More On The New Schwartz Dream
It really has to be the old Schwartz Report re-packaged with a lot more details and artistic renditions. It has to be "context sensitive designs" under a new name. Land bridges as in the Schwartz Banff photo in the first presentation---"land bridges preserve "connectivity" between two areas of the park on either side of the Trans-Canada Highway"---will be applied to Windsor. And it has to be green, very green to counter the Bridge Co./Green Corridor alliance.
I mean really...Sam received a nice big fee for all of that work before. It was perfection from the world's leading traffic guru. How can you improve on perfection? It's impossible. So it has to be a variation of perfection that won't cause too much damage either or the whole DRIC EA would have to be re-done too!
We poor taxpayers have to scrounge around for information about the new Schwartz Plan while the biggies like Minister Dwight Duncan get it handed to them on a silver platter. Mind you, it is a lot more impressive for a letter of endorsement praising Eddie and Sam to be published by the City from the President of some big company or the head of some national organization than to get the endorsement of Windsorites.
Our support is taken for granted anyway especially after the Windsor Star will deem it to be a huge success whatever is presented. And our local MPPS will tell us all of the same kind of stuff that they did after the first Schwartz Report (I am ready. I have their quotes from the last time right in my database!)
I received some information yesterday from several readers. I hope it is accurate but who can tell so be warned. I am told that the big word that will be thrown around is "GREENLINK." I was further told that the work "is truly a green corridor with generous park lands for all to use." It was described as "well thought through, similar to 'greenlink' roadways in national parks and more so in Central Park in New York."
Another word will be "parkettes" like on I-696 in Detroit where there are mini-tunnels where parks are built over top.
The use of the word "link" is interesting. I am told that Huron Church is a link roadway. Because of its location MTO can have veto over any reduction to capacity or changes to its operations. Acordingly, the Ministry would have to be in on any City plans to impact Huron Church eg to reduce the number of lanes on Huron Church, thus choking it and discouraging trucks from using it thereby negatively impacting the Enhancement Project.
And adding "Green" to "link" makes it soooo environmental too! Who can argue against it?
Obviously if a New Yorker, an outsider hired by the City, tells us something it is ok but if it is Toronto experts hired by DRIC, it is not.
Interestingly, I was also told off too:
- "If you know nothing about it then you should consider keeping your negative comments to yourself. Please, we need this one."
Wow, why be critical is the message being delivered. Stop thinking and let Eddie do it all for you. That's a way to stop any criticism before it starts. Nice tactic don't you think.
If I was a City Councillor, then that is a given. They just ask how high they should jump. Unfortunately, I am a lonely Blogger who does not accept the stories being fed us.
Sorry I was duped once by Schwartz and Eddie. It took me a couple of days to figure that out. Not again!
We have already been stalled off by Eddie with Schwartz I as he builds his border empire with the Tunnel first and now I am being asked to give in to another stall by Eddie for who knows how long as this City deteriorates by this foolishness. I do not think so!
Do you remember the Cansfield session with the Windsor Star Editorial Board [BLOG: "The Cansfield Interview" December 08, 2006]. She gave it all away just as she gave away what the Premier's urban transit announcement really meant ie electioneering. The new Schwartz Report will be nothing more than another attempt to convince the Bridge Co. to sell out since the road to the Bridge, Huron Church, will be, in effect, cut off to trucks!
We have a loose cannon in Queen's Park and a Lawrence Cannon in Ottawa and neither of them seem capable of dealing with this matter responsibly. Here is what Minister Cansfield said:
- It will be in mid 2007 when a decision for a preferred bridge location will be made and Ontario will say how to get from 401 to there
The Schwartz Report fitted in with the Province’s planning since all was accepted other than the Horseshoe Road and going through Ojibway ("Information input into their study") ie 2 KM difference at Todd Lane
People on Huron Church don’t want to mingle with heavy trucks.
The Government's stated objective was to separate long-haul traffic from local traffic
They want to have Huron Church as a viable business section again and to maintain economic viability ie have it as a commercial route for tourists, attractions, dinner
The avoidance of large vehicles on that route is a huge and legitimate issue
People have had difficult times along that stretch of highway
Preferred route is a freeway with NO driveways off of it.
Months ago, the Minister signalled the end of the truck road to the Ambassador Bridge ie to cut off all truck traffic to them. They may not have received the message so Schwartz's function is to achieve that and drive that home in the most obvious way possible even though the design will not be built because of the huge multi-billion cost.
If I am correct, then what ideas can we come up with? Let me suggest this as something that Sam may propose. Again pure speculation since I can hardly be said to be a favoured leakee of City Hall. I'll leave that to the Windsor Star people and the proposed Integrity Commissioner:
- All three new DRIC plazas get access off of EC Row Which plaza? Answer for me the question of which side of Delray gets hit and we'll know. My guess is Plaza B.
There will be no tunnel where Talbot Road is now. That is ludicrous. It would be far cheaper, healthier and GREENER to simply buy up all the homes in a 200-250m swath on either side and then berm and plant a couple thousand trees to shield the noise and clean the air.
So the COMPROMISE---ooops Alan will get in trouble again with that word--- is short tunnels under very specific spots. There will be parkettes over top with bike and walking trails. Where it goes underground, there will be "living walls" that allow for vegetative growth like vines to climb the sides, and ledges where trees can grow. Have wetland vegetation planted in the medians to filter run-off
North of EC Row narrow Huron Church road so that trucks are squeezed into the middle and using the space you create new parks and walking centres along Huron Church to make it a more tourist, commercial friendly area. A re-urbanization of Huron Church. Very chic and NY.
It's pretty close to what Sam said before especially with the picture above isn't it? The report and presentation would not have taken Sam too long to prepare either but with all of the people flown in, fairly expensive.
So the City and Province are working together on the road. That WAS a very productive lunch Eddie and Donna had. Effectively, the Minister has given the City the blessing to reduce the lanes on Huron Church, just do it in the name of a greening effort. Create gridlock on Huron Church to discourage trucks from using it to go to the Bridge. You want to go the twinned bridge? Sure, just be prepared to sit on a one-lane narrow road for an hour or more. Truckers will say the heck with that and go to the bridge that has a six-lane highway leading to it.
Why how can the Bridge Co. sue...they still have their road! It's not the Government's fault if truckers choose a different way to cross the border. It's the law of competition isn't it!
It is a scorched earth tactic designed to scare the Bridge Co. Then Eddie and the Province can go to the Feds and get their reward for helping them beat the Bridge Co. ---probably a share of the Bridge ownership. Bill C-3 be damned!
Of course, the DREAM never gets built but who cares. The object is to force the Bridge Co. to sell out since otherwise they will just lose their profitable truck traffic and see the value of the bridge reduced to nothing!
That is as simply as it can be said what Schwartz II is all about. A lot of GREEN for the private sector to lose and a lot of GREEN for the public one to gain!