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Glenway and the GO Bus Station

During the recent Glenway OMB Hearing, Marianneville’s theatrical lawyer, Ira Kagan, made much of the fact that a big chunk of Glenway was within 500 metres of the GO Bus Station and was, by that fact alone, according to various planning policies, ripe for intensification.

On 21 March in giving evidence, the GPA’s planning expert, Nick McDonald, countered by claiming (correctly) the Town had not identified major transit areas and more work still had to be done.

A Town-led study of the Glenway lands should include the GO Bus station which, he ventured, could possibly be relocated.

This heresy was enough to persuade Kagan to launch a blistering attack on McDonald in his closing submission on 27 March:

“When, through cross-examination, McDonald was asked to drill down and identify which other lands (beyond the Marianneville lands) he would recommend be part of the Town-led study, he advised he would include both the existing GO Transit bus terminal and the Upper Canada Mall but in both cases solely to determine whether or not to relocate the GO Transit bus terminal. This is simply not reasonable.

“There is not a shred of evidence that the Town, Region or GO Transit want to move this bus terminal. This terminal is identified in a variety of planning documents that the various witnesses reviewed and never once was it identified for relocation. Mr McDonald may think it should move but no-one else seems to agree with him. Even the ongoing OPA 10 study (ie the Draft Secondary Plan for Newmarket’s Urban Centre) is not proposing that the GO transit bus terminal be relocated. Accordingly, the addition of these two parcels to a Town-led study is not supported on the evidence.

It is not so black and white. A future study referred to in the Town’s Draft Secondary Plan, now out for consultation, could make recommendations impacting on the GO bus station.

On page 59 of the Draft Secondary Plan we read that Newmarket will encourage Metrolinx to partner with the Town, Region and others “to prepare a Mobility Hub Area Station Plan for the area around Newmarket GO Rail Station” which would look at, amongst other things,

“integration between the GO Rail Station, the Rapidway, the future GO bus services and the GO bus terminal.”

The draft says:

“An amendment to this Plan may be necessary in order to incorporate relevant findings or directions from the Mobility Hub Station Area Plan.”

Yesterday (2 April) Phase 2 of the Urban Centres Transportation Study, prepared by Consultants GDH for the Town, was posted on the Town’s website. References to this study can be found in the first version of the Draft Secondary Plan published in September 2013. It has been around for ages but it has only now been put into the public domain.

On page 10 of the dense 360 page tome (Section 2.4 York Region Transit), we find this:

Based on consultations with GO/Metrolinx throughout the course of this study, the current vision for the existing GO Transit / YRT bus terminal south of Upper Canada Mall is to remain in its current location. However, it is expected that YRT will gradually supplant GO Transit bus routes, which will be relocated outside of the Secondary Plan area to the East Gwillimbury GO Transit station, and/or the Bradford GO Transit rail station.

The planned Viva Blue (Yonge Street) and Viva Yellow (Davis Drive) bus routes include one-way loops via Eagle Street, Davis Drive and Yonge Street. These routes will likely contribute to additional congestion at some locations, such as the Yonge and Eagle Street intersection due to high pedestrian activity. However, should the bus station be relocated to the UCM site, the volume of associated buses should not significantly impact future operations compared to leaving the station in its current location. Furthermore, the relocation of the bus station to the UCM property may even serve to reduce future net effects, given potential reductions to pedestrian crossings of Davis Drive. The impact of such a change in operations has not been specifically modeled in our study, so any bus station relocation should include an evaluation of localized transportation impacts and requirements.

It seems to me, m’lud, that consideration has, indeed, been given to relocating the bus station if only to conclude that, for the moment, it is not part of the “current vision”.

But why isn’t it part of the “current vision”? Can we have the detailed reasons?

Could relocation be part of an emerging but still indistinct “future vision”?

I think we should be told.


 

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