Friday, September 19, 2008

Metronauts.ca roundup

Two months after going live, there is no question that Metronauts.ca has been very successful at advancing the discussion of transportation and sustainability issues in the GTHA. Though there have only been about fifty posts published, 600 comments have been left by readers eager to discuss and debate ideas being floated by professionals and amateurs alike.

Here's a rundown of some of recent post that I've contributed:

In the spirit of the new school year, U-Pass go, collect student fares talks about some of the existing opportunities for students to save on transit, and what other programs are being proposed to provide relief. It's worthy to note that one comment suggested that since higher education tends to require the financial support of a middle class family, there are other groups who could benefit more from discounted transit. While the comment completely ignores the financial reality of most students, it is an interesting take on the situation.

Confronting the elephant, Metrolinx and local transit talks about the often controversial issue of local transit lines under a regional plan environment. In less diplomatic terms, I dare to ask the 'should Metrolinx take over the TTC and others' question. While a regional provider of local transit service could more easily ensure the neighbourhood buses and regional rapid transit form a coherent network, local planners know the neighbourhoods dynamics and know best which streets buses should run on. Regardless of where one stands on the issue, its clear that a shiny rapid transit network will be totally reliant on parking lots unless local buses can bring passengers to the stations.

Stick to the surface is a bit of a departure from what I usually write, and examines the odd romance of taking surface routes like the 97 YONGE instead of the subway.

The cyclist paradox examines a situation I saw one day while downtown. Barrier-free access to a certain downtown subway station is provided through agreements with the property management company of a mall, but malls tend to frown on bicycles being taken inside. At the intersection between public need and private space, how do we resolve these sort of conflicts?

Expect more posts to come, and be sure to visit the site to read posts by many other talented contributers. In addition, don't forget to check out the ways you can contribute in the discussion towards a sustainable urban future.

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