More Turkey Talk on Tunnel

In a previous post on the downtown Ottawa transit tunnel (DOTT) I mentioned a presentation I saw at Transit Committee on Dec 16th comparing the surface and tunnel options. The Committee has provided me with a copy of the powerpoint presentation by the Downtown Coalition. Here are the key slides, including the $100 million dollar saving figure. This figure might mean the tunnel saves $100m over a¬†surface rail option, or that the tunnel saves $100m over the current BRT operation, its unclear to me. Their conclusion however remains that the tunnel has a reasonably quick payback period. Double click pictures … Continue reading More Turkey Talk on Tunnel

Goodbye Baseline Station

The old Baseline transitway station has been retired, replaced by one immediately to the west. The old location will become the site of new building with the transitway underneath it. The glazing was removed from the station shelters and the steel is being scrapped. The shelters are 25+ years old and not worth relocating. Demolition of the concrete central structure at the station. Steel and concrete and asphalt are separated for recyling. The new station has side platforms rather than a centre-island design. A regular user of the station told me this morning that she much prefers the new side … Continue reading Goodbye Baseline Station

Otrain “temporary” station at Bayview

When the OTrain service began in 2001 it was a “temporary” experiment to see if Ottawan’s would like a train. That the service – derrided as being from nowhere to nowhere – quickly exceeded its longer time ridership projections was a pleasant surprise. Today it carries 50% more riders than the optimistic forecast. Still, being an experiment and all, the stations were designed to be “temporary”. Bayview Station was no exception. The City engineers designed the paved paths with steeply sloping gravel sides. No doubt their text books and tables told them that these would be “stable”. Of course, in … Continue reading Otrain “temporary” station at Bayview

Transitway water bill

Picture 2 shows water burbling up from the base of this concrete structure. It comes up so fast it creates a 6-8″ high stain on the concrete. The large puddle of crystal clear water (likely from a water main) forms a large puddle then runs down a ditch to a catch basin. The site of the puddle is the northwest corner of the western transitway station at Queensway. It is bloody obvious, and must be apparent to OC Transpo maintenance crews. Yet it appears to have been there for some time as aquatic plants are growing the in the runoff … Continue reading Transitway water bill

Bird sightings along the Ottawa River

The first photo shows a black cormorant ( I think … I googled the name and it seems to me to match) on the Ottawa River near Lemieux Island. If I recall correctly, cormorants are rapidly becomming an invasive species and are moving en masse into the Ottawa area having already over run the Great Lakes. It seems bird populations have bubbles just like our economy. Back in university, didnt they call it the boom/bust cycle? I first saw these birds about 3 years ago, there were a lot more last year, and this year I see them by the … Continue reading Bird sightings along the Ottawa River

LRT Maintenance Facility Site

There will be a low-key public meeting at City Hall on Wedn. June 24 from 5.30 to 8pm on the proposed new maintenace facility. No speaches, just poster boards and comment sheets. Recall that on May 27 Council approved the alignment (route) and station locations. The consultants and staff are now working on station design, the BRT to LRT conversion process, construction staging, and how the LRT and BRT will operate once the line opens. Their results will be shown at another open house in Sept. But back to the Maintenance Facility. Planners examined all the site along or near … Continue reading LRT Maintenance Facility Site

LRT Technical Session

The City hosted a technical session on Saturday, June 20th for all those people who delight in spending a summer Saturday listening to streetcar vendors. About 100 of the public showed up, and at least 30 staff and consultants and vendors. The stated purpose of the meeting was to examine technical issues such as low floor vs high floor LRTs, dedicated vs shared rights of way, driverless vs on-board staff, etc. But I think the unstated purpose of the meeting was to educate the bloggers and transit hobbyists and community activists, so as to raise the tone of the debate … Continue reading LRT Technical Session

Leadman’s DOTT meeting May 26th

Leadman’s ward bumps up against Somerset Ward where I live, almost on the border of the two, which is why this blog is named West Side Action, since I try to cover events that happen on the west side of the downtown, regardless of fiefdom. Anyhow, I joined the big turnout for her forum Tuesday evening on the DOTT. Her presentation and meeting themes covered two things: the DOTT in the downtown area, and the first-phase LRT in her ward terminating at Tunneys Pasture. She was accompanied by Renfrew Morrison, a transportation consultant that we recall was Clive Doucet’s hired … Continue reading Leadman’s DOTT meeting May 26th

Interprovincial Transit Ideas

I attended a few hours of the interprovincial transit study meeting last Thursday. I heard lots of suggestions for improving interprovincial transit experience. Here are some of them: 1. Use the Prince of Wales Bridge. This rail bridge from Bayview Station to Gatineau is a favorite solution to most problems. Many felt it need not be double tracked right away, but could operate for the first years as a single track with passing tracks at each end and maybe at Lemieux Island. 2. Most attendees want a rail solution (LRT or O-Train) not a bus solution or bus on transitway … Continue reading Interprovincial Transit Ideas

One train/one tunnel vs many trains in one tunnel

The downtown transit tunnel will have two tracks, one for each direction. This would be fine if the trains only went east and west. However, desire for travel is also north and south. It is possible to force everyone on the future southwest LRT, and future southeast LRT, and future link to Gatineau LRT, to transfer to the east-west line. Transfers would occur indoors, be comfortable, but would still increase trip time significantly. This would be significant for those who already had to take a local bus to the BRT to the LRT transfer … etc. Recall too that IF … Continue reading One train/one tunnel vs many trains in one tunnel

Kanata to downtown direct bus service ?

I read on Real Grouchy’s blog that he and Marianne Wilkinson expected direct BRT service from Kanata to downtown to continue after the LRT system is opened from Tunney’s to Blair. When the DOTT study began, its terms of reference were from Bayview to Blair. It was a somewhat dubious proposition to force all west end commuters to transfer to the LRT at Bayview when they were already in sight of the downtown. They therefore proposed continuing BRT service from the west into the core. Since the transitway would be converted to LRT, the buses would exit the transitway at … Continue reading Kanata to downtown direct bus service ?

Transit tunnel success …

The City today announced its preferred LRT routes and station configurations. Good news: the major transfer station from buses-on-the-transitway-west will be at Tunney’s Pasture, built on the grassy vacant area north of the current station. Good news: the configuration at Bayview will permit same train access from the (future) southwest transitway / O-Train alignment to the downtown. This means that we can attract larger conventions to the new convention centre downtown as we will have no-transfer-required service direct from the airport to downtown. The configuration at Bayview permits much greater flexibility in train routing. Bad News: the LeBreton Station is … Continue reading Transit tunnel success …

New OC Transpo bus routes impact centretown

OC Transpo is proposing some significant bus routes changes that affect our neighborhoods on the west side of the downtown. Comments on the routes must be in to oc transpo by April 25th. Most significantly, the number 16 would no longer run along Scott nor Albert in the Flats area. It would instead start somewhere in the downtown ( I couldn’t find out where on the OC transpo page) and run east only. And number 18 will run only run as far west as Tunney’s. These changes are part of OC Transpo’s rerouting scheme to reduce the buses that run … Continue reading New OC Transpo bus routes impact centretown