The rail Stations that didn’t quite make it … and one that will

OK, so having said some nice things about OC Transpo shelters, it’s back to griping again. Taking the Trillium O-Train Line (aka route Number 2, aka the Green Line) through Carleton U one is struck by the just-OK collection of … Continue reading The rail Stations that didn’t quite make it … and one that will

Construction Updates – Bayview Station, Trillium Line

These are exciting days for sidewalk superintendents as the big beams for the new Bayview LRT Station were put in place. The beams are precast concrete: The design of the structure is the same as Booth Street overpass / Pimisi … Continue reading Construction Updates – Bayview Station, Trillium Line

Bit of new west side Trillium MUP opens

The existing Trillium multi user pathway (MUP) on the EAST side of the OTrain tracks has been a hit with the commuting and recreational public. Its popularity grows weekly. Less well known is the planning “win” when the community obliged … Continue reading Bit of new west side Trillium MUP opens

Helen Gault Pole relocated

A familiar old feature to west siders and OTrain users is no more. We shall miss it (not). Sniff sniff. When the original OTrain (now, Trillium Line OTrain) was built back in 2001, city staff were under pressure to do the demonstration project on a shoestring budget. I gather from old hands that were present back then, that a decision was made by Helen Gault at the city to route the track around an existing utility pole in the middle of the field. This was done to avoid the cost of moving said pole. Again, old hands tell me that … Continue reading Helen Gault Pole relocated

New graphic identity for Confederation line?

The City unveiled the final streetscaping plan for several blocks of Queen Street around the two downtown Confederation Line stations (Lyon, and Parliament). One detail I noticed was the graphic logo for the Stations, consisting of a bright red circle (donut?) on a stick. Here’s the one at Lyon Station: and another at Parliament Station by the old Zellers: and again at the link between the two towers of the Clarica /Sunlife Centre: Of course we need a graphic logo that can (eventually) instantly identify where the Station entrances are for locals and tourists alike. On the existing transitway, the bright … Continue reading New graphic identity for Confederation line?

Trillium Path Extended to Carling Avenue

As promised by the City, the extension of the Trillium (OTrain) pathway from Young to Carling Avenue is essentially complete. I think it is wonderful. Multi-user pathways (MUP’s) get better with every new build. The most significant new feature for a MUP is a physical separation of people who cycle from people who walk, or animals who walk their humans. The bike path portion remains full width; the pedestrian portion is additional, bonus width. There is a very low curb between the two paths to separate them. The lowness of the curb prevents a pedal from getting caught. The separated … Continue reading Trillium Path Extended to Carling Avenue

Navigating Scott-Albert (east bound)

Alas, for those people walking or cycling east towards the downtown, there won’t be a separated multi-user path, nor as direct a path as along the north side of Scott and Albert. Starting near Tunney’s, there is a south-side east-bound painted bike lane, which I suppose it a wee tad better than cycling with sharrows in the “50KMH” lanes: The cycling lane is “buffered” from cars, trucks, and buses by a 2′ painted median, but the cycling lane is also the right turn lane and driveway access lane. And boy, are there ever a lot of those: There are many … Continue reading Navigating Scott-Albert (east bound)

Navigating Albert-Scott (westbound)

People who drive westwards from the downtown using Albert and then Scott have big flashing traffic signs, painted arrows, and scrupulously scraped bare pavement. While the lane markings are new, the learning curve should be short. My only bugbear on this so far is the sudden merge of the two westbound traffic lanes around Brickhill Street (just before Good Companions). People who cycle and people who walk face some more challenges. To RTG’s credit a few small ped directional signs have appeared near Bayview Station. So maybe it is worthwhile to follow the route for people who walk or cycle … Continue reading Navigating Albert-Scott (westbound)

Gotta go pee ! (again)

So, the CBC this morning was featuring another story on our lack of public washrooms. So I thought it worthwhile reprinting this Feb.2015 story about public toilets. I think the potty solution from Portland would fit very nicely in Dundonald Park. As a society, we have a major aversion to acknowledging that people gotta go pee. Or poo. And that this happens when people are outside of the home. Like at transit stations. Or touristing in a city. In lieu of public WC signage, we are reduced to looking for the Golden Arches of M, where there is always a … Continue reading Gotta go pee ! (again)

City not interested in path under Qway

The City has pronounced itself regarding the replacement of the Queensway overpass at the OTrain / Trillium corridor. The existing east side pathway will get an underpass for people who walk or cycle. As for the west side, the City says:  It is deemed to be a longer-term project (post 2031) and therefore is not included in the City’s current affordable plan.  It should be noted that this west-side MUP could provide localized circulation benefits even if there were not to be a direct connection beneath the Queensway bridge.  Communities on the west side can still conveniently access the east-side … Continue reading City not interested in path under Qway

Westward Ho ! (part iii) the curse of stations and transit users

The Cleary Avenue end of the western LRT and motor expressway corridor is shown here:   The westbound trains enter the picture from the right, along the orange line. Cleary Station is shown in dark blue. The Unitarian Church and apartment building is shown a bit further west (left). The underground track alignment swings gently under the Unitarian parking lot to get out towards its (under) Richmond Road alignment. The swing out to Richmond will occur under a car repair shop and/or Kristy’s restaurant. These businesses will not remain in place during construction. Since dig-the-ditch-and-cover construction won’t start until 2017 … Continue reading Westward Ho ! (part iii) the curse of stations and transit users

Qway Overpass Replacements, part ii, the (N)oTrain and Pathway

There is an enormous bridge structure just west of Preston, where the Queensway spans the OTrain cut. It is enormous because it spans not only the cut, but allows for a 2 – 4 lane freeway on each side of the cut, the defunct Champagne Freeway, that would have connected the airport parkway at Confederation Heights to the Fairy Lake Parkway in Gatineau. (*diagram below) A few years back the space on the east side was improved to make the OTrain multi user path. We had to dragoon the city into building it, and much to their surprise (but not … Continue reading Qway Overpass Replacements, part ii, the (N)oTrain and Pathway

Bus stop; Bus stop, part v; what happens on the bus stays on the bus

Las Vegas is one big sprawling desert metropolis. Rapid transit such as LRT or subway is difficult to justify. Several monorail systems have been tried, but mostly they work to get riders from one casino to another of the same consortium, by-passing the casinos of competitors. And the routes go behind the buildings, away from the flashy strip where everyone wants to be. Casinos are all flash and fantasy; so is their rapid transit. If you can’t have trains, at least mock up the buses to look like trains. Funny thing is, just like the gaudy buildings are attractive (in … Continue reading Bus stop; Bus stop, part v; what happens on the bus stays on the bus

Bus stop; Bus stop, part iv: Seattle rapid transit bus stops

Seattle appeared to have local bus services (blue) as well as express ones (red) that ran with more limited stops between neighbourhoods.  These Rapid routes made it easier to go long distances in a very spread out city (remember, most of its growth has been in the automobile era, and thus is sprawly). The Rapid routes had their own bus stops, with distinctive red branding. Electronic boards informed passengers when the next buses would arrive, and their destinations. The yellow box on the post is a fare card reader. In Ottawa, we buy a certain amount of time on the … Continue reading Bus stop; Bus stop, part iv: Seattle rapid transit bus stops

Bus stop Bus stop, part iii, LRT in Ottawa and Seattle, with videos

  I trotted off for an evening walk and ended up at Lansdowne Park and presto [pardon the pun] there was the new Confederation Otrain. Sort of. Inside it looked very familiar: The deja vu all over again feeling was partially due to a flood of memories of using the Seattle LRT last year. Although Seattle has Korean-made equipment. With that in mind, let’s peek into a Seattle downtown station.   Their downtown station is used by diesel buses and the LRT. In the pic above, note the [indoor] escalator; the electric pick up lines suspended a few inches below the … Continue reading Bus stop Bus stop, part iii, LRT in Ottawa and Seattle, with videos

Fostering transit by catering to cars (part 1)

Too often I cringe in dismay at the 99% motorist-focus of our planning and engineering staff. Do [m]any of the staff and consultants working on the LRT stations actually use transit? I have been known to cause moments of embarrassment by asking at an OTrain planning meeting if any staff present have actually ridden the train. [answer: rarely]. It’s quite easy to tell the station planners don’t walk to stations. Ever. Or take transit to work anywhere else, for that matter. Here’s a small example of how even when building and designing a state-of-the-art rapid transit system (ie, the Confederation … Continue reading Fostering transit by catering to cars (part 1)

Zorro Watson, Train Heister

  Out for a walkies last evening along the popular OTrain pathway, perambulators might come across this sight:   Yup, the sly fox, some prize in his mouth, running by the Bayview Transit Station. Mr Fox ran through a culvert and popped under this fence. No doubt you recognize the scene:   This will provide support to those who claim the current OTrain pathway and any future Albert-Scott pathway going past the 2017 Bayview LRT Station and through the to-be-devegetated field shown below will be exposed to excessive risk and danger and should Stay Away, lest you get eaten up.     … Continue reading Zorro Watson, Train Heister

Yet another Scott Street > transitway option

Recall that the current transitway, running in an open cut through the west side, will be replaced by rail tracks for the new Confederation Line LRT. There is a construction lead time to construct the tracks and the new stations at Tunney’s and Bayview and LeBreton, so the buses now on the transitway will have to be detoured during the construction period. Others are busy working on detours that do not involve Scott and Albert Streets. This is the second exploration  of how the detour could occur on Scott-Albert. (for the first option, see:       http:/www.westsideaction.ca/putting-the-buses-onto-scott-albert/ ; the comments … Continue reading Yet another Scott Street > transitway option