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  #4321  
Old Posted Mar 2, 2012, 3:08 PM
kevinbottawa kevinbottawa is offline
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Looking at the distance between the Downtown East and Downtown West stations, if it wasn't for the cost, they could probably fit another station at Elgin.
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  #4322  
Old Posted Mar 2, 2012, 3:21 PM
White Pine White Pine is offline
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The tunnel was actually supposed to be under a different street, but was moved to Queen so that it could be more shallow, therefore cheaper. I don't think the Parliament buildings are wasted catchment (tourists), but the river definitely is .
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  #4323  
Old Posted Mar 4, 2012, 3:42 AM
Richard Eade Richard Eade is offline
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Originally Posted by Kitchissippi View Post
It might be more central on paper, but ideally transit should be run where you can and want to promote pedestrian activity. The Queen Street alignment has more potential of a symbiotic relationship with Sparks Street and bringing life to downtown's shared spaces. Drawing concentric circles is a simplified methodology at best and has no contextual bearing, and the idea here is to aim for the heart not the navel.
Well, I think we may have to agree to disagree on where the tunnel should go: Your idea of putting it under Queen because it is closer to the pedestrian realm of Sparks Street is fundamentally different from my thoughts of putting the tunnel closer to where the people actually are – not where I’d like them to be.

If this were a slow tram line which served a local purpose, I definitely would agree with you. However, this is not being designed with such a purpose; it is clearly a commuter system, meant to bring suburbanites to their offices in the core. I think that wanting the tunnel under Queen so that it becomes a ‘people place’ is the same kind of thinking which favours running the line along Carling because Carling has so many destinations along it. For me, there are two different types of systems, serving two different purposes. One is a high-speed commuter system and the other is a lower-speed local system (although it might physically cross a great distance).

Take a look at the buildings of the downtown area. Close to the Parliamentary Precinct there are older, shorter buildings with limited space to grow. As you move south from Wellington, the buildings get larger, housing more office-workers. All of those people want to take the train to their office, not to several blocks away from their office. And even if that is a nice place, they'd not likely linger there; they'll go to work.

When the train disgorges its passengers in the morning, what will they do? If they are under Queen Street, they will exit the station and walk along Queen until they reach a cross-street; then the vast majority will head south to their offices. They won’t be hanging around Queen Street enjoying the symbiotic relationship with Sparks Street; they will flood the south-bound sidewalks.

Now imagine the people coming up from a station under Slater. These people will divide at the north-south streets with some heading north and some going south. The sidewalks will be less crowded and the average person should walk a shorter distance to their office.

What if someone needs to transfer to a bus to continue their journey? Well, there are bound to be a lot more buses running along Slater than there are along Queen.

There is a reason that the heart is in the chest; it is closer to the lungs to get oxygen, and closer to the head where most of that oxygen is destined. The trick is to put the right system in the right place; the place that satisfies the greatest need the best.

I agree that the tunnel should go through the heart; but I disagree with what you consider to be the heart.

So, I may not agree yet that this line should be built under Queen, just so that it can be a more people-friendly place, but if you have other reasons I would like to hear them. You generally do have good ideas and I am curious about your opinion.
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  #4324  
Old Posted Mar 4, 2012, 5:45 AM
Uhuniau Uhuniau is offline
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Originally Posted by Richard Eade View Post
I am getting a bit worried as to how this project is turning out. Now the catchment area is:
How hard is it, really, in the age of GIS, to express cachement areas in REAL terms - using actually walking routes and distances - rather than drawing circles?
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  #4325  
Old Posted Mar 4, 2012, 5:48 AM
Uhuniau Uhuniau is offline
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Originally Posted by White Pine View Post
The tunnel was actually supposed to be under a different street, but was moved to Queen so that it could be more shallow, therefore cheaper. I don't think the Parliament buildings are wasted catchment (tourists), but the river definitely is .
Tourists? Hell, there are several thousand worker bees on the Parliamentary precinct.
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  #4326  
Old Posted Mar 4, 2012, 2:07 PM
Kitchissippi Kitchissippi is online now
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Originally Posted by Richard Eade View Post
Well, I think we may have to agree to disagree on where the tunnel should go: Your idea of putting it under Queen because it is closer to the pedestrian realm of Sparks Street is fundamentally different from my thoughts of putting the tunnel closer to where the people actually are – not where I’d like them to be.
Our difference in opinion touches on the fine line between urban planning and urban design. One can picture the commute as a daily drudgery of getting to and from a desk chair and should be made as fast and as short as possible; or it could be seen as a chance to regularly connect with the city you live in — grab a coffee/newspaper/breakfast before work or shop and linger on the way home.

Commuting time and effort is elastic, it is different for everybody. People adjust to it and a couple of blocks is negligible to get to somewhere necessary like work. However, it is a completely different case for elective activities like shopping and leisure, where a block or two, or even the line of sight makes a huge difference whether people choose one place over another. The LRT stations will be magnets that can significantly change the patterns crucial to retail and social habits.

One of the frequent complaints in this city is how dead Sparks street is after hours, and it's probably the main factor responsible for perpetuating the wide-spread perception that Ottawa is a boring town. Putting transit stations closer to it will give it much needed critical mass and new purpose to underused commercial and pedestrian infrastructure already in place — not just the ped mall but also buildings like the WEP, Place de ville, 240 Sparks, MetLife centre, D'arcy McGee building, etc. These complexes already have food courts and shopping concourses that sadly start to shutter up after 3:30 pm. Having the transit stations on Albert will shift more commercial activity away and risk the further deterioration of downtown's traditional shopping district, putting it at the fringe of the catchment rather than at its centre. This is what I meant about aiming for the heart and not the navel.

Digging the tunnel on Queen also has the advantage of leaving the Transitway arrangement on Slater and Albert intact during construction, which is definitely one less headache.

Last edited by Kitchissippi; Mar 4, 2012 at 3:01 PM.
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  #4327  
Old Posted Mar 5, 2012, 4:28 AM
Richard Eade Richard Eade is offline
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OK, I think I get what you are getting at: If we make the path go back and forth, then people will walk in a zigzag, following the path. Basically, if you build it north then people will be tempted to hang around the stations and their environs.

I don’t know if I agree with the concept, though. I have seen too many curved paths with a dirt path by-passing the curve.

If Queen is used, there might be some use of the stores very local to the stations. People will figure that if they have to walk three blocks to get to the station, they might as well go to the barber beside that station. However, I’m not convinced that they will walk four blocks so that they can go to Sparks Street, and then walk back a block to the LRT station. My experience is that people will stop at their final destination unless there is a very compelling reason to go past it and then back.

I’m also not convinced how elastic the morning commute time is. I think people tend to leave home as late as practical to just get in to work in time. I have watched people cram onto full Express Buses at Fallowfield Station because the trip is a couple of minutes faster than the half-full # 95 which makes more stops. Like-wise, I think people generally want to get home after work without delay; thus the popularity of Express buses.

It soundss to me that your concept of ‘planning’ is to ignore human nature and to create utopian areas which ‘should’ attract people to them. Well, the Sparks Street Mall was such an experiment, and look how it works. It is a pedestrian realm with traditional a main street layout. By the ‘planning’ concepts, it should attract pedestrians to it. But it doesn’t; unless there is an event which makes it a destination (Rib Fest, Busker Fest, etc.). Why would people walk from Laurier up to Sparks Street, then back down to Slater just so they can visit a travel agent? There is a travel agent at the Place d'Orléans, where they need to transfer; or they can drive to one after dinner.

I admit that having the current Transitway run along Albert/Slater probably draws people toward those two streets and away from other streets, like Sparks. But putting the tunnel under Queen will only make Queen the draw, not Sparks, and make people walk further to get to the LRT. The LRT stations are the destination, and from my experience looking at the rut in the grass cutting off the arc of the curved path, people tend to bee-line for their destination.

The problem with Queen Street was stated early in the DOTT study; Queen is too far north. Since the majority of the workers are south of Queen, they will generally head south in the morning, and north in the afternoon – but only as far as Queen.

A similar thing will happen with Slater Street; people who work north of Slater will head north in the morning and south to, but not south of, Slater in the afternoon; those working south of it will go south in the morning and north, back to Slater, in the afternoon. The difference is that the pedestrian traffic will be more evenly split from Slater so that there are not the huge, uni-directional, crowds trying to use the north-south sidewalks.

Of course, using transit to help establish development and land use patterns is a valid thing, but it works best when there is a clean slate. For example, I am in favour of developing a rail line through Riverside South as early as possible. But where patterns have been set over years of development and use, I think it is better to provide a service which matches the need.

And, yes, digging under Queen would be less disruptive to the Transitway, but the Transitway is going to be so disrupted during the conversion that if both directions were temporarily pushed onto Albert it probably wouldn’t make that much of a difference.
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  #4328  
Old Posted Mar 5, 2012, 5:10 AM
Uhuniau Uhuniau is offline
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Originally Posted by Richard Eade View Post
Like-wise, I think people generally want to get home after work without delay; thus the popularity of Express buses.
If they wanted to get home "without delay", they'd be insisting that the city get rid of "express" buses. Too many buses of different routings clogging the central Transitway is the cause of the delay.
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  #4329  
Old Posted Mar 5, 2012, 6:40 PM
eternallyme eternallyme is offline
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Couldn't they make the other street - either Albert or Slater - two-way and buses only during construction, at least on weekdays?
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  #4330  
Old Posted Mar 5, 2012, 6:54 PM
Kitchissippi Kitchissippi is online now
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Originally Posted by Richard Eade View Post
It soundss to me that your concept of ‘planning’ is to ignore human nature and to create utopian areas which ‘should’ attract people to them. Well, the Sparks Street Mall was such an experiment, and look how it works. It is a pedestrian realm with traditional a main street layout. By the ‘planning’ concepts, it should attract pedestrians to it. But it doesn’t; unless there is an event which makes it a destination (Rib Fest, Busker Fest, etc.).
You are putting cart before the horse here — Sparks Street flourished as a commercial street because the streetcars used to run along Sparks and Queen between Bank and Elgin. It started its decline after the tracks were removed and was probably riding on its residual success when it was turned into a pedestrian mall in the 1960s, a scheme to retain patronage despite the lost preferential transit access (it was getting clogged with cars since many people chose to drive there). Restoring ease of transit access isn't a guarantee of a return of the good old days, but it gives the area a fighting chance instead of a nail in the coffin. The problem with Sparks Street is that it has been pushed to the fringe of daily awareness of most of the people in this city — out of sight, out of mind.

Quote:
I’m also not convinced how elastic the morning commute time is. I think people tend to leave home as late as practical to just get in to work in time. I have watched people cram onto full Express Buses at Fallowfield Station because the trip is a couple of minutes faster than the half-full # 95 which makes more stops. Like-wise, I think people generally want to get home after work without delay; thus the popularity of Express buses.
That's not what I meant about elasticity. Anyone who moves from Alta Vista to Orleans will have to adjust their commute time and effort, likewise, if their office was moved from Wellington to Gloucester Street they'll have to account for some difference in walking distance and time from a bus stop. Having LRT on Queen won't result in everyone working on Laurier being late for work everyday, they could however end up being more fit
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  #4331  
Old Posted Mar 19, 2012, 12:52 AM
eltodesukane eltodesukane is offline
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Originally Posted by Jamaican-Phoenix View Post
They should put a station in at Gladstone.
And Walkley, and Lester.
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  #4332  
Old Posted Mar 19, 2012, 1:24 AM
lrt's friend lrt's friend is offline
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What really killed Sparks Street was the opening of the Rideau Centre. A number of retailers actually moved from Sparks Street to the Rideau Centre at that time.

Having lived in Ottawa all my life and seeing several history photographs, the decline of Sparks Street actually probably began in the 1930s when Confederation Square was created. This created a much more substantial divide between Sparks Street and Rideau Street when several buildings were demolished and it has impeded shoppers from visiting both locations ever since.

We need a major pedestrian destination to be created on Sparks Street.
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  #4333  
Old Posted Mar 19, 2012, 4:14 PM
Richard Eade Richard Eade is offline
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But does having the major transit line one block south of Sparks, when the vast majority of the riders have destinations south of Queen, really help Sparks Street?

In the morning, people will exit the OLRT and flood along the south side of Queen until they can head south on O'Connor and Metcalfe. Few will venture up to Sparks in the morning.

In the afternoon, people will head back up O'Connor and Metcalfe until they reach Queen. There is little reason to go further north to Sparks when the access to the transit they want is on the south side of Queen.
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  #4334  
Old Posted Mar 19, 2012, 5:48 PM
Ottawan Ottawan is offline
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Queen Street vs. Slater

While I continue to support the LRT plan as it currently stands due to the greater likelihood of it coming into being, I certainly feel Richard's proposal is a significantly superior plan.

A central goal of effective public transit must be to have it as convenient as possible for as many people as possible. I do not have the means to undertake a quantitative analysis to find the convenience*person score of each option, but on a qualitative assessment, it seems like common sense that having the transit line bisect the densest part of the city rather than skirting it to the north would create greater convenience for more people.

In addition, I feel that Richard's proposed Confederation Square station would actually do more to bring people to Sparks than would the two proposed Queen Street stations. The Confed station could have an entrance right on Sparks Street at Elgin. This station would also fill in the gap in service that has become increasingly apparent with the relocation of the Rideau Station (which I do feel was the right move).
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  #4335  
Old Posted Mar 19, 2012, 6:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Ottawan View Post
While I continue to support the LRT plan as it currently stands due to the greater likelihood of it coming into being, I certainly feel Richard's proposal is a significantly superior plan.

A central goal of effective public transit must be to have it as convenient as possible for as many people as possible. I do not have the means to undertake a quantitative analysis to find the convenience*person score of each option, but on a qualitative assessment, it seems like common sense that having the transit line bisect the densest part of the city rather than skirting it to the north would create greater convenience for more people.

In addition, I feel that Richard's proposed Confederation Square station would actually do more to bring people to Sparks than would the two proposed Queen Street stations. The Confed station could have an entrance right on Sparks Street at Elgin. This station would also fill in the gap in service that has become increasingly apparent with the relocation of the Rideau Station (which I do feel was the right move).
agreed. in fact, it would allow the Rideau station to be moved even further east, increasing its catchment area further. I've never understood the frequent comment that says you can't have a station in a curve, Paris and Stockholm metros both do (I've personally visited curved stations on both systems). The curve from Rideau towards Campus will be kinda tight, and probably best taken at reduced speed to reduce wear and tear, well, what better way to reduce speed that in and out of a station? locating the station near or in that curve would also go a long way towards making up for the loss of Laurier Station.

Last edited by McC; Mar 19, 2012 at 7:59 PM. Reason: directions got turned around
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  #4336  
Old Posted Mar 20, 2012, 3:35 AM
MountainView MountainView is offline
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After reading through this article: "LRT changes a must to spare plans’ budget: mayor"
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/ch...937/story.html

I'm wondering if anybody knows the frequency they plan on running the trains at various times of the day. In the article Nancy Schepers, the deputy city manager who oversees the LRT project said “We’re going to have trains running every few minutes through the downtown."

I'm hoping (not assuming) they are smart and are going to have it every 10minutes off-peak (9am-3pm) and every 2-4minutes during peak (7-9am & 3-6pm). Also, will they have the ability to add cars when necessary? When I lived in Calgary the C-train added a 4th car during rush hour for added capacity and usually ran with just 3 for off-peak times during the day.

-MountainView
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  #4337  
Old Posted Mar 20, 2012, 3:55 AM
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MalcolmTucker MalcolmTucker is offline
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Calgary has never ran with 4 car trains.
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  #4338  
Old Posted Mar 20, 2012, 1:48 PM
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@MountainView: You're talking about a BIG cut in frequency, the 95 currently runs much more frequently than every ten minutes during the day (more like every 4-6mins, in theory at least, not to mention the other routes that "platoon" up with them), I certainly hope we aren't going to wind up with less frequency through the core after all of this!

Last edited by McC; Mar 20, 2012 at 2:00 PM.
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  #4339  
Old Posted Mar 20, 2012, 1:58 PM
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Since we've gone from looking at 6-car 180 metre platforms, to 5-car and now down to 4-car 120-metre platforms, and we're going to use low-floor LRVs, and we can't afford to build an appropriate number of underground stations, and the stations are still going to be deep and far away from new developments... and.... and .... and... (I hate to say this because I was arguing FOR a subway) but why are we going underground again?

(i.e., since we only get one shot at this, and apparently we can't afford to do a subway right, why do a subway at all?)
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  #4340  
Old Posted Mar 20, 2012, 2:20 PM
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remember what it was like when the bottom fell out from under the last LRT plan? this is starting to feel similar. it's a good thing we don't have municipal elections every three years anymore!
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