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Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Ontario > SSP: Local London > London Issues, Business, Politics & the Economy

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  #1  
Old Posted Jun 21, 2012, 12:58 AM
Stevo26 Stevo26 is offline
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Is it Just Me?

Or does London have its priorities set ass-backwards? In today's LFP, there was a big article about how the city plans to spend $1.2 billion in transportation upgrades over the next 18 years. $745 million of that amount will be devoted to the construction of a ring road and major artery enhancements, and just $378 million will go to implementation of a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system.

My thinking is the spending proposals should go the other way around, with road enhancements done to support BRT and the bulk of the money spent on improving public transit.

A ring road has been discussed for years now, and while it will make cross-city trips a little easier, it will not do that much to resolve London's chronic and worsening transportation problems.

The other problem I have with the proposal is that $1.2 billion, spread out over 18 years is only $66 million per year, barely enough to do anything really meaningful.

I still have trouble with understanding why London isn't looking at implementing BRT until 2024. It should be working on it now. At least focus on widening the Richmond - Wellington Road corridor and getting the first line set up along that route.

Other Ontario cities are well on their way to implementing LRT, while London is still toying with the idea of BRT.

By comparison, the city of Curitiba in Brazil has had a very successful BRT system for at least 15 years now, and it didn't require a lot of political wrangling and endless study to get implemented.
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  #2  
Old Posted Jun 21, 2012, 2:28 AM
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manny_santos manny_santos is offline
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To be fair, Curitiba has over four times the population of London. It's bigger than even Calgary.

Still, while I have always supported a ring road, I believe that most road improvements in London should be built around transit.
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  #3  
Old Posted Jun 21, 2012, 3:58 AM
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I read that article today and I think the LFP has their facts wrong.

First of all, none of that money is going into a ring road. Joe was just discussing that he supports one.

Secondly, that $745 million isn't simply for road expansion programs, it's the whole roads budget until 2030. That includes resurfacing and repair/refurbishment project.
-That's not a big number either. London spent over $100 million in 2008 alone on infrastructure projects thanks to federal stimulus money.

Lastly that $378 million is dedicated for BRT and not for all transit operations.

Hope that clears it up.


Personally, I think London needs LRT and freeways ASAP in order to attract more businesses to the area. We need jobs, their construction will provide short term employment and the economic benefits they bring will contribute to the long term.
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  #4  
Old Posted Jun 21, 2012, 4:27 AM
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Pimpmasterdac Pimpmasterdac is offline
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Spending on road infrastructure needs to be done. London has a huge backlog of roads that are pot-holed, bottle-necked and well overcapacity. Many of these projected need to be done ASAP, but are being staggered throughout the decade. Spending on infrastructure, especially during times of recession, is always a good investment short and long term.

Wellington is slatted to be 6-laned from the 401 to baseline by ~2018, though if it went further north would be even better! Richmond's suppose to be 6-laned from Fanshawe Park to Windemere. The areas that really need it, like from Oxford to Windemere, aren't on the table since it would require contentious expropriations.

Ultimately the money spent from these projects will benefit both cars and buses. More lanes, bus bays, channelized turn lanes will help traffic flow better and help public transit.

BTW great to hear Fontana support a ring road! If they can get VMP done sometime before the next 62 years pass, they can start on the next portions by the turn of the century...
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  #5  
Old Posted Jun 21, 2012, 4:22 PM
go_leafs_go02 go_leafs_go02 is offline
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any 6 lane widening I think should have the curbside lane be bus only during peak periods. We need to get better transit connections and scheduling to make it more efficient than taking the bus.

For example, 6 years ago, I took the #17 bus from Oakridge across Oxford Street to Fanshawe for schooling. Every day, it would take 40-60 minutes to do so, while in a vehicle, even at rush hour, you could probably do the trip in 35 minutes or so. Having a bus take 35% more time than a car makes it really difficult to take transit.

with regard to the ring road - I absolutely support this.
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  #6  
Old Posted Jun 22, 2012, 12:46 PM
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MolsonExport MolsonExport is offline
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ring road? unless it is a three-ring circus, I think it won't be coming soon. Even though I deplore needless sprawl, we need something to access North/West London (i.e., where most of the current and future growth is); something other than Unwonderful Road, Hyde Parkinglot Road, unFunshawe, etc.

So I hear that there might be another big box development, coming to NorthEast London (anchored by a StuporStore). The dumbcentre in NW London is showing signs of struggle. Most of the Northern part was not completed (Ghost parking lots/signs/foundations, etc.). The Southern portion has seen an exodus of stores, most recently, Winners. I reckon that there must be around 10-12 empty pads. Not to mention, the still unfilled strip plaza at the corner of Hydeparkinglot Road and Fanshawe (good sushi place there, though).
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  #7  
Old Posted Jun 22, 2012, 4:20 PM
go_leafs_go02 go_leafs_go02 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MolsonExport View Post
ring road? unless it is a three-ring circus, I think it won't be coming soon. Even though I deplore needless sprawl, we need something to access North/West London (i.e., where most of the current and future growth is); something other than Unwonderful Road, Hyde Parkinglot Road, unFunshawe, etc.

So I hear that there might be another big box development, coming to NorthEast London (anchored by a StuporStore). The dumbcentre in NW London is showing signs of struggle. Most of the Northern part was not completed (Ghost parking lots/signs/foundations, etc.). The Southern portion has seen an exodus of stores, most recently, Winners. I reckon that there must be around 10-12 empty pads. Not to mention, the still unfilled strip plaza at the corner of Hydeparkinglot Road and Fanshawe (good sushi place there, though).
Winners left?

That doesn't bode well for that corner. The northside shouldn't have been developed the way it was - they're rather fortunate Lowes moved into the old Sam's Club - or else that property likely would be sitting empty still.
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  #8  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2012, 2:25 AM
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manny_santos manny_santos is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MolsonExport View Post
So I hear that there might be another big box development, coming to NorthEast London (anchored by a StuporStore). The dumbcentre in NW London is showing signs of struggle. Most of the Northern part was not completed (Ghost parking lots/signs/foundations, etc.). The Southern portion has seen an exodus of stores, most recently, Winners. I reckon that there must be around 10-12 empty pads. Not to mention, the still unfilled strip plaza at the corner of Hydeparkinglot Road and Fanshawe (good sushi place there, though).
The struggles at the NW London SmartCentre do not surprise me at all, for a couple of reasons. There are more and more aging baby boomers who don't want to shop at these kinds of places that involve too much walking, especially in the winter. I know my parents, both in their 60s, absolutely hate driving up there, and I know they shop at Walmart a lot less now than five years ago. My father always is telling me about the horrid traffic on Hyde Park Road.

The other reason is that today consumers are trying to save money on gas and not drive further than they have to. That SmartCentre location is just too far out of the way for most people in the west end of London. When I still lived in London, I only ever drove up that far if I needed to buy things not available in Byron or Oakridge, such as clothing (other than the selection at Real Canadian Superstore).

In my opinion, SmartCentres' development strategy up to this point has been short-sighted and did not account for two glaringly obvious future trends, which are just now coming to fruition.
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Old Posted Jun 23, 2012, 6:20 AM
go_leafs_go02 go_leafs_go02 is offline
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And as a positive, that smart centre has not really caused Masonville any headaches. The plaza where Oakridge Mall was is thriving with Superstore as busy as ever and the plaza behind it still has practically all its original tenants from the mall. That's been there for 9 years or so by now, and it's working out quite well.

At the time the Smart Centre went up at Fanshawe/Hyde Park, I think they were predicting better growth patterns leading up to that location - it just never happened to this point, and now north of Fanshawe is partially a barren wasteland with that half built parking lot north of the Royal Bank and Tim Hortons.
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  #10  
Old Posted Jun 29, 2012, 2:49 AM
Stevo26 Stevo26 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by go_leafs_go02 View Post
And as a positive, that smart centre has not really caused Masonville any headaches. The plaza where Oakridge Mall was is thriving with Superstore as busy as ever and the plaza behind it still has practically all its original tenants from the mall. That's been there for 9 years or so by now, and it's working out quite well.

At the time the Smart Centre went up at Fanshawe/Hyde Park, I think they were predicting better growth patterns leading up to that location - it just never happened to this point, and now north of Fanshawe is partially a barren wasteland with that half built parking lot north of the Royal Bank and Tim Hortons.
Well, in 2004 I lived in the Fanshawe/Hyde Park neighbourhood (actually near Gainsborough Road) and at that time there was quite a residential construction boom going on in the area, and the people who run Smart Centres were trying to capitalize on it by bulidng a massive 'power centre' type of retail establishment.

They just didn't anticipate the possibility that the North American economy would fail and bring that growth to a screeching halt, which is exactly what happened in 2008. Nor did they anticipate that the residential development would not grow to the point that was initially envisioned.

To my eyes, the Wal-Mart, the Future Shop store, and all of the other stores in that development now seem like orphans isolated in what is still more or less the middle of nowhere for London. I wouldn't be surprised to see more stores in that area closing up soon. The catchment area in northwest London simply isn't populous enough to really keep all of those stores alive.
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