Canada Kicks Ass
Edmonton’s LRT project is the equivalent of a candy company

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DrCaleb @ Wed Jan 06, 2016 8:00 am

$1:
'Edmonton’s LRT project is the equivalent of a candy company releasing a new chocolate bar called Herpes Al-Qaeda'

Columnist Tristin Hopper of the National Post reports on Edmonton’s unfortunate position as a prime example of what not to do.

Canada needs public transit. We have clogged roads, densifying cities and — save for this weird Saudi Arabian orchestrated oil glut — rising fuel prices.

Bike lanes won’t fix it and new highways won’t fix it; the only way we can live in a Canada that isn’t a squished, congested mess is if we spruce up the place with a whole bunch of trains, buses and subways.

Which is why, to ensure the prosperous and happy future of this great country, we must all now take a look at the City of Edmonton and solemnly vow to do the exact opposite of whatever the hell they just did with their new $665 million Metro Line LRT.

It’s slower than a bus. It has slowed down the buses that existed. And it is almost certainly increasing Edmonton’s net amount of carbon emissions.

In short, it fails on every single possible justification for why cities should build light rail.

I am a fervent — almost fanatical — supporter of public transit. I’ve taken pleasure trips to foreign cities largely to soak up the sublime efficiency of an S-Bahn or a New York City A-train.

But lately I have trouble sleeping until I comfort myself with visions of the Metro Line LRT tracks being torn up, French résistance-style, so the tyrannical train can never, ever run again.

“We fully respect that it’s different and taking longer,” said Craig Walbaum, Edmonton’s director of traffic engineering, shortly after the train’s September launch.

The chief problem is that the train was built at grade and cleaves through several major intersections. Traffic needs to be halted well in advance of its arrival, leading to the Kafkaesque nightmare of an intersection where all sides are given a red light for up to 90 seconds before a train arrives (if it does at all).

I’ve personally clocked a six-minute wait. A co-worker clocked an incredible 12 minutes. Online, disbelieving drivers have taken to Reddit to report waits of 15 minutes.

To put it in context, that’s about half the time needed to cross the entire city by highway from one “Welcome to Edmonton” sign to the other.

During these frequent traffic stoppages, a huge swath of northern Edmonton becomes a gridlocked nightmare of idling cars, trucks and city buses.

I’ve counted as many as four buses filled with a cumulative 40 people forced to wait the entire length of Gordon Lightfoot’s Canadian Railroad Trilogy (6:22) just so a train can pass by carrying fewer than half a dozen passengers.


http://calgaryherald.com/storyline/edmo ... s-al-qaeda

   



DrCaleb @ Wed Jan 06, 2016 8:04 am

It really is that bad. :(

I've hated the ground level LRT since it's inception on the south leg. Now they want to do the same as the NAIT leg, to the busiest part of the city, the south east. Then to the West end, right down the middle of one of the busiest east/west roads. They'll take parking out of the road, put the rail down the middle and cars can have a single lane on either side.

City council is frakked.

   



BRAH @ Wed Jan 06, 2016 8:44 am

City Council was Fraked the day they were elected. $11,000,000 million on bike lanes, $400,000 to cover them after the project failed. The LRT, Vancouver's Sky train in certain areas would make more sense.

   



BartSimpson @ Wed Jan 06, 2016 9:05 am

When Sacramento first built light rail in the 1980's there were a ton of grade crossings and single-track sections and now the old sections are all double-tracked and the grade crossings only exist on streets that aren't busy. The new sections are being built double-tracked and with fly-overs in congested areas. It's more expensive to expand the system but it's sensible.

Sadly, I'm still pissed at our narrow-mined LIBERAL city council from 1982 that voted to build a light rail system instead of linking up to San Francisco with the Bay Area Rapid Transit System (BART).

Had we gone with BART we'd have about a two hour ride to San Francisco's downtown and low income people in Sacramento would have access to the high paying jobs in the City. But no, we had to have a fashionable Toonerville Trolley instead. :roll:

   



DrCaleb @ Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:19 am

BartSimpson BartSimpson:
Sadly, I'm still pissed at our narrow-mined LIBERAL city council from 1982 that voted to build a light rail system instead of linking up to San Francisco with the Bay Area Rapid Transit System (BART).

Had we gone with BART we'd have about a two hour ride to San Francisco's downtown and low income people in Sacramento would have access to the high paying jobs in the City. But no, we had to have a fashionable Toonerville Trolley instead. :roll:


Most of our LRT was built for the 1978 Commonwealth Games, and all of it downtown is underground. Some beautiful stations (not Moscow beautiful, but nice), easy access, quiet . . . and now they want to take some of the busiest and congested streets, cut them in half and run a train down the center. :roll:

I don't even go to the part of the city where the new line is run, because the construction phase was bad enough. (And they tore down a Legion branch to lay track!) It took nearly a year after construction finished to get trains running, and they still haven't got the electronic signalling to work right. It's done by people!

   



OnTheIce @ Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:15 am

I don't understand.

For years, bootlegga has been on me about how fantastic LRT's are and how Toronto shouldn't even consider a Subway over an LRT.

   



DrCaleb @ Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:40 am

OnTheIce OnTheIce:
I don't understand.

For years, bootlegga has been on me about how fantastic LRT's are and how Toronto shouldn't even consider a Subway over an LRT.


I ride Edmonoton's LRT all the time. It's great. Within the downtown. Perhaps even to the University.

But after lots of riding on Montreal's Metro over the years - that's the way to go. By a long way!

   



OnTheIce @ Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:46 am

DrCaleb DrCaleb:
OnTheIce OnTheIce:
I don't understand.

For years, bootlegga has been on me about how fantastic LRT's are and how Toronto shouldn't even consider a Subway over an LRT.


I ride Edmonoton's LRT all the time. It's great. Within the downtown. Perhaps even to the University.

But after lots of riding on Montreal's Metro over the years - that's the way to go. By a long way!


So the part that's the most like a Subway is better....the underground part.

Toronto is tearing up lanes of road to add a LRT....insanity.

   



DrCaleb @ Wed Jan 06, 2016 12:00 pm

OnTheIce OnTheIce:
DrCaleb DrCaleb:
OnTheIce OnTheIce:
I don't understand.

For years, bootlegga has been on me about how fantastic LRT's are and how Toronto shouldn't even consider a Subway over an LRT.


I ride Edmonoton's LRT all the time. It's great. Within the downtown. Perhaps even to the University.

But after lots of riding on Montreal's Metro over the years - that's the way to go. By a long way!


So the part that's the most like a Subway is better....the underground part.

Toronto is tearing up lanes of road to add a LRT....insanity.


Yup. The underground portion of Edmonton's LRT is, IMHO, the better part. And like Toronto, Edmonton wants to further expand the LRT right down and across all the busiest streets in the city. Fools.

Now:

Current LRT.JPG
Current LRT.JPG [ 86.85 KiB | Viewed 781 times ]

Proposed:

Future LRT.JPG
Future LRT.JPG [ 92.79 KiB | Viewed 738 times ]

   



BRAH @ Wed Jan 06, 2016 3:34 pm

Now City Council is debating the 'City of Champions' sign again? :lol:

   



Canadian_Mind @ Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:28 pm

Some nuts in Vancouver want to do the same thing with the Millenium Line extension down Broadway; run it down the middle of the road (one of the busiest in NA, with the busiest bus route in NA), instead of underground.

   



Strutz @ Wed Jan 06, 2016 9:37 pm

Canadian_Mind Canadian_Mind:
Some nuts in Vancouver want to do the same thing with the Millenium Line extension down Broadway; run it down the middle of the road (one of the busiest in NA, with the busiest bus route in NA), instead of underground.

I know. I don't get that either. They can't possibly do that without reducing road space and that would lead to chaos on that route as Broadway is a major west to east connection across the city. Not to mention the construction process 8O

   



desertdude @ Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:43 am

Go Dubai style. Elevated where possible and underground where busy. But it dis coat a few billion to make. But in my opinion worth it, although initially I thought it was a dumb and expensive idea.

   



DrCaleb @ Thu Jan 07, 2016 7:00 am

desertdude desertdude:
Go Dubai style. Elevated where possible and underground where busy. But it dis coat a few billion to make. But in my opinion worth it, although initially I thought it was a dumb and expensive idea.


The initial digging to put the downtown area underground was enormous, but it was in the 70's and the city was less than a quarter the population it is now.

I thought that they should buy a tunnel boring machine, because there is lots of good bedrock under us (most of downtown is on old coal mines, which cause problems for some new highrises). But detractors said it would cost 1 billion to buy that. But the new 'Valley Line' will be the biggest project in the cities history, at $4 billion. :roll: Almost half a billion of that cost is in buying property for road expansions. Most land along the routes was reserved as transport corridor 30 years ago.

I wonder what the savings would be to buy the machine and go underground, just in headache meds alone.

   



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