Posts Tagged ‘LRT


City staff releases route for Downtown Transit Tunnel

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a route.

dottThe map I threw together if you want to see it.

And the Citizen article I used as a source.

It looks like we’ll have stations at Lebreton (aboveground), between Bay and Lyon, between O’Connor and Metcalfe, around Rideau and Sussex and at Campus. The tunnel will go under Albert until Kent, where it will turn north to Rideau\Sussex and then swing south to go underneath Nicholas to the University of Ottawa. The official release of the plans takes place tomorrow, so we should have a more official-looking map tomorrow, I hope.

A couple of things I wanted to note. First, I find it interesting that there’s no station closer to Bank Street. I was certain they’d try to put one there, given that if the City ever wants to build a north\south rapid transit line through the core someday, Bank is the most logical alignment. I guess the logic was that a station between Bank and O’Connor would be too close to the one between Bay and Lyon. Second, I wonder if the City is hoping they might be able to use the old train station again. Take a look at a detail of where the line should go, if it runs in a straight line between Rideau and Sussex and Albert and Kent:

union-stationIf the city can get the federal government to sell them Union Station back, then perhaps it can be reopened to trains; albeit a very different kind from what once went through there. That appears to be all that’s out there for now, but I’ll try to find more official-looking documentation tomorrow.

(Full disclosure: I am going to be starting a summer position with OC Transpo on Monday.)


Light rail along Carling

Alternate title: *sigh* Oh god, not this again

I meant to post about this a few days ago, when Public Transit in Ottawa pointed it out, but Councilor Clive Doucet is calling for the City to consider using Carling Avenue as a corridor for our future LRT system. Now, setting aside the fact that this is a debate that should have been concluded six months ago when the transit alternatives were being debated, I can’t help but feel this is an incredibly silly idea.

On the surface, it seems good, I must admit. Doucet is right, Carling is a heavily populated corridor along much of its length—though I think the 300,000 figure he claims is rather optomistic, that being close to the entire pre-amalgamation population of the Ottawa city proper—and is more centrally located than the Ottawa River Parkway, the currently favoured corridor.

Of course, there that has to be followed up with a “but”. And in this case, it’s a big one. For Carling to work as a rapid transit corridor (and we are, I hope, trying to actually build rapid transit), the City would likely need to invest millions of dollars extra to build either a subway or an elevated rail line. Mr. Doucet seems to be calling for something more akin to a streetcar line built in its own right-of-way up the middle of the street, and  using “gates” to block of intersections. I’m not entirely sure what he means, but I’m presuming standard railway crossing gates, much like these in Los Angeles. That doesn’t exactly seem ideal to me, especially given the frequency of trains we’d likely be seeing on such a line.

The bottom line is, I think that running trains along Carling is a great idea if we want to cripple our new system before we even build it. Imagine riding Vancouver’s SkyTrain system, which is generally pretty sleek, fast and modern, and then turning a corner and finding yourself on Toronto’s St. Clair or Harbourfront streetcar. It’d be like you just changed to a completely different (and much slower) transit system, and would make Ottawa’s new transit system a laughingstock in Canada. I sincerely hope that the City is able to see beyond this proposal.

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Email: dmccl033(at)uottawa(dot)ca

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