Nov 15, 2009, 8:37 PM
The rural commuter and rapid transit development threads have gone more than a bit off-topic with respect to how such systems might interface with downtown, particularly on the east bank of the Rideau Canal.
I don't think it's possible to discuss those mega-ideas without also examining the current MacDonald-Cartier Bridge - King Edward - Nicholas traffic problem as well as some select land-use issues in the area.
Here are some things to consider/address, and I'm sure there are more to think about:
-dealing with interprovincial/through truck and regular traffic, i.e. a tunnel under King Edward [and Nicholas] or under Vanier Pkwy and where any downtown accesses to/from it should be located
-pacifying Nicholas, or even completely removing it
-DNDHQ site - current tunnelling proximity issues, its future if and once DNDHQ moves elsewhere
-alignment of any STO-DOTT spur/branch
-role of Government Conference Centre/former Union Station - leave as is, find new use, move it elsewhere (steel frame construction, so not out of the question)
-provision for downtown commuter rail, intercity rail and HSR terminus
-sorting out Hurdman
-reconfiguration of 417-Nicholas and 417-Vanier Pwky interchanges and how to thread everything through there
-University of Ottawa's south campus at Lees
The sad thing about this is that this is EXACTLY what the NCC ought to be doing; instead we're seeing piecemeal planning of bits here and there.
Nov 15, 2009, 9:24 PM
I've decided to revise the Hurdman plan, seeing my new idea (and your suggestions frowning on a road connection to King Edward). The general LRT concept is unchanged though.
Orange - Bored tunnel
Light red - Elevated
Red - At grade (existing Transitway grade)
Dark grey - Trenched/tunnel commuter rail (option exists)
Black - At grade commuter rail
Light grey - New local/collector road for redevelopment
White - Bus-only roadway
Purple - Alta Vista Transportation Corridor (optional)
R - Redevelopment areas (Top-density residential or mixed use, 15 to 40 storeys, plus the relocated Lycee Claudel school)
1 - The LRT emerges from the bored tunnel just past Lees Station (see downtown ideas) onto a structure over the Rideau River. The portal would be in the parking lot shown.
2 - The LRT remains elevated into Hurdman Station, crossing the local road and the pathways.
3 - Hurdman Station is elevated, angled and to the north of the current bus station. It is a centre-loading station with the mezzanine at the surface (with connections to buses).
4 - At the curve where the LRT will turn east, protection will exist for a future Southeast Transitway conversion (which should replace the north-south plan, leaving the existing O-Train as it is).
5 - At the existing Transitway curve east of Hurdman, the LRT will drop to the existing Transitway level.
6 - No changes are recommended to the city's recommended plan at Train Station (not shown). If the current Ottawa Station is closed (replaced by the downtown Union Station), the area would be opened for redevelopment and the station renamed Tremblay Station.
7 - Once converted to LRT, the Southeast corridor would remain elevated up to the Riverside Drive overpass then drop to the current Transitway grade, which it should remain for most of the remaining length.
8 - Lycee Claudel (Abbey) Station would be unchanged except for conversion to rail with side platforms. They would be offsetting like the current Transitway platforms are.
9 - The LRT would remain at the current Transitway grade to the AVTC and beyond. If the AVTC is constructed, it would need to go under both the LRT and the OCR/VIA/commuter rail lines.
10 - The commuter rail/VIA corridor would remain on the current Transitway until the Hurdman curve, where it would go onto its own alignment. The local road and bus-only road would both need to go under the rail corridor, and the pathway already goes under the existing Transitway.
11 - The commuter rail/VIA line remains at-grade between the main redevelopment area and the AVTC corridor. Several pedestrian and bicycle underpasses should be built.
12 - The commuter rail/VIA line would descend under Riverside Drive and the LRT, either in a short tunnel or an open trench.
Umm... you're going to take a railway that's already on an embankment down that embankment and then down again beneath the current Transitway/Old Riverside Drive and then down yet again beneath the still-lower Riverside Drive?
Take a look at Google Streetview:
You can see the building in the background and the railway embankment. Now pan around to the west - there's a hill. I think you'd be much better off taking the railway high across all this rather than beneath it all.
I also don't care much for the curved alignment past Hurdman. That alignment may even be beyond standard railway curves, and the number of curves is definitely sub-optimal.
13 - A diamond would be built where Lycee Claudel school currently is (the school would be relocated across Riverside Drive as part of the project at the rail authority's expense). The diamond would facilite access east and west for commuter and VIA trains.
I wouldn't use an alignment anything like this. I would build a new rail bridge a little south of the former CPR bridge just south of the Queensway. That would be accessible from both the east (LRT likely goes under it) and from the south/west, via a new alignment, by way of a track leaving the current track just north of the Transitway access road underpass. That avoids the circuitous route for eastern trains especially. Such an alignment would also be pretty decent for HSR in the future (since HSR is going to have to track share within the approaches to the stations anyway). Depending on the state of CPR bridge, it may even be possible to re-use it by moving it.
On the Lees side of the river, the parking lot would be cut in two and a new underpass or overpass of the Queensway would be required. Given the height of the VIA embankment already, I would tend to go with an overpass, gaining height over the river, but that requires doing something about the Lees Ave overpass, which I would remove and replace with an underpass of the Queensway.
Part of the reason I prefer rail to go high is that I think we should also bury or otherwise get rid of Nicholas, so that works out well once past Mann Ave since rail can just replace Nicholas on its embankment.
The tricky bit is figuring out how to redesign the 417-Nicholas interchange to allow Nicholas to come in from below rather than above.
We can even consider building the LRT alignment along the north side of the rail alignment all the way from Mann and just not have a Hurdman Station as such; the Lees Station would basically be where Lees currently crosses the Queensway and it could take on the role of hub if the SE Transitway were turned into LRT since there'd then be no need for a bus terminal at Hurdman. Such an arrangement also avoids a need for the rail line to cross the East LRT line between the Rideau River and their crossing of Riverside Drive. The Southeast LRT line would likely cross the Rideau River at a lower level than the railway and East LRT, coming up to their level at the Lees Station after crossing beneath.
That then leaves the current Transitway bridge at Hurdman available for other things, as would be the Transitway underpass of the Queensway, which is basically four lanes wide.
I think I'm going to have to draw this out...
Nov 15, 2009, 10:00 PM
Even if it is set up for high-speed rail, it would not be a high-speed operation on that spur as it would be entering a station. 60 km/h (40 mph) would be an ideal maximum speed in that section. It could easily be electrified though.
The NCC sure made a huge mess when they decided to remove the rails and replace with a scenic parkway. While I could understand the reasoning at the time (and trains would need to go underground for a while), it was a very short-sighted decision.
If the road and transit network is left as is, the closest approach to the current Ottawa Central Railway is about 3 km from the GCC/Union Station. With no other changes, a tunnel would be necessary at least as far as the old Hurdman Bridge, where it could set up for a diamond. It would require a major change in the LRT alignment though, or an elevated or trenched LRT through that area.
Removing Nicholas Street would be possible but difficult. It would necessitate a high-quality route for trucks (i.e. a truck tunnel or the Kettle Island Bridge), but after that is done, it might be feasible since some vehicles would be removed and the rest could be accomodated on King Edward, Elgin, Metcalfe and other downtown streets. It would make an easy access for trains, and be a wider corridor to allow for storage tracks as well (the current Transitway alignment can only accomodate 2 tracks).
My assumption is that the DND HQ does NOT move, nor does any other existing building. Freight rail would be prohibited from that line, which reduces the security threat exponentially.
Nov 17, 2009, 4:59 AM
With regards to the Conference Centre/Rideau Centre/Mackenzie King/ByWard Market station, I envision the following:
This will become the City's primary downtown transit hub - a type of underground Hurdman or Lincoln Fields. It will anchor three routes, the current planned DOTT, the Rideau/Montreal line and the Gatineau Transit Loop.
From the West: The current proposed DOTT, which would carry both the traffic proposed in the current expansion plan, and traffic from the 'Quebec Transit Loop'
To the South: the current proposed DOTT, heading towards Hurdman
The Rideau Line: Eventually for Ottawa to grow up (double entente intended), I envision the need for more rapid transit in the core. In order to encourage increased density in our already urban areas, & to better serve the East-Central population's existing transit needs there should be a tunnel under Rideau Street/Montreal Road, turning south at Blair to connect to the Blair station (this line may include a spur that serves the Rockliffe Base development)
The Gatineau Transit Loop: would split at this station and head north. It would follow Cumberland Street, and in fact could emerge to be surface rail on that street. It would then re-enter a tunnel near Cathcart to emerge near the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge, which it would then use to cross to Gatineau. In Gatineau the transit loop would use Maisonneuve to Laurier, and Laurier to beyond Montcalm where it would split from the road to connect to the Prince of Wales Bridge. From here it would cross the river and connect with the Ottawa side of the system at Bayview, closing the loop. In Gatineau there is the potential that part of the line may need to be underground (particularly at the Laurier-Montcalm intersection, in order to make the turn). Obviously the technology for this loop would be rail that is compatible with using Ottawa's transit tunnel.
If I get my hands on a copy of paintshop, I'll produce a map of this plan.
The actual alignment for the underground platform would follow that proposed in the current DOTT alignment. It seems that this orientation would allow both the Rideau Line and the Transit Loop to split from the main line at the east end of the station. This allows one platform to be used for all the lines, saving great cost as no new lines need be bored deeper or parallel to this one.
Why Rideau and not Mackenzie King?
Considering my use of the proposed DOTT platform alignment, obviously I believe that the station should be oriented more towards Rideau Street than the Mackenzie King Bridge. What I do envisage is that much of the bus traffic that currently uses Rideau in this area (much to its detriment) would in fact be rerouted to Mackenzie King Bridge, maintaining that area as a transit hub, and helping to revitalize Rideau Street. (note: considering the Gatineau Transit Loop, the need for STO buses should be completely eliminated, meaning only local buses would be rerouted such)
This station would be at the centre of a hub of underground pedestrian connections. The Rideau Centre would be connected, as would the Conference Centre (Union Station). This would be through the excavation of an underground level of the Rideau Centre that would include retail. There would be a pedestrian passage that opens to the outdoors at the corner of William and George Streets (ie, the entrance to the Market). There would also be a connection to the Freiman Mall (the Hallway inside the Bay that is still technically owned by the City). There would be a direct connection to the new Convention Centre, and an underground walkway that would lead from there to the National Arts Centre.
These pedestrian connections would help to make the station an accessible end-point as well as a hub, and increase the vitality of what is already one of Ottawa's best areas.
Use of the Conference Centre
I propose that the Conference Centre be the "Main Entrance" to this transit hub, returning to its roots as a key part of Ottawa's transportation network. The building would be renovated to include a retail component, with cafes and patios fronting the Canal. It would be more than a station, but a cultural centre, and a showcase for the city. To this end, I suggest that the National Capital Info Centre should relocate to this building, as it is in a central and accessible location for tourists, and ideally the location from which they would enter our downtown core - therefore exactly where they would expect to find such a resource. This building would also be the primary customer service location for OC Transpo, replacing the truly subpar location near Mackenzie-King Bridge. Finally, I would like part of the space to be reserved for civic and cultural uses, which could include a home for the Ottawa Art Gallery, a display area for the Bytown Museum (this would allow them to have an additional exhibit, and direct people down to the primary location). Another possibility would be to use part of the building for the Contemporary Photography Gallery, which has sadly been lost (technically relocated to the National Art Gallery).
vBulletin® v3.8.7, Copyright ©2000-2013, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.