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Northfield / 85 Exchange upgrades?
#46
I am a supporter of LRT, transit, and cycling, but I too am dismayed to find out that the construction is over and there are no plans to restore left turns for on or off ramps at Northfield/85.  I now see (thanks eaerlier posters) that this was communicated at public info sessions, but I think it should have made front page local newspapers so we all knew it was coming, not just the few who can make it to those sessions.

Anyway, the good news for you, embe, is that the planned best option is to still get off at Northfield and then turn right, make a legal U-turn after a short distance, I think it's at Colby in one direction and Parkside in the other.  THey will HAVE TO put in long advanced greens there to allow these U-turns.  To do otherwise would be really negligent.
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#47
The plan from the outset was to allow drivers to exit and the U-turn.

I have noticed two things. First, the signage from the Expressway is very explicit about direction. For instance, the Northfield exit from 85 North says only Northfield Drive WEST, and there is no indication that you are also allowed to travel eastward. Second, once you have exited, there is no "U-turn Permitted" sign at either end of the bridge. I think that if motorists are expected to U-turn, then those signs should exist, just to make it perfectly clear that a U-turn is permissible there.

It seems to me that the intent of these changes is to discourage motorists from those options. In the long run, I think this will have a negative impact on the King Street exit, by increasing the amount of traffic at that interchange.
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#48
I don't recall anything about U turns. I do recall a document/PDF showing very complicated alternatives for where drivers were expected to go, however...
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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#49
U-turn was the explicit intended movement. If there are "no u-turn" signs at the intersection, they're either temporary or simply wrong.

The PDF which described these changes however did indicate it was a small number of movements impacted.

Additionally, this is not just better for LRT, this is better for drivers as well. I found left turns across Northfield at this exit quite dangerous. The new movements are inherently safer. Of course, people rarely seem willing to trade convenience for safety.
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#50
(10-24-2016, 03:30 PM)danbrotherston Wrote: Of course, people rarely seem willing to trade convenience for safety.

That is very true, regardless of the mode of transportation.
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#51
(10-24-2016, 03:30 PM)danbrotherston Wrote: U-turn was the explicit intended movement.  If there are "no u-turn" signs at the intersection, they're either temporary or simply wrong.

I wasn't saying that there are "no u-turn" signs. I was saying that there aren't any "yes u-turn" signs. They may or may not be required, but I think they would help.

I know these aren't final designs, but here are some PIC boards about it:

* https://rapidtransit.regionofwaterloo.ca...oards1.pdf
* https://rapidtransit.regionofwaterloo.ca...oards2.pdf
* https://rapidtransit.regionofwaterloo.ca...oards3.pdf
* https://rapidtransit.regionofwaterloo.ca...oards4.pdf

Here's a staff report from September 2013: https://rapidtransit.regionofwaterloo.ca...ations.pdf

According to that report, "U-turns will be appropriately signed and given advanced turn signals. The rapidway will act as a median and provides sufficient width (approximately 8 metres) to allow drivers to wait and make the U-turn comfortably."

While these changes will be inconvenient for some, it will actually be an improvement for most drivers. It's also better for pedestrians and transit.
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#52
(10-24-2016, 11:27 PM)timc Wrote: I wasn't saying that there are "no u-turn" signs. I was saying that there aren't any "yes u-turn" signs. They may or may not be required, but I think they would help.

Ahh, sorry, I totally misread that, I have no idea what I was thinking. Yes, there should be U-turn permitted signs, and I expect there will be.

(10-24-2016, 11:27 PM)timc Wrote: I know these aren't final designs, but here are some PIC boards about it:

* https://rapidtransit.regionofwaterloo.ca...oards1.pdf
* https://rapidtransit.regionofwaterloo.ca...oards2.pdf
* https://rapidtransit.regionofwaterloo.ca...oards3.pdf
* https://rapidtransit.regionofwaterloo.ca...oards4.pdf

Here's a staff report from September 2013: https://rapidtransit.regionofwaterloo.ca...ations.pdf

According to that report, "U-turns will be appropriately signed and given advanced turn signals. The rapidway will act as a median and provides sufficient width (approximately 8 metres) to allow drivers to wait and make the U-turn comfortably."

While these changes will be inconvenient for some, it will actually be an improvement for most drivers. It's also better for pedestrians and transit.

Thanks for the useful links! I always have trouble finding these things.

And yes, it will be less convenient for a few, but even those people, it will be safer for.
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#53
"U-Turn Permitted" signs might be useful as hints, but they aren't necessary. You can pull a U-ie on any straight stretch of road you have 150m of unhindered visibility on (no bridge nearby, not on a curve) so long as it isn't specifically covered by a "No U-Turn" sign and isn't near or on a railway crossing.

Though having rails, this section of rapidway isn't a railway crossing. So maybe "U-Turn Permitted" would be wise.
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#54
Or just show the U-turn as one of the options in the lane markings.
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#55
Yeah, one of these at the intersection:
[Image: left-u-turn-259482.jpg]
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#56
(10-25-2016, 08:29 AM)chutten Wrote: "U-Turn Permitted" signs might be useful as hints, but they aren't necessary. You can pull a U-ie on any straight stretch of road you have 150m of unhindered visibility on (no bridge nearby, not on a curve) so long as it isn't specifically covered by a "No U-Turn" sign and isn't near or on a railway crossing.

Though having rails, this section of rapidway isn't a railway crossing. So maybe "U-Turn Permitted" would be wise.

Are you certain that light rail doesn't count as a railway crossing?
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#57
(10-25-2016, 08:29 AM)chutten Wrote: You can pull a U-ie on any straight stretch of road you have 150m of unhindered visibility on (no bridge nearby, not on a curve) so long as it isn't specifically covered by a "No U-Turn" sign and isn't near or on a railway crossing....in Ontario.

Things are different in other provinces/countries.
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#58
[quote pid='28319' dateline='1477341053']
  I found left turns across Northfield at this exit quite dangerous.  The new movements are inherently safer.  Of course, people rarely seem willing to trade convenience for safety.
[/quote]

Like any turn you wait until there's a safe opening (people that don't, risk an accident making any type of turn let alone a u-turn).  Should be interesting to see if u-turns are only allowed on advance greens.  If Parkside does end up being the first u-turn point to get southbound on 85 I imagine a lot of people are going to do their u-turns by Forbes Mazda.

If King St N doesn't get widened to 4 lanes between the St. Jacobs exit and Northland Rd (it really should, don't know why it hasn't already), why not  a dedicated right turn lane onto King from the St. Jacobs off ramp.  One of the two left turn lanes could also easily handle thru traffic without backing up those turning right at the red light.  Nice and safe + convenient...some might even call it progress
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#59
(10-25-2016, 08:11 PM)embe Wrote: Like any turn you wait until there's a safe opening (people that don't, risk an accident making any type of turn let alone a u-turn).  Should be interesting to see if u-turns are only allowed on advance greens.  If Parkside does end up being the first u-turn point to get southbound on 85 I imagine a lot of people are going to do their u-turns by Forbes Mazda.

If King St N doesn't get widened to 4 lanes between the St. Jacobs exit and Northland Rd (it really should, don't know why it hasn't already), why not  a dedicated right turn lane onto King from the St. Jacobs off ramp.  One of the two left turn lanes could also easily handle thru traffic without backing up those turning right at the red light.  Nice and safe + convenient...some might even call it progress

Like any other traffic action requiring human judgement, sometimes people make mistakes, that can happen either with the u-turn or the left turn.  However, turning across one lane of traffic is less risky than turning across 3, especially when there are diverging islands and limited visibility when turning across 3 lanes.  Further, since there is a light with an advance green, many or even most drivers will be turning with a protected signal anyway, resulting in far less risk.

As for Forbes Mazda, that is also not an option as the diagram shows that will be a right-in-right-out entrance.  So far as I know there will be no unsignalized left turns allowed over the rapidway.
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#60
(10-25-2016, 09:56 PM)danbrotherston Wrote:
(10-25-2016, 08:11 PM)embe Wrote: Like any turn you wait until there's a safe opening (people that don't, risk an accident making any type of turn let alone a u-turn).  Should be interesting to see if u-turns are only allowed on advance greens.  If Parkside does end up being the first u-turn point to get southbound on 85 I imagine a lot of people are going to do their u-turns by Forbes Mazda.

If King St N doesn't get widened to 4 lanes between the St. Jacobs exit and Northland Rd (it really should, don't know why it hasn't already), why not  a dedicated right turn lane onto King from the St. Jacobs off ramp.  One of the two left turn lanes could also easily handle thru traffic without backing up those turning right at the red light.  Nice and safe + convenient...some might even call it progress

Like any other traffic action requiring human judgement, sometimes people make mistakes, that can happen either with the u-turn or the left turn.  However, turning across one lane of traffic is less risky than turning across 3, especially when there are diverging islands and limited visibility when turning across 3 lanes.  Further, since there is a light with an advance green, many or even most drivers will be turning with a protected signal anyway, resulting in far less risk.

As for Forbes Mazda, that is also not an option as the diagram shows that will be a right-in-right-out entrance.  So far as I know there will be no unsignalized left turns allowed over the rapidway.

Which is why they should have seriously considered my idea to put the pedestrian/bike path down the middle between the transit lanes (and shift those lanes and the general traffic lanes towards the outside of the bridge in order to create the space to do so). This would allow pedestrians and bicycles to travel from the tracks to Colby/Conestogo without interacting with any motor vehicle traffic whatsoever.
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