Canadian Consulting Engineer

Transit won’t make significant dent in Toronto road congestion

A new report by the Canadian Urban Institute and Real Estate Corporation is warning that new mass transit infrastructure that is in the works for Toronto will not be effective in reducing traffic congestion.

April 23, 2011   Canadian Consulting Engineer

A new report by the Canadian Urban Institute and Real Estate Corporation is warning that new mass transit infrastructure that is in the works for Toronto will not be effective in reducing traffic congestion.

The reason is that the downtown financial area is increasingly being populated with new residential buildings rather than office buildings. (Along the Toronto waterfront, for example, a wall of several new condominium highrises are nearing completion.)

Meanwhile, the offices and places where people work continue to move to the outskirts of the city, which increasingly produces a reverse commuter flow.

The CUI report, which was sponsored by the Toronto Office Coalition, notes that of 32 million square feet of new office space, most of it is located in the “905” suburban areas.

The CUI says, “The cumulative result of these trends is growing congestion on the region’s highways, an issue that is already resonating among corporate decision-makers. There is a growing concern that current plans to invest in higher order transit are unlikely to make a significant dent in this problem – more than 50% (100 million sq ft) of the region’s office space is beyond the reach of higher order transit – and will stay that way even after new transit has been built.”

On April 29 the CUI hosted a conference to look at what could be done to remedy what it describes as: “a new geography of office location, that has seen a shift towards car-dependent, low-amenity office clusters.”


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