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ION - Waterloo Region's Light Rail Transit
(05-18-2017, 09:56 AM)danbrotherston Wrote:
(05-18-2017, 09:35 AM)Markster Wrote: I wonder if this is a wink-wink-nudge-nudge extension of the Laurel Trail.

This was my thinking as well, of course, it's a shame to have to ride *along* railway tracks.

It can’t be an extension of the Laurel Trail, because the trail formerly went through the park, then extended parallel to the tracks through Waterloo Town Square, and continued east of Regina. However, it wasn’t clear exactly what was the route of the trail before — that is, exactly which bit of pavement in the Waterloo Town Square parking lot was the trail? So the question is what sort of reinstatement of the already-sort-of-existing trail there will be.

Now it appears there will be a continuous concrete path immediately south of the track, all the way from Caroline to King. Additionally, the freight track will now be paved flat, from the first crossing in the parking lot all the way out to King and indeed through to Hughes Lane. But it doesn’t appear there will be a proper link on the north side of the tracks from Erb/Caroline to the first crossing. So it’s still a little unclear what is intended. I just want to see how many cars drive along there. I’ve already occasionally seen people driving through between King and Hughes Lane.
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(05-18-2017, 10:59 AM)ijmorlan Wrote: It can’t be an extension of the Laurel Trail, because the trail formerly went through the park, then extended parallel to the tracks through Waterloo Town Square, and continued east of Regina. However, it wasn’t clear exactly what was the route of the trail before — that is, exactly which bit of pavement in the Waterloo Town Square parking lot was the trail? So the question is what sort of reinstatement of the already-sort-of-existing trail there will be.

It can't be an extension because no one would ever approve a trail that is right on top of railway tracks.

But that didn't stop them from paving the area between those buildings on King St. Which despite not *wink* being a trail *nudge* is quite excellent.
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(05-18-2017, 11:09 AM)Markster Wrote:
(05-18-2017, 10:59 AM)ijmorlan Wrote: It can’t be an extension of the Laurel Trail, because the trail formerly went through the park, then extended parallel to the tracks through Waterloo Town Square, and continued east of Regina. However, it wasn’t clear exactly what was the route of the trail before — that is, exactly which bit of pavement in the Waterloo Town Square parking lot was the trail? So the question is what sort of reinstatement of the already-sort-of-existing trail there will be.

It can't be an extension because no one would ever approve a trail that is right on top of railway tracks.

But that didn't stop them from paving the area between those buildings on King St.  Which despite not *wink* being a trail *nudge* is quite excellent.

I wouldn't even say that it's *wink wink* not a trail, I'd say that it is a trail.  It even has signage to the effect of "yield to trains" or something like that.

We'll see how it goes.  The biggest danger is for cyclists getting wheels caught I think.

As for the trail, there is no possibility of a connection across the road except at the intersection.  Which is why the rail makes sense maybe.  Of course, I have no expectation of a proper crossing.

And yes, cars using this will be a problem as it always is.  Whether through ignorance or deliberate act, it doesn't matter.
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I have, on numerous occasions, seen someone drive straight into Uptown Square in their car, coming from along side of the Shops. Of course, this is INCREDIBLY dangerous because of the amount of people walking around in the square, children playing, and the fact that it's just straight up NOT a road. I worry that the tracks being paved here might encourage more of that sort of idiocy, ie., "It's paved and normal tracks aren't, therefore; okay to drive!"
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(05-18-2017, 12:49 PM)GtwoK Wrote: I have, on numerous occasions, seen someone drive straight into Uptown Square in their car, coming from along side of the Shops. Of course, this is INCREDIBLY dangerous because of the amount of people walking around in the square, children playing, and the fact that it's just straight up NOT a road. I worry that the tracks being paved here might encourage more of that sort of idiocy, ie., "It's paved and normal tracks aren't, therefore; okay to drive!"

Worry not, GtwoK.  Such idiocy requires no encouragement - it always finds a way!  Wink
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(05-18-2017, 01:18 PM)panamaniac Wrote:
(05-18-2017, 12:49 PM)GtwoK Wrote: I have, on numerous occasions, seen someone drive straight into Uptown Square in their car, coming from along side of the Shops. Of course, this is INCREDIBLY dangerous because of the amount of people walking around in the square, children playing, and the fact that it's just straight up NOT a road. I worry that the tracks being paved here might encourage more of that sort of idiocy, ie., "It's paved and normal tracks aren't, therefore; okay to drive!"

Worry not, GtwoK.  Such idiocy requires no encouragement - it always finds a way!  Wink

I have seen this as well.  I have also seen a driver realize their error, and instead of stopping and carefully turning around, they sped off at high speed through the pedestrian square and jumped the curb.

Self driving cars cannot come soon enough.
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(05-18-2017, 11:09 AM)Markster Wrote:
(05-18-2017, 10:59 AM)ijmorlan Wrote: It can’t be an extension of the Laurel Trail, because the trail formerly went through the park, then extended parallel to the tracks through Waterloo Town Square, and continued east of Regina. However, it wasn’t clear exactly what was the route of the trail before — that is, exactly which bit of pavement in the Waterloo Town Square parking lot was the trail? So the question is what sort of reinstatement of the already-sort-of-existing trail there will be.

It can't be an extension because no one would ever approve a trail that is right on top of railway tracks.

But that didn't stop them from paving the area between those buildings on King St.  Which despite not *wink* being a trail *nudge* is quite excellent.

Well, I don’t know for sure what the space between the buildings is now, but until last winter it was definitely part of the Laurel trail, shown as such on City maps and snow cleared by the City.

The new part can’t be an extension because the trail already ran (approximately) there. That’s why I refer to “reinstatement”. But yeah, I wonder if the wink-wink is being continued along there. But if so, why not have the trail on the north side of the tracks from Erb/Caroline to where the wink-wink begins?
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Pictures have just been posted to the Facebook group of the new curbs on Queen at Charles. Markster will be pleased to know the problematic corner now has a square profile.
My Twitter: @KevinLMaps
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I just saw, and it's great!

Now we just need to tear up another dozen or so corners in the city where they put rounded corners in where they should be square!
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I had a good look at all the curb work, sidewalk pouring, and paving through the public square station and the parking lot between caroline and king. It really highlighted for me how silly the regulations for warning lights/arms/signage are. You can lierally walk across the tracks almost anywhere in that stretch, but put a formal curb cut in and suddenly you need a physical barrier/lights/bells etc. all of which can be completely by-passed with a few steps to the right or left. I can almost guarantee that the lights and bells will be top complaint once the system is up and running.

It reminds me of the whole ISO certification craze of a decade or two ago. You could have a completely useless product/process, let's say to make a concrete life jacket, but as long as the process was documented and followed you were compliant. No one ever stops to think or challenge the assumptions of whether these procedures are actually helping/useful or are we just following instructions (rules) because the are written down and we need to check off a box to say that its done.

With all the recent investment and proposed investment in public rail projects are there any plans or advocay to modernize the regulations? Visitors from outside of Canada with LRT in their communities will probably have a good laugh upon experiencing our system's protections.
Everyone move to the back of the bus and we all get home faster.
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I think we're the guinnea pig for modern LRT in Canada. You can be assured that when other cities come to see what we've done, they'll say "Oh, let's not make that mistake."

Of course, there is also a lot that they'll see that they'll say "Holy crap, these guys are on-point, that was a great idea! Let's do that!"
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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(05-19-2017, 04:49 AM)Canard Wrote: I think we're the guinnea pig for modern LRT in Canada. You can be assured that when other cities come to see what we've done, they'll say "Oh, let's not make that mistake."

Of course, there is also a lot that they'll see that they'll say "Holy crap, these guys are on-point, that was a great idea! Let's do that!"

This sounds reasonable to me. I’m hoping you’re exactly right. In particular, I think that LRT debates occurring after our system opens will look different from previous ones. Most of the “anti” arguments will be proven false on their face by just looking at our system. Right now it’s all theoretical — people who don’t know or can’t imagine are still able to believe that it will snarl traffic or whatever — but once there are systems operating, the Rob Fords and Jay Aissas will find it much harder to convince the people in the middle. I just wish our system had opened earlier so the Brampton and Hamilton debates could have been affected by it.
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(05-19-2017, 04:49 AM)Canard Wrote: I think we're the guinnea pig for modern LRT in Canada. You can be assured that when other cities come to see what we've done, they'll say "Oh, let's not make that mistake."

Of course, there is also a lot that they'll see that they'll say "Holy crap, these guys are on-point, that was a great idea! Let's do that!"

I think you missed the point of my post.

Other systems can learn from our "mistakes" all they want, but unless the underlying regulations are modernized, they won't be able to apply those lessons when they have similar situations/circumstances.
Everyone move to the back of the bus and we all get home faster.
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(05-19-2017, 05:59 AM)ijmorlan Wrote:
(05-19-2017, 04:49 AM)Canard Wrote: I think we're the guinnea pig for modern LRT in Canada. You can be assured that when other cities come to see what we've done, they'll say "Oh, let's not make that mistake."

Of course, there is also a lot that they'll see that they'll say "Holy crap, these guys are on-point, that was a great idea! Let's do that!"

This sounds reasonable to me. I’m hoping you’re exactly right. In particular, I think that LRT debates occurring after our system opens will look different from previous ones. Most of the “anti” arguments will be proven false on their face by just looking at our system. Right now it’s all theoretical — people who don’t know or can’t imagine are still able to believe that it will snarl traffic or whatever — but once there are systems operating, the Rob Fords and Jay Aissas will find it much harder to convince the people in the middle. I just wish our system had opened earlier so the Brampton and Hamilton debates could have been affected by it.

Don't worry, they're still working hard to get them misunderstood. In London, they did our LRT vs BRT debate and Western University, seeing ION next door going by the quantum nano centre, by grand river hospital, said that LRT could not now or ever (speaking to BRT as precursor for LRT conversion) go through their campus because it would be too dangerous for their sensitive medical and science equipment. They, too, want a station dead center in campus, likely to be even more node-hostile than UW's station. Don't even get started on how they're looking to make their route more vulnerable to blockages and other traffic. They're learning alright.  Dodgy
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Couple Frederick station updates - signage has already gone up, just a couple days after the feature wall was installed. Also, that last little rail gap has finally been welded, and a tarp is over the area (looks like concrete may be poured soon).
My Twitter: @KevinLMaps
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