No Streetcars on St. Clair... Again...
In February 2007, after many months of construction and horrendous traffic mess, the St. Clair Streetcar Right-of-Way was finally completed between St. Clair and St. Clair West subway stations... only to be shut down again yesterday! The reason? The tracks going into St. Clair West station need repairing. Which means good-bye streetcars and hello shuttle buses for the next six or so weeks.
Why weren't the tracks repaired when the ROW construction was going on? Good question! The TTC chair Adam Giambrone blames Save Our St. Clair, a local anti-ROW group, for messing up schedules by taking the city to court and delaying the ROW construction. Frankly, seems like a goofy excuse to me. Of course setbacks are a challenge, but surely there had to be a way to coordinate this in almost a year that passed between the final clearing of all legal hurdles and the end of construction on that stretch of St. Clair. It amazes me that a city as cash-strapped as ours could not be bothered to fix such inefficiencies. And even if it does not cost any more to break up projects like this, it's just so bloody inconsiderate of the users of the system.
But wait, there is more! Do you know that the ROW section scheduled to be built this year is under 1 km in length and the construction will only begin in the fall? Apparently that's due to lack of schedule coordination between the TTC's ROW construction and Toronto Hydro's burial of hydro lines. Despite these delays the TTC still plans to be done with the whole project in 2008. But what do you think then happens in 2009? The streetcar tracks on Bathurst are scheduled for an overhaul! And since streetcars get from the Roncesvalles Yard to St. Clair via Bathurst, you can guess what this means... Good luck, St. Clair commuters! You'll need it.