Hume rips into Metrolinx

Christopher Hume, columnist for The Star, has a blistering review of the noise walls that will soon be up in Weston:

Whether they’re intended to protect drivers from the overwhelming ugliness of places like Mississauga and Brampton or make life less awful for locals is hard to tell. In either case, it should be obvious that such structures have no place in a city.

Spooky helicopter scoping out town

There are no reports that it was black, silent, or making crop circles (but then again, there are no reports that it wasn’t), but InsideToronto says that a spooky helicopter was seen buzzing Weston a few weeks ago.

Weston residents want to know why a helicopter hired by Metrolinx was flying at low altitude along the GO Georgetown South rail corridor.

The aircraft was witnessed around noon-time Thursday, Aug. 29 by several residents, including Martin Proctor, who was at work when he saw the helicopter flying in a “sideways pattern” just south of the rail tracks by the intersection of King and George streets, near an apartment building at 33 King.

Big concrete pour coming up

Get your boys (and 21st-century girls) and head down to the big dig tomorrow and Thursday. Metrolinx will be pouring concrete for 18 hours straight to form the base slab of the tunnel.

The pouring will start at 1 in the morning and continue all day and into the evening. They promise that it will be relatively quiet, though there will be some trucks coming and going. 20130911 Weston Tunnel Continuous Concrete Pours_Ver 2_FINAL

Weston Tunnel is progressing

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Weston tunnel continues to progress and is remarkably deep as the size of the workers in the photo shows. This view is looking north, just west of King. A layer of trademark Weston shale can be seen on the sides and floor of the tunnel.

Looking further down, the finished floor on which the rail bed will be constructed is visible.

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Looking east down the tunnel. King Street is closed at this point.

Metrolinx staff at the community office (44 King Street) conduct regular walking tours. The next one is scheduled on September 19th at 5pm, although groups can arrange tours at other times and dates by calling Rawle or Loretta at 416-241-2300. The starting locatioon at 44 King is easy to miss – it’s the trailer next to the tracks on the south side of King.

King is expected to be put back together again partially (for south-west traffic) at the end of September and completely later on in the fall. More details here.

Our name is mud

It must be a slow summer for news because the mud in Weston has made it to the majors. The Star ran an article last week about the stuff. It was, as you’d expect, sympathetic.

Then the National Post caught wind of the mess, and Chris Selley wrote an amazingly ill-informed opinion piece. (Ignorance is a wonderful for clarifying one’s opinions, and Selley has very clear opinions.)

He says that the dust in Weston is a sign of progress. In a bravura display of factlessness, he says that we are NIMBYs about noise “fences” (they are walls, and Westonians don’t care) and about diesel fumes emananting from the tracks “next to which [we] chose to live”.  He says we shall be well compensated by an ARL that, by his own admission, will be slow, expensive, and serve only one terminal—it will, though, have “steel wheels” and by the all-day service to Kitchener—which isn’t happening.

There’s no point arguing with people like this. Like climate deniers, they get off on being contrarian. Saying he’s wrong only makes him more sure that he’s right. You can’t fight trolls. You have to starve them.

Professor says Weston could get ‘subway’

Professor Andre Sorensen of the University of Toronto has a great editorial in today’s Star.

The ideal location to create [a new subway-lite] is to combine the Union-Pearson express with the proposed relief line. Such a line could run on the UPX tracks from the airport to Weston, Dundas West and Union Station, and then the Lakeshore GO tracks to Main Street station on the Danforth. A combination of an airport express that only stopped at those five stops with a local service that stopped at local stations along the line would be much better than either of the options currently being studied, and would dramatically increase the line’s ridership….

 

[Fast] access to the city centre and the airport, a subway-quality transit service along this corridor would create an attractive location for both office and housing development. Crucially, with the region’s two major employment nodes served by the line, it could be expected to attract a significant number of commuter trips. Local stations between Union and Pearson would provide huge opportunities for transit-oriented development.