Originally Posted by Kitchissippi
It might be more central on paper, but ideally transit should be run where you can and want to promote pedestrian activity. The Queen Street alignment has more potential of a symbiotic relationship with Sparks Street and bringing life to downtown's shared spaces. Drawing concentric circles is a simplified methodology at best and has no contextual bearing, and the idea here is to aim for the heart not the navel.
Well, I think we may have to agree to disagree on where the tunnel should go: Your idea of putting it under Queen because it is closer to the pedestrian realm of Sparks Street is fundamentally different from my thoughts of putting the tunnel closer to where the people actually are – not where I’d like them to be.
If this were a slow tram line which served a local purpose, I definitely would agree with you. However, this is not being designed with such a purpose; it is clearly a commuter system, meant to bring suburbanites to their offices in the core. I think that wanting the tunnel under Queen so that it becomes a ‘people place’ is the same kind of thinking which favours running the line along Carling because Carling has so many destinations along it. For me, there are two different types of systems, serving two different purposes. One is a high-speed commuter system and the other is a lower-speed local system (although it might physically cross a great distance).
Take a look at the buildings of the downtown area. Close to the Parliamentary Precinct there are older, shorter buildings with limited space to grow. As you move south from Wellington, the buildings get larger, housing more office-workers. All of those people want to take the train to their office, not to several blocks away from their office. And even if that is a nice place, they'd not likely linger there; they'll go to work.
When the train disgorges its passengers in the morning, what will they do? If they are under Queen Street, they will exit the station and walk along Queen until they reach a cross-street; then the vast majority will head south to their offices. They won’t be hanging around Queen Street enjoying the symbiotic relationship with Sparks Street; they will flood the south-bound sidewalks.
Now imagine the people coming up from a station under Slater. These people will divide at the north-south streets with some heading north and some going south. The sidewalks will be less crowded and the average person should walk a shorter distance to their office.
What if someone needs to transfer to a bus to continue their journey? Well, there are bound to be a lot more buses running along Slater than there are along Queen.
There is a reason that the heart is in the chest; it is closer to the lungs to get oxygen, and closer to the head where most of that oxygen is destined. The trick is to put the right system in the right place; the place that satisfies the greatest need the best.
I agree that the tunnel should go through the heart; but I disagree with what you consider to be the heart.
So, I may not agree yet that this line should be built under Queen, just so that it can be a more people-friendly place, but if you have other reasons I would like to hear them. You generally do have good ideas and I am curious about your opinion.