Bayview Station (final)

The saga of the amazing perambulating Bayview Station is nearing completion.

Recall that the station has been proposed in various scales, sizes, and locations. Well, the final plan is available exclusively to readers here.

Bayview Station is back to being “on the structure” of the transitway bridge over the O-Train cut (yes, I know, the O-train isn’t in a cut, it’s on the level, it’s the road that is elevated, but  such is our road-focussed society that the road becomes the normal level, and the flat becomes the hole…).

The new station is in the same style as the majority of other proposed LRT stations. It has an arched roof made out of metal diamonds or triangles finished on the underside with wood. The exterior colour is usually shown as a light coloured metal.

It is an LRT station, not an O-Train station, so the station itself is on the LRT alignment and the O-train platforms, to be rebuilt on the west side of the track, are largely uncovered and seem to remain bus-shelter style. They do get some additional shade and rain protection from the overhead bridges, especially with the O-Train platform shifting slightly south to be directly under Albert Street. Still, I wonder if it worth lobbying to have the O-Train Station built to a similar standard of the LRT station.

I also note that the current configuration will work equally well for the O-Train terminating at Bayview or continuing on to Gatineau via the Prince of Wales railway bridge (provided it is not converted by the city to a road bridge for the STO). This configuration does not work well if the O-train tracks are someday turned at Bayview to go east towards LeBreton Station. The option of having direct train service from the airport to the downtown is not yet foreclosed although planners have not been enthused about the link.

The main entrance is on the O-Train level. The stated reason for this is that the station is primarily a transfer station between the E-W and the N-S rail service. An unstated reason is that the STO wants to build a major transfer station for its Rapibus line at Bayview. So in the picture below, the station is viewed from the north, between the Ottawa River Commuter Expresway and the head of the O-Train platform, where Bayview Yards is now and the proposed Rapibus station might be:

The two tall towers immediately behind the station (pictured above) are the proposed Phoenix 35 storey twin office towers (6500 employees, 200 parking spaces, so it is really-transit-oriented development) located on the triangle of land immediately south of the Station and before you get to the existing City Centre 8 storey tower.

The elevated station is built on the existing structure. The only widening of the structure will occur for the stairs and elevator shafts going down to the O-Train.

Here’s a daytime view of the station, now seen from Albert Street, just west of the O-Train, on the opposite side of Albert from the Tom Brown Arena. Note that there is no pedestrian entrance from Albert on this side of the station. Hintonburg and Mechanicsville residents will generally approach the station through the O-Train level entrance and a series of ground-level pathways extending on the north side of the Station  structure to Bayview Road (this is also the Bikewest route); or to the south on a flat pathway extending along the edge of the Tom Brown soccer field.

The whole LRT station is supposed to fit on the existing structure. The extensions on each side support the stairs and twin elevators on each side. I suspect the roof detail for the stairways has not be designed yet, as none is shown. Presumably the stairs will also contain escalator(s) but it is hard to tell from the plans provided.

Personally, I think we could cut some costs by providing stairs and elevators only, and skip the escalators. We need to walk more, and a 20′ flight of stairs twice a day might help reduce some coach-potato-office-cubicle bellies and promote coronary fitness. But if there are escalators, I will of course join everyone else in using them and skipping the stairs.

If you go back up to the top picture, you will notice a flight of exterior stairs at the northeast end of the platform (far left). These are denoted as “emergency stairs”. I confess to some confusion here. If the emergency is a vehicle crash, or bomb scare, why do the stairs keep one close to the structure? If it’s for “maintenance emergencies” the stairs are unusable for the handicapped, strollers, etc. Wouldn’t it be cheaper and more useful to put in a asphalt ramp similar to the walkway there now?

Access to the new Station from Dalhousie (ie, from the east) is via a secondary entrance at the Albert Street level at the SE corner, where the OC Transpo Albert Street bus stop is now. This corrects a major failing of previous designs which favoured transferring passengers and only minimally serviced walk-in clientelle.

Here is a plan view of the Bayview Station:

The station itself is primarily the yellow (fare-paid area inside the turnstiles) area shown on the existing structure that carries the transitway over the O-Train. Note how the bridge has been widened just enough to locate the stairs and elevators. The O-train platform has been moved to the west side of the existing tracks, and extended a bit further south, beyond the Albert Street overpass shown in white. There is a pedestrian pathway running off to the southwest by Tom Brown arena. The entrance for people coming from the east is on the Albert level, and shown in pink. Most readers can double click on the drawings to  enlarge them to full screen.

The plan shown above also shows that the City has been listening to public input. There is now a  connection to the Albert Street multi-user path on the east side. The path along the soccer field at Tom Brown will be very useful and direct, and eliminates the need for a flight of stairs up the steep hill to Albert Street where the path is now shown doing a sharp S-bend.

I was out walking the Station area on Friday with City engineers and consultants figuring out just how to wiggle the N-S bike path through the station area. This path will be constructed next year, in 2012, from the River up to Gladstone Ave. While on the platform areas with the plans in hand, the access routes seem to make a lot of sense and will provide direct and safe access to the station from the surrounding communities. The trick right now is trying to route the bike path through and keeping it open during the conversion of the transitway to the LRT.

Here’s a close-up of the main station entrance at the lower, O-Train level:

It is not perfectly clear from just this drawing, but there is lots of room for the pathway on the west side, from Hintonburg, to pass under the stairs as the stairs shown on the plan above the words “lower plaza” are really 16′ up at that point. Try to compare the pic at the top of the post with the drawings if you are really keen to see the details of the circulation.

I still think the Station is underserved with bike racks, but now areas for expanded racks have been identified. The curvy green dotted line in the illustration is the bio-swale designed to carry runoff waters down the slope in a decorative and ecologically sensitive manner. The drawings show most of the station sides glazed in, as is befitting this windy spot; I hope the few unglazed sections are built so that glazing can be added later if required.

For keeners, the illustrations shown the supporting pillars under Albert Street as black circles; but the ones under the transitway are shown as hollow black squares. Readers may also find it helpful to go back to last weeks post about the Bayview-carling CDP which has areal illustrations of the area around the station all built out.

In sum, the designers seem to have finally gotten this Station right. Now, to build it…

10 thoughts on “Bayview Station (final)

  1. I’m glad you’re doing such diligent work of explaining the intricacies of the proposed LRT, (or similar to street car ) stations. They do run off the power grid like the old street cars used to, right?

    My question all along has been, if we don’t have enough electricity for normal day to day functioning in the city now, and need to cut back on electricity usage during peak hours, what will happen with the extra drain on our electrical power during the hours the LRT is running?? Paying 5%+ more each year for electricity won’t provide us with more power. If we have brown outs, or power failures, I can’t see anyone being happy.

  2. I didn’t know there was a power shortage in Ottawa, especially considering how we ship excess power to NY and Quebec. I don’t think our supply is that fragile – expensive yes, but not in short supply.

  3. To hear Daddy Premier and all other green beanies, we are going to run out of power if we don’t conserve, conserve, conserve!!! Why we are shipping excess power to NY and especially Quebec, which has an over abundance of power itself, I’ve never understood. Why can’t we just lower our prices and use it ourselves?? And what’s with all this green energy (wind turbines, solar etc etc) which we’re paying a fortune for when we sell our excess to other areas???
    I still don’t understand this green energy plan.

    1. Wanderer, you don’t understand the green energy plan because you clearly don’t understand shit about how electricity works. It is not a liquid like water, that you can accumulate and dissipate as you like; you have to generate it on-demand. If you can’t increase your output enough for demand, people get brownouts. To avoid that, distributors have to buy it from other places at outrageous prices–20 times higher or more than the average amount it costs to produce. Even if you have the generating capacity, it can’t be turned on and off as easily as you flip on your light switch (or in your case, your ill-informed talk radio). It takes hours or days to bring plants online and to increase or decrease the amount of load generated. But since you can’t control demand, and you can’t predict it, if demand suddenly drops you need to do something with that excess power flowing through the grid. Storing it is not an option. So you sell it, or in cases where other providers also have a surplus, you have to pay people to take it. More information on real-time demand and predicted demand for electricity is available at (which appears to be unavailable at the moment, unfortunately).

      It’s ironic that you claim to not understand the apparently socialist policies of the Liberal premier and the “green beanies”, because they’re underwritten by pure market-based realities. But hey, if you want to keep paying a dollar a kilowatt for peak electricity, and if you want the province to continue to pour billions of taxpayer dollars into nuclear, coal, and natural gas power plants, then go for it.

      And all of you are ignoring the reality of what the alternative would be to electric trains: either the current situation, which is diesel buses (at going rates), with many more vehicles, requiring many more operators. That’s expensive, and it’s already at capacity. Or diesel trains, which will only be able to run in a tunnel if the tunnels are much larger (requiring more time and money to build) and have massive ventilation systems that would probably take as much electricity as would be required to run the trains themselves. If it’s anything like the 2006 plan, electric train systems are required to have backup power every couple of kilometres, meaning that diesel-powered backup generating stations will be located at strategic points along the line. At the worst, if the grid fails to provide enough power, we can run it ourselves at the going rate for diesel, which is what we’d be paying for if we didn’t have an electric system in the first place.

  4. My, my, you must have a thin skin, to react so strongly, with potty mouth language even, to my brief post, which consisted mainly of questions, to which you gave some good answers. Pity you took it so personally. I, at least, wasn’t trying to denigrate anyone, or make them feel foolish for asking questions. A professor once told me that no question is a foolish.
    Most of what you said had already been explained in various newspapers, and I’m a news nut who reads several papers online daily. So, stupid is something I’ve never been accused of.
    It’s been nice following this blog, but I think I’ll cease and desist and let the brainiacs continue.

    1. Excuse me for assuming that if you were big enough to dish it out (“Daddy Premier and all other green beanies”) you were big enough to take it, too. I wouldn’t have replied (or at least not so harshly) if not for the tone of your comments.

  5. Perhaps a comment on the design of Bayview Station can be permitted …

    I applaud the walkability and attractive design of the station, but there is one troubling feature I haven’t seen commented on anywhere. In the spring of 2009, according to documents, a through connection from the future north-south line was decided on over a transfer connection at Bayview. All of the design concepts published since then have shown a station allowing for a direct ride from the south through the tunnel.

    This final design shows a single-track, single-platform, stub-end station on the O-Train level. It doesn’t really even allow for the O-Train to cross over to Quebec, much less for an eventual LRT to turn the corner and continue downtown. Will the planners every say this out loud, or will the city steadfastly maintain that this is an Improved Plan? Having designed Hurdman in such a way that the south transitway can’t easily be converted to LRT, now they seem to have decided that no train from the south will make it downtown, ever. Or, at least, they are designing lower-cost stations now (penny wise) that will make those future options much, much more difficult and expensive (pound foolish).

    1. You are correct that many of the previous station designs were a bit east of the current BRT station and were on two levels. They were designed to operate as a T junction with the OTrain at first, and later, if the OTrain was swung around to follow the LRT track alignment into the downtown, the station could accomodate that (by digging out the lower levels). The design proved expensive. And the location blocked visibility of / access to the NCC site to the immediate north.

      The current T design assumes the OTrain will terminate at Bayview, and it can be extended north over the POW bridge with minimal changes. The alignment is such that there is room for the OTrain tracks to swing around to go east into the downtown without destroying the Bayview Station, so there is no “throwaway” of the station other than the OTrain platform itself. However, in that case, the OTrain would not stop at Bayview, but at LeBreton (in which case room for Somerset Station is being reserved, to replace the Bayview OTrain stop). So all combinations have been preserved: N/S; S/E; S/E and N/S combined. And, no part of the station is throwaway but nothing extra is being built in the (distant)(maybe/maybe not) eventuality of OTrain changes.

      Personally, I strongly favour an OTrain direct link from Riverside/Airport/Downtown, if only for the business convenience and convention traffic. I am not a fan of the “stub line” connector from an OTrain line that bypasses the airport. However, those are all battles for another day. First, we need to get the LRT up and running and wildly popular; then we can dream of expansion.

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