd which decided driving moronic motoring home while intoxicated and sending a twitpic before doing so, was clearly not of a rational mindset. I often scold/yell/demand that some of you refrain from tweet/texting behind the wheel as it is often more dangerous than being drunk. On Twitter I’ve posted videos by TAC and Gwent on the issue, and they are indeed graphic, much like this person’s left over Porsche. I was always the DD in school, when I had a car, they knew I didn’t drink, we stayed safe that way, my LTD also held a lot of people. It wasn’t until after I met my wife that I drank more often, but still never drove under the influence of any more than 1 drink. The legal limit is based one one drink (beer bottle, wine glass, shot of whiskey) for a 185lb man for one hour. As I used to be above that weight one hour was enough. Now I wait longer as my weight has decreased marginally. I’ll switch to cola or other non-alcoholic if I am to drive. Drunk is not the only method of being impaired, drowsy can be too, I pull over as soon as possible if I feel drowsy, usually to get an iced cappuccino, which does a fantastic job of making me alert. Drugs obviously can impair, and the radio ads against that are in force now too.

Some people will miss this person, they have that right, some will say he was stupid, because he was, and they have that right. I have the right to agree with sentiments on both sides, I often see both sides, even if I side more with one, I do not deny the other. It’s ok if you miss this person, and liked their work, and are sad he is dead. Its ok if you think what he did was stupid and he wasted his life. Where were the people that were not drunk, that could have stopped it? Were there any? Are the guys in that pic still alive? Did they let him get in that car? I wouldn’t want to be the one that let him. That would feel like you murdered them yourself.

Yes 34 is young. Younger than I am, younger than you or anyone expects to die. He may not have expected to die, but he was drunk in a Porsche. His chances slimmed considerably when he turned the key, if he was at the wheel. Whoever was at the wheel, should have been stopped. They weren’t. That’s what’s sad.

Because Anyone Can Make A Difference

Many people I’ve come to follow on Twitter are doing this, because many others need the help.

Kit arrived and swabs taken. Wish the people who need it luck.

I want to help too.

Opinion published in New York Times

http://community.nytimes.com/comments/roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/05/27/do-we-tolerate-too-many-traffic-deaths/?permid=217#comment217

Clearly the topic of road safety is a very big issue, Sgt. Burrows and I both have opinions published (his is comment 41) on this article of a very sensitive issue.

While this isn’t the newsprint edition, this is still the New York Times.  I hope Oprah is reading this news too.

Toronto Book Awards

Harvey The Happy Helmet’s Illustrated How To Drive Handbook – A Drive By Education  has been entered into this competition. CityNews.ca has just interviewed me about my book, my website, and my safety awareness article below regarding pedestrians getting hit by cars. We can expect to see the full interview on their website next week. If you believe in something you have a passion for it. For me that’s driving safety, like music to Simon Cowell, you have to convey the message on how to improve with brutal honesty which is tough love. He’s very good at creating better singers, I hope to create better drivers.

Full interview found here: http://www.citytv.com/toronto/citynews/life/family/article/69781–self-published-author-enters-toronto-book-awards

Mayor Miller announced short list, sadly I did not make the cut this time around. http://www.citytv.com/toronto/citynews/life/family/article/93551–miller-announces-finalists-for-2010-toronto-book-awards

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By John Ross Harvey

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When a Stand Up Guy Meets a Sold Out Girl

Three Forces of Evil (Comedy Shorts)

Snowball's Chance In Hell

Acronymville Your One Stop Destination In The World Of Acronyms

World Peace - A Novel

Harvey The Happy Helmet's Illustrated How To Drive Handbook - A Drive By Education

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