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  #381  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2008, 4:20 PM
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The skytrain is a huge step up from the BRT route. The picture seems to be taken not too long after construction. Plants, flowers and, shrubs can all be replanted to rebeautify the the streetscape. In existing low density areas like this, elevated rail just makes sense over subway. The line needs to be elevated so as not to interfere with intersecting streets.
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  #382  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2008, 6:01 PM
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Originally Posted by HAMRetrofit View Post
The skytrain is a huge step up from the BRT route. The picture seems to be taken not too long after construction. Plants, flowers and, shrubs can all be replanted to rebeautify the the streetscape. In existing low density areas like this, elevated rail just makes sense over subway. The line needs to be elevated so as not to interfere with intersecting streets.
bingo. It's progressively getting better. From in traffic bus routes to dedicated bus lanes, to BRT, to LRT. It's all a step up.

And taking pictures of a construction site does not do justice in any way.
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  #383  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2008, 6:36 PM
raisethehammer raisethehammer is offline
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I agree it's a step-up in terms of peformance of the transit system, but it's so ugly.
Street grade LRT is much nicer.
Watch those vidoes I posted earlier from Portland. I'll take that anyday over elevated track.
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  #384  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2008, 7:15 PM
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Originally Posted by raisethehammer View Post
but it's so ugly.
Beauty is subjective to the eyes of the beholder. I actually like the look of the raised concrete structures. With proper streetscaping and planting, that street in Richmond B.C. could be beautiful too.

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Originally Posted by raisethehammer View Post
Street grade LRT is much nicer.
Depends on how you define nice. I consider arriving to work early and the views from the elevated track nice. However, street grade is probably the most realistic for Hamilton because of cost. A combination system that goes from elevated in less densely populated areas like on Main Street west of the 403 to at street grade at Main and James is something to consider. This method could help define the downtown as the destination for the system.

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Originally Posted by raisethehammer View Post
Watch those vidoes I posted earlier from Portland.
I have been to Portland and seen the system in person. Quite nice. I would still take dedicated heavy transit any day over it. I have also been to cities where at grade tram systems suck, like Rome. So far the St. Clair line here in Toronto is not showing any real advantage either. I just would not rule out raising sections of the track if Hamilton goes the LRT route.
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  #385  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2008, 7:35 PM
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Back in the late 70's and early 80's the province was willing to fund for an elevated rapid transit, SkyTrain. It would have been built in Hamilton first but city council rejected the proposal on December 15, 1981 and instead built in Scarborough for the Scarborough RT.
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  #386  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2008, 7:40 PM
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ok, so here's some ideas I had while walking downtown yesterday....I had returned from dropping my kids off at a relatives place on the east mountain.

first of all, there is PLENTY of room on mountain streets such as upper gage, fennell etc....for bike lanes. And PLENTY of room on Mohawk for BRT/LRT.

I would turn the 2 curb lanes on the Jolley Cut into transit-only lanes with traffic signals at the top and bottom for transit vehicles. John St south from the Jolley Cut to Hunter can have the two curb lanes become transit-only lanes by tinkering with the lane structure near St Joes...there's empty space there and a hugely wide turning lane. Only 4 parking spots would be lost near Augusta with this plan. The main HSR hub/terminal should be built at the GO Station as well as buying up the parking lot at SE corner of Jackson and Hughson. Hughson can be closed to cars from Hunter to Jackson and incorporated as part of the terminal. Buses can turn around in behind the GO Station and head back up the mountain on John instead of going up James. Other buses would continue north on Hughson to King/Wilson/Cannon etc.... There would still need to be a bus or two that uses James South and goes up the Mountain, but for the most part I'm thinking the new BRT/LRT line would do that. East/west LRT would pass by on Main/King and is a short walk to Jackson ST. Hughson could have a covered walkway from the Gore to the GO Station. So basically you'd have an addition built at the GO Station but in the lot at Jackson. An enclosed walkway could connect the two, other than while crossing Hunter, so it all acts as 1 terminal. The back of the GO Station might need to be rejigged so buses can enter/exit from either James or John. the N/S BRT line could have it's own lane on James in the 3rd southbound lane from King to Hunter, and then a transit signal to allow it to jump ahead at Hunter.

Another option would see the N/S BRT line come up James to Hunter and then travel east on Hunter to the Claremont Access where bus-only lanes can EASILY be made on that access route up to Upper James.
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  #387  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2008, 9:31 PM
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Vancouver, imo, is the most progressive "green" city I know of... but I hate how obsessed it is with the Skytrain.
I've been on the Scarborough RT several times and it's horrible. From my understanding, the Skytrain is similar if not the same. I LOVE the design of the new trains being made for 2010,

http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/photo_galler...ada-Line-4.jpg

but still am not a fan of elevated "tracks" or monorail'esq rapid transit systems.

The talks around Hamilton through the 90's were for Monorail... I'm SO happy that never came to be, and can only imagine street-level Light Rail for this City!
Thanks for the info though, MrX... very interesting. And I can't wait til 2010! Definately a very exciting time for all of Canada!
You have to remember that Scarborough's RT is older than Vancouver's SkyTrain, and because of the built form of the elevated guideway they aren't able to use the newer Mark II cars that Vancouver uses. I do agree that the Mark I cars, used by both Scarborough and Vancouver, are quite terrible. The Mark II cars are longer, wider, and are articulated.

And one huge difference between the RT and SkyTrain is that the RT is manually driven by drivers, even though they have the capability of being driven automatic. Vancouver's trains are driven automatically, with the exception of major snowstorms. The automatic system allows a train frequency of every 45 secs during peak hours.

So, you can't really compare the RT with SkyTrain. One is outdated, the other isn't. There are also $3 billion plans to extend the original Expo Line, renovate its stations, and extend its platforms to accommodate longer trains....as well as $5-billion plans to extend SkyTrain elsewhere, all by 2020.

Mark II train at Commercial Station of the 2002-completed Millennium Line






The new Canada Line train at the new Operations & Maintenance Centre



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  #388  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2008, 9:39 PM
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Originally Posted by raisethehammer View Post
yea, that's weird. Why not just run the train right on the same lanes that used to be for the BRT?? Leave all the trees and flowers etc....
Obviously the train is a step up from BRT, but doing it overhead like that and creating an ugly street would seem to be a step back.
Great info though.
I really hope Hamilton pursues street level LRT. Would revolutionize this city like most people can't fathom unless you've experienced the before/after - effects in a place like Portland or Denver.
Vancouver is accustomed to using automatic trains only, as it saves quite a bit from operation costs and it allows for greater frequency.

There was an at-grade option down the BRT lanes that was proposed by the City of Richmond, but city planners seemed to have completely forgotten that this would have meant automatic trains were running at street level with cars and pedestrians, through intersections. It would've been very expensive and dangerous.

LRT was also too slow. Vancouver doesn't have rail corridors that allow for fully grade separation. It would have meant the LRT would not be able to go at the desired high speeds, like SkyTrain.

So instead, the 19-km Canada Line is tunneled (9kms), elevated (7-kms), and fully-grade separated ground level (2-kms). With 16 stations and with its own ROW, it means travel time will be 25-minutes from terminus to terminus. With LRT, it would probably be close to 40-45 minutes.

A key factor in the decisions made was to make it a competent alternative to the car. On the same route during most times of the day, it would take you at least 40-50 minutes by car.





LRT vs. SkyTrain comparison in 2004 before the decision was finalized for elevated.


Last edited by mr.x; Feb 10, 2008 at 9:50 PM.
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  #389  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2008, 9:41 PM
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Do you happen know to how many km the buslane is? Thanks for the information.
Only about 4-kms. The entire 98 B-Line route was close to 16-kms. The rapid bus had traffic signal priority along the entire route. There were also bus lanes in downtown.
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  #390  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2008, 9:46 PM
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Originally Posted by raisethehammer View Post
I agree it's a step-up in terms of peformance of the transit system, but it's so ugly.
Street grade LRT is much nicer.
Watch those vidoes I posted earlier from Portland. I'll take that anyday over elevated track.
A lot of street beautification is planned, so it won't be so "ugly". Not only that but in twenty years, that same street will be surrounded by condo towers 15-20 storeys high. It would be like a canyon surrounding the Canada Line elevated guideway.


What is being planned:















There is also a proposal by the Canada Line operator to host ads along the guideway:


Richmond News

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

LED screens flashing advertising, sports events and public service announcements on the elevated guideway of the Canada Line are being proposed to generating advertising revenue and improve the appearance of what one councillor calls a concrete 'monstrosity.'

A proposal to turn the Canada Line into one long advertising vehicle is getting mixed reviews from city council.


InTransit is proposing to use new high-tech advertising features like LED screens on the Canada Line and interactive kiosks as a way of making money and improving the rapid transit line's appearance.

The LED screens are just one of a number of possibilities being explored. The screens could generate revenue for the city and InTransit by flashing advertising on the screens. They could also be used for public service announcements, including civic emergencies, and even sports events, like the 2010 Winter Olympics events.


"Finally, something to make that monstrosity look a little more human," said Coun. Linda Barnes.

Advertising revenue could net the city $1 million a year, a report to the city's planning committee Tuesday projects. "I see opportunities for even more than that," said Coun. Bill McNulty.

Coun. Rob Howard said the proposal presents some "pretty spectacular possibilities.'

The LED signs would light No. 3 Road at night. Howard said he likes the idea of using light as a design tool and for way-finding.






And that's still not it. There's also special night lighting for the guideway, similar to this:


Last edited by mr.x; Feb 10, 2008 at 10:00 PM.
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  #391  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2008, 10:05 PM
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you DO realize how INCREDIBLY jealous you're making us all right?? Lol. Very impressive to see this amount of money, planning and great design going into transit.
Here in Hamilton that type of effort is strictly reserved for roads and highways.
Keep rocking Vancouver! Someday, cities like mine will start to play some catch-up.
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  #392  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2008, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by raisethehammer View Post
you DO realize how INCREDIBLY jealous you're making us all right?? Lol. Very impressive to see this amount of money, planning and great design going into transit.
Here in Hamilton that type of effort is strictly reserved for roads and highways.
Keep rocking Vancouver! Someday, cities like mine will start to play some catch-up.
lol, well it's not that perfect. The Canada Line has short 40 to 50-metre platforms and the final 650-metre terminus sections at Richmond and at the airport are single-tracked....due to poor planning, lack of funding, and privatization. The 40-metre platforms are extendable to 50-metres, and 50-metre platforms are being built for the busiest stations.

That said, the ridership demand for the new line won't be nearly as high but still, it's poor planning for the long-term. Estimated ridership when the line opens next year is 100,000/day.













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  #393  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2008, 10:34 PM
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*searches for a bottle of prozac* shrugs!

So they've taken what looks like a three lane one way street (No.3 Road) with two lanes for the buses into just one lane each way with two lanes for the rapid transit?
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  #394  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2008, 10:40 PM
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*searches for a bottle of prozac* shrugs!

So they've taken what looks like a three lane one way street (No.3 Road) with two lanes for the buses into just one lane each way with two lanes for the rapid transit?
Try to visualize this:

No.3 Road Before:
- 2 public lanes southbound on the west side of the street
- 1 bus lane southbound in the middle of the street
- 1 bus lane northbound in the middle of the street
- 2 public lanes northbound on the east side of the street




No.3 Road After:
- 2 public lanes southbound on the west side of the street
- 2 public lanes northbound in the middle of the street
- Canada Line guideway on the east side of the street



That said, the Canada Line capacity is equivalent to 10 freeway road lanes.
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  #395  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2008, 10:50 PM
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wow...transit really is such a great investment. It's amzing how lame most governments are and how controlled they are by auto/oil interests. Richmond is setting themselves up for a real economic boom and some great Transit Oriented Development along this line. No need for 10 freeway lanes when you can build 2 lanes for public trains. Great job by Vancouver.
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  #396  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2008, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by raisethehammer View Post
wow...transit really is such a great investment. It's amzing how lame most governments are and how controlled they are by auto/oil interests. Richmond is setting themselves up for a real economic boom and some great Transit Oriented Development along this line. No need for 10 freeway lanes when you can build 2 lanes for public trains. Great job by Vancouver.
Well, there are about 50 condo tower projects (and counting) slated for the No.3 Road area over the next few years, and a lot has to do with the Canada Line acting as a catalyst for development. Right now, one of the Canada Line stations is being tied in with a major mall and hotel expansion and another stations is being tied in with a casino/hotel/park & ride facility.

As well, Richmond's population will be seeing huge growth over the next 25 years:

Current population: ~180,000
2031 population: ~260,000

Current population for downtown Richmond: ~40,000
Population tripled for downtown Richmond by 2031: ~120,000



But due to the line's short platforms and short trains, i think this line will be overcrowded within 10 years. I really do believe the line will take off. They will need to purchase more trains, to increase frequency - thus, capacity.


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  #397  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2008, 11:09 PM
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can we send our entire council to greater-Vancouver for a year with no access to a car so they can see just how progressive that city is re: transit! Damn! Thanks for all the great info, MrX!! Definately great stuff. Can't u just imagine Main & Mohawk eventually lined with great new condo towers? Dream dream dreammmmm... haha.
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  #398  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2008, 11:26 PM
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can we send our entire council to greater-Vancouver for a year with no access to a car so they can see just how progressive that city is re: transit! Damn! Thanks for all the great info, MrX!! Definately great stuff. Can't u just imagine Main & Mohawk eventually lined with great new condo towers? Dream dream dreammmmm... haha.
Well, Vancouver's rapid transit policies are sort of modeled after Hong Kong. Where rapid transit is built, it is usually followed by development. And a new provincial government policy allows even more Hong Kong-like development. Translink, the region's transportation authority that governs and builds transit and road projects, will be allowed to buy and sell land adjacent to transit stations and in turn, sell or develop it into office/condo towers. The revenue from these developments would help pay transit projects, and the increased density around stations would increase ridership. The developers could also foot in the costs of improving/building stations, rather than directly paying the government.

So really, go to Hong Kong. :p


At the Canada Line's Oakridge-41st Avenue Station in Vancouver, Oakridge Shopping Centre is set for a major office and condo tower expansion as well as a major expansion of its mall, a new major public library, and other public amenities.





At one of the existing SkyTrain stations, we are letting condo developers do all the station renovation work for us (including all costs). In exchange, they are given extra density and allowances for their development. This is New Westminster Station:















Vancouver's transit isn't perfect...buses in the suburbs are crowded and packed. People waiting at stops often have to wait for multiple buses before getting on; there are not enough buses. The frequency in the suburbs is also low, and there are many "town centres" that still aren't served by rapid transit/SkyTrain. We also lack decent commuter rail service to the suburbs.

That said, we're getting there. Last month, the province announced a $14-billion transit initiative by 2020. It calls for:

- $2.8 billion underground SkyTrain extension to the University of British Columbia, 12-kms
- $1.4 billion SkyTrain extension to Coquitlam, 11-kms
- $3.1 billion Expo SkyTrain extension in Surrey, 6 kms, and doubling of the capacity of the Expo Line by extending its platforms to accommodate much longer trains. As well, major station renovations so that it will be architecturally at par with the Canada Line and the recently built Millennium Line.
- fare gates at all stations in time for the Olympics (and all future stations after 2010), and the introduction of distance-traveled fare payment system using smart cards - like Hong Kong
- 1,500 additional buses
- new rapid bus routes, perhaps similar to the TransMilenio in Bogota



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  #399  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2008, 11:32 PM
raisethehammer raisethehammer is offline
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holy crap.
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  #400  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2008, 11:35 PM
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i just realized something...this stretch in Richmond already HAD BRT and based on current photos it looks like any drab, suburban area with low densities and car-oriented use.
Now they are upgrading BRT to the Skytrain and 50 condo towers are being planned.
Hamilton Public Works needs to hear this. BRT SIMPLY DOES NOT BRING IN THE DEVELOPMENT! Development follows rails. Plain and simple.
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