Originally Posted by Policy Wonk
I have not changed my position. Capacity is the number of train movements supported by a given length of track in a given time. Lines for transit purposes are colored bars on maps and names on signs. When the costs are in the billions of dollars you can't just lay down track where it might be convenient to.
That is the wonderful thing about interlining, the capacity of the track can be allocated based on need. The great thing about technology is the headways provided for on modern grade separated track are ridiculous. It is criminal negligence to plan a modern grade separated line without provisions for interlining because the track capacity is so great. To argue that interlining diminishes potential capacity you first have to argue that a route has any probability of being impeded by track capacity in the modern grade separated environment we speak of. And I don't even want to imagine where headways will be in the future when the only living, breathing C-Train operator is at Heritage Park.
Because 7th Ave will have been grade separated decades earlier to eliminate the surface traffic bottleneck affecting route 202 it won't be a problem.
There is no relative disproportionate benefit in favour of something that can't be built. Arguing about this sort of alignment is like some guys at the airport with a King Air contemplating a fleet of 777's.
1. / 2. You still have to be able to built it in the first place.
3. That is a whole other war in and of itself that is unlikely to be successful unless a virulent plague kills off the population of Centre Street North of 16th ave.
4. Grade separation is a marvelous and inevitable thing even if no North Central LRT is ever built.
In a future Calgary there will be many competing transportation priorities. Building a single LRT line for the price of two to serve the backwater that is most of Centre Street is going to be completely unsalable.
We've been over most of this before and I don't think either one of us really sees much of a point in treading the same water over again but I'm curious about something you wrote here. It is the part about most of Centre Street being a backwater in the future. So I'd like to know what you think the area is going to look like in 20, 50, 100 years?
I think that whatever happens regarding the NCLRT, be it Centre Street Subway, some kind of Nose Creek alignment, or nothing, there will be redevelopment and gentrification of the area bound by the Bow River, Deerfoot, Beddington Trail, and 14 St. At the bare minimum, with a Nose Creek alignment or no NCLRT, I would assume that much of the existing housing stock will be redeveloped with infill homes, those 50' lots that close to downtown will be devoured (the area isn't Mount Royal or Elbow Park, it will not be preserved, and it isn't Forest Lawn (or most anything east of Deerfoot) wealth isn't afraid to enter it), and low rise condos will continue to slowly be built in areas close to transit. I just don't think that the majority of the area will become a backwater. Without a higher level of transit it will probably all slowly look more like Hillhurst and Crescent Heights do today.
With a Centre Street Subway, I would expect a great deal more construction over the whole area. The slow natural growth and gentrification related redevelopment would be accelerated by the presence of faster, higher capacity, transit (not to mention the improvement in traffic capacity with the reduction in busses on Centre Street; there are definitely enough to affect traffic flow today, let alone in twenty years when a NCLRT might be realistically built). Furthermore, I could see a major secondary business district develop around the intersection of Centre Street and 16 Ave N. Over the coming decades, Downtown and the Beltline will become essentially built out but demand will still exist for inner city office space. The intersection of rapid transit lines following both Centre Street and 16 Ave N would provide enough transportation capacity for a major employment node despite constrained roads throughout the inner city. The only other option I can see involves more and more intense office development in the industrial areas to the South East of Downtown but the problem there is that only the SE LRT will service those areas. Either way, we can only fit so much office space and so many condos in Downtown/The Beltline and when they are full new ones will have to go somewhere. That somewhere will need to have rapid transit because the roads are already full.