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General Road and Highway Discussion
Discussion of the Ottawa/Homer Watson roundabouts has been moved to the thread for that project:
http://www.waterlooregionconnected.com/s...hp?tid=339

That thread has been here the whole time!
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(09-20-2017, 09:30 AM)timc Wrote: It might help if the left turn lane on Caroline at Erb had the words "BUS ONLY" painted in addition to the diamonds that are there. But I'm sure that's against some standard or another.

If it is against standard, the bus-only turn lane at Sportsworld is also in violation. I think it could be done.

But really the signal should not show a green at all unless requested to do so by a bus, and should be a transit-only signal (so not actually green). The general traffic signals should just be right-arrows.

Also, as somebody else suggested, there should be “NEW” signs at all those turn restrictions onto and off of Caroline. I’m not sure how much it would help, but it sure wouldn’t hurt.
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Ah, yes, I see that it says "BUS LANE" on Sportsworld Drive.

https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.4087995,-...6656?hl=en
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(09-20-2017, 12:41 PM)ijmorlan Wrote:
(09-20-2017, 09:30 AM)timc Wrote: It might help if the left turn lane on Caroline at Erb had the words "BUS ONLY" painted in addition to the diamonds that are there. But I'm sure that's against some standard or another.

If it is against standard, the bus-only turn lane at Sportsworld is also in violation. I think it could be done.

But really the signal should not show a green at all unless requested to do so by a bus, and should be a transit-only signal (so not actually green). The general traffic signals should just be right-arrows.

Also, as somebody else suggested, there should be “NEW” signs at all those turn restrictions onto and off of Caroline. I’m not sure how much it would help, but it sure wouldn’t hurt.

All good ideas.  These should be but in place throughout the ION Corridor where these road restrictions have been made
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Can I ask *why* it's a bus-only lane? What reason am I missing that this was designed as such? Who is it helping?
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Because there wasn't enough thought put into designing the road for how people actually want to use it?

I'm sure that something better could have been done, but as it is, the left turn lane is too short and would back up into the other lane.

Why couldn't the road have been widened near Erb Street to give a longer left turn and right turn lane?
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(09-20-2017, 03:58 PM)timc Wrote: Because there wasn't enough thought put into designing the road for how people actually want to use it?

I'm sure that something better could have been done, but as it is, the left turn lane is too short and would back up into the other lane.

Why couldn't the road have been widened near Erb Street to give a longer left turn and right turn lane?

My idea was actually to disconnect the south leg of the intersection entirely. All Caroline St. traffic would go via Father David Bauer. Coming from the west along Erb, all traffic would continue on straight, while all southbound Caroline St. traffic would turn either right or left. In other words, it would not be an intersection anymore as far as vehicular traffic was concerned — just a place where westbound traffic could U-turn easily.

This would allow a lot of space to be given back to pedestrians and cyclists, and would massively simplify the intersection, especially as to the interaction with the LRT — it would really just be a place where the road crosses the LRT (the left turn does not interact with the tracks anyway, so it still wouldn’t under my idea). It would be effectively the same as the University LRT crossing as to traffic control, with the added minor detail of the left turn.
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(09-20-2017, 03:25 PM)GtwoK Wrote: Can I ask *why* it's a bus-only lane? What reason am I missing that this was designed as such? Who is it helping?

The reason is:

Once the LRT starts running, the regular cycle of Erb/Caroline will be interrupted frequently.
Left turning vehicles would end up backing up on Caroline due to insufficient green time. This will lead to gridlock for other traffic on Caroline.
Therefore all left-turning traffic should be moved over to Father David Bauer, where it will not be impacted by LRT movements.
The bus is the sole exception, so it can continue to serve Uptown well. (And leave open the possibility of routing the bus on Willis Way)

Of course, without the LRT signal phase happening every 4 minutes, there's (usually) plenty of times for cars to make it through the intersection, so it all seems a bit pointless.
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(09-20-2017, 04:36 PM)Markster Wrote:
(09-20-2017, 03:25 PM)GtwoK Wrote: Can I ask *why* it's a bus-only lane? What reason am I missing that this was designed as such? Who is it helping?

The reason is:

Once the LRT starts running, the regular cycle of Erb/Caroline will be interrupted frequently.  
Left turning vehicles would end up backing up on Caroline due to insufficient green time.  This will lead to gridlock for other traffic on Caroline.
Therefore all left-turning traffic should be moved over to Father David Bauer, where it will not be impacted by LRT movements.
The bus is the sole exception, so it can continue to serve Uptown well. (And leave open the possibility of routing the bus on Willis Way)

Of course, without the LRT signal phase happening every 4 minutes, there's (usually) plenty of times for cars to make it through the intersection, so it all seems a bit pointless.

Thanks for the explanation. That makes a lot of sense. Do you think they keep the bus on Caroline because it wouldn’t take the turns on the FDB route well, or for some other reason?
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There is a teeny-tiny sign with a lot of text on it telling drivers that they should use FDB to access Erb Street West.
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Traffic on the new Shantz Hill alignment is interesting - instead of a T intersection at the bottom, with Fountain, it's now a big curve. You turn right (if coming down the hill) onto Fountain; otherwise you just automatically curve around to the left.

The timing of the lights is terrible; I pushed the crosswalk button and I (one person) ended up being responsible for setting the whole thing up at a total standstill for like a minute. People were honking trying to figure out why no one was going. I really think a flag person/"traffic cop" would do wonders here for flow during construction.

On the topic of the crosswalk button thing, I always cringe when traffic is a little too busy at Weber/Spur Line trail, and I have to push the button. I end up stopping like 50 cars for an inordinate amount of time - I'm long gone and people are still stopped, idling. I don't know what the solution is...
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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I don't know the area very well, but isn't that where a pedestrian crossing is useful? Where cars have to stop but can then proceed as soon as the pedestrian has cleared the road?
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(09-22-2017, 07:28 AM)SammyOES2 Wrote: I don't know the area very well, but isn't that where a pedestrian crossing is useful?  Where cars have to stop but can then proceed as soon as the pedestrian has cleared the road?

Yes, it's useful everywhere the region uses pedestrian activated signals.  Which is why it's a shame that drivers cannot seem to learn to yield to pedestrians around them.

Which is to say, it seems that the region (and Ontario at large) prefers not to use them because pedestrians can't cross safely unless drivers are facing a red light.

The interesting thing is it has more to do with the types of roads they're used on, I think anyway.
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Short of building an overpass or tunnel, I don't think there is a good way to make that crossing at Weber Street less annoying. I don't like the idea of crossover there because it's such a busy road.
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Yeah, I feel like it should have been a crosswalk, not a full light. That way, traffic could move again as soon as the person is across. Way more efficient. The way it currently is is analogous to asking a 2000-passenger commuter train to stop at a road crossing because a car wants to cross the tracks.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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