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  #221  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2010, 6:46 PM
hfx_chris hfx_chris is offline
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I might as well just re-state my personal thoughts on this.

I think for any sort of rail system to be worth while, it needs to serve the central downtown area, that would be the area between Citadel Hill and the waterfront. Large commuter rail trains (such as GO in Toronto, or AMT in Montreal) are just too large and akward to navigate Halifax's tight, busy streets, without being buried or elevated. And I think most people would agree, burying or elevating the tracks for any significant length is just either way too costly, or would encounter far too much opposition.
LRT uses smaller vehicles, often electrified although not always. They can operate both within and outside of downtown.

My ideal system would be to utilize the existing rail cut to the Via station, then to the Cogswell Interchange site which, when eventually torn down, I forsee as being a major downtown transit hub. It could either at that point reverse back to the rail cut, or continue along by the dockyard/Barrington area, up to Richmond and re-join the existing CN tracks.
Now to do this, Lower Water and Hollis Streets need to be made one-way streets for their entire length. I know this is something we've discussed before, and honestly this needs to happen regardless of rail service through downtown. On-street parking needs to be seriously restricted in some parts as well. Then you have two, 2-lane roads through downtown that could both accomidate vehicles and LRT traffic. It's all pretty much straight roads too, so you're not going to have large rail vehicles making tight turns onto Spring Garden or Quinpool/Cogswell, you get your service from areas like Clayton Park/Fairview, Bedford, Windsor Junction and Beaver Bank direct to the downtown central business district, and no transferring at the Via station.

If the Cogswell area redevelopments could include some sort of downtown transit terminal/hub, you could also run a couple of electric trolley coache (not rail) routes along areas like Barrington, Inglis, Spring Garden, Oxford, Quinpool, maybe Gottingen and Agricola as well, with frequent trips departing the downtown terminal.

http://local.google.ca/maps/ms?ie=UT...45976&t=h&z=12
Keep in mind this also shows a possible Dartmouth expansion, assuming a 3rd bridge or tunnel were to be built.


Also, my downtown trolley coach map:
http://local.google.ca/maps/ms?ie=UT...38b39&t=h&z=14
Featuring both a north-end and south-end route. I think the south-end route does a pretty good job hitting most of the major points of interest.

Last edited by hfx_chris; Jun 26, 2010 at 7:01 PM.
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  #222  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2010, 8:42 AM
halifaxboyns halifaxboyns is offline
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I agree with Sir Humphrey on serving the airport. Vancouver was in a bit of a unique situation, since their airport happened to be along the route of what became the 99 b-line and then the Canada line. But if translink hadn't setup the 99 B-line; it probably would've skipped over the airport. Granted, I'm sure everything got skewed because of the olympics.
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  #223  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2010, 8:54 AM
halifaxboyns halifaxboyns is offline
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Moncton makes some very good points - which I think many of us have brought up.

I think what is changing here is everyone seems to be jumping on board with the idea that no matter what system is used, Halifax has to grow more before it can come. So this is a long term solution - not put the shovel in the ground today.

Also, I'm seeing the people are starting to realize that transportation needs to be looked at in a multi-model approach. I see people talking about ferries, rail and bus - together (maybe not always said that way, but I can see that we seem to be agreeing with it; in some fashion).

High speed ferries are an interesting option because of the fact they can apply for an exemption to speed limits in the harbour - and the boat they used was low wake. Apparently the speed made the trip from Mill Cove to downtown in 15 minutes; which would make a 30 minute round trip.

I'm also pleased to see that people are seeing what has been said about commuter rail's difficulty - the fact that it doesn't go all the way into downtown. Personally, I'd like to see the service go to the train station - I see it as a huge value and a great spot to setup a terminal and spur new development around the area. But I'm open to the loop chris has proposed on the old rail line from Ceres into the dockyard, parts of which still exist.

Personally - I think the region's transportation systems will improved as the whole system improves. So if you add combinations of things like high speed ferry, rail and BRT - things will get better. Added to that, increased density in both the Halifax and Dartmouth cores; you will see the modal shift occur. Halifax has a wonderful walking/biking quality and believe me; the day I move home is the day I move into a place downtown. I'm prepared to keep my car in a garage and use it only for grocerry trips and pay the extra price if it will help in the long run (sorry guys, I won't sell her - she's just too much fun!).

Another way that commuter rail may work out of the train station is to setup timely connections along the line to the main work locations on the peninsula (hospitals/schools/downtown). So if a station were setup at Mumford, this could be one connection point; the second being the end of the line at the Train station. The catch will be ensuring timely connections (if you've missed the bus; then it won't work well). Human nature in transportations typically works that if it's long and difficult - it won't work. But if I can get on a train at mill cove, get to the train station and walk onto a bus that's waiting and get to downtown and then do the reverse with little hastle - it might work. Granted, the downtown loop via the dockyard may eliminate that need.

Btw - totally in support of the idea of Ashburn as a park/ride type style TOD development. Oh and two small criticism on Moncton's post about Edmonton/at grade rail: Their actual population is somewhere in the 782,439 (as of 2009 - according to wiki), but the region (St. Albert, Strathcona County, Sturgeon County and Fort Sask is about 1.2 million). The second - about at grade - Edmonton is having a really hard time about the LRT south extension (apparently some of the at grade crossing are not working properly and causing more problems than solving). I know for Calgary; the LRT crossing at 6 Ave SE near the East village development has a new signal (similar to a couple crossings in Edmonton). Here in Calgary; the lights are timed to prefer the LRT; so drivers would have probs with at grade crossings.
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  #224  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2010, 1:13 PM
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One suspects Bulldog Sue Uteck wrote this letter to the editor of the Herald (Sunday June 27) after having a few drinks on the patio at the Shoe:

Quote:
Unaffordable option

As a Halifax regional councillor, I read with interest that Mayor Peter Kelly met with Roland Aurich, president and CEO of Siemens Canada, to discuss sustainable transportation issues (June 25 article).

Mr. Aurich, you are wasting your time. Not only will this meeting (and hundreds of others) not be shared with council, but you should know that our mayor is head of the commuter rail committee which has not met for eight years.

In the interim, rail lines have been disposed of, making this choice unaffordable for the taxpayer.

Sue Uteck, Councillor, District 13,

North West Arm-South End

Nice "can't do" attitude demonstrated there. Disappointing.
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  #225  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2010, 1:17 PM
fenwick16 fenwick16 is offline
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What a nightmare it would be for the HRM if Sue Uteck became the Mayor (she is reportedly planning to run). Does the HRM need any more narrow-minded politicians? Has Sue Uteck ever heard of democracy? Or is it just that she has much better things to do than waste time listening to talk about commuter rail? Is it true that no councillors were planning to attend?

Last edited by fenwick16; Jun 27, 2010 at 1:35 PM.
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  #226  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2010, 2:16 PM
beyeas beyeas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
One suspects Bulldog Sue Uteck wrote this letter to the editor of the Herald (Sunday June 27) after having a few drinks on the patio at the Shoe:




Nice "can't do" attitude demonstrated there. Disappointing.
Ok I am reading this totally different that others here obviously. My read of what she said was she was planting the blame on the Mayor for chairing the committee but never having it meet, and the comment about tearing up the rail lines was that this was a short sited decision because it makes it more expensive down the road to bring in rail.

Am I way off here or what? My read was that she is blaming the Mayor, not that she is saying rail shouldn't happen.
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  #227  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2010, 3:07 PM
fenwick16 fenwick16 is offline
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Originally Posted by beyeas View Post
Ok I am reading this totally different that others here obviously. My read of what she said was she was planting the blame on the Mayor for chairing the committee but never having it meet, and the comment about tearing up the rail lines was that this was a short sited decision because it makes it more expensive down the road to bring in rail.

Am I way off here or what? My read was that she is blaming the Mayor, not that she is saying rail shouldn't happen.
You could be right. Maybe she is stating that the details will not be shared with council, as opposed to my interpretation that she and council are not interested. However, she was the one who wanted a motion to prevent debate on the southern bridge (although I somewhat agree with her regarding a southern bridge, discussion and debate should proceed, since it is not up to one person to stop it).

What has Sue Uteck stated in the past regarding commuter rail?
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  #228  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2010, 3:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fenwick16 View Post
What has Sue Uteck stated in the past regarding commuter rail?
Indirectly she has opposed it by her support for turning rail ROWs into useless trails instead of preserving them for transitways.
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  #229  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2010, 3:58 PM
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Indirectly she has opposed it by her support for turning rail ROWs into useless trails instead of preserving them for transitways.
I have done a quick search on the internet, regarding commuter rail and couldn't find anything about Councillor Sue Uteck supporting commuter rail, whereas she opposes a third harbour crossing and paving the rail cut.

On the other hand Mayor Kelly supported commuter rail in 2000 during his election bid. So I have to give the Mayor the upper hand with regards to this issue. Maybe it is very tough for the Mayor to deal with all the back stabbing going on. By the way, here is an interesting article - does anyone recognize the person on the front page? This is where I found the reference to the commuter rail and Mayor Kelly. http://journalism.ukings.ca/files/commoner_001023.pdf
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  #230  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2010, 11:45 PM
halifaxboyns halifaxboyns is offline
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Originally Posted by fenwick16 View Post
I have done a quick search on the internet, regarding commuter rail and couldn't find anything about Councillor Sue Uteck supporting commuter rail, whereas she opposes a third harbour crossing and paving the rail cut.

On the other hand Mayor Kelly supported commuter rail in 2000 during his election bid. So I have to give the Mayor the upper hand with regards to this issue. Maybe it is very tough for the Mayor to deal with all the back stabbing going on. By the way, here is an interesting article - does anyone recognize the person on the front page? This is where I found the reference to the commuter rail and Mayor Kelly. http://journalism.ukings.ca/files/commoner_001023.pdf
Interesting article - I think most of the residents in Ms. Uteck's riding would be against rail because when rail was in it's peak - they hated all the noise through the rail cut. Since Via service has diminished and CN has limited runs; not so much noise anymore.

My only response to that is - you knew the cut was there; deal with it. But I will go back to what I've said and look at transportation as a regional context; so don't just look at rail - look at ferries and enhanced bus service.

With ferries; you can build hubs at the terminals and then feeder services from them to the communities; but don't remove connections to downtown via bus. So for example; if you build the Mill Cove ferry; you could have feeder service out to the neighbourhoods of Bedford and Sackville. But, don't eliminate the 80 to downtown just because you have the ferry, because people may want to use the 80 to get somewhere else - but enhance it. Make sure the 80 connects with the ferry; in both directions (into and out of downtown), same with the feeders. The feeder services could operate 7 days a wekk, but use buses like these.
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  #231  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2010, 2:36 PM
FuzzyWuz FuzzyWuz is offline
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There's a 25 year plan for growth right? And the LINK system is unfolding along some of the corridors identified in that plan. I assume a LRT or subway would run on the same path(s) since that's where the people have to travel to get where they're going. I guess there are multiple considerations for planning mass transit. Where are the people NOW? Where do we expect/plan for them to be in the future? So I'd like to see a map with plans for moving people right away, as well as the plan for how the system will look 20/30+ years in the future.
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  #232  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2010, 3:52 PM
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Sue Uteck wrote into the chronicle herald with a letter showing her disapproval with LRT, and attack in particular the CEO of Siemens, who stated LRT will be needed in HRM:


Quote:
Unaffordable option

As a Halifax regional councillor, I read with interest that Mayor Peter Kelly met with Roland Aurich, president and CEO of Siemens Canada, to discuss sustainable transportation issues (June 25 article).

Mr. Aurich, you are wasting your time. Not only will this meeting (and hundreds of others) not be shared with council, but you should know that our mayor is head of the commuter rail committee which has not met for eight years.

In the interim, rail lines have been disposed of, making this choice unaffordable for the taxpayer.

Sue Uteck, Councillor, District 13,

North West Arm-South End

I dont think were ready for LRT yet, but we should definately be planning ahead for it. I think we are ready however for heavy commuter rail, atleast as a start for getting people into the city from further outlying areas, perhaps starting in Truro or the valley.
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  #233  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2010, 3:56 PM
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I dont think were ready for LRT yet, but we should definately be planning ahead for it. I think we are ready however for heavy commuter rail, atleast as a start for getting people into the city from further outlying areas, perhaps starting in Truro or the valley.
Precisely. The answer to Halifax's traffic woes will have to be multi-pronged. The city is still too small for many of the possible options. Heavy commuter rail however would be relatively easy to implement and should be considered in the short term as the basis for a more comprehensive strategy down the road.
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  #234  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2010, 5:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Wishblade View Post
Sue Uteck wrote into the chronicle herald with a letter showing her disapproval with LRT, and attack in particular the CEO of Siemens, who stated LRT will be needed in HRM
You're over a day late. I posted that yesterday.
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  #235  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2010, 5:40 PM
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You're over a day late. I posted that yesterday.
ah, so you did. Sorry about that lol
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  #236  
Old Posted Jun 30, 2010, 2:23 AM
hfx_chris hfx_chris is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wishblade View Post
Sue Uteck wrote into the chronicle herald with a letter showing her disapproval with LRT, and attack in particular the CEO of Siemens, who stated LRT will be needed in HRM
How do you read that as an attack on LRT, and the CEO of Siemens?
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  #237  
Old Posted Jun 30, 2010, 2:29 AM
fenwick16 fenwick16 is offline
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Originally Posted by hfx_chris View Post
How do you read that as an attack on LRT, and the CEO of Siemens?
Mayor Kelly has been on record as supporting commuter rail. Can you provide a link where Sue Uteck shows support for commuter rail? (I looked and I couldn't find any). In any case, isn't there enough backstabbing in the HRM council? She should leave such critical remarks for the people on this forum (LOL). Although I know that our critical remarks aren't as newsworthy.
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  #238  
Old Posted Jun 30, 2010, 5:23 AM
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Something to keep in mind is that this is not just about suburban commuters getting into one central location. Transit around the core is extremely important for supporting future infill and for making transit practical - not everybody works on Barrington. Commuter rail to the train station is worthless without good service to nearby areas.

Buses already don't cut it in the core. The city is going to suffer more and more if it doesn't look at better transit infrastructure, and this includes rail.
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  #239  
Old Posted Jun 30, 2010, 6:06 AM
worldlyhaligonian worldlyhaligonian is offline
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This is almost scary to me... why would you write somebody a letter like that for any reason other than to be a shit disturber. Seriously, the effort required to do that could have been better served working on solutions to the transportation problems that are seemingly ignored while buses are shoved down our throats. Buses are terrible long term solutions, but we should at least have a BRT system with links to the airport right now if this is the priority method of transportation!

The Mayor can meet with whoever he wants and the only people wasting their time are the naysayers in this city.

Siemens is a legit company and could do good things in the Halifax area (i.e. jobs, investment in public projects).

But I guess Sue "saw" to the "disposal" of those stupid rail lines. I loved Keith P's comment about turning infractructure into useless trails... because that is what is going on.

What is this anti-rail propaganda, seriously. I guess we should spend more money on alot of shitty buses instead of a phased transportation strategy that takes into account other types of transport.
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  #240  
Old Posted Jun 30, 2010, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by someone123 View Post
Something to keep in mind is that this is not just about suburban commuters getting into one central location. Transit around the core is extremely important for supporting future infill and for making transit practical - not everybody works on Barrington. Commuter rail to the train station is worthless without good service to nearby areas.
It is (almost) all about getting suburban commuters into the core. Halifax downtown is just too small and not compact enough to justify grandiose plans for subways etc.

Having said that, the rail station is a little removed from the main downtown core. It would make sense to supplement a heavy rail commuter system with a trolley loop extending from the railway station to the Cogswell area using Water Street and Barrington as a right of way. Trolleys and cars can learn to co-exist on a few low speed downtown streets.
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