Earlier this year urban planning was said to be the hot new occupation. Nice! Especially if it means we’ll have more people paying attention to the built, spatial dimension of inequality and poverty? Hope so. No kids, it isn’t all groovy, inclusive charettes and pencil crayon renderings of LRTs. Here’s a couple of recent pieces to help the young upstarts dig into the realities.
image: Chicago Transit Authority archives via Flickr/CC
We first heard about the Mississauga LRT in the early 1990s. On the verge of becoming a reality, the positivity around the LRT is truly welcome. Now, we maybe would have dropped this kind of infrastructure into the landscape, along with a grid of cycle paths, maybe before putting down a zillion dollars worth of real estate development. Guess things just aren’t really done that way here? Along with improved GO service and a major east-west busway the depressing diesel horrors of grinding around Mississauga 80s-style should be banished to the past soon.
Stand by for enthusiasm…
LRT will completely transform Mississauga
image: unknown photographer via Brad O’Brien – Flickr/CC
If we want to give people the tools to fight back against poverty a fair fare might be one place to start.
image: Margaret Bourne via Flickr/CC
Public transit and housing in the GTA are still configured for regular jobs. If you are a precarious worker of odd hours compelled to live where you can afford to live, as opposed to where the employment is, things get awkward.
Lester B Pearson airport is Toronto’s second largest employment hub. Makes sense, the huge and purposeful sky harbour serving the nation’s biggest city and business capital is ringed with a vast area of commercial and industrial property. Traffic can be out of this world.
This kind of economic engine should be a high priority for advanced public transit projects. In place of such nice things we find some of the heaviest traffic in North America. Obviously, much of the driving to the airport is done by working people. Substituting a goodly portion of their car rides with trips on high order public transit makes sense for all the right reasons (reducing air pollution, road crowding, and accidents, easing demand on parking supply, and reducing the personal costs of motoring). All these things and more are the subject of a new report from the Greater Toronto Airport Authority. At least two other reports have dealt with this topic and there are links to them in this Toronto Star piece. Looks like it’s time to show some ambition on this file.
Airport area employers look for a better way. GTAA report makes the case for better transit to the GTA’s second-biggest jobs hub
Pearson connects: a multi-modal platform for prosperity
Once you’ve actually done this kind of wearing, multi-hour, multi-modal trek you have an idea how awful they can be. In the last of a four-part series on the US south join an Atlanta woman making her way from a homeless shelter to a potential employer. Two hours one way for the possibility of a job. As a daily commute covering that kind of ground would be a job in itself.
See also: (732) Long ride home
image: CTA Web via Flickr/CC
image: Bombardier Flexity Freedom LRT mock up by Steve Chou via Flickr/CC