New streetcar yard coming to Ashbridges Bay, whether the local councillor likes it or not

New streetcar yard coming to Ashbridges Bay, whether the local councillor likes it or not

As part of the modernization of the streetcar fleet, the TTC decided that it needed a new storage and maintenance shed down at Ashbridges Bay. This will hold half of the new LRVs the TTC ordered from Bombardier. Just one problem: rookie councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon hates the idea and believes it’s going to clog traffic along the Lakeshore every morning at rush hour. She’s been trying to fight the LRV facility, but yesterday night’s marathon TTC meeting dealt her a defeat. Approval of the plan passed unanimously.

According to the Toronto Sun:

The unanimous vote to approve a contract to remove contaminated soil from the Leslie St. and Lakeshore Blvd. site came after commissioners heard from more than 30 people, both for and against the location.

The yard will serve as the maintainence site for the city’s new streetcar fleet when they begin to arrive in 2013.

Councillor Mary Margaret McMahon argued the TTC could save money by using existing streetcar yards to store the fleet.

Soil remediation is just one of the first steps in the process of building the new LRV yard, so it’s not impossible that this fight could go on. But the staffers we spoke to in McMahon’s office sounded deflated this morning, acknowledging that they would probably have to back off this matter for now. “There are other issues our constituents need addressed,” said McMahon’s executive assistant. “We’ll redirect our energy to those for now.”

McMahon had wanted the new LRVs to be stored at other locations—like the existing yards at Hillcrest and Exhibition Loop—but the TTC says those facilities won’t work. According to the Beach-Riverdale Mirror, some of McMahon’s fellow councillors disagreed, including Joe Mihevc the former TTC vice-chair. “I’d welcome them at Hillcrest but there’s just not the room… It’s just not feasible to have the storage facility at Hillcrest,” says Mihevc.

Here’s hoping McMahon’s analysis of the LRV traffic coming out of Ashbridges Bay is wrong—because if she’s right, it’s going to mean drivers along Lakeshore will have all the rush-hour joy their fellow-commuters experience along King Street.

• TTC approves Ashbridges Bay streetcar yard [Toronto Sun]
Future of LRV facility turns into war of words [InsideToronto]
• TTC votes in Ashbridges Bay facility, votes out ‘under-performing’ routes [National Post]

(Image: Tomwang24, from the Flickr pool)