Wayfinding for the Bayview and Pimisi stations

OC Transpo has put up schematics for all the stations. These illustrations are like sandwiches and somewhat difficult for the non-geek to interpret.

You can find them all here:  http://www.octranspo.com/ready4rail/my_station       http://www.octranspo.com/ready4rail/my_station

I recommend you not to try to read them all at once,  as they are complex, especially the three level stations.

For the benefit of westsiders, here’s the Bayview Station schematic:

the top most layer has Albert street in dark gray, the Confederation Line (#1, in red), and the uppermost level of the station in yellow (there’s actually two shades of yellow, the darker one being the fare paid zone and the lighter one on the right being the outdoor entry plaza).

the lower layer has the Trillium Line (#2, in green) and the station lower level in orange.

Users coming from the west (ie Hintonburg) enter the orange area, which is the main building right at ground level, and either chose the Trillium Platform or head upstairs to the east bound or west bound Confederation track. Ground level entrances face both the path on the north side of the tracks and the south side (from Tom Brown).

Users coming from the east (ie Preston and City Centre Avenue areas) enter the station on the upper level, shown in yellow, right by the to-be-restored crosswalk on Albert Street. From there they can catch the east bound trains, or head downstairs to catch the Trillium trains, or head downstairs and then upstairs again to catch the west bound trains.

This station does not have a direct entrance from or to the east for the west bound trains, which I think makes station use frustrating and circuitous. Mind, it was a bit of a battle to get OC Transpo to put in even a partial east-end entrance, as they undervalue walk in traffic and see this station mostly as a transfer function from line 1 to line 2.

If the schematic still seems confusing, trace your possible walking trail on the schematic with your finger until you find your bearings.



Pimisi is a slightly more complex schematic, as it is a three-level station.

The middle level,  yellow, is the platform area, centred between the east and west bound tracks, which are shown in red #1.

This track level platform area has no direct access to the gound or surrounding streets or pathways. Instead, users can go either up or down one level.

Going down takes one to the lower lobby level, shown in orange. It is accessed from walking paths that come from Albert (which start right by the current LeBreton bus stop west bound) or the pathway along the aqueduct (which isn’t of immediate much use, but will become more useful as it is connected – someday – to LeBreton Flats, Bluesfest, and Claridgeland east of Booth). If you do inadvertently exit at the lower level of the station, there are public elevators (not inside the fare paid zone) to take one back up to Booth Street.

Residents of Claridgeland / “East Flats”) should be lobbying hard right now for a pathway from Lett Street to the Station as is isn’t included in the LRT construction contracts, but there is a budget for fixing connection errors and omissions).

From the platform level, users can also ascend up to the Booth Street level, shown in green shading. Note that users will have to choose to ascend to the east or west of Booth using the appropriate stairs or elevators. There will be connecting buses to and from Gatineau at that level, shown as bus stops A and B.

I expect that crossing Booth,  should you come up on the wrong side of Booth, will be discouraged or prevented by fencing.

There is also the possibility of walking to Albert for bus stops marked C and D for buses on Albert.

Alas, OC Transpo hasn’t yet keyed the bus stops listed at each station with the the labelled bus stops themselves, but at Bayview and Pimisi it is pretty easy to guess.

This level will be a major access point to the LRT system for local west side residents.

Dont worry if you find the schematics hard to follow. They simply aren’t useful for everyone. Looking at the stations themselves from near the entrances reveals pretty obvious desire lines, your feet are likely to automatically take you in the right direction.

OC Transpo will be providing human wayfinders at the stations for the opening months. And once you make a few errors, arriving in the wrong place at the wrong time, you’ll learn.





6 thoughts on “Wayfinding for the Bayview and Pimisi stations

  1. Eric, they seemed to have removed the median divider on Lebreton by the Pimisi Bridge in order to add segregated bike lanes. Will the huge number of pedestrians transferring from LRT to buses bound for the huge Federal Office Building Complexes in Hull need to cross the bike lanes? Will they be queuing on the bike lanes? Note that this is probably the ONLY bus stop in Ottawa where users actually “queue” up to get on the next bus.

    Sad to hear ped access to Bayview from the east will be so indirect. This is a key factor that discourages transit use.

  2. The exact situation for the bike and bus stop facility on Booth at Pimisi hasn’t been shared with me. You can find a previous story, with the proposed solution, here: http://www.westsideaction.ca/fixing-booth-freeway-fiasco/

    If I recall correctly, the centre median stays on the bridge portion, and at intersections, but was removed for those portions of the street built on earth rather than a bridge structure.

    The bus tracks pass behind the bus shelters, and the bus queueing area is on a boulevard sort of space between the track and the curb, very similar to the picture in the aforementioned story.

    Dont dump on the “artists illustration” for that article. I am sure the plan evolved since then. And the design and location of “furniture”, planters, fences, leaning railings, etc hadn’t been decided on, and may well evolve once the station opens and the city sees how people read and react to the layout. There is a budget for fixes.

    The curbside layout follows standard dutch practices, and on WSA I have featured numerous other similar layouts in other cities, particularly stories on Portland and Seattle.

    I think the basic layout will work, provided the fine details are worked out. I do not see a major problem with peds crossing the cycle track. After all, they will be crossing the adjacent intersection by the thousands … which we dont seem to worry about.

  3. So I wonder what’s the plan if one chooses wrong exit and needs to cross both? Pay the fare to go back into station or go to Albert and back?

  4. Any word on the restoration of the Historic Booth Street Bridge – the one under the New Booth Street Bridge? It would provide a link across the aqueduct for the ‘East Flats’.

    It is such a shame that the Booth Viaduct is not more ‘porous’ for pedestrians and cyclists. How hard/expensive would it have been to add a few lengths of culvert while they were building ‘The Wall’ upon which the Booth ‘Expressway’ sits? I was under the impression that the City wanted this area to be a ‘walk-able’, pedestrian-friendly, area – until they built ‘The Wall’.

  5. The historic stone bridge that formerly carried Booth St across the aqueduct is supposed to still be there. It is to be incorporated into walking / cycling paths, including one to “East Flats” Claridgeland. However, those paths are NOT included in the LRT construction budget but are to be provided “by others” at a future date.

  6. Thanks for these use cases, Eric! OC Transpo should develop the top 5-6 most frequent trips for each station and promote them in various ways, including on the trip planner website (for smartphones) and paper handouts. Much more economical and permanent than human wayfinders.

    With regards to the Booth and Wellington intersection, we all agree that this is already a crazy one with cars, pedestrians and cyclists looking for space. When we switch over to the train, there should be more enforcement of the no turning on red sings during rush hours, as cars going South on Booth routinely turn on red to go West on Wellington, even during construction when the turning lane is blocked. And while there will be fewer bikes in November, it would be worth looking into painting something on the roadway and on the sidewalks that directs cyclists going East-West to wait for the light in areas where they don’t block pedestrians and use a designated section of the pedestrian crossing when traversing Booth. It amazes me how many cyclists mingle with pedestrians each morning.

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