Gardiner removal has economic benefits, report says

Update:

A study of the fiscal outcomes expected from three options for the Gardiner Expressway comes down on the side of removing it east of Jarvis St. up to its' Don Valley Parkway connection and replacing it with a ground-level boulevard.
A study of the fiscal outcomes expected from three options for the Gardiner Expressway comes down on the side of removing it east of Jarvis St. up to its’ Don Valley Parkway connection and replacing it with a ground-level boulevard.

A study to be released today favours turning the elevated eastern end into a ground-level boulevard.

see source

Torontonians would get more economic benefit from a full tear-down of the elevated east end of the Gardiner Expressway than from the pricier partial removal favoured by many council members, says a draft economic evaluation.

The study, expected to be released in final form Wednesday and obtained by the Star on Tuesday, suggests the full removal’s economic cost in terms of increased commute times for some motorists is outweighed by its greater development and job-creation opportunities.

On Wednesday, councillors will also get a report with city staff’s recommendations for next week’s public works meeting, to help in making what is being called a “100-year decision” — the new council’s biggest so far.

Toronto is planning on bringing down the Gardiner Expressway east of Jarvis Street to the entrance to the Don Valley Parkway.
Toronto is planning on bringing down the Gardiner Expressway east of Jarvis Street to the entrance of the Don Valley Parkway.

Removing the elevated stretch of the Gardiner east of Jarvis St. and replacing it with an eight-lane at-grade boulevard would cost $461 million long-term, compared with the $919 million it would cost to keep the Gardiner in safe condition up to its Don Valley Parkway connection.

Partial removal, often called the “hybrid” option, was pitched to council by developer First Gulf as a way to open up its former Unilever plant site for development without losing the highway connection to the DVP.

Some findings in the new 31-page report by consultant HR&A for the city and Waterfront Toronto:

  • Both options have similar merits for regional economic impacts. “Road networks play a marginal role in the evaluation of Toronto’s competitiveness,” compared with mass transit investment, quality housing, airports and green space. Toronto’s very favourable competitiveness rating compared to international cities would be unaffected.
  • The hybrid option is “modestly preferred” for the competitiveness of downtown Toronto because it would increase travel times by east Gardiner users two to three minutes less than full removal. However, the report notes that only three per cent of people going to work downtown use that elevated portion, and non-car commuting is expected to increase in future.
  • For local economics, removal is modestly preferred. “The remove (optimized boulevard) alternative will support more potential for job creation, allowing for the possibility of 4,100 new jobs. The hybrid alternative will likely support 2,100 new jobs.” The difference of 2,900 jobs is mostly driven by the potential for removal to increase development opportunities west of Cherry St. The hybrid plan would actually generate fewer potential jobs than maintaining the status quo, HR&A found.

In terms of fiscal net benefits, removal is preferred. “The remove entails lower lifecycle costs and results in more land revenues than the hybrid alternatives.”Mayor John Tory (open John Tory’s policard) campaigned in last year’s election on the hybrid model but said Tuesday he is keeping an open mind until he sees the various studies and results of public consultations.Public works is expected to make a decision next week that will go to city council for debate in June.

It's only fair to share...
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+Pin on Pinterestshare on TumblrShare on LinkedInShare on RedditEmail to someone

One thoughtful comment

  1. I simply want to say I’m all new to blogging and site-building and truly loved this page. Likely I’m planning to bookmark your website . You certainly come with beneficial article content. Thanks for sharing with us your web-site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.