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  #7121  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2019, 8:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Nouvellecosse View Post
I actually never heard about the plan for a subway. They must have been expecting some pretty serious growth because while larger systems were needed in smaller cities before the rise of the automobile, that's... kinda pushing it.
They were expecting the same kind of growth that happened in Toronto and Montreal, which would have made Halifax a city of 300,000 or so by 1930. I don't know what the route would have been. I've only seen contemporary reports in newspapers, not city plans. I assume it would have been a tunnel under Barrington that would have replaced a portion of the surface streetcar network. It probably would not have been like the 1950's/60's Toronto and Montreal systems that ran out to the suburbs, but it might have served as a nice starting point for a larger system. The larger systems also tended to have better economies of scale and more staying power. Maybe if Halifax were a bigger city it wouldn't have completely lost its streetcar lines or overhead power infrastructure.

Congestion was pretty bad in Victorian-era cities, and transit use was much higher. Halifax's transit today is nowhere near as good as it was even in the 1940's. The service interval for trams on Barrington was 90 seconds during WWII. There was also commuter rail that ran to Bedford around 1900 (the route was called "the Suburban").

The Malmo system looks a lot like a realistic "dream" system for Halifax, which would have a downtown underground portion that would transition to above-ground farther out. This is probably going to get more and more practical in the future too with battery-powered trains and mixed light/heavy traffic along rail lines. Hopefully it won't take decades for Canada to adopt these changes. There were old proposals to extend the South End rail line into downtown along Hollis Street, maybe underground, but this was not very workable with heavy diesel-powered trains.

There is also a North End rail line in Halifax but the last 2 km or so if it were turned into parking (you can see that long strip of parking running by the naval base). There used to be a passenger rail terminal at North Street that was destroyed in the explosion.
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  #7122  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2019, 9:21 PM
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That stretch of parking along Barrington has long been a source of annoyance for me because I always wished it has been developed as buildings. But perhaps it could act as a right of way for a rail route viaduct. That would preserve most of the ground space while helping to avoid costly tunneling. It would have the disadvantage of not serving any of the stops in the South or west Ends, but I honestly wonder sometimes if that idea is more trouble than it's worth due to CN's obstructionism.

I wonder what the overall lowest cost option would be? If we used the rail corridor we'd almost certainly need to rebuild the second track to allow for any sort of reasonable frequency, but we could have the route from the station into deep downtown just be surface street running with DMUs simular to the NJ transit river line or the Austin commuter rail. Ideally it would be a diesel/electric hybrid with enough battery power to allow it to run emissions free on city streets and have higher overall efficiency without the added cost of overhead wires.
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  #7123  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2019, 3:01 AM
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I'm not sure what it would take for Halifax Transit to consider implementing something like that. It seems like a no-brainer but rail transit does not really seem to be on anyone's radar other than the potential commuter line to Bedford (and even that seems to have pretty tepid support within Transit itself). They seem 100% focused on perfecting the bus system within the constraints of the existing transportation network (which is impossible) and seem uninterested in taking on anything else until that's done (which will be never).

It's frustrating because even with the improvements the system feels like it's gone from "inadequte" to "generally good, outside of rush hour" and if these types of improvements continue then even in the best-case scenario that's all it will ever be. Creating something resembling true rapid transit with a dedicated ROW through the urban core will be a MAJOR investment but it is one that will need to be made eventually and commute times are only going to continue to get worse until we do. Realistically I think we'll be one of the last 250,000+ cities in Canada to get LRT or something equivalent but I also think it will have a bigger impact here than in most places in terms of commute times.

Then again if Halifax was in Ontario we'd probably have a system by now or at least well in the works. I'm not sure why the mentality is so different here but I think part of it is that there aren't any slightly-larger cities nearby to use as examples. If you were to drop the average Haligonian in Waterloo Region they might well assume that it's a metro of 1M+ because that's "the size that cities with LRT systems are".
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  #7124  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2019, 5:47 AM
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Halifax is older and lacks a comprehensive network of arterial roads, plus it has tricky geography. These factors have conspired to cause the city to hit diminishing returns relatively quickly with at-grade bus type infrastructure. Barrington rush hour traffic is packs of buses that grind along at 5 km/h. You can't fix that by adding more buses to the traffic jam.

I agree completely that there is a weird dynamic in Halifax and Nova Scotia with people thinking that anything beyond at-grade buses is special, and not a normal next step once you hit diminishing returns with buses. The NS department of transportation is really the highway department, and many people in NS would view LRT as gold-plated special infrastructure for coddled urbanites, not merely a different type of infrastructure from what is built in rural areas (where it's OK to spend $10,000 a person on a highway interchange). It's pretty common for governments to think of projects of a type they haven't implemented yet as something hugely innovative and risky.

The transit situation in Halifax reminds me of the Vancouver housing situation in 2015. The people in power are not even talking about it or thinking about it in the right way, and I'm not sure they want to. Meanwhile even a lot of the advocates seem kind of confused and there is no consensus on a way forward. There are lots of crazy wasteful tangents with people arguing that there should be 100 km of subway or commuter rail out to Truro. Over the last few years Halifax has gotten pretty good at drawing on examples from cities like Malmo when it comes to other kinds of development and public works but not transit. Maybe it will change after 5-10 more years of more substantial growth, but that delay will have a high cost in quality of life.
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  #7125  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2019, 6:04 AM
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I wouldn't mind if leaders didn't want to move beyond buses if they were more willing to create dedicated transit lanes for them. For instance, dedicating the reversible lane on the bridge and Herring Cove Rd to transit. Creating a bus lane on any 3 or 4 lane road (or road that could be widened to such fairly easily) that carries any significant amount of bus traffic shouldn't even require debate at this point. The problem is, there are a number of key routes that are either entirely 2 lane or have inconvenient pinch points that can't be remedied without much more cost, building demolition, etc. Well, that and of course it is still highly controversial to give over any traffic or parking lane to a use other than general traffic.
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  #7126  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2019, 2:51 PM
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I'm not seeing much in the way of "Pictures of your city". Lots of Halifax transit though.
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  #7127  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2019, 8:50 AM
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You got two Malmös though. So there's that.

(j/k I know that nobody has ever been satisfied by Malmö.)
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  #7128  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2019, 11:04 AM
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Hastings Mill Park, Vancouver, Jan.7 '19, my pic



West Side, Vancouver, Jan.7 '19, my pics






Robson Street, Vancouver, Dec.31 '18



West 8th Avenue, Vancouver, Jan.7 '19, my pic



West End skyline / Granville Bridge, Vancouver, Jan.7 '19, my pic



Downtown South / False Creek, Vancouver, Jan.7 '19, my pic



Coal Harbour, Vancouver, Dec.31 '18, my pics






Nicola Street, Vancouver, Jan.1 '19, my pics






Cambie Street, Vancouver, Dec.30 '18
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  #7129  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2019, 11:52 AM
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Beauties, mcminsen.
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  #7130  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2019, 3:55 AM
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  #7131  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2019, 9:45 PM
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  #7132  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2019, 2:03 AM
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  #7133  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2019, 7:32 AM
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Sunset Beach/West End, Vancouver, Jan.14 '19, my pics






























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  #7134  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2019, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonkeyRonin View Post
that view of Toronto is great. they should use that more instead of the typical from the waterfront view you get
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  #7135  
Old Posted Yesterday, 9:08 PM
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A few recent uploads from Newfoundland.

Woody Point, Gros Morne National Park, NL by Ivar Struthers, on Flickr

Woody Point, Gros Morne National Park, NL by Ivar Struthers, on Flickr

Last year I drove the 11 hours to St. Anthony from St. John's just on a whim. Didn't pack shit. It's nice up there, though.

Dr Wilfred Grenfell House Museum, St Anthony NL by Ivar Struthers, on Flickr

St Anthony, Newfoundland NL by Ivar Struthers, on Flickr

Welcome to Newfoundland & Labrador sign by Ivar Struthers, on Flickr

Port aux Basques, Newfoundland by Ivar Struthers, on Flickr

Port aux Basques, Newfoundland by Ivar Struthers, on Flickr

The Battery, St. John's, NL (Explored) by Channy Anand, on Flickr

widetrails by PhotoMayo.net, on Flickr

Newfoundland 2018 by mosquitoflats, on Flickr

Presto Magic 3 by Zach Bonnell, on Flickr

And one from France...

ja. france, beaumont h, newfoundland memorial. cbr1 by Christopher Redford, on Flickr
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  #7136  
Old Posted Today, 12:20 AM
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Beautiful. I can definitely see the allure of this part of Newfoundland.
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