Light rail, supplemental

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.

9 Responses to “Light rail, supplemental”

  1. November 27, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    Wondering if Byron and Carling couldn’t be incorporated into a “loop”…?

    Granted, this is blue-sky/long-term thinking here.

  2. 2 David McClelland
    November 27, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    Certainly possible, of course, but I couldn’t see it happening any time soon.

  3. November 27, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    If you build on Carling, you don’t build rail to Tunney’s. Alternately, if you convert the Transitway to Tunney’s, you’re eventually going to convert the rest of it (including the Parkway) to Rail.

    This is what makes the current proposal on the table (to build “only” from Tunney’s to Blair) is so insidious; because it determines the routing of the following steps. Note that in the City’s plan, people will still take bus to downtown. They will take Scott Street, and they want to add lanes to Scott in order to do this.

    – RG>

  4. November 27, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    Why is the conversion of the Parkway considered inevitable?

    Why should it be considered inevitable?

    Why do we need to butt heads with the NCC at all?

  5. 5 David McClelland
    November 27, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    RealGrouchy: You’re correct on that, I shouldn’t have rail past Bayview in the Carling version of the plan. I think that is one of my bigger quibbles with it, it would be a waste of the great infrastructure and ROW we have from Bayview to Dominion.

    And, as an aside, your post raises why I think it’s important to do an EA on the Byron corridor as well—it gives us another option even if we do end up tracking that part of the Transitway.

  6. November 28, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    Thanks for the map menagerie. Light rail down Carling (off of ground level) and buses down the parkway would be an awesome loop. Pity it will never happen with this council. =(

  7. 7 David McClelland
    November 28, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    You mean to say this council is a bit dysfunctional? I don’t buy it!

  8. December 1, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    dude, i thought they picked ‘transit option 4’ like a year ago. was i wrong? are we still doing nothing about any of this mess? can we create some sort of coalition to overtake this damn city and get something accomplished?

  9. 9 David McClelland
    December 1, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    They did, but they’ve gone and fiddled with everything. Don’t think too much about these things, it will make your head hurt.

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