STOP Durham Scarborough BUS Rapid TransiT Metrolinx Proposed ON ELLESMERE
PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION to STOP THE MADNESS
SIGN THE PETITION SAVE HIGHLAND CREEK
STOP METROLINX BUS RAPID TRANSIT PLAN FOR ELLESMERE RD
SIGN THE PETITION SAVE HIGHLAND CREEK FROM YEARS OF CONSTRUCTION AND DESTRUCTION STOP METROLINX BUS RAPID TRANSIT PLAN FOR ELLESMERE RD Metrolinx: find a better way, one that does not destroy our community
click the photo SIGN THE PETITION
Metrolinx' plan to build bus only lanes in the middle of Ellesmere will have a huge negative impact on our community.
No left turns on Ellesmere Rd. Period... FOREVER.
Left turns and U turns only allowed at Conlins, Morrish, and Meadowvale. You will have to go past your street/your driveway and circle back to get home at night.
NO left turns into or out of 213 homes with driveways on Ellesmere Rd.
NO left turns for 58 homes on Spall and Mirrow... FOREVER.
NO left turns into or out of our library and the Highland Creek Community Park...FOREVER.
They will cut down 300 of our beautiful trees along Ellesmere.
They will expropriate part of your properties to widen Ellesmere for their bus lanes.
WE GET NOTHING BACK. The TTC bus will still run in the curb lane
You will have to pay two fares to ride the Durham Bus in the bus lanes to the future subway in Scarborough Centre.
All this is so students living in Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, and Oshawa can 'save' maybe 1.5 minutes on their commute to the UTSC
Community Voices Shared in Letters and comments on petition:(connect back as we add to this section)
"Destructive changes which negatively impact our community are not welcome; we're a residential community. The DSBRT proposal would not benefit our community, it only increases pollution both noise and air, results in disruption and traffic chaos, and unwelcome land expropriation of people's property. Currently people are not constrained from back and forth travel across Ellesmere (library), which would not be the case if DSBRT is allowed to create a barrier. We're expecting our elected representatives to look after the best interests and wishes of the Highland Creek community as a whole, not specifically the U of T."
"Durham-Scarborough Bus Rapid Transit (DSBRT) – What’s in it for us? As a lifelong Scarborough resident and 25-year resident of Highland Creek, please allow me to preface my comments to follow. I have no particular bent for, or against, public transit. The extent of my use of public transit is currently limited to taking the GO train to work downtown (sans COVID) and I do not expect that to change in the foreseeable future. Additionally, I recognize that the various levels of government have dithered for over 30 years on meaningful transit solutions in the Scarborough area. Through previous editions of The Villager, I expect that most of you are already aware of the main impacts to our community based on Metrolinx’s technically preferred solution for the DSBRT, namely: · Ellesmere Road widened to accommodate bus lanes in the center of the roadway, separated from other vehicular traffic by raised curbs · No left turns anywhere on Ellesmere (between Kingston Road and Military Trail) except at signalized intersections (Meadowvale, Morrish, Conlins roads) · Increased DSBRT bus traffic – every 2-5 minutes, depending on the time of day From the resident’s perspective, the DSBRT will destroy the Highland Creek community, as Metrolinx is effectively proposing a wall be built down Ellesmere Road. Having attended 2 information sessions at UTSC in late 2019 and a virtual meeting in June 2020, I can glean extraordinarily little benefit, if any, to this community – certainly no benefits sufficient enough to offset the lasting negative impacts. As proposed, there are only 3 stops in our area benefitting few, and therefore it would seem most transit riders will still be reliant on the TTC service. Additionally, Metrolinx has stated the existing TTC service will be reduced with the DSBRT implementation, thereby negatively impacting those people who currently use transit. It would seem unlikely that users will walk the increased distance, especially in extreme weather, to the closest DSBRT stop. For example, transit riders today that board TTC buses in the Muirbank/Ellesmere area would have to walk to Meadowvale to board the DSBRT. Or first board the TTC and then transfer at Meadowvale.
The widening of Ellesmere to 6 lanes (and 4 lanes east of Meadowvale) – with additional space needed for stations and cycling lanes – is unacceptable. This stretch of Ellesmere is effectively a 100% single-family residential neighbourhood. The resulting traffic on side streets and U-turns as residents try to navigate around the dedicated lanes will further negatively impact this community. The infrastructure that must be moved to accommodate the widening – hydro, fire hydrants, traffic signals, sewers, catch-basins and curbs, not to mention the cutting down of hundreds of mature trees, is completely inappropriate and a waste of taxpayers’ money. An alignment to Sheppard Avenue would seem more appropriate: · The existing Port Union/Sheppard stretch of road is wider · Metrolinx’s contention that workers going from Durham to Scarborough would use this service would be better served as those jobs are more likely in the northern end of Scarborough (light industrial north of Sheppard, e.g. Amazon) and would be closer to their job location · The service would intersect with the proposed future EELRT along Morningside Road · The western terminus of the DSBRT would meet the northern terminus of the future Scarborough Subway extension · The western terminus would also meet up with a future extension of the Sheppard Subway or LRT, if undertaken · This would avoid the already highly congested Scarborough Town Centre (STC) area at McCowan, Ellesmere, Progress and Grangeway · It would also better serve the Malvern community, which has been significantly underserved by transit for many years As Metrolinx has previously stated, the primary reason that this service is being aligned to Ellesmere is to service the University of Toronto, Scarborough campus. While the UTSC is part of the Highland Creek community, it is NOT the entire community. The multiple and material negative impacts on this community, if the technically preferred solution is built on Ellesmere, does not justify what benefit might be gleaned by the University. Moreover, to the west of the Highland Creek community, one must question the amount of benefit users of the service between Morningside and STC will achieve. While the DSBRT may be in dedicated lanes, the proposed stops are all stops currently serviced by the TTC, except two: · Mornelle Court – a short walk to Morningside Avenue · Scarborough Golf Club Road – strange, as this is a signalized intersection How does this make any sense? How much time will those residents actually save on their commute? Perhaps what is most telling to me, is Metrolinx’s response to my comment during the June 2020 meeting: Comment: “The technically preferred option is the best option for transit, but it lacks a balance for residents that live on Ellesmere Road and have driveways fronting the street.” Response: “The technically preferred option was selected because it provides the highest degree of priority for transit while maintaining existing traffic capacity. As part of this project, active transportation facilities will be added or upgraded to accommodate all road users.” Little, if any, thought or consideration has been given to impacts on the residents in Highland Creek and broader Scarborough communities. An alternative curbside bus lane approach might cost riders 1 or 2 minutes through the Highland Creek stretch of Ellesmere, at least that would work to mitigate the impact on residents. At the end of the day, if this is a project that must be built – wherever that might be – then it must be done in such a way to strike a balance between those that will ride it and those that will have to live with it." "This is a small HERITAGE VILLAGE community in east Scarborough that METROLINX will destroy with this plan not to mention the expropriation of homeowners front lawns to accomplish this GIGANTIC MISTAKE- —- NOT IN HIGHLAND CREEK." "Find a route that doesn't harm current residents, trees, life. Find a route that doesn't hurt business along the entire route. Find a better way than creating permanent havoc and pollution for some to benefits others" "Durham Region buses should go AROUND the Highland Creek Community. Use 401 and Morningside to provide service to U of T AND to the Pan Am centre." "BRT will tear Highland Creek apart." "Sheppard East is a much h better option. Or a service road along the 401 McCowan to Ellesmere for transit only" "Look at the mess they have made of Morningside Ave and Kingston Rd. now Ellesmere?!!!!! Where does this mess STOP!" "Enough is enough - go fix Kennedy and Eglinton! Focus on the RT extension to Malvern Mall ...so many unfinished jobs , we do not need this!" "Ellesmere has adequate space for buses to travel on it freely, with the two lanes of traffic each way, without impeding access for residents!" "As a founding member of the Highland Creek Assn. and holding the position of Convener for planning and development please note a number of traffic related issues and the usage of ellesmere as a main artery have been proposed previously and all were rejected. The most ludicrous (until this latest) proposal was a to connect ellesmere to the 401 to allow durham residents to got to the scarb. town centre! Necessitating many stops at intersections and traffic signals, wasting gas, polluting the air, taking longer to make the journey etc. when the direct quick route was naturally the 401. The proposal was canned. If this is to get Durham residents to the UofT as suggested then sheppard ave or 401 to morningside south or Conlins rd are far more efficient and at Virtually NO COST and certainly no cost or INCONVENIENCE to Highland Creek residents" "Ellesmere Rd. is approximately 1km away from the 401. Common sense would route the out-of-town bus traffic on the highway. Shame on the corrupt individual(s) at Metrolinx and/or the local government who take personal kickbacks to sponsor wasteful projects like this. I am in full agreement with Highland Creek Association when I read this (quote)" "Residents will have to deal with the construction to widen Ellesmere, move services (hydro, sewers and catch basins, fire hydrants). Not to mention the cutting down of hundreds of mature trees." "With the plan for NO LEFT TURNS and the need for U-turns and RE-ROUTING I would be very upset to see my EMS vehicle delayed: as we all know TIME IS PRECIOUS !! A definite NO to this plan." "Because this doesn't benefit anyone living in the area. Has TTC not been using the same road for YEARS already? Why fix something thats not broke. Seems like a waste of money and it will only add traffic which is another problem. More collisions. We definitely don't need that with all the kids in the area going to school." "This is absurd. This type of infrastructure is needed for dense, high traffic areas - has anyone done their due diligence here? There is NO traffic or congestion here that would warrant this type of design. The introduction of this plan would actually CAUSE traffic and massive bottlenecks! I hope the community rallies together to stop this pointless construction. It’ll have nothing but adverse effects on the community and it’s not welcomed nor warranted here." "A stupid idea where traffic congestion will be created where none existed before & where pedestrians will be discharged in the middle of the street which is unsafe. Intersections will be crowded by drivers making u turns to get into their driveway increasing engine running & air pollution." "There is a massive, mature elm tree on the boulevard in front of our house that is one of the few surviving elm trees in the city of Toronto. It would need to be destroyed if Ellesmere needs to be widened. How is this bus route benefiting the residence of Toronto? I say No to this plan. The bus traffic is not currently busy of Highland Creek. There are no benefit for the local residents . They should plan 401/Morningside area or Markham Road area. It will totally destroy the full Highland Creek communities and natures . Construction takes forever .......... !" "I have been a Highland Creek resident for 27 years (M1C 4Z8) and do not understand how this plan benefits our community. Isn’t the building of infrastructure and public transit supposed to help communities and ease congestion? This does neither so the obvious answer is to go back to the drawing board and find another way. I commute to work using Kingston Road and what they have done with the dedicated bus lane is a crime. One doesn’t need to look far at what greed and lack of vision can to to a community…. Has anyone seen what has happened to our Village?!!" "This will not motivate the majority of us who live in this and the surrounding neighborhoods to take transit. WE often work far away and rely on our vechicles, transit is simply not an option. The noise pollution will increase significantly and it will result in further vehicle congestion and added stress. There will be no significant benefit to the environment and none whatsoever to the economy. To The Politicians: If you support this plan WE will Not support you." "I’m signing because I do not want Ellesmere to be restricted to only two lanes and left turns on Ellesmere to be curtailed. Leave well enough alone. There’s hardly anyone on those buses to begin with. Why in the world do they need express services? I’m absolutely against this!!!!!!!!" "This will push traffic to side streets and residential areas, which will make it less safe for the kids and families who walk, bike to school, walk pets etc. This does not serve anyone in the local community or those who live in Scarborough, only Durham residents who go to U of T. This portion of Ellesmere is not busy enough to need a dedicated lane for busses. Not to mention that our city TTC busses will not be using this lane much because they have to make all the same local stops. Did anyone even consult Scarborough residents when making this plan??" "No purpose. They do not need express lanes. Not that busy. It will force everyone to use side streets and endangers our kids and school zones. Forcing everyone to reroute for unneeded express bus lanes. Danger to community, kids, schools and side streets"
Over the past year 'The Villager' has reported on the Durham Scarborough Bus Rapid Transit Plans, find the articles here
Photo: Metrolinx Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on Mulock Dr. & Yonge St. Newmarket, through a commercial area. No project of this kind has been constructed in Canada through a residential area.
TAKE ACTION: DO NOT LET METROLINX DESTROY OUR COMMUNITY METROLINX BUS RAPID TRANSIT PLAN - ELLESMERE CORRIDOR UPDATE ( Article from Summer 2020 Villager News ) By Douglas Phillips Since our last article on the Durham-Scarborough Bus Rapid Transit Project in the June/July 2020 edition of The Villager, there appears to have been little progress on this project, except Metrolinx’s affirmation that the project is proceeding, as stated in their July 2020 Metrolinx Newsletter. They state that due to COVID-19, meetings have been delayed and will be virtual events in the Fall. The Highland Creek Community Association has again requested a public meeting when safe to do so, but again Metrolinx has refused; they will only host online conferences. Technical Studies Underway According to the Metrolinx newsletter, technical studies underway include: Archaeology, Cultural Heritage, Fluvial Geomorphology, Natural Environment, Noise and Vibration, Traffic and Active Transportation, Socio-Economic and Land Use, and Stormwater and Hydraulics. Are Ontario taxpayers getting value for their money, and why are promised studies still not complete? Metrolinx Bus Shelter and Bus Route For the Highland Creek community to better understand Metrolinx’s plans for the Ellesmere Corridor, we recently visited their project in Newmarket. This express route is 2.4 kilometres in length and runs from Davis Drive south down Yonge Street. It then converges into regular four-lane traffic to Aurora. After many years of construction, this project has just been completed. This is similar to what we can expect in our community. The bus shelter is a standard Metrolinx design, and has been used on other Metrolinx projects. The transit system is operated by the York Regional Transit System called VIVA and operates in a commercial area. No Metrolinx bus lanes were constructed through the residential part of the Town of Aurora. It should be noted that no other Metrolinx project is on a residential route – the Ellesmere Corridor is the only planned one in Canada. The Ellesmere corridor from Kingston Road to Military Trail spans 2.85 Kilometres. Air Quality We noted that the VIVA diesel buseswere very noisy, the same as the PULSE buses running in our community. This brings us to the subject of air quality. “Air quality has significant impacts on public health, the environment and economy. Air pollution contributes to illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, asthma, lung disease, and lung cancer … Exposure to air pollution in Ontario results in increased hospitalizations, as well as 6,700 premature deaths, every year” (Per The Office of the Auditor General of Ontario — An Overview of Environmental Issues — 2019 Report). Apart from the TTC buses, Metrolinx will still run their regular buses but also plan to run buses every 5 minutes during the rush hours, 6:30 to 9:30a.m., and 3:00 to 7:30p.m., then up to every 2 minutes based on demand. The air quality and pollution should be of grave concern to all the residents of Highland Creek, and especially those residing along the Ellesmere corridor, as well as those with preexisting health conditions. Hazards It is essential that there be NO physical barriers to impede the fire engines and ambulances along the Ellesmere corridor. Minutes saved could mean the difference between life and death. “Pinch Point” Metrolinx has not given any update on how they will deal with the Kingston Road onto Ellesmere “pinch point”. Boulevards Metrolinx has already made it quite clear that they own all the Ellesmere corridor boulevards, including where all our mature trees grow. They will take away all the residents’ extra parking spaces. Will people have to find alternative accommodation? This could be a real hardship for many, and residents need to know a timeline for this project. They cannot be left hanging for years, such as was the case in Hamilton. Studies need to be completed and decisions made. Take action! Call or write to your Government Representatives. Do not let Metrolinx destroy our community.