If there’s one thing worse than Metrolinx planning transit, it’s politicians planning transit. This week’s City Council meeting saw two bonkers decisions.
First, Frances Nunziata and a majority of City Council voted against a value-for-money study of the nutso one-stop Scarborough subway, which will cost at least $3,350,000,000 and be a worse solution in every way that a multi-stop LRT. The study would, of course, have told them that it was a terrible idea.
On a re-vote, Toronto City Council votes AGAINST Matlow’s request for a value-for-money audit of the Scarborough Subway. 13-27. pic.twitter.com/fXgK19VkZL
— Matt Elliott (@GraphicMatt) December 6, 2017
Discontent with one gigantic mistake, council voted to look at building another underground transit line, again against the recommendations of staff, but on the other side of town–this time in Mount Dennis.
City staff have already recommended a predominantly above-ground LRT to run from Mount Dennis to the airport region. They considered connections; cost; and impacts on the community, traffic, and the environment.
But, crucially, staff didn’t recommend digging a big hole into which money could be poured, so council told them to sit on the stairs and think it through again–and this time to “investigate further grade separation and or tunnelling options“.
An inconsistency then? In one case, council directed city staff to not study; in the other, they asked them to study harder.
No, there’s no contradiction. Our councillors quite consistently expect the facts to fit the policy, and never the other way around.
It isn’t the city staff who need a time-out on the steps. It’s city council that needs to go and think about their decisions.