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Green Line LRT

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The transit advocate in me is quite gutted at the moves this recent budget has made towards the Green Line.

The political cynic in me almost wants the City to walk away from the deal, patch up the enabling works and finish the ones that have started and basically give the finger to the MLA's who allowed the Green Line to be postponed like this.  The federal money is contingent on funding from the province and the City, and won't be paid back until the project is complete.  So the City would basically have to temporarily carry the entire burden of the construction costs on the hopes that the funding doesn't get cut, which apparently the province can do with 90 days notice and no cause provided.  That right there would be enough for me to say "shelve the project", and then place the blame completely on the province.  Let those who are in the deep southeast and the north stew during their commutes and yell at the UCP next time they're at the ballot box.

That said, I'm sure there are more than a few people in the city who wouldn't want the Green Line to go forward and they would be smiling at the fact their tax dollars aren't "being wasted" despite the fact this project would be quite a shot in the arm for the city's economy.

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On 10/30/2019 at 8:35 PM, Jon Calon said:

Let those who are in the deep southeast and the north stew during their commutes and yell at the UCP next time they're at the ballot box.

This is the problem, though. Conservative voters in this province do not change their votes. No matter how bad the PC/UCP treats them, they believe the NDP or anyone else to be somehow "worse". The NDP barely grew their vote totals at all in the last election. They just weren't able to benefit from the near-miraculous split vote of 2015.

At this point I will just be surprised if the last U2 is retired before 2030, and we don't end up buying Edmonton's.

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A very interesting opinion piece by three former senior transportation/planning managers at the City of Calgary. 

https://calgaryherald.com/opinion/columnists/opinion-with-funding-delayed-should-calgary-be-thinking-about-brt-instead-of-lrt

They argue Stage 1 of the Green Line will be of limited use as previously proposed, and we should give serious thought to building BRT in a pre-LRT transitway instead. 

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I'm probably the only one who likes Eau Claire the way it is. I'm just glad they stopped arguing and picked the next best plan, apart from thinking that an at grade crossing at 16th is going to work. They grade separated less-busy roads elsewhere in the city for good reason. 

I don't get why the extended the tunnel east, though? Surely that's not cheaper. 4th St Station underground couldn't possibly be cheaper

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13 hours ago, TimmyC62 said:

It'd be a good opportunity to tear down/redo the Eau Claire mall, too. 

I agree that the malls virtually dead, but if CT can put a station either underneath the mall, or very close to it, Eau Claire could get revived considerably. I was in there yesterday myself, bars dead, stores have no customers, food court had people still. But the rest of the mall is virtually dead lol. Reminds me...

How feasible is it, for Calgary Transit to use a "cut and cover" LRT station, using the Eau Claire basement parkade, to save millions on an underground station & reutilize/salvage some of Eau Claire, for future uses incase the mall gets torn down?

13 hours ago, chills_on_the_train said:

That chunk of Centre Street is gonna be a tight squeeze!

I know bulldozing the neighborhood isn't an acceptable option, but surface level on 16th... thats going to be a nightmare. Couldn't they have just elevated it, like with Sunalta? Or pull an Edmonton, valley bridge and resurface the line shortly after the crossing? Might have costed some extra $$$, but the impact on traffic would be alot less pronounced, between 16th Ave and Downtown. That stretch of road is already at full capacity.

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Its also about to be filled with a new stadium & a dozen or more new skyscrapers too, so I could see why they wouldn't want to repeat what happened with the LRT under City Hall (and future downtown LRT tunnels at inflation costs since the 1970s), when they could just build it now & get it over with.

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Looking at it that way, it's probably very easy and cheap to put a tunnel under what is mostly empty land along 11th. They're gonna regret a level crossing at 16th at least as much as they regret the ones on 36th and the one at Heritage, but it's better than not having a train at all, I guess. It just doesn't bode well for when it goes north of 16th, eventually.  And if it means they get to demolish less of the interesting old buildings at 16th and Centre (as opposed to the ones that are actually falling apart), then that's cool.
 

 

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3 hours ago, DarkKeyo said:

Looking at it that way, it's probably very easy and cheap to put a tunnel under what is mostly empty land along 11th. They're gonna regret a level crossing at 16th at least as much as they regret the ones on 36th and the one at Heritage, but it's better than not having a train at all, I guess. It just doesn't bode well for when it goes north of 16th, eventually.  And if it means they get to demolish less of the interesting old buildings at 16th and Centre (as opposed to the ones that are actually falling apart), then that's cool.
 

 

I think they're also going to regret putting the train in street up Centre Street too

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22 hours ago, Blake M said:

I think they're also going to regret putting the train in street up Centre Street too

Honestly, it wouldn't be so bad, if there were more feeders, other bus routes qnd more frequency, connecting to Centre St, along the proposed Green Line. At least then, it would be enough incentive for people to get out of their cars, therefore significantly freeing up traffic. So maybe an extra couple of artics, and more feeders to feed to Centre, along with some extra service up/down Edmonton Trail to take some of the edge off?

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I've always had mixed thoughts about phase 1 only reaching out to 16th Ave N. With these latest proposals to run at-grade down Centre St, taking up two travel lanes, as well as having to cross 16th Ave at grade in the future, I honestly don't think it's even worth building this across the river. Given that all those buses running up and down Centre St today are still going to be required if this is built, this is going to be a downgrade with Centre St becoming more of a bottleneck.

As much as some folks want to see LRT being built, if it's going to be some half-assed attempt which is still going to cost a ton, i'd rather not see it at all. Save the money, put it towards extending the Green line further south as well as putting in a proper MAX line for the north. The funding for a properly built North Central line is probably a long ways away. I'd rather see a decent MAX line being built along the whole north central route as opposed to have a partial LRT built which still requires the current BRT to exist. Just my $0.02.

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Keep in mind, it’s probably likely that 16th Avenue will still be grade separated one day. The line will cross the river and stop short of the intersection at 16th Ave.  Nothing so far has shown the train crossing 16 Avenue at grade. 

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3 hours ago, Transit Fan said:

I honestly don't think it's even worth building this across the river.

Objectively it probably isn't worth going up to 16 Ave in stage 1. It's a big ask to trade the disruption and downgrading of a functioning street to serve only ~11,000 riders. You can probably make up those riders by extending further south without the disruption. But it's questionable if Council can get past the politics of North vs South.

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33 minutes ago, lucx said:

Objectively it probably isn't worth going up to 16 Ave in stage 1. It's a big ask to trade the disruption and downgrading of a functioning street to serve only ~11,000 riders. You can probably make up those riders by extending further south without the disruption. But it's questionable if Council can get past the politics of North vs South.

Not to mention the lack of ridership a line only running to 16th Ave will have and the resulting negative public image from that.

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1 hour ago, Nick B said:

Not to mention the lack of ridership a line only running to 16th Ave will have and the resulting negative public image from that.

I'm guessing 1987-1990 (before Brentwood) and the south before the early 2000s (extensions past Anderson) still lives fresh in CT's minds? 

Minus financial concerns, its the only real negative reception a stub line going up to 16th Ave would get. The ridership on the old downtown terminus west of the track switches, it was very low for basically its entire existence. But for 16th Ave as a Green Line terminus? I'd imagine there would be alot more ridership - especially for MO, anything going up Centre, and if not - the property values and TOD would at least make it worthwhile, when waiting for the rest of it to be constructed. Calgarys in a tax hole - getting out of it with TOD and high-rise nodes near the BRT/LRT, might at least take the edge off of the financial issues, for short to medium term. Bridgeland, Kensington and Foothills are developing rapidly as well. It might just pay for itself, if the developments can be crammed in there & generate millions in taxes, to cover the cost of the station, construction of the tracks, etc etc. 

1 hour ago, lucx said:

Objectively it probably isn't worth going up to 16 Ave in stage 1. It's a big ask to trade the disruption and downgrading of a functioning street to serve only ~11,000 riders. You can probably make up those riders by extending further south without the disruption. But it's questionable if Council can get past the politics of North vs South.

I do agree, extending it further south (to at LEAST McKenzie Towne) would be better for ridership. It would also reduce the amount of annoying suburban bus rides from Auburn Bay/Mahogany/anywhere deep SE to Somerset, and travel times, considerably. It shouldn't take 60-90 minutes to get from Seton to Deerfoot Meadows on a bus, when it takes 25% of that time, by car. The MT, 106 and 149 offer more options for transfers and physically getting there  yes, but its moot if it takes 45-60 minutes to get to any of those transfer points (including the waits for 30-40 minute frequencies).

By extending the Green Line to McKenzie Towne, yeah there would still be 15-20 minutes on the bus to McKenzie from the hospital, but least the train could physically get you downtown in 45-50 minutes, and to transfers considerably faster, with freed up buses from the 302 then being able to reinforce the 43 and MT, to make it so that people can get to where they need to go (whether it be MRU or Deerfoot Meadows) in a reasonable amount of time, versus the unsynchrozied SE bus transfers, and - borrowing DavidW's term for long winding routes with no direct purpose - "pretzeling". 

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11 hours ago, CTrainDude said:

Keep in mind, it’s probably likely that 16th Avenue will still be grade separated one day. The line will cross the river and stop short of the intersection at 16th Ave.  Nothing so far has shown the train crossing 16 Avenue at grade. 

That is true but you have to consider that if they do build a station just south of that intersection at street level, it'd be hard to imagine how they would grade separate it in the future.

Unless they want to tunnel 16th Ave underneath Centre St someday, you would need either a trenched station or build the station significantly further south of 16th Ave so that there's enough room to cross under 16th Ave in the future. Nothing presented thus far seems to indicate that the former is happening. The latter is still possible would make connections to Max Orange (one of the benefits that they're promoting) more difficult if the station is 2 blocks away.

 

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1 hour ago, Transit Fan said:

That is true but you have to consider that if they do build a station just south of that intersection at street level, it'd be hard to imagine how they would grade separate it in the future.

Unless they want to tunnel 16th Ave underneath Centre St someday, you would need either a trenched station or build the station significantly further south of 16th Ave so that there's enough room to cross under 16th Ave in the future. Nothing presented thus far seems to indicate that the former is happening. The latter is still possible would make connections to Max Orange (one of the benefits that they're promoting) more difficult if the station is 2 blocks away.

 

In the end, if they build the 9th Avenue station, they could use that as a temporary end of line while they extend the line north and grade separate 16th Avenue - or even use Eau Claire as the terminal.  The BRT they propose goes into the core anyway, so closing the 16th Avenue station during construction of an extension wouldn't be out of the question.  Ultimately, the 16th Avenue station will probably be there a while, just like 10th Street Station used to be the end of the line for the Blue Line before the extension to the west.

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