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Old Posted Apr 21, 2012, 1:23 AM
Bassic Lab Bassic Lab is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Calgary
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Originally Posted by Koolfire View Post
I'm thinking if they spur to the airport why stop there. They could continue on to the North Central artery north of Beddington Trail. The only problem I see is that it would be about same travel time as using the current 301.

I would spur off McKnight station and run along Metis Trail to 96th and then head west as it would be 13km vs 15 km to North Pointe but building it along Metis would require an additional km worth of track to be built. 2.6 KM from McKnight station to Metis/96th vs 1.6 KM from 60th/96th to Metis/96th.

Currently Cityhall to McKnight is 12KM covered in about 20 minutes with 7 stops. This extension would be 13KM but only 3 stop (Harvest,Airport,McKnight) so about 15 minutes. Total 35 minutes. 301 currently (at least according to timing points which I think is wrong for rush hour) takes 35 minutes from North Pointe to Downtown. So the question is: Is it worth it?
That is an interesting idea. It could serve to relieve pressure from the Centre Street busses (though it would save less from the 301 and more from the multitude of rush hour express busses that use the corridor during peak traffic time) if they become overburdened before a true NC LRT could be built for whatever reason. There would definitely need to be conditions though. At a bare minimum the 8 Ave Subway would need to be built first; there is no way that 7 Ave could handle existing train traffic and the traffic from the airport-norh central spur. It would need to be designed with the future in mind; the Harvest Hills Boulevard section would need to be built with a future connection to a true NC LRT in mind and the Airport section would need to be able to form its own independent line in the future. It would need to be considerably cheaper than the eventual true NC LRT; there is no point in making a half assed stop gap NC LRT just to serve the Airport if it costs anywhere near as much as the chosen NC LRT routing. Lastly, 36 St NE would need to be able to handle the additional traffic; I'm not sure how many more peak hour trains that section can handle before the level crossings seriously begin to impair the functionality of certain intersections (I've already mentioned my belief that the 36 St NE section may well need to be rebuilt as an elevated line to allow eventually desired headways on the NE LRT).

I still think it would be better to complete the six radial lines, the 8 Ave Subway, and maybe even a 17 Ave SE line before we worry about serving the Airport. That said, if it could be done for less than a billion, delay the need for a NC LRT from the 15-20 year horizon to 30+ to allow us to save for a Centre Street Subway, and give us an Airport connection sooner, then it might be a good idea.

Also I think it would be better for an Airport line, eventually meant to function as an independent connector between the NC LRT and the NE LRT with further extensions at some distant point in time, to continue along 96 Ave/Airport Trail to connect with the NE LRT in the vicinity of 96 Ave and 60 St. There would also need to be more than three stations along it and the Harvest Hills portion of the NC LRT. Initially we'd want the currently planned Coventry Station (at Harvest Hills @ roughly Country Village Road), Harvest Hills Station (at Harvest Hills @ 96 Ave), and Aurora Station (at 96 Ave @ roughly Aurora Park Link), along with the Airport Station and in the future we would want the planned 96 Ave Station (at the CP tracks for transfers to commuter/High Speed Rail), along with a station around 96 Ave @ Metis Trail. The future stations would depend on the build out of Commuter/HSR on the one hand and the build out of the industrial park on the other; they may even be called for at the time such a theoretical NC LRT/Airport Line stop gap would be built.
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