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Thread: West LRT | Downtown to Lewis Estates | Discussion about other possible routes

  1. #1

    Default West LRT | Downtown to Lewis Estates | Discussion about other possible routes

    Please use this thread to discuss alternatives to the approved route for WLRT
    this is the old thread: http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum...read.php?t=105

    To discussion conceptual ideas behind the approved wLRT route, please use this thread

    http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum...d.php?p=303289

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    An advantage often claimed for the SPR route is that the larger number of stations (up to 12 when the downtown connector is included) makes the system more accessible than the 4 stations needed for the 87 Avenue route. What this overlooks is that there are in fact 11 stations on the 87 Avenue route. It's just that 7 of them (Health Sciences to Churchill) are already built and paid for.

    Moreover, as the South LRT (with just 4 stations south of Health Sciences) will undoubtedly show when ridership numbers become available later this year, it's not the number of stations that determines ridership but convenient bus connections, availability of park and ride especially at the end of lines, service frequency, and fast travel times.

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    ^ not the I'm fond of the approved route, but wouldn't more stations provide even more people with access to it? The approved route covers a lot of area that isn't covered by the previous recommended routing of 87th avenue?

    I like both routes... I think 87th avenue should be built as high floor, and the SPR route should terminate at Jasper Place, or continue west/northwest from there, and not go to WEM...

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    A loop heading north to 107 ave/Westmout/111 ave to 124 st abd back downtown via 104 ave wuld work well for a low floor route.

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    Medwards, there are trade-offs between the number of stations and travel times. For high speed transit the number of stations should not unduly compromise travel times otherwise ridership will drop. One of the aspects of the Stantec/ISL report I really liked is the great analysis of the different types of public transit (e.g. local buses, express buses, bus rapid transit, and LRT) and the different functions served by each. Figure 2.4 sums up the differences. Here's a link:
    http://webdocs.edmonton.ca/occtopusd...chment%205.pdf

    Highlander has made a similar point. Instead of a clear-headed analysis of what types of transit would best serve different parts of the West End (e.g. Oliver, Glenora, Jasper Place, or the far West End), the SPR route tries to achieve all of them but risks achieving none of them well.

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    ^LRT though is fundamentally designed as a system that thrives on multiple stops. The vehicles are capable of quick acceleration and deceleration, so that stops do not meaningful impact on commute times. Not using that capability defeats the point in spending so much on the system. If you want a point to point system, then an express bus is the way to go.

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    Something that seems to get left out of discussions of the WLRT route is that the 87 Ave and Stony Plain Road routes turned out to be pretty much even on most counts -- about the same number of passengers (35-36 thousand the first day), about the same cost (around $1.1 Billion each), and about the same travel time (around 22 minutes from Lewis Estates to downtown). There are tradeoffs in each case. On passengers, 87 Ave benefits from more west end students heading to the University, but collects fewer people east of 156 Street or north of 95 Ave. 87 Ave might use the "built and paid for" line from Health Sciences to Churchill, but the money it saves doing that it spends on a new river crossing.
    And as for using the downtown tunnel for the West LRT line, part of the problem, I think, is that the South LRT is projected to have twice as many riders as the West LRT (90-100 thousand a day vs. 45-50 thousand). So out of the 24 trains an hour that can fit through the tunnel, the South would need 16, and the West would get 8, leaving a maximum frequency for all time on the West Line of one train every 7.5 minutes in rush hour.

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    I think that if the LRT is built from WEM to University (which could be a big route in 15-20 years), perhaps issues like land acquisition could be dealt with if a premium bus route is built from South Campus to WEM is introduced.
    "Talk minus action equals zero." - Joe Keithley, D. O. A.

  9. #9
    highlander
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajb View Post
    And as for using the downtown tunnel for the West LRT line, part of the problem, I think, is that the South LRT is projected to have twice as many riders as the West LRT (90-100 thousand a day vs. 45-50 thousand). So out of the 24 trains an hour that can fit through the tunnel, the South would need 16, and the West would get 8, leaving a maximum frequency for all time on the West Line of one train every 7.5 minutes in rush hour.
    Where did you get those numbers? Maybe from an old plan that had millwoods funneled into SLRT? I recall a rough ridership map that had the south line with more passengers than any other, but it was a small difference, SLRT and the bit of NE up to Coliseum were the 'over 70,000' colour and WEM was in the 50,000-70,000 range. Maybe from an old plan that had millwoods funneled into SLRT?
    In any case, there is capacity for more than 24 trains per hour in the tunneled section of the route. subways regularly run at 30TPH, to as high as 40TPH with computer control.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^LRT though is fundamentally designed as a system that thrives on multiple stops. The vehicles are capable of quick acceleration and deceleration, so that stops do not meaningful impact on commute times. Not using that capability defeats the point in spending so much on the system. If you want a point to point system, then an express bus is the way to go.
    Quick acceleration/deceleration is only one of the advantages of LRT. LRT's other advantages over bus include low operating costs (big vehicles) and capacity that a bus can't match.

    Stops are less of an issue with faster acceleration, but you have to acknowledge that there is a point where what you say is no longer true. You've said before that you don't like the 200m stop spacing that many ETS bus routes 'enjoy',and at least in dry conditions a 40' diesel bus can brake fast enough to be uncomfortable and accelerate fast enough that if you're standing you really need to be holding on. The

    The thing is that a single additional stop makes only a small difference, but a 10 extra stops will amount to at least 5 minutes, which is enough to make a big difference to a lot of people.

    That doesn't mean that the number of stations on the Proposed WLRT is too many. But how many stops if too many depends heavily on the length of the line and the length of the typical trip. It's pretty clear to me that with the number of stops on the proposed WLRT suggestions of extending the line to Spruce Grove are ridiculous. It's also pretty clear that the route will serve just fine for riders in jasper place, and even meadowlark if they're going downtown. But it's not clear at all that with the proposed stop spacing WLRT will be an attractive alternative for those who would like to use it for a crosstown trip, or who will have to bus to get to it at WEM or beyond. It makes a joke of the whole 'focus on downtown' thing if we can't get riders to and through downtown fast enough, so they end up avoiding the downtown route and using peripheral alternatives instead.

    For anyone interested in this issue, I suggest visiting www.humantransit.org. There are several other great posts on his blog about stop spacing challenges.
    Last edited by highlander; 23-07-2010 at 08:54 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ajb View Post
    Something that seems to get left out of discussions of the WLRT route is that the 87 Ave and Stony Plain Road routes turned out to be pretty much even on most counts -- about the same number of passengers (35-36 thousand the first day), about the same cost (around $1.1 Billion each), and about the same travel time (around 22 minutes from Lewis Estates to downtown). There are tradeoffs in each case. On passengers, 87 Ave benefits from more west end students heading to the University, but collects fewer people east of 156 Street or north of 95 Ave. 87 Ave might use the "built and paid for" line from Health Sciences to Churchill, but the money it saves doing that it spends on a new river crossing.
    And as for using the downtown tunnel for the West LRT line, part of the problem, I think, is that the South LRT is projected to have twice as many riders as the West LRT (90-100 thousand a day vs. 45-50 thousand). So out of the 24 trains an hour that can fit through the tunnel, the South would need 16, and the West would get 8, leaving a maximum frequency for all time on the West Line of one train every 7.5 minutes in rush hour.
    The Calgary South LRT line carries 86,100 riders a day right now. And that's with 3 cars trains.
    http://www.calgarytransit.com/html/t...formation.html

    Based on 5 car trains, the South LRT could easily carry 100,000-120,000 riders per day on a 5 minute peak period frequency. And I think you're underestimating the potential ridership for West LRT if the 87 Avenue route is used. The network should be an X. Lewis Estates to Clareview and Century Park to St. Albert both with a 5 minute peak period frequency. This would mean a 2.5 minute peak period frequency in the interlined section from Health Sciences to Churchill.

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    @East McCauley: The ridership estimates for 87 Ave vs. Stony Plain Road come from the final public hearing before the route was chosen:

    http://www.edmonton.ca/transportatio...ec15_final.pdf

    @Highlander: we're getting our statistics from the same map, found on page 15 here, where it also comes with numbers:
    http://www.edmonton.ca/transportatio...esentation.pdf

    If you look closely, the projection is for 70 000 to 120 000/day all the way down to Southgate, and for 30-70 thousand for the South line beyond Southgate and for the entire West line. So there's a benefit to having extra trains on the south line, turning back before the end of the line, to handle that extra demand and better balance loads.
    The WLRT and SELRT are projected to have similar ridership, which makes them a natural pairing.

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    Another way to balance loads would be to run shorter trains on the 87 Avenue West LRT, for example 3 car trains compared to 5 car trains on the South LRT.

    And one of the reasons for the load imbalances on the South line is because riders from the West End headed to the University (or in some cases Downtown) are required to take the bus to South Campus and then transfer, rather than being able to take the train directly to the University and Downtown.

    I find it interesting that the City's UK-based consultants found that ridership on SPR and 87 Avenue would be about equal when a few years earlier, the City's Edmonton-based consultants (Stantec) found that ridership would be 30% higher using 87 Avenue compared to the more northerly routes.

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    Well, the NE and NW lines are projected to have very similar ridership, so if you have 3-car trains on the WLRT, and 5-car trains on the SLRT, you'll need to have a more complicated system, where alternate trains on both the NE and NW lines head south and west. Certainly not impossible, but it does add a further complication.
    Certainly, the argument does rest on ridership projections. If the city's current projections are wrong (and the earlier ones you cite are right), then their plan is a lot less sensible. But if their current numbers are right, then there's very little reason to consider the 87 Ave line. These are long-term projections based on a metro population of over 3 million, so I'm guessing they're taking into account the possibility of redevelopment along the SPR line, which the earlier study may not have done.
    If you live west of 156 St, and you're heading downtown, it doesn't matter which line gets built -- they both have stations in the same places, and they'll both take about the same time to get there.
    If you live west of 156, and are going to the University, 87 Ave would be better, except that the SPR proposal includes premium bus service from the West End to the University. The bus service can run a variety of different routes in the West, before heading down Whitemud to the University, so in some ways it could be more convenient than LRT.
    If you live east of 156, or north of 95 Ave, the 87 Ave line is no use to you.

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    ^an advantage of the downtown connector once it is completed is it will be very easy to balance loads and have different train sizes. I expect for example, some of the Millwoods trains to just run downtown to the legislature on peak hours. It is hard to tell though, I think Jasper Place has a lot of potential (156 street, and Jasper place are already quite dense). With the SPR route, the line will still benefit from ridership increases as sprawl growth continues, but will also reap the benefits of infill projects like Molson/Jasper Gates, VFC, and others I am sure will go ahead now. More track at a much lower cost per kilometer gives us more redevelopment potential, and putting it through communities maximizes that even more compared to through a river valley or on a rail ROW (i.e. NE LRT).

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    highlander
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajb View Post
    Well, the NE and NW lines are projected to have very similar ridership, so if you have 3-car trains on the WLRT, and 5-car trains on the SLRT, you'll need to have a more complicated system, where alternate trains on both the NE and NW lines head south and west. Certainly not impossible, but it does add a further complication.
    You don't have to make it complicated, you just run all the trains the same, and one leg gets to enjoy slightly less crowded conditions.

    Certainly, the argument does rest on ridership projections. If the city's current projections are wrong (and the earlier ones you cite are right), then their plan is a lot less sensible. But if their current numbers are right, then there's very little reason to consider the 87 Ave line. These are long-term projections based on a metro population of over 3 million, so I'm guessing they're taking into account the possibility of redevelopment along the SPR line, which the earlier study may not have done.
    Those are incredibly low estimates for a city 3 times the size, unless they are predicting service so crappy that proportionally fewer people want to use it.

    If you live west of 156 St, and you're heading downtown, it doesn't matter which line gets built -- they both have stations in the same places, and they'll both take about the same time to get there.
    If you live west of 156, and are going to the University, 87 Ave would be better, except that the SPR proposal includes premium bus service from the West End to the University. The bus service can run a variety of different routes in the West, before heading down Whitemud to the University, so in some ways it could be more convenient than LRT.
    If you live east of 156, or north of 95 Ave, the 87 Ave line is no use to you.
    Why doesn't the 87 alternative include premium bus service for SPR?

    In anycase, the premium bus is going to south campus, so it will not be better for university riders, who will have to make another transfer. For riders who live beyond 187 it could be adding 2 transfers, first from WLRT to the express bus, then from the bus to LRT.

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    The NW line once fully built (with the downtown arena, the Alex, and NAIT, as well as significant density at the airport lands, Griesbach, Castledowns and St. Albert) could potentially have a higher ridership than the NE line. If this happens, the NW could be paired with the South line, and the West LRT (87 Ave route) with the NE line. One of the advantages of a four direction network paired up through the university to downtown subway is the flexibility that allows the configuration of the lines to be reversed as ridership changes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    Why doesn't the 87 alternative include premium bus service for SPR?
    .
    Because premium bus is better suited to point-point, like WEM to UofA (or South Campus - they should run it a couple more km/s IMO to UofA, still superior to current link though). The point of LRT is to use its rapid stopping capability to link many communities allowing them to grow and become more desirable. Between WEM and downtown, the new LRT line is going to link beyond what 87 avenue would have, Middle of 156 street, Jasper Place, VFC, 124street/Glenora Gates, grant macewan, 102/107 gravel lots, all possibilities to increase the density of the city and bring in more tax revenue. Per the experience of other cities, BRT / express bus won't do that as effectivley as LRT will.
    Last edited by moahunter; 25-07-2010 at 10:03 AM.

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    @East McCauley: The 3-leg system offers the same flexibility -- at first, we might have Clareview-Heritage Valley and St. Albert-Health Sciences, but the northern destinations could be easily reversed as needed, or, if desired, half the trains from each northern destination could turn back at Health Sciences/South Campus. Looking further into the future, if we reached a point where the downtown tunnel could only cope with two legs, you could run (say) St. Albert-Heritage Valley and Northeast-Churchill, with a little bit of extra work at Churchill to add extra platforms.

    @Highlander: I think residents of the far west end still get better service to the University with the premium Bus service -- you could easily have routes that originate in Collingwood/Lewis Estates/wherever, then do the run WEM-Misericordia-Whitemud-South Campus. So lots and lots of people could easily have a one-seat ride at least as far as South Campus. One of the things BRT and its equivalents is best at is funneling traffic from a variety of origins along a common corridor to a common destination -- the one thing, arguably, that it does better than LRT.
    And we should also take into account that anyone north of 95th and east of 156 also has improved service to the University with the SPR LRT route -- both compared to current routings and, for most people at least, compared to the 87 Ave route. If I live near Stony and 149th, it's going to be easy to take the WLRT to Corona, then transfer to the SLRT to the University; easier, probably, than it would have been to take a bus backwards to Meadowlark and then the WLRT from there. The same is even more true for people living even farther east.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    Why doesn't the 87 alternative include premium bus service for SPR?
    .
    Because premium bus is better suited to point-point, like WEM to UofA (or South Campus - they should run it a couple more km/s IMO to UofA, still superior to current link though). The point of LRT is to use its rapid stopping capability to link many communities allowing them to grow and become more desirable. Between WEM and downtown, the new LRT line is going to link beyond what 87 avenue would have, Middle of 156 street, Jasper Place, VFC, 124street/Glenora Gates, grant macewan, 102/107 gravel lots, all possibilities to increase the density of the city and bring in more tax revenue. Per the experience of other cities, BRT / express bus won't do that as effectivley as LRT will.
    Why is premium bus better suited for that? it isn't limited by acceleration, or boarding, it's all the implementation.

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    highlander
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajb View Post

    @Highlander: I think residents of the far west end still get better service to the University with the premium Bus service -- you could easily have routes that originate in Collingwood/Lewis Estates/wherever, then do the run WEM-Misericordia-Whitemud-South Campus. So lots and lots of people could easily have a one-seat ride at least as far as South Campus. One of the things BRT and its equivalents is best at is funneling traffic from a variety of origins along a common corridor to a common destination -- the one thing, arguably, that it does better than LRT.
    In order to serve just as well as direct LRT to the university, you would need to have pretty much every bus in the whole west end run all-day route extensions to the university. We would have more buses on 114st then there were before SLRT was built.

    And we should also take into account that anyone north of 95th and east of 156 also has improved service to the University with the SPR LRT route -- both compared to current routings and, for most people at least, compared to the 87 Ave route. If I live near Stony and 149th, it's going to be easy to take the WLRT to Corona, then transfer to the SLRT to the University; easier, probably, than it would have been to take a bus backwards to Meadowlark and then the WLRT from there. The same is even more true for people living even farther east.
    People already make that reverse trip to the U of A. They, too could be served well by improved bus service on SPR. Simply reducing the # of stops and increasing frequency would do more for the SPR corridor than an express bus to south campus than will for south of whitemud riders.

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    Why is premium bus better suited for that? it isn't limited by acceleration, or boarding, it's all the implementation.
    Because it is a point to point service, which is what WEM to UofA is, not a multi stop service which a downtown route that goes through multiple communtiies is. Whatever highlander, I'll have a rest, we all have our favourite routes, I'm the glad the city chose this one.

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    highlander
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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    Why is premium bus better suited for that? it isn't limited by acceleration, or boarding, it's all the implementation.
    Because it is a point to point service, which is what WEM to UofA is, not a multi stop service which a downtown route that goes through multiple communtiies is. Whatever highlander, I'll have a rest, we all have our favourite routes, I'm the glad the city chose this one.
    Maybe I'll be more clear: What characteristic of premium bus makes it more suitable for point-to-point express? I've already refuted your explanation (acceleration) on the other thread, if still believe it, you must have more. I'd like to know, and I honestly want to know the answer.

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    Maybe I'll be more clear: What characteristic of premium bus makes it more suitable for point-to-point express?
    Cost per kilometer, its already being built, and will be a fraction of the cost of a billion dollar bridge/tunnel over the river valley. You can imagine you have refuted whatever you want Highlander, its too bad you are bitter 87 was not chosen, but all LRT routes have pros and cons, and at the end of the day, WLRT that serves more west end communities due to a lower cost per kilometer, is IMO, a good thing.

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    highlander
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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    Maybe I'll be more clear: What characteristic of premium bus makes it more suitable for point-to-point express?
    Cost per kilometer.....
    I don't remember you being a big fan of BRT.

    I meant what makes bus better for point-to-point than for limited-stop service. Because you haven't said.

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    I meant what makes bus better for point-to-point than for limited-stop service. Because you haven't said.
    I have said multiple times, you are just choosing to ignore and diffuse. For point to point service, an express bus may be sufficient (and it can be upgraded to LRT later if its isn't). It makes sense to build LRT where its capabilities can be used, those capabilities including fast and quiet multiple stops. This allows an improvement of land around the stops, which generates more tax revenue. More LRT in west end, means more redevelopment. And to boot, per kilometer cost is lower.

  27. #27
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    since this is a discussion about other possible wLRT routes, I want to reintroduce one option that I always thought to be better due to population reach, property acquisition, and stop location. Leaving the part from downtown to Jasper place as approved, train travels south on 156, turns west on 95 ave, turns south at 170street, turns west on Callingwood rd and terminates at callingwood and 178 street stop.

    95 ave is wide enough to handle an LRT–4 lane roadway with service road on both sides. Service rd is eliminated. The LRT alignment is at the centre and lined with bike/ pedestrian rec path/ trees. Advantages of using 95th are many. First of all, minimal property acquisition (North-West corner of 156street/ 95 avenue intersection gas station only). Secondly, there are already many multi-family housing options at 95 ave and 156 street, 163 street, 170 street. 170 street and 95 avenue Terra Lossa community is a very large, multi-family development. High and medium density residential areas along 87 avenue are still within walking distance of the lrt line. Most of them are within one to two blocks North of 87 avenue anyways. Additionally, higher density developments closer to SPR and west of 156 street are too within walking distance of 95 avenue LRT. Two large high schools on 163 str and several junior high schools are served by the 95 ave alignment.

    The area between 95 ave and 87 ave along 170 street contains many medium density residential areas. A stop north of 87 ave on 170 street would serve WEM, Misericordia, and Meadowlark Village (as well as many other walkups north of Misericordia) with existing pedestrian over-passes.

    Going to Callingwood makes more sense than Lewis Estates. The line would feed into population living in West Edmonton Village as well as many, many medium density apartment and townhouse developments all around Callingwood rd between 170 and 182 streets. There is a potential to continue west along callingwood rd over AHD in the distant long term to serve the Grange and possibly River Cree if needed.

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    I really like callingwood as a destination, but 170st itself is a transit hostile street. I'm not totally familiar with that part of the west end, but at least north of whitemud I prefer 178st for a tranist ROW.

  29. #29

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    Run the low floor line to Jasper Place.
    Build the NAIT line to castle Downs or 127st/153 ave
    Build the low floor line between Lewis Estates & health Sciences
    Castle Downs line to St. Albert city limit
    Low floor line to 163 st-95 ave-178 st to Collingwood

    Low Floor acts more as collector for high floor line in west JP and as downtown line from 170 st and east.

    Eventually, low floor crosses the river to 23 ave and runs to Mill Woods as a loop (Long, long term)

  30. #30
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    Since we're throwing out big plans, Here what I envision, loooong term, for the west end:

    -Urban focused on a route similar to what's currently proposed, but truncated at meadowlark. The shorter length allows it to be more urban, with a few more stations, and smaller, lower impact stations than would be built than otherwise.

    -87ave high-floor roughly as it has been proposed, but with the additional stops on 87 at 149 or 142, and at 184 as the current plan has. This line would never be extended much past lewis estates.

    -The urban line would have a branch at 121st north on the CN Row, toward the via station and eventually St. Albert.
    There would be a branch off that line on 111avenue, which would hit westmount, The science centre, the office buildings at 142, and, in my opinion, 111ave's location on the dividing line between residential and commercial would be excellent. There are also huge redevelopment opportunities between 142 and mayfield. The line would continue down mayfield to 107ave, then take 107 to at least 178, catching some if the highest density suburban commercial in the city (the rest is in the 51ave area). From there it might head south on 178 or 184.

    - Since there would now be 3 LRT lines crossing the Yellowhead/CN corridor (NE, [email protected] 97 or 113, and St. Albert (low floor)at about 127), I would serve Stoney PLain/ Spruce Grove with Commuter rail that would connect all 3, and then continue west on the CN ROW with stops at Winterburn, Acheson, Spruce Grove and Stoney Plain.

  31. #31
    grish
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    I really like callingwood as a destination, but 170st itself is a transit hostile street. I'm not totally familiar with that part of the west end, but at least north of whitemud I prefer 178st for a tranist ROW.
    my suggestion uses the part from 95 avenue to callingwood rd. 170th there is wide enough to build LRT and not take up any lanes away and it would be able to make a turn from 95th to the west side of 170th without property acquisition. To go to the middle of 170th may also be possible. There would be three or four stops–95 ave, WEM/ MIsericordia, maybe 170th and Whitemud to catch some of the neighbourhood walk-ups, Callingwood Rd. After Callingwood rd, the last stop is near 178 street at Callingwood shopping center.

    The stop at 170th and Whitemud is an intreaguing choice. While not much in the way of residential there, there is room for some multi-level parking for a park and ride:
    http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=q&sourc...01929&t=h&z=16
    I had concidered 178th, but that by-passes Misericordia and Meadowlark village completely, although does serve much more of Terra Lossa and a few other condo developments along 178th. I would still prefer 170th with this scheme.
    Last edited by grish; 26-07-2010 at 05:55 AM.

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    I'd build all lines as has been proposed (perhaps Callingwood over Lewis Estates), then, if there is capacity once St Albert is on stream, add an additional line on high floor to Windermere (there are plenty of route options). We need to get LRT to as many neighborhoods as possible, and like it or not, the SW is the biggest growth area in the City right now by some margin (and one of the most difficult for autos, making it likely that LRT will be very desirable for downtown and UofA commuters just like Clareview has been).
    Last edited by moahunter; 26-07-2010 at 07:33 AM.

  33. #33

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    @Highlander: I did mention another drawback to using buses on heavily-traveled routes with lots of stops -- boarding and unloading passengers is much slower with a bus. LRT, with multiple doors, is much faster to board, with shorter dwell times at stations as a result. The more stations you have (and the busier the line), the bigger an advantage this is for LRT.
    Buses are never well-suited to really high-capacity routes, for this and other reasons, but the fewer the stops, the less bad buses are. And the big advantage that buses have is that they are flexible, able to move on almost any street, so a BRT/premium bus service can at least potentially take advantage of that by running from multiple points of origin to a single corridor and ultimate destination.
    If the 87 Ave route was built, you could certainly run a priority bus down SPR from JP to downtown, but it'd still take out two lanes of traffic, and still require the same priority measures as LRT, but deliver significantly poorer service, with real constraints on capacity.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajb View Post
    @Highlander: I did mention another drawback to using buses on heavily-traveled routes with lots of stops -- boarding and unloading passengers is much slower with a bus. LRT, with multiple doors, is much faster to board, with shorter dwell times at stations as a result. The more stations you have (and the busier the line), the bigger an advantage this is for LRT.
    Buses are never well-suited to really high-capacity routes, for this and other reasons, but the fewer the stops, the less bad buses are. And the big advantage that buses have is that they are flexible, able to move on almost any street, so a BRT/premium bus service can at least potentially take advantage of that by running from multiple points of origin to a single corridor and ultimate destination.
    If the 87 Ave route was built, you could certainly run a priority bus down SPR from JP to downtown, but it'd still take out two lanes of traffic, and still require the same priority measures as LRT, but deliver significantly poorer service, with real constraints on capacity.
    You hit the real reason that LRT is better than bus in your last sentence: Capacity. And you're right, of course, that to achieve LRT level service through an urban area does required the same priority.

    But loading isn't a significant issue for buses. The way we (and all of N America ) operate buses is similar to how streetcars used to be. But just as slow loading on streetcars has been solved for LRT, the problem has been solved, with very similar solutions, for buses. BRT buses can use off-board fare payment, just like LRT, and can have as many doors as is necessary. A 60' articulated bus with 3 big sets of doors should be able to load and unload just as fast as an LRT.

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    On the subject of BRT, I'd like to revise my previous plan, to use BRT on 111 instead of LRT, so instead of connecting straight downtown, the line would go crosstown to Stadium, intersecting 3 LRT lines on the way.

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    It's true that it would be possible to buy buses that make boarding faster... but since Edmonton doesn't have such buses yet, it's one more extra cost. One of the best arguments for BRT is that it can start with fairly minimal investment, and use equipment already in place. Cities like London have increasingly moved to off-board payment for buses, I suspect, because the routes in question have more than enough traffic to warrant a light or even heavy rail line, but budget, politics and logistics mean that's just not going to happen. They're stuck with trying to maximise the capacity of a bus route, and so they go for things like that.
    We were wise to learn from the examples of older, bigger cities, and to overbuild the downtown LRT line in the first place. It seemed ridiculous for decades to have a downtown tunnel that led nowhere much in either direction, but now that decision is starting to look smarter. At the same time, it's also wise not to cram too many routes into that tunnel, so that it can remain useful for as long as possible with as minimal changes and re-routings over time.
    Once their currently planned lines are built, both Edmonton and Calgary will have a mix of underground and surface lines downtown. This isn't strange -- it's pretty much what you might find in a German city of the same size, for example.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ajb View Post
    Once their currently planned lines are built, both Edmonton and Calgary will have a mix of underground and surface lines downtown. This isn't strange -- it's pretty much what you might find in a German city of the same size, for example.
    To which German cities might you be referring?

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    Cologne and Hanover, for example, both have systems that combine street running in segregated rights-of-way with tunneling where needed. Slightly farther afield, Brussels and Vienna have both, in different ways, had a policy of gradually developing a line from ordinary street-running tram to "Premetro," (i.e. a tunnel for the busiest sections of tram routes), to full Metro status, as traffic warrants.
    The Docklands Light Railway in London might be another useful parallel here -- while Tube construction has become hugely expensive and almost impossible to contemplate, the DLR has grown rapidly (and comparatively cheaply) and has been scaled up as numbers warrant.
    The combination of the downtown tunnel and segregated street running on 102 Ave should give Edmonton all the capacity it needs for quite some time (which would not be true of the tunnel by itself, which, no matter how you re-signal it, clearly won't accommodate all six lines).

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    Non of the above mentioned cities have built, are building, or propose to build a complete barrier free LRT network from one side of the city to the other that completely bisects their downtown core. Many of them have converted their tram networks into dedicated LRT ROWs. Many of them are still expanding their underground networks through the busiest parts of town.

  40. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cured View Post
    Non of the above mentioned cities have built, are building, or propose to build a complete barrier free LRT network from one side of the city to the other that completely bisects their downtown core. Many of them have converted their tram networks into dedicated LRT ROWs. Many of them are still expanding their underground networks through the busiest parts of town.
    Saying "completely bisects their downtown core" makes it sound like there's going to be some notable physical barrier introduced by the 102 Ave LRT; concrete or chainlink or something. For some there might be a psychological barrier, but somehow Calgarians have been able to wrap their heads around crossing 7th Ave by foot. I hope we can rise to the challenge like they did down south...

  41. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by ajb View Post
    Cologne and Hanover, for example, both have systems that combine street running in segregated rights-of-way with tunneling where needed. Slightly farther afield, Brussels and Vienna have both, in different ways, had a policy of gradually developing a line from ordinary street-running tram to "Premetro," (i.e. a tunnel for the busiest sections of tram routes), to full Metro status, as traffic warrants.
    The Docklands Light Railway in London might be another useful parallel here -- while Tube construction has become hugely expensive and almost impossible to contemplate, the DLR has grown rapidly (and comparatively cheaply) and has been scaled up as numbers warrant.
    The combination of the downtown tunnel and segregated street running on 102 Ave should give Edmonton all the capacity it needs for quite some time (which would not be true of the tunnel by itself, which, no matter how you re-signal it, clearly won't accommodate all six lines).
    Not sure London is a good example. Many new tube lines have opened over the years. London is also building the CDN $32 billion Crossrail - deep tube tunnels under London that will be owned by Transport for London, but mainline National Rail trains will run through them as frequently as every 2 minutes.

    Not to mention High Speed 1 - which not only carries the 320km/h running Eurostars and high-speed South Kent services, but also a non-stop shuttle to Stratford for the Olympics - again running in deep level tube tunnels under London (these owned by Network Rail).

    As for the DLR, it was inadequate for the demand, resulting in the late 1990s opening of the Jubilee Line extension through the docklands.

    While heavy rail metro is expensive to build, it carries an awful lot of peeple. London's Northern Line, the busiest, carries over 750,000 people on an average day.
    ETS Trolley Buses - 1939 to 2010 - R.I.P.

  42. #42

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    @Cured: well, the thing about "completely bisects the downtown core" is that that means about ten blocks. You'll find lots of places in those cities of comparable density and traffic to downtown Edmonton that do in fact have in-street light rail separated from traffic.
    @lightrail: Crossrail has been under discussion for 20 years, and has been on and off for most of that time (kind of like the upgrade to the North-South commuter rail tunnel improvements, which was originally branded "Thameslink 2000," when it, too, was proposed in 1991, and was supposed to be ready around 2000, but is only getting started properly now). It's great that both projects are finally moving forward, but London needed them 20 years ago, to say nothing of the proposed Crossrail Line 2 (to relieve the Victoria Line), also urgently needed, but probably decades away. HS1 also took almost 20 years to plan and build.
    In terms of new Tube lines, the only two since WWII have been the Victoria Line (built in the 1960's), and the Jubilee Line (partly built in the '70s, and then extended in a totally new direction in the late '90s at staggering expense).
    London _has_ kept building (unlike, say, New York, whose network has actually shrunk since the war, and which is only now building a small part of the Second Avenue Subway, which has been the top priority for new construction since 1929). But every time they've built, it has taken them decades longer than it should have, and been at enormous and ballooning cost. The DLR, by contrast, keeps being expanded on time and on budget, and its capacity has greatly increased over time. That's why I think it represents something of a good model -- build modestly to begin, and scale up if needed, rather than waiting decades to build the perfect system.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajb View Post
    The DLR, by contrast, keeps being expanded on time and on budget, and its capacity has greatly increased over time. That's why I think it represents something of a good model -- build modestly to begin, and scale up if needed, rather than waiting decades to build the perfect system.
    Interestingly, DLR is most comparable to our high-floor LRT. Not only does it use high-floor vehicles, but it operates for a large part of it's route on existing rail ROWs. its' 100% grade separated or fenced from the streets so it can be driverless. If anything it's more heavy than our heavy LRT, not an example that would lead us to go low-floor, on street.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dialog View Post
    Saying "completely bisects their downtown core" makes it sound like there's going to be some notable physical barrier introduced by the 102 Ave LRT; concrete or chainlink or something. For some there might be a psychological barrier, but somehow Calgarians have been able to wrap their heads around crossing 7th Ave by foot. I hope we can rise to the challenge like they did down south...
    Rise to the challenge of 7th Ave in Calgary? I hope we are setting our sights higher than that. I mean if Calgarians are in love with it so much then why are they proposing their future expansions to be built in a new tunnel through downtown.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ajb View Post
    @Cured: well, the thing about "completely bisects the downtown core" is that that means about ten blocks. You'll find lots of places in those cities of comparable density and traffic to downtown Edmonton that do in fact have in-street light rail separated from traffic.
    OK, I'll acknowledge that this is done in some circumstances on certain lines. But hardly ever through the downtown core. I can find no examples of a complete line built barrier free anywhere in europe, unless it is considered a tram. I found more examples of tram lines being converted to dedicated ROWs and surface lines being replaced by new tunnels.

  46. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cured View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dialog View Post
    Saying "completely bisects their downtown core" makes it sound like there's going to be some notable physical barrier introduced by the 102 Ave LRT; concrete or chainlink or something. For some there might be a psychological barrier, but somehow Calgarians have been able to wrap their heads around crossing 7th Ave by foot. I hope we can rise to the challenge like they did down south...
    Rise to the challenge of 7th Ave in Calgary? I hope we are setting our sights higher than that. I mean if Calgarians are in love with it so much then why are they proposing their future expansions to be built in a new tunnel through downtown.
    Almost response.
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    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    Going to Callingwood makes more sense than Lewis Estates. The line would feed into population living in West Edmonton Village as well as many, many medium density apartment and townhouse developments all around Callingwood rd between 170 and 182 streets. There is a potential to continue west along callingwood rd over AHD in the distant long term to serve the Grange and possibly River Cree if needed.
    West Edmonton Village and other higher density developments in Callingwood need enhanced feeder buses to the WEM transit centre, not their own LRT line.

    Lewis Estates as the terminus for West LRT makes sense for several reasons. The transit centre being developed there will serve not only the Lewis Estates neighbourhoods but all of the rapidly growing neighbourhoods south of Whitemud Drive and west of AHD as well. There is potential for the development of high density residential near the Lewis Estates Transit Centre. And there is room for a park and ride lot.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by East McCauley View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    Going to Callingwood makes more sense than Lewis Estates. The line would feed into population living in West Edmonton Village as well as many, many medium density apartment and townhouse developments all around Callingwood rd between 170 and 182 streets. There is a potential to continue west along callingwood rd over AHD in the distant long term to serve the Grange and possibly River Cree if needed.
    West Edmonton Village and other higher density developments in Callingwood need enhanced feeder buses to the WEM transit centre, not their own LRT line.

    Lewis Estates as the terminus for West LRT makes sense for several reasons. The transit centre being developed there will serve not only the Lewis Estates neighbourhoods but all of the rapidly growing neighbourhoods south of Whitemud Drive and west of AHD as well. There is potential for the development of high density residential near the Lewis Estates Transit Centre. And there is room for a park and ride lot.
    that's precisely why Lewis Estates never made any sense and should be nothing more than a misplaced bus terminal with feeder busses to the mall.

    Being in the North of Whitemud, Lewis estates transit hub misses most of the developments which are, as you have correctly identified, south of Whitemud. However, Callingwood is South of Whitemud and already has existing high and medium denisty developments (no need to wait for a distant future "potential" high density development. Nothing says that Lewis Estates HAS to be the cite of high density development. All it does is push the sprawl further out. Any potential that LRT needs to strive to achieve is to serve existing population nodes and to promote infill. Lewis Estates does neither.

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    The problem is the location of the Stoney Plain IR.

    Once you get south to Callingwood you can't go further west, its a dead end with the IR there. Can't go further west, and I believe the long term planning for this line will see it eventually go out towards spruce grove... (much later planning).

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    I'd like to see if there's a way to extend the low floor line south across the river, rund east along 23 ave and connect in Mill Woods. Long, long term.

    This would be even better with a high floor line along 87th. The low floor could run to JP or 163 st, south to 95th ave and then south along 178 st. Would really make the west end a transit mecca.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    The problem is the location of the Stoney Plain IR.

    Once you get south to Callingwood you can't go further west, its a dead end with the IR there. Can't go further west, and I believe the long term planning for this line will see it eventually go out towards spruce grove... (much later planning).
    how far west do you think this line should go? If it is to stop at 199 street, why not use callingwood road? pretty much like 87 ave except it passes through some major population in West Edm Village and all the townhouses and walk ups around 178th while also passing through a major shopping centre for the area, two large rec complexes (the city and the Y) and a public high school.

    If you want to go past 199th, then to where? there is really nothing further west past Winterburn Rd nor should there be anything.

  52. #52

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    50-100 years down the road. This city might be 2.5 M or 3 M people by then.

    Civic infrastructure should be planned with more than just today demand in mind.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    50-100 years down the road. This city might be 2.5 M or 3 M people by then.
    Meanwhile, the thousands who live around Callingwood Mall should take the bus to WEM because 50 to 100 years down the road there might be development west of Winterburn Road. Is this the plan? Does it really make sense? 50 to 100 years perhaps there might be a way to split the LRT at WEM to go down 87 ave is the development then takes place North of Whitemud Dr. Currently most of the development is south of the drive AND there are large populations living in and around Callingwood. Going there makes way more sense. A terminal stop would also give access people in Wedgewood and developments around Hawkstone.
    After all:
    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    Civic infrastructure should be planned with more than just today demand in mind.
    The application of the saying in this situation makes no sense. Take care of the needs of the built-up areas and work to infill before hypothesizing a need 50 to 100 years down the road.

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    I will just say that

    After looking over routes and some of the old discussion, I think it would have really made sense to do the 87 Ave route over the current one. It was quick, still had TOD potential, and a new bridge would be cool. But I hate that Oliver wouldn't get LRT, it is crucial that neighbourhood gets some sort of rail. The tram idea down 102 Ave wasn't bad, but there was no official consideration of that. The 87 Ave route would have better transfers to the existing lines, and could have operated alongside the existing trains on the NE-S line in the University and Downtown, and then the line could have continued with the NAIT LRT.

    Still, I don't think the low floor SPR route will be that bad, and will definitely be a neat experiment (don't think any LRT or heavy rail in Canada is low floor). It will certainly be something livable, and it's a great thing it connects up with MWLRT. The low floor route will be good because it goes more places, but will it go to too many? Will it take too long to go to the #1 stop (WEM) from Downtown? It might, but until 87 Ave is built (I think it'd be great to have 20-30 years in the future), I'm sure people will use it anyways.

    Amazing how much debate this one seemed to get over Mill Woods.
    ----

  55. #55

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    Work in Progress. Low floor extension, Jasper Place to Millwoods via Collingwood/23rd avenue

    http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UT...5af09006b&z=11

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    Lewis Estates is the best terminus for a couple of reasons. Firstly, after reaching WEM, it is the shortest (cheapest) way to get to a park and ride on the Henday. Secondly, the station is centrally located in a 4 section (square mile), mostly undeveloped area of the city, thus giving maximum chance for TOD to spring up.

    While Collingwood already has some medium and high desnsity housing, the only route to get to it would be to turn south along 178 st from 87th ave, a route that would just cause traffic mayhem and would end up running a fair ways west of all that housing.

  57. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aldergrove View Post
    Lewis Estates is the best terminus for a couple of reasons. Firstly, after reaching WEM, it is the shortest (cheapest) way to get to a park and ride on the Henday. Secondly, the station is centrally located in a 4 section (square mile), mostly undeveloped area of the city, thus giving maximum chance for TOD to spring up.

    While Collingwood already has some medium and high desnsity housing, the only route to get to it would be to turn south along 178 st from 87th ave, a route that would just cause traffic mayhem and would end up running a fair ways west of all that housing.
    You just contradicted yourself. You can't have park and ride and TOD at the same station - the two just don't mix and are fundamentally different development options. Trying to do both will be total failure. Also, I would argue that TOD on a greenfield, while better than the alternative, still invites sprawl. to me, TOD is better on brownfield in-fill development - such are portions of STPR and of course YXD property (perfect TOD opportunity there).
    ETS Trolley Buses - 1939 to 2010 - R.I.P.

  58. #58

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    You just contradicted yourself. You can't have park and ride and TOD at the same station - the two just don't mix and are fundamentally different development options. Trying to do both will be total failure. Also, I would argue that TOD on a greenfield, while better than the alternative, still invites sprawl. to me, TOD is better on brownfield in-fill development - such are portions of STPR and of course YXD property (perfect TOD opportunity there).
    No condradiction at all. Check the city's idea for TOD right next to park and ride at Lewis Estates here: http://www.edmonton.ca/city_governme...ial-study.aspx

    The city has obligations under the regional transit initiatives that include providing access to LRT for outlying residents of the region. The proposed park and rides along the Henday satisfy that obligation. In return for that, those outlying regions recognize that a majority of provincial transportation funding for the region should be directed to LRT.

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    I thought Lewis estates was chosen as a terminus because of the available land in the area that would be required for the new LRT barns.

  60. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aldergrove View Post

    You just contradicted yourself. You can't have park and ride and TOD at the same station - the two just don't mix and are fundamentally different development options. Trying to do both will be total failure. Also, I would argue that TOD on a greenfield, while better than the alternative, still invites sprawl. to me, TOD is better on brownfield in-fill development - such are portions of STPR and of course YXD property (perfect TOD opportunity there).
    No condradiction at all. Check the city's idea for TOD right next to park and ride at Lewis Estates here: http://www.edmonton.ca/city_governme...ial-study.aspx

    The city has obligations under the regional transit initiatives that include providing access to LRT for outlying residents of the region. The proposed park and rides along the Henday satisfy that obligation. In return for that, those outlying regions recognize that a majority of provincial transportation funding for the region should be directed to LRT.
    But that's my point. What the city is proposing is not a TOD. It's simply medium density housing near a transit station, but it is still a car oriented development. TOD means that the development is mixed use and oriented to rapid transit, not the automobile. I hope it works out, but please don't call it a TOD development, it's not even close. If the city is really intending to develop TOD, then this is not the way to go about it - next door to a freeway is the wrong location for TOD.
    Last edited by lightrail; 01-08-2010 at 10:57 PM.
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  61. #61

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    ^how do you define a TOD?

    Is Clareview a TOD?

    Century Park?

    The residential around Grandin station?

    VFC if it had only had a bus stop (which I was told was enough to be a TOD)? How about now if it is built with LRT?

    I think the term is more than a bit meaningless, it has "good" connotations to a lot of people, but when you ask them to define what are and aren't TOD's in Edmonton, it draws a blank.

  62. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^how do you define a TOD?

    Is Clareview a TOD?

    Century Park?

    The residential around Grandin station?

    VFC if it had only had a bus stop (which I was told was enough to be a TOD)? How about now if it is built with LRT?

    I think the term is more than a bit meaningless, it has "good" connotations to a lot of people, but when you ask them to define what are and aren't TOD's in Edmonton, it draws a blank.
    Edmonton doesn't have any TODs - at best it has Transit Adjacent developments - higher densities closer to transit. Clareview is most certainly not a TOD and at present, neither is Century Park, they both could be with strict and active development.

    TOD is much much more than just higher densities around transit centres. It includes mixed uses, usually in the same building, streets designed for walk-ability such as grid pattern, disincentives to car use, such are traffic calming and less parking.

    Grandin could be a TOD, but it fails on parking, no disincentives to car ownership, no traffic calming and no mixed uses.

    Is It Really TOD? (Patrick Siegman, in Tumlin and Millard-Ball, 2003)

    What’s the difference between a true transit-oriented development, which will deliver promised social and economic benefits, and a transit-adjacent development? A true TOD will include most of the following:

    • The transit-oriented development lies within a five-minute walk of the transit stop, or about a quarter-mile from stop to edge. For major stations offering access to frequent high-speed service this catchment area may be extended to the measure of a 10-minute walk.

    • A balanced mix of uses generates 24-hour ridership. There are places to work, to live, to learn, to relax and to shop for daily needs.

    • A place-based zoning code generates buildings that shape and define memorable streets, squares, and plazas, while allowing uses to change easily over time.

    • The average block perimeter is limited to no more than 1,350 feet. This generates a fine-grained network of streets, dispersing traffic and allowing for the creation of quiet and intimate thoroughfares.

    • Minimum parking requirements are abolished.

    • Maximum parking requirements are instituted: For every 1,000 workers, no more than 500 spaces and as few as 10 spaces are provided.

    • Parking costs are “unbundled,” and full market rates are charged for all parking spaces. The exception may be validated parking for shoppers.

    • Major stops provide BikeStations, offering free attended bicycle parking, repairs, and rentals. At minor stops, secure and fully enclosed bicycle parking is provided.

    • Transit service is fast, frequent, reliable, and comfortable, with a headway of 15 minutes or less.

    • Roadway space is allocated and traffic signals timed primarily for the convenience of walkers and cyclists.

    • Automobile level-of-service standards are met through congestion pricing measures, or disregarded entirely.

    • Traffic is calmed, with roads designed to limit speed to 30 mph on major streets and 20 mph on lesser streets.
    ETS Trolley Buses - 1939 to 2010 - R.I.P.

  63. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^how do you define a TOD?

    Is Clareview a TOD?

    Century Park?

    The residential around Grandin station?

    VFC if it had only had a bus stop (which I was told was enough to be a TOD)? How about now if it is built with LRT?

    I think the term is more than a bit meaningless, it has "good" connotations to a lot of people, but when you ask them to define what are and aren't TOD's in Edmonton, it draws a blank.
    I suppose if TOD means a development with no parking for residents or visitors, then we will never see TOD in Edmonton in my lifetime. Since it will never be built, it follows that the city should remove TOD potential from it's LRT route evaluation criteria. Doing that would likely result in going back to the high floor 87th ave route to Health Sciences.

    My idea of TOD is a residential or mixed use development that has lower parking requirements in it's zoning rules, is located within walking distance of transit and is pedestrian/bike friendly. The Potter Greens development concept fits that bill so far as i can see. I like that development concept enough that I would consider buying a townhouse or apartment if they ever build it out.

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    I'm all for higher density adjacent to LRT stations, but in the recent debate over the future LRT network the notion that surface rail is a magic elixir that is going to shape land use and result in compact urban form has been badly oversold.

    Only a small percentage of Edmontonians are ever going to live within easy walking distance of an LRT station. For most Edmontonians, convenient bus connections to LRT stations, availability of park and ride, frequency of service, and fast travel times will continue to be more important considerations when deciding whether to use their cars less and the LRT more.

  65. #65

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    ^ I can agree with that, but it's no reason not to push for the best urban development around LRT stations as possible. LF/HF Grade/Below/Above whatever... just design the neighbourhoods around the stations and the stations themselves properly to allow for maximum walkabiltiy and access from all methods of travel at the stations (where possible/applicable)

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    ^^^^ Thanks for the informative post Lightrail
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  67. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by lightrail View Post
    You can't have park and ride and TOD at the same station - the two just don't mix and are fundamentally different development options. Trying to do both will be total failure. Also, I would argue that TOD on a greenfield, while better than the alternative, still invites sprawl. to me, TOD is better on brownfield in-fill development - such are portions of STPR and of course YXD property (perfect TOD opportunity there).
    Totally agree. The planners just miss the point of a TOD completely
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  68. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Totally agree. The planners just miss the point of a TOD completely
    With Lewis Estates, yes. But not with the whole WLRT / Millwoods line, it runs past mutilple locations where TOD could work - Meadowlark, Jasper Place, VFC (did I write that? lol), Glenora Gates, Warehouse district downtown, Quarters, Strathearn, etc.

  69. #69
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    wanted to bump this thread just so the other thread isn't carried away with a discussion about other wLRT routing options.

    I would like to renew my call for 156 street to 95 ave to 170 street to Callingwood route as the better one from its current 156 street to 87 ave to Lewis Estates.

    Thoughts?

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    That would be great IF we later got the 87th ave route to the University. The high floor would be more like an express route and the low floor woud be more feeder/neighborhood tram type.

  71. #71
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    yeah, I doubt there will ever be a will to build two intersecting LRT lines to the west end.

  72. #72

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    ^not until other areas are serviced first, e.g. the fastest growing part of our city, Terwillegar / Wimdermere. IMO it would be offensive to many residents to spend another billion dollars on a second line to the same shopping mall, when other parts of the city are unserved.

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    I agree that building both a LRT and a tram line to the West End is not going to happen certainly not in my lifetime. That's why I feel so strongly that the City make the correct decision on the route.

  74. #74
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    you forgot to add other things to the list:
    building:
    1 LRT
    2. Tram line
    3. PRT
    4. BRT
    5. Wider, free-flowing roads
    6. underground roadways
    7. elevated roadways
    is not going to happen in your or anyone's lifetime. Well, maybe the current LRT plan and some BRT routes.

    Now to convince them to take the current LRT plan and change it to go to Callingwood and route through 95 ave and 170 street to give access to the LRT to more people while keeping the number of stops pretty much the same.

  75. #75
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    Check out where the leading candidates for mayor of Canada's biggest city stand on transportation issues. All but one want to extend subway lines rather than street cars/street running light rail:
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle1701907/

    When you combine this with Calgary and Ottawa's plans to put LRT underground in their downtowns and build largely grade separated lines elsewhere, it seems the current infatuation with streetcars/street running light rail may prove to be a short-lived phenomenon.

    Edmonton may find itself alone among Canadian cities in its desire to build gridlock-style LRT.

  76. #76
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    Remember though, the one big issue about going underground is the fact that the cost will increase significantly. If out system is going to cost us 2.8 Billion, how much would that same system but partially or completly underground cost us?
    LRT is our future, time to push forward.

  77. #77

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    ^its a choice between having LRT to a few locations with minimal expansion over the next decade, or having a city wide network that comes close to comparing to Calgary's. I think its a no brainer. As to Toronto, that's one candidates view. It might be right, might be wrong, I don't know enough about it, I do know though that Toronto is a different city from Edmonton. A mass transit system like subway is not affordable or even desirable everywhere. IMO we worry too much about cars, our traffic really isn't that bad, and IMO, more people riding LRT will make it even better.
    Last edited by moahunter; 10-09-2010 at 12:41 PM.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by East McCauley View Post
    Check out where the leading candidates for mayor of Canada's biggest city stand on transportation issues. All but one want to extend subway lines rather than street cars/street running light rail:
    this quote is not true. One candidate wants to continue in their current path. the path-transit city–has already began construction, tunnelling, and they have ordered the cars...

    the plan, in addition to having at grade LRT, also has in the works undergroung LRT on Eglinton Ave amongst other traffic separation moves. So, your characterization of this plan (transit city that is) as grid-lock producing or somehow not separated from other roadways is grossily wrong.

    of the other candidates in TO, one wants to augment current plan and is in favour of continuation of the LRTs where appropriate such as waterfront and Elginton, while building heavy subways in a couple of other key areas such as extending Sheepard line across town.

    ps what toronto has is a subway. neither calgary nor ottawa nor any other place is talking about building a subway. The discussion is about at grade or grade-separated LRT. That is here, there, and everywhere except Toronto largely because they already have pretty long subways.

    The guy who seems to want to scrap everything, and the current front runner, is by all accounts an ***** and Toronto will deserve being the but of many jokes in Canada if they elect him.

  79. #79

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    Toronto has a heavy rail subway, Edmonton has a light rail subway. Difference? Not much...

    Ottawa is planning to build a grade separated, underground subway through their downtown for their LRT plan

    Calgary has plans for the SE line to tunnel under downtown. The route already going through downtown, will remain in the same spot. It doesn't seem to tie up traffic that badly.

    There are many pros and cons for any transit solution, but I really don't see using 102/104 avenue through downtown as a cause of gridlock now or in the future.

  80. #80

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    Toronto: what grish said. Every city has it's moments of idiocy, TO has been known to have spectacular ones, and it looks like the building dissatisfaction with Miller's reign is going to result in the city throwing the baby out with the bathwater if they elect that bufoon Ford. Smitherman would probably be a lock if the E-health fiasco hadn't been... but it was, and it's stuck to him.

    Calgary: I'd be interested to know how far along the plans for the Stephen Avenue subway are, as my summer visit left me shaking my head at the disruption that would cause to teeming Stephen Avenue and the DT in general. My host down there shook his head and laughted at the idea, starting with the water tables... and he's an engineer.

    Of course everyone would love the LRT to be largely buried!
    I think of art, at its most significant, as a Distant Early Warning system that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen to it. —Marshall McLuhan

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmcowboy11 View Post
    Remember though, the one big issue about going underground is the fact that the cost will increase significantly. If out system is going to cost us 2.8 Billion, how much would that same system but partially or completly underground cost us?
    Talk about setting up a false dichotomy. The alternative is to continue the line east on 87 Avenue going underground at 145 Street, cross the river on a mid-level bridge, go beneath University Avenue in a cut and cover tunnel and then come up to street level just south of Health Sciences Station where it would interline with the south line and then continue on to the University and Downtown using the existing subway.

    According to detailed work done a few years ago by Edmonton-based Stantec and ISL Engineering the 87 Avenue route would cost significantly less than a more northerly route and attract significantly higher ridership.

  82. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by East McCauley View Post
    According to detailed work done a few years ago by Edmonton-based Stantec and ISL Engineering the 87 Avenue route would cost significantly less than a more northerly route and attract significantly higher ridership.
    Um, what northern route was that? Not the SPR route with low floor technology, which we saw cost estimates of more recently being less or about the same as 87 avenue. Significantly more LRT track serving more communities, at a far lower cost per kilometer.
    Last edited by moahunter; 10-09-2010 at 06:13 PM.

  83. #83
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    I feel that study was a bit strange in the way it allocated costs to the surface route vs. the 87th route.
    LA today, Athens tomorrow. I miss E-town.

  84. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by MylesC View Post
    I feel that study was a bit strange in the way it allocated costs to the surface route vs. the 87th route.
    Which study - East McCauley's or moahunter's?
    I think of art, at its most significant, as a Distant Early Warning system that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen to it. —Marshall McLuhan

  85. #85
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    Here is a link to the document I am referring to:
    http://webdocs.edmonton.ca/OcctopusD...59%20Att.4.pdf

    The 2005 study found that the 87 Avenue route would attract 30% more riders than a northerly 107 Avenue route, could be built at a 20% lower cost, and travel times to downtown would be 3 minutes faster.

    The City has not included all of the costs of the SPR route. They don't include property acquisition costs (which are substantial), and they don't include the costs associated with the downtown connector since the real end point of the SPR route is 99 Street and 102 Avenue, not 112 Street and 104 Avenue. Nor is the City including the costs of upgrading other West End arterials to accommodate the displaced traffic.

  86. #86

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    ^but you want to ignore the more recent 2009 study which is based on more recent data that compared the exact low floor SPR route with 87, that shows the cost is far lower per kilometer of track going SPR low floor? Shall I post the link again for you? Here is the study:

    http://webdocs.edmonton.ca/occtopusd...20Att.%203.pdf

    Approx. $1.2 billion for both the 87 avenue and SPR options (page 2-7), but, SPR has far more track and serves far more communities. But carry on ignoring that and relying on outdated 6 year old information that was based on a different northern route and a different build design. Here is the conclusion Council ended up agreeing with:

    In summary, the Stony Plain Road alternative was recommended for the following reasons:

    • By maximizing opportunities for revitalization and redevelopment, it balances service to
    established West neighbourhoods with support for the City’s top-weighted goal.
    • Urban-style LRT integrates well with and supports the West’s predominant land uses:
    − Mature residential neighborhoods
    − Neighbourhood-scale commercial nodes
    • It provides direct connections to downtown (the West area’s primary transit market),
    direct connections to both campuses of Grant MacEwan, and via downtown connections
    to the existing South line. It also connects to the University of Alberta.
    • It upgrades transit access to mid-corridor destinations and non-work trips as well as peak
    period downtown work trips.
    • It upgrades the existing Stony Plain Road transit spine with high-quality, high-capacity,
    and high-visibility transit service.

    After significant discussion, the project team reached a general consensus. Individual
    members of the project team expressed their department’s perspective, and while it was not
    unanimous, the project team agreed that the Stony Plain Road option would be presented as
    the recommended route for public information sessions in September and for City Council’s
    consideration in November. It was also recognized that the benefits presented by LRT on the
    Stony Plain Road corridor would result in impacts to on-street parking. This is apparent in
    the commercial area on Stony Plain Road where on-street parking would be utilized to avoid
    property acquisition. However, possible mitigations for parking may include developing
    shared parking spaces on common lots, rear parking behind businesses, and additional side
    street parking with a change to angle parking.

    In the final comparison, the Stony Plain Road corridor maximized potential for new
    development, reinvigorated development, and accessed an area that the City has already
    invested in renewing. It was viewed to best align with the City’s strategic direction for future
    growth and development.
    Last edited by moahunter; 11-09-2010 at 12:00 PM.

  87. #87

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    moahunter - please allow discussions on other routes to foster in this topic. You were the one who wanted the split. This topic is about other alternatives. If you want to focus on the approved route, be it so, it the approriate topic. These topics can be merged back together, if all your going to do here is just dismiss and shoot down any other route. You get upset when people use the approved route thread to talk about other options...

  88. #88

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    ^forgive me for posting more recent costing data that I thought might be relevant to the discussion as it shows a significantly lower cost per kilometer.

    As to the specific questions, I don't know if the downtown connector was included in the cost above (the total cost of the Millwoods to WLRT line seems reasonable though and little more than an aggregation of the two line costs). Even if it wasn't, a true comparison with 87 would then also have to include the cost of the original downtown tunnel, as the new downtown connector is not just going to be used for this line and would have been needed at some point in the future (unless more tunnels were built - e.g. a tunnel to connect in the millwoods and sherwood park lines, which also would have added substantial cost).

    As to property acquisition, I'd be interested in the source that it hasn't been included in the above estimates. I do think it isn't that significant looking at the maps, but I expect that will depend to some extent on the choices made now (like where the Gmac station goes). Those choices I think are more about redevelopment opportunities (and whether or not they make sense), rather than the cost of the line itself.
    Last edited by moahunter; 12-09-2010 at 05:12 AM.

  89. #89
    grish
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    thanks for the updated link, moahunter. I have no idea why having the newest and most comprehensive info available needs to be defended.

    Any alternative to the proposed route has to be a better alternative. Otherwise, why bother talking about it? To be better, the alternative has to be less expensive, have the greatest ridership, and have the potential to increase the ridership along the route and in the entire system.

    So, it is only fitting that the costing of the current route is included in the discussion and compared against any costs of other suggestions.

    On that note, and since this is a discussion of other possibilities–a thread for second-guessing as it were, I would like to renew my suggestions for making the following changes to the proposed route to include starting (or ending) point at Callingwood with a possible extention in the long term West along Callingwood Rd or Southwest along Lessard Rd.

    The path to Callingwood should be preferrably along 170th street and along either 95 ave (my preference) or 87 ave.

    87 ave may be a little bit easier in terms of changing of the route. Also, having the elevated track to corss 170th already included in the plans, making the switch to west side of 170th relatively inexpensive.

  90. #90

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    ^how about an extra spur in the future to Callingwood which could also then head out to the Hamptons or similar? Every second train could go to Callingwood (or whatever makes sense based on demand). While I think Callingwood is the better choice, it seems Lewis Estates designs are well underway.

    I still think there might be some potential in the future to have a few express trains running, perhaps express from WEM with no stops until GMAC. It could pass other trains at certain stations, or simply be delayed after a regular train and followed closely by a regular train. I don't know what the time difference would be though, i.e. whether significant enough to justify, but it may be a way to get higher capacity in the future.
    Last edited by moahunter; 12-09-2010 at 08:53 AM.

  91. #91
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    I think it would make sense to have Callingwood part of the system. A spur out that way would bring many more people to the train.
    LRT is our future, time to push forward.

  92. #92
    grish
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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^how about an extra spur in the future to Callingwood which could also then head out to the Hamptons or similar? Every second train could go to Callingwood (or whatever makes sense based on demand). While I think Callingwood is the better choice, it seems Lewis Estates designs are well underway.
    regarding the highlighted line... it really depends on the purpose of this thread. if it is largely a second-guessing excercise to debate that which has already been decided, then anything is fair game including a change in Lewis Estates. If the purpose is to propose and discuss additional LRT routes to the west, then yes, the well underway pretty much covers the whole line and so anything suggested should be suggested in addition to, rather than to replace. That means any mention of 87 ave, for example, should be while recognizing that the other line is happening and the 87 ave alignment will complement the other line.

    Taking SPR as something that has been decided, I would like to propose the following LRT alignment:

    South Campus Stop–Fort Edmonton Park/ Quesnell stop
    Line splits into two:

    1. South
    Brookside/ Riverbend Rd North–then along Terrwilegar Drive 40 avenue/ Buylea Heights–Rabbit Hill Rd–Reverbend Rd South/ 23 ave–Anthony Henday Dr Park and Ride–Winderemere.

    2. West along Whitemud Drive
    149 street/ Quesnell Heights-159 street/ Patricia Heights–170 Street Park N Ride (or Transit Center)–170 street and 69 Avenue West Edmonton Village–Callingwood Rd 178 Street–Callingwood Rd and 199 street.

  93. #93

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    I do hope it's understood that, if we're talking spurs, then we're also talking reduced service to the ends of the spurs. Spurs at the end of the WLRT are not going to be experiencing the interlining that NAIT->South Campus will with the existing line.
    I think of art, at its most significant, as a Distant Early Warning system that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen to it. —Marshall McLuhan

  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Even if it wasn't, a true comparison with 87 would then also have to include the cost of the original downtown tunnel, as the new downtown connector is not just going to be used for this line and would have been needed at some point in the future (unless more tunnels were built - e.g. a tunnel to connect in the millwoods and sherwood park lines, which also would have added substantial cost).
    I'm not advocating building a new tunnel downtown only optimizing the existing one by having two complete lines going in four directions (NE to West and NW to South seem like the best configuration) running through it.

    Upgrades to the tunnel to accommodate interlined trains at 2.5 minute intervals should be included in the overall cost of West and NW LRT. Including the cost of the original tunnel is ridiculous though. It's already built and paid for.

    I'm prepared to concede that building LRT underground through the downtown and university area slowed down the development of Edmonton's LRT but it's not the only reason. Calgary kept investing and adding to their system while for almost 15 years Edmonton did not.
    Last edited by East McCauley; 21-09-2010 at 05:20 PM.

  95. #95

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    Calgary kept investing and adding to their system while for almost 15 years Edmonton did not.
    exactly. 1992 - 2004 What exactly got built in Edmonton for LRT? The tunnel was already complete and paid for.
    The LRT map in Edmonton can be drawn up many ways. The way its being drawn right now by city planners really just seems like a crap shoot in a way to appease as many different areas at once, without real thought about capacity in the future.

  96. #96
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    In anticipation of the response that the LRT was stuck in a deep tunnel at University Station and that's why Edmonton stopped building the network, it cost a relatively modest $100 million to get the line from University to Health Sciences. University Station opened in 1992 and Health Sciences Station not until 2006. Approved in 2000 construction didn't start until 2003.

    Here's my source:
    "Edmonton City Council voted to approve planning of the SLRT extension to Heritage Mall on January 18, 2000. Council has approved construction of phase 1A from the current end of line at the south end of University to the future Health Sciences Station to be located opposite the University Hospital. This phase will cost $100.1 million and will bring the LRT line back to grade via a 6% grade, emerging south of 87 Ave in a part of the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium parking lot. The line will travel though two tunnels bored by a tunnel boring machine, with a short cut and cover section located about 100 meters south of 87 Ave."
    http://www.barp.ca/bus/special/etsslrt/index.html

  97. #97

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    Calgary is now looking at building their next major line in a tunnel downtown. It'll probably be much more expensive than Edmonton's due to the higher water table. By the time the two cities systems are built out the costs will probably be much closer than they are now.

  98. #98
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    Are we going to end up wishing we had built our downtown LRT underground in 10 years? Are we going to have to spend another several billion dollars rebuilding the same lines underground?

  99. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by etownboarder View Post
    Are we going to end up wishing we had built our downtown LRT underground in 10 years? Are we going to have to spend another several billion dollars rebuilding the same lines underground?
    Dear Mods,
    Please remove this post from the current thread. This line of questioning is totally out of line with popular opinion on these boards and has no place here whatsoever.
    At the very least it should be separated into a different thread.
    Thank you.

    signed
    MH

  100. #100
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    Cured the Report Post button can be used for this purpose, more an annoyance than a ban the person for offensive or obscene posts.

    It might be best posted in this thread
    Downtown LRT Tunnel - Max Capacity/Possible lines Discussion
    http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=6738

    And to get back on topic, I do hope the city WEM, Meadowlark can work together and everybody can benefit. Unlike Southgate which still should have a skywalk to the LRT. For example in San Diego their LRT came up with this station
    Last edited by sundance; 22-09-2010 at 10:20 AM.

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