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Northfield / 85 Exchange upgrades?
#31
(07-28-2016, 05:36 PM)ijmorlan Wrote: The point is to take advantage of the fact that there is absolutely no traffic crossing the space between the two tracks for a long distance to put non-vehicular traffic in that space.

I think you're making an assumption that there is a big wasted space between the tracks.  In fact, there is not - what little space there is between the two tracks is occupied by the poles which support the Overhead Contact System ("Catpoles"):

   
I've taken the liberty of ghosting in the approximate dimensions to scale of the LRV's, at 2.65 m width.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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#32
(07-28-2016, 05:29 PM)MacBerry Wrote: While MUT trails are a great resource for cyclists where appropriate, they constitute undue hazards and a lack of accessibility for others when not meeting the required planning act provisions.  MUT are NOT replacements for sidewalks. Placing only a trail down the middle of the road would be in contravention of the Ontario Planning Act, 1990 (Revised) as well as the Official Plan of the City of Waterloo and the Region of Waterloo. 

I went and read as much of the AODA as I could, and I see nothing in there that would prohibit a properly constructed MUT, be it on the side or in the middle of the road. The law is clear that any path can be considered a complying sidewalk if it meets its minimum width and grade requirements.
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#33
(07-28-2016, 06:24 PM)BuildingScout Wrote:
(07-28-2016, 05:29 PM)MacBerry Wrote: While MUT trails are a great resource for cyclists where appropriate, they constitute undue hazards and a lack of accessibility for others when not meeting the required planning act provisions.  MUT are NOT replacements for sidewalks. Placing only a trail down the middle of the road would be in contravention of the Ontario Planning Act, 1990 (Revised) as well as the Official Plan of the City of Waterloo and the Region of Waterloo. 

I went and read as much of the AODA as I could, and I see nothing in there that would prohibit a properly constructed MUT, be it on the side or in the middle of the road. The law is clear that any path can be considered a complying sidewalk if it meets its minimum width and grade requirements.

You are mostly correct. 

It is the Ontario Building Code that dictates sidewalks. The official city/region plans must be approved by the province. If asphalt sidewalks/pathways were permitted you would see them everywhere because it is significantly cheaper to stick in an asphalt path but in a few years these will not meet access or safety standards as they heave and potholes become prevalent. Developers would love to stick in a pathway and then the city would be responsible for fixing every pathway that would constitute a hazard that could result in insurance claims after they are laid and signed off on.  

I don't know the expected lifespan of a sidewalk but suggest it is 10-20+ years compared to an asphalt pathway.

The reality is the rights of persons with disabilities trump all the naysayers here.
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#34
(07-28-2016, 06:52 PM)MacBerry Wrote: It is the Ontario Building Code that dictates sidewalks. The official city/region plans must be approved by the province. If asphalt sidewalks/pathways were permitted you would see them everywhere because it is significantly cheaper to stick in an asphalt path but in a few years these will not meet access or safety standards as they heave and potholes become prevalent. Developers would love to stick in a pathway and then the city would be responsible for fixing every pathway that would constitute a hazard that could result in insurance claims after they are laid and signed off on.  

Building codes dictate concrete sidewalks, very interesting.

Regardless that has little relevancy to MUTs, which can also be concrete, see Weber St, and the new Laurel Trail along Caroline.

Although those are terrible example of MUTs, they're basically just wide sidewalks.

MUTs are an example of badly designed infrastructure but they're still about the best option for segregated cycling infra that we have at the moment.

Also worth noting that newly built MUTs generally have tactile feedback plates, regardless of the surface material.
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#35
(07-28-2016, 06:17 PM)Canard Wrote:
(07-28-2016, 05:36 PM)ijmorlan Wrote: The point is to take advantage of the fact that there is absolutely no traffic crossing the space between the two tracks for a long distance to put non-vehicular traffic in that space.

I think you're making an assumption that there is a big wasted space between the tracks.  In fact, there is not - what little space there is between the two tracks is occupied by the poles which support the Overhead Contact System ("Catpoles"):


I've taken the liberty of ghosting in the approximate dimensions to scale of the LRV's, at 2.65 m width.

I think the point is, the space currently allocated to the two 1.5 meter painted bike lanes, and the 1.5 meter sidewalk could be combined in the middle into a 4.5 meter wide MUT.  The tracks would be moved.

Obviously this would complicate using ballasted track, and perhaps other issues (polls for example), but the idea is not that there is wasted space right now.

Also, frustration of frustration, why is there a 2 meter painted buffer between the sidewalk and the bike lane, how stupid.  And how stupid not to use that 2 meter painted buffer to widen both bike lanes by a meter, instead squeezing cyclists in with 70 km/h through traffic.
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#36
(07-28-2016, 06:52 PM)MacBerry Wrote: You are mostly correct. 

It is the Ontario Building Code that dictates sidewalks. The official city/region plans must be approved by the province. If asphalt sidewalks/pathways were permitted you would see them everywhere because it is significantly cheaper to stick in an asphalt path but in a few years these will not meet access or safety standards as they heave and potholes become prevalent. Developers would love to stick in a pathway and then the city would be responsible for fixing every pathway that would constitute a hazard that could result in insurance claims after they are laid and signed off on.  

I don't know the expected lifespan of a sidewalk but suggest it is 10-20+ years compared to an asphalt pathway.

The reality is the rights of persons with disabilities trump all the naysayers here.

Reading the Ontario building code, asphalt sidewalks are allowed. There is a requirement for a stable surface, which I presume the run of the mill asphalt trail doesn't meet, but if built to road grade stability standards, asphalt lasts for a long time. The asphalt paths in the university, with heavy usage, have lifespans of 15 to 20 years.
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#37
(07-28-2016, 09:37 PM)danbrotherston Wrote: Also, frustration of frustration, why is there a 2 meter painted buffer between the sidewalk and the bike lane, how stupid.  And how stupid not to use that 2 meter painted buffer to widen both bike lanes by a meter, instead squeezing cyclists in with 70 km/h through traffic.

That can't be right, can it? But that is what the drawing shows. If I was going to put in a painted median, I would put it between the bike lane and the roadway. Maybe with some of those flexible bollards like there are east of Wissler.
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#38
(07-29-2016, 07:41 AM)timc Wrote:
(07-28-2016, 09:37 PM)danbrotherston Wrote: Also, frustration of frustration, why is there a 2 meter painted buffer between the sidewalk and the bike lane, how stupid.  And how stupid not to use that 2 meter painted buffer to widen both bike lanes by a meter, instead squeezing cyclists in with 70 km/h through traffic.

That can't be right, can it? But that is what the drawing shows. If I was going to put in a painted median, I would put it between the bike lane and the roadway. Maybe with some of those flexible bollards like there are east of Wissler.

Anytime I encounter these kinds of setups I just ride in the painted median. I don't know what goes through the heads of people that design the lanes this way, like a bike-pedestrian collision sucks but the difference in speed isn't anywhere close to the difference in speed (and mass) of cars and bikes.
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#39
(07-29-2016, 09:06 AM)clasher Wrote:
(07-29-2016, 07:41 AM)timc Wrote: That can't be right, can it? But that is what the drawing shows. If I was going to put in a painted median, I would put it between the bike lane and the roadway. Maybe with some of those flexible bollards like there are east of Wissler.

Anytime I encounter these kinds of setups I just ride in the painted median. I don't know what goes through the heads of people that design the lanes this way, like a bike-pedestrian collision sucks but the difference in speed isn't anywhere close to the difference in speed (and mass) of cars and bikes.

While this is alright in theory, there will be a difference in maintenance and design that would be better if it was actually designed correctly.
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#40
If you look at the report that was linked up on page 2, the painted median is only 2M wide through the bridge span itself. It tapers down quite quickly off the span. Given this I think the design decision not to use it to widen the bit lanes makes a bit more sense.
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#41
(07-28-2016, 09:37 PM)danbrotherston Wrote:
(07-28-2016, 06:17 PM)Canard Wrote: I think you're making an assumption that there is a big wasted space between the tracks.  In fact, there is not - what little space there is between the two tracks is occupied by the poles which support the Overhead Contact System ("Catpoles"):


I've taken the liberty of ghosting in the approximate dimensions to scale of the LRV's, at 2.65 m width.

I think the point is, the space currently allocated to the two 1.5 meter painted bike lanes, and the 1.5 meter sidewalk could be combined in the middle into a 4.5 meter wide MUT.  The tracks would be moved.

Obviously this would complicate using ballasted track, and perhaps other issues (polls for example), but the idea is not that there is wasted space right now.

Also, frustration of frustration, why is there a 2 meter painted buffer between the sidewalk and the bike lane, how stupid.  And how stupid not to use that 2 meter painted buffer to widen both bike lanes by a meter, instead squeezing cyclists in with 70 km/h through traffic.

Correct. My idea is to arrange the various lanes on the bridge in a different way. So I take the space allocated to both sidewalks and move it to the very centre between the tracks, pushing the tracks apart.

And indeed, I agree that if there is indeed a buffer between the sidewalk and the bike lane rather than between the bike lane and the motor traffic, that is a nutty way to design it. While it’s perfectly reasonable to want bicycles separated from pedestrians, it is not reasonable to believe that more separation is required between pedestrians and bicycles than between bicycles and motor traffic.
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#42
(07-28-2016, 05:57 PM)MacBerry Wrote:
(07-28-2016, 05:36 PM)ijmorlan Wrote: Hmmm, it just occurred to me that if we take what you wrote literally, then all those places on Fischer-Hallman and Weber where the “sidewalk” is actually a MUT are in contravention as well. Not sure what to think of that…

In fact they will be. Right now they are temporary walkways to keep people from walking on the roadway or in the construction area.

The current temporary construction pathways there will have to be replaced with sidewalks that meet the Ontario Building Code and the AODA.

On Fischer-Hallman I am referring to the east side, north of Erb St. Permanent as far as I can tell.
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#43
(07-29-2016, 10:24 AM)megabytephreak Wrote: If you look at the report that was linked up on page 2, the painted median is only 2M wide through the bridge span itself. It tapers down quite quickly off the span. Given this I think the design decision not to use it to widen the bit lanes makes a bit more sense.

Well, not widening the car lanes is definitely the right choice, but there's still no reason not to widen the bike lanes or buffer them from car traffic, given the configuration of the ramps, it looks like they're struggling with what to do there.  I can imagine many cars will just use the bike as a merge lane.  Quite frankly, putting the buffer between cars and bikes, on both sides of the bridge, and using flexible bollards would have been the right choice IMO.
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#44
(07-28-2016, 06:52 PM)MacBerry Wrote: I don't know the expected lifespan of a sidewalk but suggest it is 10-20+ years compared to an asphalt pathway.

I think an asphalt pathway/sidewalk will easily last 20+ years: neighbourhood streets are rarely repaved within 20 years.  But concrete sidewalks can probably last twice that long.
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#45
As an ex-regular user of these ramps that got closed ~18 months ago I'm sad to have spent the last 18 months convincing myself things would be better once all the construction had improved the area. Current options are to get off NB 85 at King and go past Conestoga mall (which is usually bumper to bumper from the expressway to Northfield either way) or to take the St Jacobs exit. If the long term plan was to close these ramps, King street should have first been widened to 4 lanes between the St Jacobs exit past Bridge St W and Northland, to make up for the volume of cars. Sure 400 per hour (or whatever) doesn't seem like much but add that volume to existing congestion on a single lane either way with stop lights etc and it gets brutal quick
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