Thursday, March 22, 2012

Photo: Just So We're Clear On This

Among the forty thousand files I currently maintain in my photo archives, I have a surprising number of ground-level photographs of Toronto's Sheppard Avenue East, circa February 2010. The reason behind this is that I was planning to do a before/after phototour on the construction of the Sheppard LRT, since this was long before a) I moved out west and b) Rob Ford had even registered as a candidate for mayor.

Pictured here is the intersection of Sheppard Avenue East and Victoria Park; one of the compromises that Ford batted away would have seen the stubway extended two stops to this intersection. Sure, the apartment buildings may give the appearance of density, but the key to a subway is continuous high-level demand; if the subway functioned purely as a commuter shuttle that'd be one thing, but that's not why subways are built. It doesn't really get much denser than this the further east you go. If anything, Victoria Park looks like a place where a subway would end - yet in Rob Ford's world, at Victoria Park the new tunnel would be just getting started.

What's more, this intersection would be practically impassible for some time during cut-and-cover construction of the station itself. But don't expect to hear hizzoner go on about that. "People want subways," after all.

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