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  #4821  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2012, 7:17 PM
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Originally Posted by fusili View Post
What Calgary Transit has been quietly asking for, and what I support, is to change the HOV lane to a transit-only lane on Centre Street. The second part of that puzzle is adding transit-only bus lanes downtown.
How many more years of growth do they think this will accomodate?
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  #4822  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2012, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Full Mountain View Post
How many more years of growth do they think this will accomodate?
The last time we had this discussion I brought up two studies, one was the city's latest report on the NC LRT and one was an academic paper looking at HOV/Transit lanes across Canada. The last NC LRT study assumed that BRT would suffice for 20+ years until a Nose Creek alignment could be built that would capture the riders north of Beddington (though the BRT would then be rerouted to cover Symon's Valley Boulevard). It showed that a rough doubling of ridership could be accommodated in north central Calgary with the addition of additional busses and a switch of much of the fleet serving the area over to articulated busses. One problem is that in the six or so years since that study was written, ridership has climbed much faster than it seemed to assume that it would. That study was also somewhat conservative in its growth forecasts for Calgary as a whole. The HOV study, that if I remember correctly was from a few years later, showed that there had already been significant growth in bus traffic on Centre Street. We have also already transitioned to more articulated busses, so we are starting to use up the easily attained capacity improvements.

The big problem is less the Centre Street bridge. Capacity on it can be increased in a number of ways (better enforcement of the HOV lanes, increasing the required number of passengers required to use the HOV lanes, or moving entirely to a transit only lane) and busses could be rerouted to 10 St W and the Edmonton Trail couplet (where HOV or transit only lanes could also be added). The issue is really the downtown core itself; it can only handle so many busses and transit lanes would be severely complicated by the one way streets (there would be a lot of trouble moving across non-transit lanes efficiently to make turns; it would probably require bus only signals at intersections that would negatively affect road capacity) so even with improvements there is a limit to how many busses, from the city as a whole, could possibly fit downtown.
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  #4823  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2012, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Bassic Lab View Post
The last time we had this discussion I brought up two studies, one was the city's latest report on the NC LRT and one was an academic paper looking at HOV/Transit lanes across Canada. The last NC LRT study assumed that BRT would suffice for 20+ years until a Nose Creek alignment could be built that would capture the riders north of Beddington (though the BRT would then be rerouted to cover Symon's Valley Boulevard). It showed that a rough doubling of ridership could be accommodated in north central Calgary with the addition of additional busses and a switch of much of the fleet serving the area over to articulated busses. One problem is that in the six or so years since that study was written, ridership has climbed much faster than it seemed to assume that it would. That study was also somewhat conservative in its growth forecasts for Calgary as a whole. The HOV study, that if I remember correctly was from a few years later, showed that there had already been significant growth in bus traffic on Centre Street. We have also already transitioned to more articulated busses, so we are starting to use up the easily attained capacity improvements.

The big problem is less the Centre Street bridge. Capacity on it can be increased in a number of ways (better enforcement of the HOV lanes, increasing the required number of passengers required to use the HOV lanes, or moving entirely to a transit only lane) and busses could be rerouted to 10 St W and the Edmonton Trail couplet (where HOV or transit only lanes could also be added). The issue is really the downtown core itself; it can only handle so many busses and transit lanes would be severely complicated by the one way streets (there would be a lot of trouble moving across non-transit lanes efficiently to make turns; it would probably require bus only signals at intersections that would negatively affect road capacity) so even with improvements there is a limit to how many busses, from the city as a whole, could possibly fit downtown.
So would building a dedicated bus lane on the left hand side of the one way road with a sidewalk & bike lane between the bus lane and the rest of traffic work? This should solve most of the turning issues given it was implemented with a rush hour bus only lane on Center Street, say bus only lane center south to 4th ave left on 4th ave to 5th st south to 9th ave back to Center and out. Given traffic turning across the bus lane would yield to buses or be signaled seperately.

Taking it further you could create a dedicated bus way on one side of the road (downtown and on Center Street) allowing the busses to run unimpeded, clearly implementing the former idea downtown only would meet less resistance than the later idea.
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  #4824  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 11:46 PM
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Interesting, I hadn't heard about that.

Do you have links that would show me where this new alignment was planned to be? The City usually keeps planning documents even for routes that have fallen out of favour? It would be useful to see if this would make for a more accurate comparison, because station and route locations affect the viability of a Nose Creek route quite a bit. It would be a nice distraction from this endless, pointless debate...
Not at a spectacularly useful level of detail, when built the Nose Creek LRT will mirror the existing ROW north of the 8th Ave overpass, where significant deviation will occur is south of there in the proximity of the new Science Centre. The different alignments are based significantly on different compliance strategies for the Nose Creek setback.
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  #4825  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by andasen View Post
Yes light rail systems that pretend to be street cars are not doing what they are good at but electrified rail can not be justified purely by 9-5ers need to have some people having a reason to get on the train midday to get anywhere on the line.
Those 9 to 5ers hop on and off the LRT all day moving amongst downtown, but trying to replicate that in a corridor such as a hypothetical high-density Centre Street, which would probably be substantially residential and retail seems like a fool's errand.
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  #4826  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2012, 1:30 AM
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Those 9 to 5ers hop on and off the LRT all day moving amongst downtown, but trying to replicate that in a corridor such as a hypothetical high-density Centre Street, which would probably be substantially residential and retail seems like a fool's errand.
Policy, I got to say you are one determined SOB, which I really do appreciate. While I disagree with others on this forum, I always find when I disagree with you, it is an educational experience. The arguments are presented well, and it makes me really consider my positions on things, even if it strengthens them and makes me believe them more.

If you would like to indulge me, what are your thoughts on the following points re: the Nose Creek vs. Centre Street Alignment.

1. Headway capacity on 7th. The NE, South and NC lines would all have to share the eastbound headway on 7th (assuming the 8th avenue subway is not built before the SE and NC LRTs). This means that the 1st, 3rd and 4th (South, NE, NC) largest catchments would be sharing headways, while the 2nd and 5th (NW, West) largest catchments would be sharing as well on 7th (this is prior to the 8th avenue subway). With the 2nd Avenue subway, the 6th largest catchment (SE) would have its own ROW through the downtown, and the ROW that has the highest capacity at that. Doesn't it make more sense to share headway capacity as equally as possible, rather than put the greatest amount of pressure on the ROW that has the least capacity for it? As well, doesn't this help justify the investment into the 2nd avenue subway?

2. Short Turning trains on 7th. If the NC and NE share a ROW with the west line, trains will either have to run half empty to 69th street, or will have to short turn on 7th, which AFAIK, would not be possible with the West LRT operational. Currently, the imbalance between the South/NE headways and the NW headways is solved by short turning trains on 7th at 10th street station. With the West LRT line opening, that imbalance cannot be resolved and will have operational cost impacts. Is this something the Nose Creek alignment just has to accept, or is there another solution?

3. Delaying the 8th (and 7th) Avenue subways. Currently 7th is at operational capacity. Better switches can help, but the problem is also caused by boarding/alighting times and trains having to wait at intersections for vehicle traffic. 4 car trains may be able to increase capacity while reducing headways slightly, but this will not last for long. Essentially, Nose Creek cannot be added on 7th currently. That means that the 8th avenue subway will have to be built prior to Nose Creek going ahead. We can talk about delays on the North Central line caused by the cost of a tunnel on Centre Street, but realistically, that same delay would be caused by having to build the Stephan Avenue Tunnel anyway. By using the 2nd Street subway, the Centre Street alignment effectively delays the necessity of the 8th avenue subway for many years (if not a decade) and the same goes for the 7th avenue subway (which IMO, will never be necessary if NC doesn't use 7th). This is actually the recommendation Steer Davis Gleave made to Calgary Transit. The Centre Street alignment may actually save us a tunnel through the downtown and delay another one significantly. Would you agree with this assessment, or would the timing of the 8th avenue subway not be much affected by nose creek, and would the 7th avenue subway still be required (36 trains/hour seems sufficient for the NE line to me)?

3. Transfers to a BRT. One argument I have made for a Centre Street alignment is that it better facilitates transfers to a future crosstown BRT running on 16th (stations at 16th and Centre can be designed to facilitate transfers). This seems very difficult with the Nose Creek alignment. Either transfers between the two lines would have to be foregone, or a station would have to be built at 16th avenue and Nose Creek for no other reason than transfers. Seems like an expensive station for nothing but transfers. Conversely, the station at 16th and Centre for the Centre Street alignment is a good station location anyways (more office in that area), and makes transfers easy. This would facilitate transfers by NC riders going to the Foothills Hospital, SAIT, Alberta Children's Hospital, Peter Lougheed Hospital and, depending on the trip length, the UofC. Do you think this is a significant detraction from the Nose Creek Alignment, or is transferring to a 16th avenue BRT not worth it?

4. Operational costs of BRT on Centre. With a Nose Creek alignment, bus service on Centre would still be needed to serve the area south of Beddington. Therefore, we would have to support the continued operational costs of this service. Seeing as labour costs are typically the largest part of a transit authority's budget, wouldn't the labour savings of a Centre Street alignment be worth the additional investment?

I always appreciate your responses.
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  #4827  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2012, 3:02 AM
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Originally Posted by fusili View Post
Policy, I got to say you are one determined SOB, which I really do appreciate. While I disagree with others on this forum, I always find when I disagree with you, it is an educational experience. The arguments are presented well, and it makes me really consider my positions on things, even if it strengthens them and makes me believe them more.

If you would like to indulge me, what are your thoughts on the following points re: the Nose Creek vs. Centre Street Alignment.

1. Headway capacity on 7th. The NE, South and NC lines would all have to share the eastbound headway on 7th (assuming the 8th avenue subway is not built before the SE and NC LRTs). This means that the 1st, 3rd and 4th (South, NE, NC) largest catchments would be sharing headways, while the 2nd and 5th (NW, West) largest catchments would be sharing as well on 7th (this is prior to the 8th avenue subway). With the 2nd Avenue subway, the 6th largest catchment (SE) would have its own ROW through the downtown, and the ROW that has the highest capacity at that. Doesn't it make more sense to share headway capacity as equally as possible, rather than put the greatest amount of pressure on the ROW that has the least capacity for it? As well, doesn't this help justify the investment into the 2nd avenue subway?

2. Short Turning trains on 7th. If the NC and NE share a ROW with the west line, trains will either have to run half empty to 69th street, or will have to short turn on 7th, which AFAIK, would not be possible with the West LRT operational. Currently, the imbalance between the South/NE headways and the NW headways is solved by short turning trains on 7th at 10th street station. With the West LRT line opening, that imbalance cannot be resolved and will have operational cost impacts. Is this something the Nose Creek alignment just has to accept, or is there another solution?

3. Delaying the 8th (and 7th) Avenue subways. Currently 7th is at operational capacity. Better switches can help, but the problem is also caused by boarding/alighting times and trains having to wait at intersections for vehicle traffic. 4 car trains may be able to increase capacity while reducing headways slightly, but this will not last for long. Essentially, Nose Creek cannot be added on 7th currently. That means that the 8th avenue subway will have to be built prior to Nose Creek going ahead. We can talk about delays on the North Central line caused by the cost of a tunnel on Centre Street, but realistically, that same delay would be caused by having to build the Stephan Avenue Tunnel anyway. By using the 2nd Street subway, the Centre Street alignment effectively delays the necessity of the 8th avenue subway for many years (if not a decade) and the same goes for the 7th avenue subway (which IMO, will never be necessary if NC doesn't use 7th). This is actually the recommendation Steer Davis Gleave made to Calgary Transit. The Centre Street alignment may actually save us a tunnel through the downtown and delay another one significantly. Would you agree with this assessment, or would the timing of the 8th avenue subway not be much affected by nose creek, and would the 7th avenue subway still be required (36 trains/hour seems sufficient for the NE line to me)?

3. Transfers to a BRT. One argument I have made for a Centre Street alignment is that it better facilitates transfers to a future crosstown BRT running on 16th (stations at 16th and Centre can be designed to facilitate transfers). This seems very difficult with the Nose Creek alignment. Either transfers between the two lines would have to be foregone, or a station would have to be built at 16th avenue and Nose Creek for no other reason than transfers. Seems like an expensive station for nothing but transfers. Conversely, the station at 16th and Centre for the Centre Street alignment is a good station location anyways (more office in that area), and makes transfers easy. This would facilitate transfers by NC riders going to the Foothills Hospital, SAIT, Alberta Children's Hospital, Peter Lougheed Hospital and, depending on the trip length, the UofC. Do you think this is a significant detraction from the Nose Creek Alignment, or is transferring to a 16th avenue BRT not worth it?

4. Operational costs of BRT on Centre. With a Nose Creek alignment, bus service on Centre would still be needed to serve the area south of Beddington. Therefore, we would have to support the continued operational costs of this service. Seeing as labour costs are typically the largest part of a transit authority's budget, wouldn't the labour savings of a Centre Street alignment be worth the additional investment?

I always appreciate your responses.
I really can't see the NC LRT having much of an affect on the timing of the 8 Ave Subway. I just cannot see any realistic way that the NC LRT would be built before 7 Ave fails to meet its capacity needs. Ignoring the infill development occurring in the medium term, a Centre Street routing makes about as much sense today as it does in twenty years but where are we going to find 3-5 billion dollars to build a combined NC-SE LRT in the near future? As for a Nose Creek alignment, not only do we not have the money for it (after building a SE LRT) in the near future but it would also be a colossal boondoggle until the population north of Beddington is significantly higher than it is today.

Comparatively, I doubt very much that 7 Ave will be able to function as it does in 2020. The boost from four car consists will barely keep up with population growth and transit ridership has been climbing faster than that. That is without even going into the issue of pent up demand from riders unwilling or unable to board the system today. We are probably going to need to start the 8 Ave Subway before the SE LRT; that is unless we start the SE LRT during the 2013-2016 term at the absolute latest.
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  #4828  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2012, 3:20 AM
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Originally Posted by fusili View Post
4. Operational costs of BRT on Centre. With a Nose Creek alignment, bus service on Centre would still be needed to serve the area south of Beddington. Therefore, we would have to support the continued operational costs of this service. Seeing as labour costs are typically the largest part of a transit authority's budget, wouldn't the labour savings of a Centre Street alignment be worth the additional investment?
A back-of-the-envelope calculation of service hours:
Current weekday:
#3: About 110 buses per day, 70 min round trip = 130 service hours
#301: About 75 buses per day, 70 min round trip = 86 service hours
Express buses (62, 64, 109, 116, 142): 38 trips each direction = 76 service hours. (The runs take 43-49 minutes to drive, but one-off express routes incur a lot of extra deadheading, so round them up to an hour.)
Total: 292 service hours per weekday

LRT up Centre St:
#203: About 120 trains per day, 45 minute round trip = 90 service hours
Total: 90 service hours per weekday

This ignores the 2, 4, and 5 which provide parallel service, as well as the redundant portions of 69, 88 and 114 which would be able to stop at LRT stations rather than driving in the corridor to transit terminals. My assumption is that the western part of the 4/5 (on 10th St/Northhaven/Norfolk) would remain in service to 64th, since it's a long way from the corridor, and that new routes would provide feeder service in the communities south of 64th that just have parallel north-south service along 4th, Centre and Edmonton Tr. So I'm assuming that these new routes are similar in service hours to the 2/4/5 in these areas. (There would probably be a reduction, since the 2/4/5 are much more frequent than a typical feeder.)

The total savings (including the same calculation for weekends) is around 65,000 service hours per year. If you assume $60 per service hour (the $150 million operating budget divided by 2.5 million service hours), that's about $4 million dollars per year in operating cost savings.

Building the LRT up Nose Creek would eliminate the daily 76 hours of service on the express routes, but add 90 or 100 hours of service on the LRT. There would be a reduction in buses on Centre St, since some of them are there more due to congestion than frequency, but any significant reduction would represent a loss of service. The LRT would be operated in parallel on the weekends, as well. So the costs would be pretty similar to today.

I note that the $4 million in annual savings for a Centre St. alignment does not include the capital costs in reduced fleet size, etc.
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  #4829  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2012, 3:33 AM
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Originally Posted by fusili View Post
1. Headway capacity on 7th.
2. Short Turning trains on 7th.
3. Delaying the 8th (and 7th) Avenue subways.
3. Transfers to a BRT.
4. Operational costs of BRT on Centre.
While we let PW respond to these, I wanted to highlight a logical fallacy that is at play. We can't make an assessment of a best plan forward by only focusing on the obstacles of only one of the options. Additionally, all obstacles are not equal, so one option may have only one obstacle, and the other may have ten, but the one obstacle could be insurmountable while the ten could have relatively easy solutions around them.

Let us say there are two cars for sale. One is a Toyota Corolla for $15,000. The second is a very nice Lexus RX350 for $65,000. You currently have virtually zero dollars, but could muster a few thousand if you must. You could finance 'some' and purchase 'something' relatively quickly, or you could save a pinch each year and buy outright down the line. You make $50,000 per year, of which you net $35,000. You pay $1,500/mth towards a mortgage + $500/mth for insurance, utilities, and municipal taxes. You spend $500/mth on food. You spend another $100/mth on things like mobile phone, and once a year you go on holidays spending $1,500. So at the end of the day you have $2,300 saved per year assuming you have no girlfriend, spouse, and you don't give any Christmas gifts. What use is it listing off 10 things that the Corolla can't do, when fact of the matter is, you're never going to be able to get the Lexas unless you hit the lottery? Oh, and because the Corolla can't go off roading, you may need to drive a couple extra kilometers at high speed to get where you need to go.
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  #4830  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2012, 4:06 AM
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Originally Posted by fusili View Post
Policy, I got to say you are one determined SOB, which I really do appreciate. While I disagree with others on this forum, I always find when I disagree with you, it is an educational experience. The arguments are presented well, and it makes me really consider my positions on things, even if it strengthens them and makes me believe them more.
Well said Fusili. I feel the same way.

Keep up the constructive discussion everyone.
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  #4831  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2012, 5:22 AM
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1. Headway capacity on 7th. The NE, South and NC lines would all have to share the eastbound headway on 7th (assuming the 8th avenue subway is not built before the SE and NC LRTs). This means that the 1st, 3rd and 4th (South, NE, NC) largest catchments would be sharing headways, while the 2nd and 5th (NW, West) largest catchments would be sharing as well on 7th (this is prior to the 8th avenue subway). With the 2nd Avenue subway, the 6th largest catchment (SE) would have its own ROW through the downtown, and the ROW that has the highest capacity at that. Doesn't it make more sense to share headway capacity as equally as possible, rather than put the greatest amount of pressure on the ROW that has the least capacity for it? As well, doesn't this help justify the investment into the 2nd avenue subway?
I can not see any set of circumstances where a North Central LRT of any alignment is built prior to the grade separation of both 7th and 8th Ave. If only by way of transit priorities indifferent to whatever alignment this future line might take. Whatever form the SE LRT's ROW might take connecting it to a Centre Street alignment is still likely to represented an extraordinary cost. A subway from the 2nd Street terminus going north, across the river to at the very least the proximity north of 16th Ave and then bulldozing a ROW to 64th or 78th Ave for another lengthy tunnel to the existing ROW? Uhh... No.

Quote:
2. Short Turning trains on 7th. If the NC and NE share a ROW with the west line, trains will either have to run half empty to 69th street, or will have to short turn on 7th, which AFAIK, would not be possible with the West LRT operational. Currently, the imbalance between the South/NE headways and the NW headways is solved by short turning trains on 7th at 10th street station. With the West LRT line opening, that imbalance cannot be resolved and will have operational cost impacts. Is this something the Nose Creek alignment just has to accept, or is there another solution?
It is possible, there are a couple techniques but I wouldn't represent myself as a proponent of them as they would just represent added complexity where it isn't needed. At the very least I would run them as far as Westbrook to provide for a more elegant transfer to MRU. Personally, I would just run them to 69th Street for the added peak capacity.

Quote:
3. Delaying the 8th (and 7th) Avenue subways. Currently 7th is at operational capacity. Better switches can help, but the problem is also caused by boarding/alighting times and trains having to wait at intersections for vehicle traffic. 4 car trains may be able to increase capacity while reducing headways slightly, but this will not last for long. Essentially, Nose Creek cannot be added on 7th currently. That means that the 8th avenue subway will have to be built prior to Nose Creek going ahead. We can talk about delays on the North Central line caused by the cost of a tunnel on Centre Street, but realistically, that same delay would be caused by having to build the Stephan Avenue Tunnel anyway. By using the 2nd Street subway, the Centre Street alignment effectively delays the necessity of the 8th avenue subway for many years (if not a decade) and the same goes for the 7th avenue subway (which IMO, will never be necessary if NC doesn't use 7th). This is actually the recommendation Steer Davis Gleave made to Calgary Transit. The Centre Street alignment may actually save us a tunnel through the downtown and delay another one significantly. Would you agree with this assessment, or would the timing of the 8th avenue subway not be much affected by nose creek, and would the 7th avenue subway still be required (36 trains/hour seems sufficient for the NE line to me)?
I am of the opinion both the 7th and 8th Ave subways need to be built before any new line is seriously contemplated. I don't agree with Steer Davies Gleave because they are seemingly oblivious to the fact that Calgary Transit can't operate the peak service as scheduled on 7th Ave today. It isn't a matter of delaying the need for an 8th Ave subway because an 8th Ave subway was needed a decade ago. Status quo is completely dysfunctional - when the 8th Ave subway begins operation the frequencies on 7th Ave will be adjusted substantially downward so that they might operate at a peak frequency where a quarter of the trains aren't chronically delayed.

Quote:
3. Transfers to a BRT. One argument I have made for a Centre Street alignment is that it better facilitates transfers to a future crosstown BRT running on 16th (stations at 16th and Centre can be designed to facilitate transfers). This seems very difficult with the Nose Creek alignment. Either transfers between the two lines would have to be foregone, or a station would have to be built at 16th avenue and Nose Creek for no other reason than transfers. Seems like an expensive station for nothing but transfers. Conversely, the station at 16th and Centre for the Centre Street alignment is a good station location anyways (more office in that area), and makes transfers easy. This would facilitate transfers by NC riders going to the Foothills Hospital, SAIT, Alberta Children's Hospital, Peter Lougheed Hospital and, depending on the trip length, the UofC. Do you think this is a significant detraction from the Nose Creek Alignment, or is transferring to a 16th avenue BRT not worth it?
I don't perceive a particularly strong need for a 16th Ave BRT when it will be intersected by three separate LRT lines in relatively close proximity to a downtown transfer.

Quote:
4. Operational costs of BRT on Centre. With a Nose Creek alignment, bus service on Centre would still be needed to serve the area south of Beddington. Therefore, we would have to support the continued operational costs of this service. Seeing as labour costs are typically the largest part of a transit authority's budget, wouldn't the labour savings of a Centre Street alignment be worth the additional investment?
Arguing for spending billions of extra dollars upfront to save millions over many decades is a very difficult value proposition.
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  #4832  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2012, 5:40 AM
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As for a Nose Creek alignment, not only do we not have the money for it (after building a SE LRT) in the near future but it would also be a colossal boondoggle until the population north of Beddington is significantly higher than it is today.
The difference is that the continued suburban growth of North Calgary isn't seriously in doubt and come the time track is being laid it will be self-evident, while there are major reasons to question the probability of major intensification of Centre Street. If we build the Centre Street whatever and end up with Bloor West, I don't think anyone will be terribly satisfied with that outcome. Behold Kipling Station where infill single family houses are being built just on the other-side of Dundas. It has been there for thirty-two years and two condo booms.
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  #4833  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2012, 5:44 AM
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While we let PW respond to these, I wanted to highlight a logical fallacy that is at play. We can't make an assessment of a best plan forward by only focusing on the obstacles of only one of the options. Additionally, all obstacles are not equal, so one option may have only one obstacle, and the other may have ten, but the one obstacle could be insurmountable while the ten could have relatively easy solutions around them.
Not making those points the crux of the discussion, just interested in the responses to them, nor am I negating that each will have different weights. Obviously there is a lot more to consider with both alternatives. More a launching point for discussion than an argument for/against a particular alignment.
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  #4834  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2012, 9:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Policy Wonk View Post
I am of the opinion both the 7th and 8th Ave subways need to be built before any new line is seriously contemplated. I don't agree with Steer Davies Gleave because they are seemingly oblivious to the fact that Calgary Transit can't operate the peak service as scheduled on 7th Ave today. It isn't a matter of delaying the need for an 8th Ave subway because an 8th Ave subway was needed a decade ago. Status quo is completely dysfunctional - when the 8th Ave subway begins operation the frequencies on 7th Ave will be adjusted substantially downward so that they might operate at a peak frequency where a quarter of the trains aren't chronically delayed.
The 8th Ave Subway definately needs to be built first (even more true given our lack of concusses regarding the multi-billion $ NCLRT alignment) . Given that the SELRT will be underground downtown as well, it makes sense to dig both levels at once or at least in phases that reduce traffic disruption. That said, removing the busiest line (201-NW/S) from 7th Ave will considerably lift capacity limitations for the 202-NE/W LRT. A major bottleneck with today's system is where the LRT crosses 4th, 5th, and 6th Ave SW, a problem that will entire be resolved by a 201 subway. This, in combination with four-car trains and cars with larger capacity should allow 202 to move numbers 2-3 times the current max capacity, a solution that negates any need for a 7th ave subway in the foreseeable future. Unless, of course, if you go adding more lines. Moreover, construction of a 202 subway wouldn't be under 7th Ave unless you wanted to suspend service during construction, I think.


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Originally Posted by Policy Wonk View Post
I don't perceive a particularly strong need for a 16th Ave BRT when it will be intersected by three separate LRT lines in relatively close proximity to a downtown transfer.
There is a need for high capacity crosstown transit here, and given the constant gridlock on 16th Avenue, it's a difficult problem to solve. I agree that a NCLRT will alleviate traffic here, but I think a line that actually served this part of the city (ie. Ctr Street Alignment) would be better. A quick route from PLC/Sunridge to UofC/Foothills would be fantastic.
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  #4835  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2012, 3:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyLucky View Post
The 8th Ave Subway definately needs to be built first (even more true given our lack of concusses regarding the multi-billion $ NCLRT alignment) . Given that the SELRT will be underground downtown as well, it makes sense to dig both levels at once or at least in phases that reduce traffic disruption. That said, removing the busiest line (201-NW/S) from 7th Ave will considerably lift capacity limitations for the 202-NE/W LRT. A major bottleneck with today's system is where the LRT crosses 4th, 5th, and 6th Ave SW, a problem that will entire be resolved by a 201 subway. This, in combination with four-car trains and cars with larger capacity should allow 202 to move numbers 2-3 times the current max capacity, a solution that negates any need for a 7th ave subway in the foreseeable future. Unless, of course, if you go adding more lines. Moreover, construction of a 202 subway wouldn't be under 7th Ave unless you wanted to suspend service during construction, I think.



There is a need for high capacity crosstown transit here, and given the constant gridlock on 16th Avenue, it's a difficult problem to solve. I agree that a NCLRT will alleviate traffic here, but I think a line that actually served this part of the city (ie. Ctr Street Alignment) would be better. A quick route from PLC/Sunridge to UofC/Foothills would be fantastic.
I would imagine that when the time comes to construct a 7 Ave Subway for the W-NE line, they will temporarily be rerouted to the 8 Ave Subway. There would have to be some kind of connection built from the outset, not just for this eventuality but also so that LRVs can travel to Oliver Bowen for maintenance.

It would presumably have to happen before 7 Ave is again overburdened, since 7 Ave+8 Ave Subway would be able to handle much more capacity than 8 Ave alone and there would likely be temporary service cuts. That said it might not be that painful. The 8 Ave Subway will be built to handle five car consists and, with no interaction with traffic, headways could be quite short. I would expect it to be able to handle 130% more riders than the current 7 Ave. Throw in the capacity from the SE LRT (I disagree with Policy Wonk here; I think that construction of the 8 Ave Subway will likely suffice for some time, allowing us to construct at least the SE LRT long before we have to bury the W-NE line through the core) and we should be able to service the downtown workforce for decades to come. So I'd expect the 7 Ave ROW to be buried in thirty to forty years, allowing the new platforms to serve for as long as the original ones did. That is unless we decide to build the NC LRT in Nose Creek prior to that time, in which case we would probably require the additional capacity of a 7 Ave tunnel to go along with its opening.
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  #4836  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2012, 4:04 PM
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Personally, I don't ever think 7th Ave will ever be over capacity for just the NE-West line - once the 8th Ave Subway is built.

Again, going to 4 car trains, plus adding the 201 train allotment downtown to the 202 TRIPLES the current capacity of the NE line (which should always have more riders than the WLRT). There will be growth, perhaps even up a doubling, but it will take many decades for ridership to triple. The whole system might be due for an upgrade at that point. Certainly there will be no need for a 7th Ave subway before the NC line is built, and if it somehow does happen, then other MAJOR unforeseen factors would have occurred.

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Originally Posted by Bassic Lab View Post
I would imagine that when the time comes to construct a 7 Ave Subway for the W-NE line, they will temporarily be rerouted to the 8 Ave Subway. There would have to be some kind of connection built from the outset, not just for this eventuality but also so that LRVs can travel to Oliver Bowen for maintenance.
The connection is the existing tunnel exit east of City Hall, where the 202 joins 7th Ave. That will stay after the 8th Ave tunnel is built. Why build a new connection when you already have one?
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  #4837  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2012, 4:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Policy Wonk View Post
The difference is that the continued suburban growth of North Calgary isn't seriously in doubt and come the time track is being laid it will be self-evident, while there are major reasons to question the probability of major intensification of Centre Street. If we build the Centre Street whatever and end up with Bloor West, I don't think anyone will be terribly satisfied with that outcome. Behold Kipling Station where infill single family houses are being built just on the other-side of Dundas. It has been there for thirty-two years and two condo booms.
Well my basic point was that Nose Creek doesn't make any kind of sense for twenty years while the chances of 7 Ave being able to NW-S and W-NE lines for the next twenty years are essentially slim to none. That said, if you want to compare it to the Bloor-Danforth line, then I don't think that would be terrible outcome. It gets half a million daily riders and I'll reply to Kipling with Islington and High Park Stations. Still Bloor-Danforth really isn't the best comparison to Centre Street. It passes a mile north of the CBD, something more akin to 16 Ave than a route that actually travels through downtown proper with no need for a transfer. Of course we are also a fifth the size of Toronto, so no comparison is exactly appropriate.

Given that Nose Creek won't make sense for twenty years, we will have a lot of time to gauge the appetite for intensification in North Central Calgary. A lot can happen in twenty years. If intense development occurs around Centre Street@16 Ave and the 16 Ave BRT is a major success, then it could make a lot of sense to extend the SE LRT up to 16 Ave. If that were to happen it would essentially be a given that the route from the Harvest Hills Boulevard ROW to the core should join it there. Either way, we'll have a much better idea of our needs before we start laying any track.
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  #4838  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2012, 4:29 PM
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Originally Posted by You Need A Thneed View Post
Personally, I don't ever think 7th Ave will ever be over capacity for just the NE-West line - once the 8th Ave Subway is built.

Again, going to 4 car trains, plus adding the 201 train allotment downtown to the 202 TRIPLES the current capacity of the NE line (which should always have more riders than the WLRT). There will be growth, perhaps even up a doubling, but it will take many decades for ridership to triple. The whole system might be due for an upgrade at that point. Certainly there will be no need for a 7th Ave subway before the NC line is built, and if it somehow does happen, then other MAJOR unforeseen factors would have occurred.

The connection is the existing tunnel exit east of City Hall, where the 202 joins 7th Ave. That will stay after the 8th Ave tunnel is built. Why build a new connection when you already have one?
That connection only allows movement from the S LRT. Sure we could use existing track to move LRVs for maintenance but if we're going to build a tunnel then I think it would make sense to allow W-NE trains to use the tunnel in the event of an emergency that would shut down 7 Ave. Short turning at City Hall then traveling south (on the existing northbound track) then short turning in the tunnel again to get under 8 Ave seems inelegant compared to the freedom gained by allowing both lines to use either the 8 Ave tunnel or the 7 Ave surface route. While we're at it we could add the capability for trains from the S LRT to head directly to the NE LRT for events on the Stampede grounds.
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  #4839  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2012, 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Policy Wonk View Post
Those 9 to 5ers hop on and off the LRT all day moving amongst downtown, but trying to replicate that in a corridor such as a hypothetical high-density Centre Street, which would probably be substantially residential and retail seems like a fool's errand.
I don't want to replicate downtown all the way up up center street, I just want to see something which has functionality in the similar ball park as say the south line.

South line
Victoria Park/Stampede - Access to Stampede grounds, saddle dome and all the convention facilities ect.
Erlton/Stampede - Access to Stampede grounds (and Talisman center???????)
39th - Ok nothing much here, a few connections
Chinook - Chinook center, access to 72/73 (to Deerfoot Meadows or MRU), access to the 23 (on to foothills)
Heritage - Connection to the 20/future SW BRT crosstown (Rockyview and MRU access), YMCA (memory seems to say that this will be closing when they redevelop Heritage station), Bishop Grandin High School
Southland - Southland plaza (not sure if this is the name of the whole area or not)
Anderson - Southcenter, if you really feel like hoofing it you can also walk to Trico Center as well (easier just to catch the 10)
Canyon Meadows - Not much
Fishcreek Lacome - Access to St Mary's
Shawnessy - Nothing really of note
Somerset Bridlewood - Bishop O'Byrne HS-Rec Complex (you can kinda get to that office park on the other side of Macleod as well, kinda)

I just don't see the nose creek alignment having the buildable/redevelopable area around several potential station locations south of Beddinton.

Yes in terms of this I'd say Edmonton Trail would be able to redevlop the best due due to area around 41st. This might be a weakness of the center street alignment but I'd prefer to do more research into similar corridors to see if there have been any solutions to the endless small lots problem.

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Originally Posted by ByeByeBaby View Post
A back-of-the-envelope calculation of service hours:
Current weekday:
#3: About 110 buses per day, 70 min round trip = 130 service hours
#301: About 75 buses per day, 70 min round trip = 86 service hours
Express buses (62, 64, 109, 116, 142): 38 trips each direction = 76 service hours. (The runs take 43-49 minutes to drive, but one-off express routes incur a lot of extra deadheading, so round them up to an hour.)
Total: 292 service hours per weekday

LRT up Centre St:
#203: About 120 trains per day, 45 minute round trip = 90 service hours
Total: 90 service hours per weekday

This ignores the 2, 4, and 5 which provide parallel service, as well as the redundant portions of 69, 88 and 114 which would be able to stop at LRT stations rather than driving in the corridor to transit terminals. My assumption is that the western part of the 4/5 (on 10th St/Northhaven/Norfolk) would remain in service to 64th, since it's a long way from the corridor, and that new routes would provide feeder service in the communities south of 64th that just have parallel north-south service along 4th, Centre and Edmonton Tr. So I'm assuming that these new routes are similar in service hours to the 2/4/5 in these areas. (There would probably be a reduction, since the 2/4/5 are much more frequent than a typical feeder.)

The total savings (including the same calculation for weekends) is around 65,000 service hours per year. If you assume $60 per service hour (the $150 million operating budget divided by 2.5 million service hours), that's about $4 million dollars per year in operating cost savings.

Building the LRT up Nose Creek would eliminate the daily 76 hours of service on the express routes, but add 90 or 100 hours of service on the LRT. There would be a reduction in buses on Centre St, since some of them are there more due to congestion than frequency, but any significant reduction would represent a loss of service. The LRT would be operated in parallel on the weekends, as well. So the costs would be pretty similar to today.

I note that the $4 million in annual savings for a Centre St. alignment does not include the capital costs in reduced fleet size, etc.
I'd say you are over estimating the savings in operating hours. Route 3 is nearly 50% of the operating hours in your calculation, maybe reduction of 50% in its hours would be feasible but you still need local service inbetween the LRT stops.

I'd say that the 2, 4, 5 wouldn't really lose any ridership just be less crowded as people farther up would take the LRT (assuming Center street alignment) then transfer onto their local service closer to home like what happens with the 3 and the 10 in the south.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassic Lab View Post
That connection only allows movement from the S LRT. Sure we could use existing track to move LRVs for maintenance but if we're going to build a tunnel then I think it would make sense to allow W-NE trains to use the tunnel in the event of an emergency that would shut down 7 Ave. Short turning at City Hall then traveling south (on the existing northbound track) then short turning in the tunnel again to get under 8 Ave seems inelegant compared to the freedom gained by allowing both lines to use either the 8 Ave tunnel or the 7 Ave surface route. While we're at it we could add the capability for trains from the S LRT to head directly to the NE LRT for events on the Stampede grounds.
Yes you get increased freedom but what is the cost of this versus the real benefit we'd get out of it, I'm trying to think of a general way to engineer it without much luck. Correct me if I'm wrong but trains can't cross tracks so the simple solution of 'tunneling a spur of the NE coming into downtown and have it connect with the tunnel because the existing connection to 7th would be in the way' is no possible. I guess it build a three way intersection allowing a northeast train to get onto the south track directly then another three way intersection at the tunnel allowing trains to be routed on a north route. I can't even think how to make it work on the west/NW connections.
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Old Posted Apr 6, 2012, 1:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andasen View Post
I don't want to replicate downtown all the way up up center street, I just want to see something which has functionality in the similar ball park as say the south line.

South line
Victoria Park/Stampede - Access to Stampede grounds, saddle dome and all the convention facilities ect.
Erlton/Stampede - Access to Stampede grounds (and Talisman center???????)
39th - Ok nothing much here, a few connections
Chinook - Chinook center, access to 72/73 (to Deerfoot Meadows or MRU), access to the 23 (on to foothills)
Heritage - Connection to the 20/future SW BRT crosstown (Rockyview and MRU access), YMCA (memory seems to say that this will be closing when they redevelop Heritage station), Bishop Grandin High School
Southland - Southland plaza (not sure if this is the name of the whole area or not)
Anderson - Southcenter, if you really feel like hoofing it you can also walk to Trico Center as well (easier just to catch the 10)
Canyon Meadows - Not much
Fishcreek Lacome - Access to St Mary's
Shawnessy - Nothing really of note
Somerset Bridlewood - Bishop O'Byrne HS-Rec Complex (you can kinda get to that office park on the other side of Macleod as well, kinda)

I just don't see the nose creek alignment having the buildable/redevelopable area around several potential station locations south of Beddinton.

Yes in terms of this I'd say Edmonton Trail would be able to redevlop the best due due to area around 41st. This might be a weakness of the center street alignment but I'd prefer to do more research into similar corridors to see if there have been any solutions to the endless small lots problem.



I'd say you are over estimating the savings in operating hours. Route 3 is nearly 50% of the operating hours in your calculation, maybe reduction of 50% in its hours would be feasible but you still need local service inbetween the LRT stops.

I'd say that the 2, 4, 5 wouldn't really lose any ridership just be less crowded as people farther up would take the LRT (assuming Center street alignment) then transfer onto their local service closer to home like what happens with the 3 and the 10 in the south.



Yes you get increased freedom but what is the cost of this versus the real benefit we'd get out of it, I'm trying to think of a general way to engineer it without much luck. Correct me if I'm wrong but trains can't cross tracks so the simple solution of 'tunneling a spur of the NE coming into downtown and have it connect with the tunnel because the existing connection to 7th would be in the way' is no possible. I guess it build a three way intersection allowing a northeast train to get onto the south track directly then another three way intersection at the tunnel allowing trains to be routed on a north route. I can't even think how to make it work on the west/NW connections.
Well, allowing South line trains to head north east would be much more of a nice to have than any kind of necessity so it would be price dependent whereas allowing NE line trains to utilize the tunnel would be very important in my opinion. I'm not sure if I understand what you mean by trains being unable to cross tracks. If it is what I think then no, they can. What would be required for train movements in all direction would be a simple Wye. I doubt that speed or capacity constraints would force the expense of having flying junctions at any of the corners. As for the west end of the tunnel, I think that W-NW travel is much less of a concern so a tunnel connection for the W LRT would require only two junctions. One in the tunnel to allow NW and W to E bound travel and vice versa and one along the W LRT to allow 7 Ave and 8 Ave to W bound and vice versa travel.

As for the #3. No current line has anything close to a bus running alongside the ROW with 50% of the #3's frequency. The closest thing is the #81 along a portion of the S LRT that is infrequent and a community shuttle. Having a similar service along a possible Centre Street LRT would depend a great deal on station spacing. If stations are roughly a half mile apart, then no additional service along Centre Street would be required. If more distant, then something similar to the #81 would probably suffice. Likewise, service along 4 St NW could be substantially reduced as riders are redirected to the Centre Street LRT with perpendicular bus service (probably in community shuttles). I haven't really looked closely at ByeByeBaby's math but if anything I found it to be a, justifiably, conservative estimate of the bus service that could be cut and the corresponding operational savings.
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