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Thread: Centre LRT | Strathcona

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    Default Centre LRT | Strathcona

    First sessions: July 12, 20, 22, 2017

    http://edmontonjournal.com/news/loca...t-edmonton-lrt
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  2. #2

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    On one hand, I'm glad we're moving forward on this.

    On the other hand I feel like it's extremely premature & symptomatic of Edmonton's inability to focus on one thing at a time & getting it done. We don't know how the Valley Line will work in practice yet. We've got the west half of it to fund, plus the Metro Line extension, plus the Capital Line extension. It certainly seems like we'd get funding faster with a bit of focus & pruning off of far-off plans & a reallocation of those resources into managing & completing what's on our plate now.
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    So what exactly is the current proposed plan for the low floor LRTs to cross the river?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron_Lloyd View Post
    So what exactly is the current proposed plan for the low floor LRTs to cross the river?
    The under-construction bridge. The circulator/centre LRT was always supposed to reuse a chunk of the Valley Line's infrastructure like the Metro/Capital lines do.
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    ^ I meant on the west side. The only existing options would be on top of High Level (which to my understanding is rightly reserved by the Province for potential future HSR) or the capital line bridge (which seems unlikely as that'd mean three different lines sharing a single bridge and would require a fair amount of tunneling to get to from what I see).

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    That's TBD, as far as I know. The circulator was always deep in TBD-land, which is why I was intrigued when I got the notice in my mailbox yesterday. There's no corridor or alignment for it like there is for other planned lines like those I mentioned. I think this is the start of figuring that out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonic death monkey
    seems sonic might be on to something here.

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    High Level Bridge initially was on the original plan for the LRT, it is unsure if it will be used if the province decides to use the top deck for high speed rail (or even commuter rail). It is possible to build a tunnel from University to Whyte and leverage the existing LRT bridge.

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    We need to get our existing LRT to work reliably first.

    The communication system is glitching all the time. One of my kids got on a train heading on the wrong line because it had the wrong station announced on the sign (mistakingly said 'Clareview' instead of 'NAIT'). Similar things have happened to others I know. On a puny system like ours this sort of crap is unacceptable.

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    ^The trains really have been a mess lately and need to get working properly. It feels like the trains slow to crawl in a number of areas now that they didn't use to. The system really needs to be fixed up.

    That said I feel that the city can do more than one thing at once.

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    So, this would go along the street, with cars in front and behind it, or in a separate space for just the LRT?
    They're going to park their car over there. You're going to park your car over here. Get it?

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    I wonder if building an overhead line in the alley between Whyte and 83 Avenue would work. There would be less cost with land expropriation.
    Last edited by The_Cat; 13-07-2017 at 09:40 AM.
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    The option I liked was to bring the low-floor off of a Y at 102ave/107st down 107st west on 99ave to connect with the high-level on the current street-car route and down whyte to 83 and then north.
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    I look forward to a time when we start asking the right question. It should be: "how can we improve transit in the Whyte Ave area?"

    And stop these moronic LRT plans.
    There is no good reason we should be planning an LRT here.

    None.
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    Why not?

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    That area absolutely needs LRT... Downtown and Old Stathcona are not properly connected. Here's a amateurish conceptual map I made...
    https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/ed...280704033&z=14

    Can't decide if 83rd ave or Whyte is better. Trying to keep costs low and use the stations as opportunities to improve their locations.

    The existing Valley Line google map:
    https://www.edmonton.ca/projects_pla...ctive-map.aspx
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    Because we need better transit and not necessarily LRT. We don't need LRT's capacity on Whyte if the current bus can run only every 15 minutes, and there's been no effort to improve speed, so that doesn't seem to be the issue....although LRT won't help there if it's the kind of LRT we've started building lately.

    So is the point of LRT to spend lots of money and have a nice transit map?

    For a tiny fraction of the money we can do a modern streetcar on the existing streetcar alignment, with improved connections to LRT at Grandin, and to Jasper ave. Run it every 10 minutes at 50km per hour.

    Then make Whyte Ave buses frequent all day- every 5 minutes - with slightly wider stop spacing than now- every 2 blocks? With covered curb- extension stations. So the bus isn't weaving in and out of the curb lane. Make good connections at both ends and signal priority where possible.

    Presto- 95% of the advantages of LRT, 5% of the cost, and without the downside.
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    Certainly an option.

    I am working on a circulator with 2 mini-buses that go Whyte-99st/scona-jasper-109st-whyte with the idea that they hit at 15min intervals and have limited stops. They would run evenings and weekends.
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    it's not just an option, it's the best option.

    But by making this planning process an "LRT planning" study they're eliminating the best option right off the bat.
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    I like the idea of circular transit bus route, but any chance they can move the buses to the top of the High Level Bridge? Or at least move that High Level Bridge bus stop from the left lane to the right lane next to Ezio Farone Park? Personally I think it's goofy having buses pick up passengers in the left lane then once they enter the bridge try to swing into the right lane. Plus it's not fun for passengers getting to that stop.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highlander II View Post

    For a tiny fraction of the money we can do a modern streetcar on the existing streetcar alignment, with improved connections to LRT at Grandin, and to Jasper ave. Run it every 10 minutes at 50km per hour.
    This. The city needs to run a trial service on the existing streetcar line, year round at a decent frequency, to gauge how well a circulator would work. It could be done at minimal cost, likely only requiring one streetcar, which we could loan from somewhere like Vancouver did for the Olympics, and the stops would be no more than curbs with a shelter. I count 5 stops, 104st, 107st, 90ave, Grandin Station, and 100 ave. Run that for a year or so to determine if something like this is necessary.

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    I attended the first open house. So I had access to some of the ideas on this line some of which is also available online. As noted a bridge crossing by this line is tentative, and possibly HLB upper deck.

    Theres also been substantial confusion in the role out of this as some attendees, some press, come in thinking this has something to do with the CURRENT valley line in that they are both in the Bonnie Doon area. A lot of the layout and time spent was wasted on decreasing that confusion. Even one article I saw confused this with being a Valley Line open house.

    Anyway, I don't understand why a bridge crossing is required here. This by look, feel, and layout is best represented as a spur connecting line, to connect lines that will already exist. Doing anything beyond that creates a redundancy. The primary alleged need here is connecting Bonnie Doon area and projected TOD with Old Strathcona and current station at U of A. A river crossing and bringing this line north seems unnecessary to me. It seems political rather than expedient. In other words a line traversing both South and North sides of the City just to minimize any inter ward or regional squabbling.

    All that said this area is best served by a simple street car design and afairc there might have been something like that, or a trolley in that area before. Doing much the same thing that this line would..

    All this needs to be is a straight line going down Whyte Avenue and then veering to say Health Sciences connection.

    The worst thing I came away with from the presentation is that this is planned out as the first leg in a line jutting out to Sherwood Park. As an Edmonton taxpayer I would be against that without significant cost sharing with the County of Strathcona which I stated.


    Oh, and nimby is real. Among the most common comments were such things as "I live on 90Ave, and NO, I do NOT want LRT running next to my backyard.."
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    Quote Originally Posted by realkevbo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Highlander II View Post

    For a tiny fraction of the money we can do a modern streetcar on the existing streetcar alignment, with improved connections to LRT at Grandin, and to Jasper ave. Run it every 10 minutes at 50km per hour.
    This. The city needs to run a trial service on the existing streetcar line, year round at a decent frequency, to gauge how well a circulator would work. It could be done at minimal cost, likely only requiring one streetcar, which we could loan from somewhere like Vancouver did for the Olympics, and the stops would be no more than curbs with a shelter. I count 5 stops, 104st, 107st, 90ave, Grandin Station, and 100 ave. Run that for a year or so to determine if something like this is necessary.
    Run it until it's either proved itself unnecessary, or until there's a case to upgrade to something better. Like if it can't keep up despite running 40m streetcars every 5 minutes. Then you study to decide if an LRT upgrade is necessary, or if just double-tracking the easy parts and leaving it a streetcar is good enough.
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    ^^The current LRT master plan has this line interlining with the valley line on the premise that offering a 1-seat rider worth all the downsides, both in operations where issues on one line cascade to the other, inablilty to scale services on each route to demand, and offering effectively half the frequency to through passengers. Huge extra costs and operational challenges (ETS doesn't do well with those) just to turn two 2 minute waits into a 4 minute wait.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highlander II View Post
    Because we need better transit and not necessarily LRT. We don't need LRT's capacity on Whyte if the current bus can run only every 15 minutes, and there's been no effort to improve speed, so that doesn't seem to be the issue....although LRT won't help there if it's the kind of LRT we've started building lately.

    So is the point of LRT to spend lots of money and have a nice transit map?

    For a tiny fraction of the money we can do a modern streetcar on the existing streetcar alignment, with improved connections to LRT at Grandin, and to Jasper ave. Run it every 10 minutes at 50km per hour.

    Then make Whyte Ave buses frequent all day- every 5 minutes - with slightly wider stop spacing than now- every 2 blocks? With covered curb- extension stations. So the bus isn't weaving in and out of the curb lane. Make good connections at both ends and signal priority where possible.

    Presto- 95% of the advantages of LRT, 5% of the cost, and without the downside.
    Totally agree. I think the first not-directed-to-downtown LRT should run down 137 Ave from Victoria Road, connect at Clareview, connect at the new NW line at Griesbach, take people to work through all the industrial areas along 170, and connect at WEM. More stops along the way of course. A significant amount of north side folks live east of 127 St and do the majority of their daily shopping at Clareview, Londonderry, Northgate/Town, and Skyview, and work along that stretch or in the vast industrial parks further west.
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    ^I'm not sure the capacity of LRT is necessary on 137, but I agree that it's a great location for a high-frequency rapid-er line. There's the wide median in many parts that would accommodate a separated ROW, there will be two future connections to radial LRT, and it's a straight line with several destinations including Londonderry.

    That's what the $$ savings of not building a Whyte LRT could do, plus other rapid services on similar corridors - 111 west of the core, 23ave, Ellerslie road once there's LRT to connect to there.
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    ^would it have to go in both directions - or could it just go in one (which would take up less road / ROW)? I guess the risk of just one is you can't then have a cross over if an accident, I'm not sure that's a major problem though.

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    For any transit line to be useful you want people to be able to go both ways without going to far. Separating the directions actually reduces the area that has great transit.

    single-track sections can work on LRT or streetcar lines but I don't think they would be a good idea in mixed traffic where blockages are much more common.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Highlander II View Post
    Because we need better transit and not necessarily LRT. We don't need LRT's capacity on Whyte if the current bus can run only every 15 minutes, and there's been no effort to improve speed, so that doesn't seem to be the issue....although LRT won't help there if it's the kind of LRT we've started building lately.

    So is the point of LRT to spend lots of money and have a nice transit map?

    For a tiny fraction of the money we can do a modern streetcar on the existing streetcar alignment, with improved connections to LRT at Grandin, and to Jasper ave. Run it every 10 minutes at 50km per hour.

    Then make Whyte Ave buses frequent all day- every 5 minutes - with slightly wider stop spacing than now- every 2 blocks? With covered curb- extension stations. So the bus isn't weaving in and out of the curb lane. Make good connections at both ends and signal priority where possible.

    Presto- 95% of the advantages of LRT, 5% of the cost, and without the downside.
    Totally agree. I think the first not-directed-to-downtown LRT should run down 137 Ave from Victoria Road, connect at Clareview, connect at the new NW line at Griesbach, take people to work through all the industrial areas along 170, and connect at WEM. More stops along the way of course. A significant amount of north side folks live east of 127 St and do the majority of their daily shopping at Clareview, Londonderry, Northgate/Town, and Skyview, and work along that stretch or in the vast industrial parks further west.
    The #137 peak hour bus at Clareview is a joke. ETS could run that bus from 7am-9pm 6 days/week and it would have more ridership then most buses running at half capacity. If anything ETS could have a low floor lrt from Victoria Trail to West Edmonton mall through the industrial park even passing the scenic earth covered waste disposal mountain on the way to connect to Wem.
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    Looks like there's a proposal to extend the Strathcona Street Car to north of Whyte.

    http://globalnews.ca/news/3602275/ap...vel-streetcar/
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    ^ Calgary Trail and Gateway Blvd are arguably the most busiest roads in the city.
    Last edited by envaneo; 17-07-2017 at 05:05 AM.
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    Well, it already crosses Calgary Trail. I hope they can extend the line; it would probably become busier with a better stop at Whyte.
    They're going to park their car over there. You're going to park your car over here. Get it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by envaneo
    ^ Calgary Trail and Gateway Blvd are arguably the most busiest roads in the city.
    What does Calgary Trail have to do with that proposal? The line already crosses it, with minimal impact.

    Seems like a logical thing to do, and it's pretty small dollars to significantly improve the visibility and connectivity of the line. And I don't think the frequency of it is going to have any significant impact on Gateway. There's already a ton of pedestrian crossings and lights along it in that area.

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    Exactly. I love this idea and hope that eventually it could even continue south deeper into Strathcona junction when/if it gets built out.
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    Yup. Tie it into what remains of the old engine yard south of Whyte. There's much that could be done on this.

    Look at Thomas H's thread the other day:
    http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/showt...ght=roundhouse
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    ^I would kill to be able to take the LRT to the South Edmonton Common. Such a gigantic pain to get there by bus.

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    ^ Nice idea, too. But I don't see Canadian Pacific allowing LRT on its metals. Note how LRT is planned to head south and west from Century Park over to 127 St. and south from there, and eventually to the airport via RR252 and the projected Crossroads development.
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    Crucial element that should not be missed is the development of Strathcona Junction. Old Strathcona LRT cannot/should not happen until or should happen with, consideration to develop the parking lot north of Whyte on Gateway, and the railyards south of Whyte on Gateway. The "area plan" has been taking shape, and it looks like planners/community wants the most intense development to occur just south of Whyte along Calgary Trail. Area needs better transit when looking to the area in 2040.
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  39. #39

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    I would prefer a CP-line/central route to the airport over extending the existing LRT line that far.

    There's an unused bridge over argyle road and extra ROW width for most of the route.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by envaneo
    ^ Calgary Trail and Gateway Blvd are arguably the most busiest roads in the city.
    What does Calgary Trail have to do with that proposal? The line already crosses it, with minimal impact.

    Seems like a logical thing to do, and it's pretty small dollars to significantly improve the visibility and connectivity of the line. And I don't think the frequency of it is going to have any significant impact on Gateway. There's already a ton of pedestrian crossings and lights along it in that area.
    A active railway line already parallels Gateway Blvd. When I was working in the area last Spring waiting for my #6 to Southgate I often had to wait by Tony Roma's there as the bus was East of the tacks on Gateway was waiting for a train to clear. That (don't know who owns it CP or CNR) but there is impact. That train crossing 51st Ave is several times a week.

    I'm not against the project. I'd just like to see the streetcar run more often instead of just the summer.
    Last edited by envaneo; 17-07-2017 at 01:38 PM. Reason: Got distracted
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    Quote Originally Posted by envaneo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by envaneo
    ^ Calgary Trail and Gateway Blvd are arguably the most busiest roads in the city.
    What does Calgary Trail have to do with that proposal? The line already crosses it, with minimal impact.

    Seems like a logical thing to do, and it's pretty small dollars to significantly improve the visibility and connectivity of the line. And I don't think the frequency of it is going to have any significant impact on Gateway. There's already a ton of pedestrian crossings and lights along it in that area.
    A active railway line already crosses Gateway Blvd. When I was working in the area last Spring waiting for my #6 to Southgate I often had to wait by Tony Roma's there as the bus was East of the tacks on Gateway was waiting for a train to clear. That (don't know who owns it CP or CNR) but there is impact. That train crossing 51st Ave is several times a week.

    I'm not against the project. I'd just like to see the streetcar run more often instead of just the summer.
    No, it crosses 51 avenue.
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    ^ Oops, my typo. Must have got distracted. Yes I know the rail way lines runs North/South. I said it crosses 51st ave. We were watching the Holiday train from the office building I work in this last December.
    Last edited by envaneo; 17-07-2017 at 01:33 PM.
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    I tried looking around but can't seem to find anything. Does anyone have a link to the current map to this Centre lrt proposal?

    Thanks
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    There is no map. This is the first round of discussions, from which the first maps will be produced.

    The City of Edmonton is studying possible routes for a future LRT route that would connect Strathcona, Downtown, Bonnie Doon and east Edmonton. The study would look at options that could best link riders with key destinations on both sides of the river and to ultimately determine stop locations along the way.
    Timeline:
    Our study began in June 2017 and the recommended concept plan including route selection, stop locations and alignment (where the tracks fit within the route) will be presented to Council for approval before the end of 2018.
    https://www.edmonton.ca/projects_pla...lrt-study.aspx
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    ^ I realize this project is only in phase 1:Strategy. I was kind of hoping to see a initial concept map. Thanks for the quotes and the link and I'm now on the email list.
    Last edited by envaneo; 17-07-2017 at 02:08 PM.
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    The closest is Downtown - Bonnie Doon (via Valley line) - University (via Whyte Ave) - Downtown (via 109 st ish)

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    So is the idea here to use the existing track that the street car is using? Or that corridor?
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    That's part of what they're looking at now. How is it going to get over there and how will it go from A to B to C

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    ^ Are any of those maps from the open houses on display online someplace?
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    How would they go about connecting the high floor trains and the low floor trains at the stations as they do on the map?
    Go down a few dark alleys.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mnugent View Post
    How would they go about connecting the high floor trains and the low floor trains at the stations as they do on the map?
    I'm guessing the same way the Valley interacts with Metro/Capital at Churchill, where the stations & stops are stacked on top of each other (or are otherwise adjacent) & you gotta get yourself from Line A to Line B with a short walk.
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    One last open house for this round.

    Saturday, July 22, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., St. Anthony District Archives and Meeting Centre, 10425 84th Ave.
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    I looked at the online survey, and I think one of the toughest challenges will be determining whether this line should go through the University Area. It's at least a 15 minute trip from the U of A to Strathcona, and LRT would be great.
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    The walking distance from U of A to Strathcona is 15mins for me. Most people going from one to the other are much younger than I am. What problem, really, is this route solving? If anything being a sedentary student at U of A its actually nice to get out for a walk. I used to walk home to Jasper Place sometimes if it was nice out when I was a student. For sure we did the times we closed the Power Plant and the busses weren't running anymore.

    In anycase the Strathcona to HLB that the streetcar takes is plenty close enough. That's like 2-3 blocks to campus. A campus wherein the walks from one main campus class to another can be as much as around 8blocks.
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  56. #56

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    ^That connection and the areas and routes in that area are a very large question with few solid answers, in my opinion. It's tough... do you make the low-floor to high-floor connection at Grandin? Or do you fully connect and deal with route issues by trying to tie the Strathcona LRT with the University/Garneau area? The dual question then is if LRT does not run down Whyte Ave, then will an efficient Whyte Ave bus run down the road connecting Strathcona to Bonnie Doon and further east, and University and further west? And if it does run down Whyte, then how do you connect a collection of areas that almost demand a few zig-zags? I just simply don't see an easy answer. This will take many years before it's built, but I see a bigger question in the meantime which is can we improve Whyte Ave transit connectivity, efficiency, and service now? Then based on that service, experiment with some dedicated routes even, and do pilot traffic studies for 2-3 years.

    As I wrote in the survey and to Council and City Staff... this needs to be a part of Plan Whyte, ETS, and a bigger conversation on the future use of Whyte Avenue.
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  57. #57
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    It seems to me that any route along Whyte Ave is going to impact several major intersections really slowing this line down. This Centre LRT should be abandoned and coe should just go ahead with building the bridge over the Yellowhead tracks to 27th Ave and out to Campbell road. The St Albert route serves more people and less of a logistical nightmare.

    IMO
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  58. #58

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    Mind you this is like a Edmonton 2040 transportation plan. I think through this process we will see what and what is not feasible in 20 years.
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  59. #59
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    Uh-huh.

    The Centre LRT line once the kinks are ironed out could be in the build phase by 2020. Centre LRT goes to council by ~ this time next year. Meanwhile St. Albert gets the short end of the stick. COE would get more bang for their LRT buck because the St.Albert line not only goes through the periphery of Blatchford to St. Albert but completes the Metro line. Both these lines though could be built way before 20 years, even within ten. In the end its about priorities, I guess.

    I get what your saying though.
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  60. #60
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    I'm curious what the city gains from running LRT out to St Albert. All that does it make it easier for residents of St Albert to work in Edmonton. They don't pay taxes to the City of Edmonton, so unless St Albert is going to foot a lot of the bill, why would the City pay for a line running out there?

    As for Whyte Ave - it seems as though they're really stuck running it down Whyte itself.
    They're going to park their car over there. You're going to park your car over here. Get it?

  61. #61
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    A line out to SA connects a lot of people in Castle downs and like I said above goes through Blatchford. SA's portion would be relatively small.
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  62. #62

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    I'd like to see the Metro line extended to Castle Downs at the least. Past there, do it once St. Albert is ready to build their line. If we build it out to Campbell road with no plan in place for SA to continue it, it'll be stuck there for a long, long time. SA will just move their transit centre to the new terminus and let it stay like that.

  63. #63
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    Metro line out to Campbell road could be the end of the line much like Valley would be out to Lewis Estates. The way things are going anything out past the Yellowhead is along, long time. Heck COE cant even decide which option they want to do with Metro at Glenrose.
    Mom said I should not talk to cretins!

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