The Best Evidence Is Empirical Evidence

At last Wednesday’s Public Works and Infrastructure Committee meeting: Special Edition: Gardiner East!, Michael Kirkland, a Toronto-based architect and urban designer, added his voice of disapproval of the hybrid option being championed by Mayor John Tory and his Deputy Mayor, Denzil Minnan-Wong for the eastern most portion of the ‘curious elevated artefact’ that is our Gardiner Expressway. According to Mr. Kirkland, it’s ‘a mistake we no longer have to live with.’

[via @_JohnTory]

Mr. Kirkland took great pains to point out that the ‘hybrid’ option was nothing more than the previous retain proposal (rejected by city staff), dragging it into an even worse position, further adversely affecting what he called the “singularly most important public space” the city has, it’s waterfront. For what? .15% of 1% of commute times in Toronto.

“It’s dreadful,” Mr. Kirkland told Councillor Janet Davis of the Gardiner east “hybrid” option. Not only will it not help improve waterfront revitalization in the area, it will make it worse. “Let’s not mince words,” he went on. “It’s a dreadful proposal that no one should be interested in.”

When asked by Councillor Anthony Perruzza about the ‘politics’ of the debate — “Is it realistic of us to just simply eliminate a portion of an expressway?” — Mr. Kirkland was absolutely certain we could. “We’ve done it! It works fine.” Yes, right here in Toronto, almost 15 years ago, we removed another portion of the Gardiner and all hell didn’t break lose. “The expressway came down and not a week later it was like it never happened,” Kirkland recalled.

That’s what you call your ’empirical evidence’. The tool at our disposal to help clear the ‘muddied waters’ stirred up by scare tactics of those unable to see a future that doesn’t look exactly like our past.

empirically submitted by Cityslikr

2 Responses to The Best Evidence Is Empirical Evidence

  1. Mark J. Richardson says:

    There’s also some GREAT empirical-evidence being posted DAILY by @g_meslin as part of the ‘Rush Hour Review’ of #GardinerEast on Twitter…

    I live in the east-end, use the Gardiner…and know that it won’t “kill us” if we drop it to Jarvis. We drivers will adapt – just like we did in 1999 when they dropped the Leslie to Logan section.

  2. Dave says:

    Councillor Perruzza is fascinating to watch. It’s abundantly clear that he knows the right answer is to remove, and he begs each expert to save him from the politics.

    This is the man who now publicly admits his regret over supporting the Scarborough Subway, which was so brazenly offered in return for a seat on Ford’s Executive.

    Someone in the media should ask him if he’s getting ready to make another “mistake.”

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