Shortly after writing that last post, I realized there’s so many proposals for light rail floating around out there, it might be a good idea to map them to see the various ideas we’re looking at. I’ll focus most specifically on the west end, since that’s where the majority of the debate seems to occuring.
First, the most basic—Transitway conversion, including the Ottawa River Parkway:
Green would be the Parkway line, red is the current O-Train, orange the Transitway LRT, and orange is the Billings Bridge to Hurdman LRT, proposed in Clive Doucet’s Light Rail Now! plan.
Now here’s the Byron Avenue option:
With the purple line representing the Byron line, you can see that it follows the Transitway up to Dominion, before it would duck south and travel between Richmond and Byron to Lincoln Fields. The biggest question mark is the final 500-or-so metres before Lincoln Fields, where I’m not sure where tracks would be able to run.
Lastly, here’s the Carling proposal:
The teal is the Carling line, which begins at Carling station and is a straight-shot down Carling Avenue until it hits Lincoln Fields. This would leave rail to Tunney’s Pasture somewhat orphaned, so it’s questionable if that would actually be built past Bayshore, or if it would remain BRT. It might be worth considering, though, due to the amount of government offices in that area.
Finally, here’s an overall view, with the Byron option chosen for the western section entirely because I thought it looked nicest. So sue me, I’m a cartographer and that’s what I do.
Again, you’ll note two aspects of Doucet’s plan I included. First, the 97′s run between Billings and Hurdman is light rail, providing a rapid transit alternative to traveling through downtown, and easily extendable to Barrhaven at some point in the future. As well, O-Train extensions to Leitrim and downtown Gatineau. While I question the logic of stopping the O-Train at Leitrim (I think the airport would be a better southern terminus), I’m very much in favour of extending our system into Gatineau. It might require a second tunnel, but integrating our two systems would be incredibly valuable, and it would save Ottawans that work in Quebec having to switch to STO buses at Mackenzie King like they currently do.