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1604

Green Line LRT

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Green Line LRT - from North Pointe to Seton

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Construction to begin 2017, finish by 2024 (subject to change).

Information on today's announcement and what it means for the project: http://www.calgarycitynews.com/2015/07/federal-funding-to-fast-forward-green.html

New rendering of the line: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H73e025ty1o

Previous renderings with buses instead of trains: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snY-y6HxSho

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Looks good so far. Only problem in my opinion, is that it seems to have too many stations outside of downtown and not enough inside downtown. I would imagine (from a common, general perspective) that there will be some stations outside the core that will be relatively dead, and the few downtown stations will be highly congested. But we shall see how it all plays out in the end!

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Perhaps too few stations in the core, but bear these facts in mind:

1) the line will run primarily north-south. The downtown core is definitely more wide than it is tall.

2) owing to the length of the trains and the intersecting of two other lines (7th ave and the future 8th ave subway) and the fact the blocks are simply not long enough, the line through downtown will be underground or lofted up over the +15's. This means the stations will be very expensive.

At least these stations won't have to service two lines like the current stations do.

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That's the problem, there's no feasible way to have a north-south line run west-east in downtown. I do recall seeing one proposal for a design once where the line was to run up Nose Creek toward 78 Avenue and North Pointe, connecting to this corridor from downtown via the Northeast line (Memorial Drive). But I do have to say Centre Street is a much better option because of greater demand between downtown and the north terminals. Not to mention the Memorial Drive option would have made it impossible for the line to run to the southeast. Perhaps if it used the same type of trains as currently are used, it could have run from the west, or northwest, to the southeast, and have a separate route to the north central. 8th Avenue subway would have reduced congestion on 7th Avenue, by having one or more of the lines using the subway tunnel.

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Only problem in my opinion, is that it seems to have too many stations outside of downtown and not enough inside downtown

Perhaps too few stations in the core

The plan for downtown, including the number of stations within the Central Business District will be announced at a future date. It was announced in one of the media scrums that as many as 3-4 stations within the core between 4 street se and 16 avenue ne stations ARE POSSIBLE. Keep in mind folks, the routing from the river to approximately 4 street se is up in the air. It is impossible to determine how many stations are possible within that area without firm plans on paper.

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I love the TTC Bombardier Flexity Outlook street cars used in the vid. Glad to hear the ditched the busway. Amazing there going to build the intire line at once.

Ok, I'm going to play the guessing game now.... I wonder which cars they will go with (S70s for sure) I hope they don't go with some strange stupid signal system (Learn from Edmonton Transit) I really hope they will use the same technology as the existing lines as far as signalling goes...

What about the location of the garage? Any word on that?

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What about the location of the garage? Any word on that?

Aside from somewhere in the southeast, it wasn't announced today. It was stated during the post announcement scrum that garage location will be based off of successful land acquisitions have to be made in the SE. Original plans penciled a garage in near ogden.

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I've heard Quarty Park as the location for the garage. Another possible location would be near 96th ave North, but no idea for sure if this location is even possible.

After seeing the issues with the TTC and the way-behind schedule delivery of the Flexity's there, I do have my doubts that Bombardier will even get a chance. For sure though, now that the Green Line will not interconnect to the existing system, we have a very large number of builders who can use existing designs for the vehicles.

As for the signalling, I would venture a guess and say that Edmonton is having issues because they're trying to marry a new system into the old one. Far easier to keep them separate and avoid the hassles. Flexible blocks does allow for more capacity.

Lastly, let's not completely call this entire thing a done deal. Recall that the federal money will not pay for the entire thing. The city has a good sum lined up, but likely needing more, and the province has to pledge a similar amount. With the budget and revenues down, the province could very well say 'not yet'.

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It will be interesting to see what will happen to the bus system.

Routes like the 2,3,4,5,24,62,64,102,103,109,110,116,133,151,

301,302 really won't be need that much or will see significant cuts

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Obviously the 301 and the 302 will be gone once the green line opens. The 3, I expect service to be reduce a bit, but not by a huge amount.

I would imagine that northern 2 would probably stay the same, as it serves 4th Street. Just maybe cut back like they did in the west end.

I would also imagine that the numerous expresses, that go up Centre Street and to the SE would be cut. Gee if they did that we would probably loose all but the 66, 69, 70, 107, 125, and the 126!

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I saw a sign in sage hill on a condo that was advertising a downtown express bus for the neighborhood in 2016 sometime..... So mabe we will have one more ! :)

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I saw a sign in sage hill on a condo that was advertising a downtown express bus for the neighborhood in 2016 sometime..... So mabe we will have one more ! :)

They may have it for a few years, but it's likely cut when Green line opens - it's close enough to North Pointe, they'd likely just get a feeder route to the train.

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1 hour ago, D40LF said:

That would be the most expensive and after the floods a few years ago probably not the wisest!

The flooding issue was touched on during Druh Farrell's Green Line presentation a few months ago. Vancouver's Canada Line goes underneath False Creek so its technically feasible to tunnel under water.

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4 minutes ago, lucx said:

The flooding issue was touched on during Druh Farrell's Green Line presentation a few months ago. Vancouver's Canada Line goes underneath False Creek so its technically feasible to tunnel under water.

Well technically feasible to tunnel under water it isn't the best choice. Seen rail tunnels get flooded during heavy rains, one that comes to mind is the low level lines under Glasgow Central in Scotland.

http://www.hiddenglasgow.com/rail/flood1994/

It would just make more sense, to me at least, to run the Green line elevated through the core, but to have it underground after crossing the Bow until it gets to somewhere around 16th Ave as that portion of Centre Street is very busy and where the counter flow lanes exist.

 

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I would think the 2013 flood has given the city enough info on how much pumping potential is necessary to prevent a similar, and rare, occurrence. Plenty of cities build rail tunnels under and near water with little to no problems, so there shouldn't be any engineering problems with this here. If the flooding is bad enough to overcome the pumps, odds are emergency services wouldn't want you to go downtown anyway. 

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I think that tunnel option is the best for reliablity and not making the city environment look funny. I think if they do it elevator they going to need to make look like it part of city environment instead of making it look out of place. 

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59 minutes ago, TimmyC62 said:

I would think the 2013 flood has given the city enough info on how much pumping potential is necessary to prevent a similar, and rare, occurrence. Plenty of cities build rail tunnels under and near water with little to no problems, so there shouldn't be any engineering problems with this here. If the flooding is bad enough to overcome the pumps, odds are emergency services wouldn't want you to go downtown anyway. 

Assuming the tunnel itself is waterproof (which it would have to be), the north entrance portal (and potentially the south portal as well if it daylights in the belt line instead of the East Village) is pretty far from any problem spots for the type of flooding seen in 2013.  And I doubt straight rain would cause more than a short term problem for any tunnel sump pumps or drains. The problem in 2013 was rivers flowing into tunnels, not just rain. 

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On 7/24/2015 at 5:12 PM, Nick B said:

Looks good so far. Only problem in my opinion, is that it seems to have too many stations outside of downtown and not enough inside downtown. I would imagine (from a common, general perspective) that there will be some stations outside the core that will be relatively dead, and the few downtown stations will be highly congested. But we shall see how it all plays out in the end!

I looked at the Green Line proposed map (according to Google imagery), and is Seton even built out yet? :P I could see the Hospital as a more logical terminus point for the LRT, in the meantime. Putting a transit centre directly at the hospital (much like Edmonton's Children's Hospital or Winnipeg's Grace Hospital) would concentrate service near a major employer, and allow for layovers by both bus and LRT operators (washroom, Tim Hortons i'd assume, etc), reducing layover times by concentrating services in one place and also removing the need to stop mid-route (for the buses) in order to go to 7-11 or get something for the drivers. Yeah, it may not be as direct as a Seton station for the planned residential, however a bus feeder could cover Seton along with other future communities. Don't forget Steve LaFleur's CTrain report -The more we extend LRT, the more absurd amounts of suburban sprawl we'll see! I'd want to see the Green Line accommodating a P&R for Okotoks and other areas south of the city, but otherwise I don't see any reasons to extend it beyond the Hospital - unless of course, the entire area around Academy/DeWinton/Artesia becomes the latest suburban expansion (of which would downright scare me).  

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12 hours ago, armorand said:

I looked at the Green Line proposed map (according to Google imagery), and is Seton even built out yet? :P I could see the Hospital as a more logical terminus point for the LRT, in the meantime. Putting a transit centre directly at the hospital (much like Edmonton's Children's Hospital or Winnipeg's Grace Hospital) would concentrate service near a major employer, and allow for layovers by both bus and LRT operators (washroom, Tim Hortons i'd assume, etc), reducing layover times by concentrating services in one place and also removing the need to stop mid-route (for the buses) in order to go to 7-11 or get something for the drivers. Yeah, it may not be as direct as a Seton station for the planned residential, however a bus feeder could cover Seton along with other future communities. Don't forget Steve LaFleur's CTrain report -The more we extend LRT, the more absurd amounts of suburban sprawl we'll see! I'd want to see the Green Line accommodating a P&R for Okotoks and other areas south of the city, but otherwise I don't see any reasons to extend it beyond the Hospital - unless of course, the entire area around Academy/DeWinton/Artesia becomes the latest suburban expansion (of which would downright scare me).  

There's not enough space to put a centre load platform and any park and ride at the hospital station - Seton station is quite close and has the space required for a bus loop, centre load platform and a parkade for park and ride. 

By the time the Green Line opens in 2025, Seton will be very built up with construction happening on homes south of Seton - there will also be a new rec centre and high school open in the area. 

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http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/council-approves-1-95-billion-tunnel-under-bow-river-for-green-line-lrt

Quote

Council approves $1.95-billion tunnel under Bow River for Green Line LRT

Following an at-times heated debate Tuesday, council agreed to add two words — in principle — to the estimated $1.95-billion underground Green Line LRT option, so the city isn’t locked into the pricey alignment if funds don’t come through.

With those two words added, council voted 10-3 in favour of the underground option for the Bow River crossing, meaning the north-central leg of the 46-kilometre Green Line LRT will go under the Bow River in a tunnel from north of 16th Avenue to 10th Avenue S.W.

Councillors Evan Woolley, Andre Chabot and Joe Magliocca opposed the recommendation. Councillors Jim Stevenson and Diane Colley-Urquhart were absent.

“This is a historic decision for council,” Coun. Shane Keating said before the vote.

“We’re doing it in principle, but we’re forging ahead with the idea that this is our best option . . . Let’s build the strongest possible skeleton for the future development of the Green Line.”

Mac Logan, the city’s general manager of transportation, told council that adding “in principle” meant, to him, that council preferred the tunnel option but wanted flexibility.

Much of Tuesday’s debate centred on funding and costs for a transit project that will stretch across the city from North Pointe to Seton and was initially projected to cost between $4.5 billion and $5 billion.

The federal government has pledged $1.5 billion in funding for the Green Line, city council approved $1.56 billion over 30 years and the NDP government has not made any financial commitment, though Keating said one is expected this month.

Coun. Peter Demong, who unsuccessfully lobbied to defer the vote on the alignment to December, expressed concerns with the project’s cost, and other elected leaders agreed.

“When you’re building a house, you don’t turn around and say I’m going to build an $800,000 house but I haven’t figured out where the money is coming from yet or how much I’m going to have to buy it,” Demong said.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi told council he was getting “ a little bit nervous” about making decisions without knowing total costs or funding.

“We are making design decisions that have hundreds of millions of dollars of implication in the absence of a global budget,” he said.

While Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra acknowledged council was “collectively freaked out by the money here,” he urged his colleagues to trust the process and approve a coherent vision for the major project.

“It’s going to have massive positive impact on this city for literally centuries,” he said.

Coun. Druh Farrell urged council to support the underground option, which was unanimously praised by stakeholders at a recent hours-long committee meeting.

“If we’re not ready to make big-city, long-term decisions, then we’re not ready as a council to have the Green Line,” she said.

Keating told reporters during council’s lunch break the debate boiled down to a chicken and egg scenario, and council needed to choose an alignment so funding decisions could progress.

“We have other orders of government who are saying, ‘What are you doing? And then we will fund’, and we’re saying, ‘Give us funding and then we’ll decide what we’re doing’ ” he said.

“Until we make our own minds up, it’s very difficult for other levels of government to say, ‘Yes, we’ll fund.’ ”

After the lunch break, council decided to move forward. 

After spending 30 minutes behind closed doors discussing the Green Line, council returned and voted down Demong’s deferral motion, before voting to move ahead with the tunnel option.

 

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