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Northfield / 85 Exchange upgrades?
#1
Some days when I am feeling sadistic, I will actually drive over the Northfield bridge. I always regret it and stay away for weeks.

I have noticed that there are no breaks in the ION tracks over the bridge and some serious curbing. Today I noticed the Northeast entrance/exit to the ramp has changed configuration. The curbs put in will no longer allow eastbound traffic to make a left hand turn and enter the expressway to travel north.

I hope the new reality I think I am seeing means that the interchange there is being upgraded to something closer to a full cloverleaf. I recall the initial plan was to shut down the expressway ramps for 18 months +. Kraus carpets seems awfully close and I don't know if there will be room on that side.

I have tried researching the plan for this intersection and I haven't been very successful. Apologies in advance if this has been mentioned elsewhere.

Does anyone have some insight on what the future for this location will look like?
_____________________________________
I used to be the mayor of sim city. I know what I am talking about.
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#2
Yup, here ya go:

http://rapidtransit.regionofwaterloo.ca/...oards1.pdf

http://rapidtransit.regionofwaterloo.ca/...oards2.pdf

http://rapidtransit.regionofwaterloo.ca/...oards3.pdf

http://rapidtransit.regionofwaterloo.ca/...oards4.pdf
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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#3
Unfortunately they didn’t take seriously my suggestion that instead of sidewalks across the bridge there should be a single wide multi-use trail running between the two LRT tracks (and no “side” walks at all). This would run from the point where the LRT tracks swing onto Northfield all the way to Conestogo Rd. and would eliminate conflicts between traffic using the expressway ramps and pedestrian/cycle traffic. Note that the trail would not cross any other lane -– regular traffic or LRT – between a point near the Waterloo Spur and Conestogo Rd. Overall pedestrians would have to make either the same or a smaller number of crossings of traffic as they will in the actual plan (depending on their route), and these crossings would take place at signal-controlled safe locations.
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#4
As much as I like the idea of a trail between the tracks for photo ops and LRV viewing, I think the safety aspect would probably quash that idea pretty quick - even with fences. It'd be a long walk with very high safety fences on both sides. I hate the term, but it would be the epitome of "hostile to pedestrians".
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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#5
Thanks Canard.

If I am reading this correctly, there is no improvement to the existing configuration planned. There is a suggested traffic pattern shift to alternatives to enter and exit the highway at this location.

Not a fan of that.
_____________________________________
I used to be the mayor of sim city. I know what I am talking about.
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#6
That's correct; from a motorists perspective, this is a huge step backward. Half the capacity on Northfield (loss of lanes), and half as many connections to the Conestoga Parkway.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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#7
Jay is going to lose his mind
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#8
(07-23-2016, 04:29 PM)Canard Wrote: That's correct; from a motorists perspective, this is a huge step backward.  Half the capacity on Northfield (loss of lanes), and half as many connections to the Conestoga Parkway.

Loss of lanes?  What lanes are lost?  It was four lanes, two each direction before, I believe it is the same after.  

The turning movements are restricted, but you look at them, the ones removed, with one exception saw very limited use, and the one that was removed that did have a substantial number of movements, has many detours which were analyzed for capacity.

Yes, technically a decrease, but I'd hardly call it "huge".  I think we need to stop considering any loss whatsoever to motor vehicle movements as "a huge step backwards".  For a motorist, the grid is very well connected.
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#9
The proposed "alternatives" include U-Turns. These are not reasonable alternatives. I think it speaks somewhat to the real lack of alternatives. Someone trying to execute a U-turn creates traffic issues for other road users.

I would expect the St Jacob's exit south along King will be upgraded. Currently is is 2 lanes. If heavy vehicles servicing the industrial areas East of King and North of Northfield will start using that exit, otherwise they will exit at King and increase capacity in front of the mall.

This study cites 2031 in numerous places. I see how badly our traffic experts in the region blew Ira Needles and I remain a skeptic that their numbers are close.

Furthermore, it is a huge step backwards for motorists. The cities built an expressway to improve access for motorists. Reductions to an expressway while growth of vehicles and population is moving upward isn't insignificant.

For $2B I would have preferred to see a specific LRT bridge built over the expressway. Or, to appease Canard's fantasy, perhaps the LRT could have started at Northfield station and the Conestoga mall be serviced from there by monorail. Smile
_____________________________________
I used to be the mayor of sim city. I know what I am talking about.
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#10
+1 on everything in Drake's post! Big Grin
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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#11
(07-23-2016, 07:55 PM)Drake Wrote: The proposed "alternatives" include U-Turns. These are not reasonable alternatives. I think it speaks somewhat to the real lack of alternatives. Someone trying to execute a U-turn creates traffic issues for other road users.

I would expect the St Jacob's exit south along King will be upgraded. Currently is is 2 lanes. If heavy vehicles servicing the industrial areas East of King and North of Northfield will start using that exit, otherwise they will exit at King and increase capacity in front of the mall.

This study cites 2031 in numerous places. I see how badly our traffic experts in the region blew Ira Needles and I remain a skeptic that their numbers are close.

Furthermore, it is a huge step backwards for motorists. The cities built an expressway to improve access for motorists. Reductions to an expressway while growth of vehicles and population is moving upward isn't insignificant.

For $2B I would have preferred to see a specific LRT bridge built over the expressway. Or, to appease Canard's fantasy, perhaps the LRT could have started at Northfield station and the Conestoga mall be serviced from there by monorail. Smile

The U-turns are not just a random U-turn, they're at a signalized light where U-turns are permitted.  They're used on divided roads all the time, they don't create traffic issues.  Trust me, I've made the maneuver many times, its simply new here.

Also, that is one alternative, there are several others.

And yes, that will mean more volume on the other exits, but they're still well under capacity.  And yes, you can doubt the regions numbers if you want, Ira Needles was a big failure, although, I don't see them building a five KM long strip plaza along Northfield any time soon.

Expressways are designed to move many cars quickly, they induce sprawl.  But either way, vehicle access remains very good in this area.  The restricted turns had minimal movements, with one exception, it perhaps changes your perception of access, but it affects a limited number of people.  Hence, I argue, not a "huge step backwards".


Now, yes, we could have built a separate bridge over the expressway, for 2 billion I'm sure, but let me ask you, is it worth an extra 1.2 billion dollars so that 400 people can make a dangerous left turn instead of turning down King in the evening?  You're arguing a subsidy of (lets be fair, only high tens of millions) for 400 motorists convenience.
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#12
Dan, I read the report as 400 an hour in the PM. 12X400 = 4800 a day x 7 = 33,600 x 52 = 1,747,200. That is PM. I haven't included the AM numbers and this is only one turning direction. This is the peak number and the real average is not given. If the average is actually 25% of that number its over 400,000 per year.


The position against spending money on this shrinks dramatically after 1 year and becomes increasingly less effective argument as time goes on.

Where are you getting information about signaled U-Turns?
_____________________________________
I used to be the mayor of sim city. I know what I am talking about.
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#13
They're common on Hespeler Rd, for what it's worth.
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#14
(07-23-2016, 08:13 PM)Drake Wrote: Dan, I read the report as 400 an hour in the PM. 12X400 = 4800 a day x 7 = 33,600 x 52 = 1,747,200. That is PM. I haven't included the AM numbers and this is only one turning direction. This is the peak number and the real average is not given. If the average is actually 25% of that number its over 400,000 per year.


The position against spending money on this shrinks dramatically after 1 year and becomes increasingly less effective argument as time goes on.

Where are you getting information about signaled U-Turns?

You read it wrong, it's not 400 an hour in the PM, its 400 in the peak PM hour.  That means 400 at 5 PM and far far less at other times.  You even acknowledge this so why make up fake numbers.

Also, per day numbers matter, those 400 people are mostly the same every day.  

Information on signaled U-turns is from the report and my experiences.

The point remains, you want to spend an enormous amount of money to slightly convenience hundreds of motorists.
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#15
(07-23-2016, 07:20 PM)danbrotherston Wrote: Loss of lanes?  What lanes are lost?  It was four lanes, two each direction before, I believe it is the same after.  

Is it though? Northfield was four lanes before. There are now two sets of rails running down the centre, sidewalks on both sides (only one side had a sidewalk before), and I believe bike lanes were in the plan as well. How can four lanes of traffic also be maintained without widening the bridge?
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