Welcome Guest! In order to take advantage of all the great features that Waterloo Region Connected has to offer, including participating in the lively discussions below, you're going to have to register. The good news is that it'll take less than a minute and you can get started enjoying Waterloo Region's best online community right away. Click here to get started.

Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Local Budgets
#1
Having looked through the Kitchener and Regional capital budgets for 2017-2026 I find it odd that no additional underpass/overpasses will be constructed across the GEXR line (Strange/Park/Duke/St Ledger/Lancaster). I would have thought that at least one would be on the books for the 10 year window or maybe even two (one every 5 years).

Worse yet it looks Lancaster is to be completely rebuilt Union to Victoria in 2020 meaning if it is not fixed now it would not likely be replaced for 30 years.

I think that is short sighted. With the positioning of the GO layover facility being east of the multi-mode hub and Kitchener being the end of the line it means every train has to cross Duke/St Ledger/Lancaster twice each trip. At the moment that isn't bad with 4 round trip GO, 2(?) VIA, and 2(?) freight trains, but if you start adding hourly GO service or better the number increases rapidly and severely interrupts the flow of pedestrian, cyclist, transit, and vehicles using these roads and increases the number of potential opportunities for crashes (cross-products). Lancaster is already pushing the suggested threshold for a grade separation with the current levels of rail and vehicle traffic; all day service with put it well over the threshold. Also, I think the trains could run faster if there weren't so many level crossings as well making the trip times to Toronto a little shorter. If HSR ever comes to fruition these changes will need to be made regardless so why not get ahead of the game (other than if HSR is a go then the province and feds might pay for the new bridges).



I also did not see any items in the capital budget (or leisure facilities master plan) for leisure facilities downtown. More and more people are living downtown, but there are no proper indoor tracks, swimming pools, community kitchen, maker space, gymnasiums, etc. for these new residents to use (unless their condo comes with it, but that doesn't build community) and residents will need to leave the core to access them. Currently all the proposed investments are in new or refurbishing facilities in the suburbs; this needs to be rebalanced to keep downtown attractive.
Everyone move to the back of the bus and we all get home faster.
Reply
#2
I think you have forgotten the Cameron Heights swimming pool. I don't know what their programming is like, but the Downtown Community centre has a gymnasium, does it not, in addition to its other facilities? Also, although it's not a municipal facility, themuseum recently opened a maker space for children, the Underground Studio. There's also kwartzlab on Kent at Charles, although again that is not a municipal facility.

I had never thought about a community kitchen, but it would make an interesting addition to Downtown. I'm a bit surprised that none of the Downtown churches, with their large kitchens, have started something like that. I wonder if there are legal/health issues that prevent it?

And not that I think there shouldn't be more facilities Downtown, but keep in mind that the City in recent years spent beaucoup dollars on the wonderful expansion of the KPL.
Reply
#3
(12-11-2016, 08:58 PM)Pheidippides Wrote: Having looked through the Kitchener and Regional capital budgets for 2017-2026 I find it odd that no additional underpass/overpasses will be constructed across the GEXR line (Strange/Park/Duke/St Ledger/Lancaster). I would have thought that at least one would be on the books for the 10 year window or maybe even two (one every 5 years).

Worse yet it looks Lancaster is to be completely rebuilt Union to Victoria in 2020 meaning if it is not fixed now it would not likely be replaced for 30 years.

I think that is short sighted. With the positioning of the GO layover facility being east of the multi-mode hub and Kitchener being the end of the line it means every train has to cross Duke/St Ledger/Lancaster twice each trip. At the moment that isn't bad with 4 round trip GO, 2(?) VIA, and 2(?) freight trains, but if you start adding hourly GO service or better the number increases rapidly and severely interrupts the flow of pedestrian, cyclist, transit, and vehicles using these roads and increases the number of potential opportunities for crashes (cross-products). Lancaster is already pushing the suggested threshold for a grade separation with the current levels of rail and vehicle traffic; all day service with put it well over the threshold. Also, I think the trains could run faster if there weren't so many level crossings as well making the trip times to Toronto a little shorter. If HSR ever comes to fruition these changes will need to be made regardless so why not get ahead of the game (other than if HSR is a go then the province and feds might pay for the new bridges).



I also did not see any items in the capital budget (or leisure facilities master plan) for leisure facilities downtown. More and more people are living downtown, but there are no proper indoor tracks, swimming pools, community kitchen, maker space, gymnasiums, etc. for these new residents to use (unless their condo comes with it, but that doesn't build community) and residents will need to leave the core to access them. Currently all the proposed investments are in new or refurbishing facilities in the suburbs; this needs to be rebalanced to keep downtown attractive.

While I see your point about Lancaster, I think it’s far from clear that a separation at Duke is required. People can (will be able to) use King or Weber. Also, I don’t see why HSR would require grade separations in these locations. They are close to the station and the trains can simply run at non-“H” speeds through there. This is why regular HSR is usually better than maglev and other exotic technologies (and incidentally the same major reason why LRT is more popular than monorail). Additionally, with two-way GO service, you are back to one train movement per scheduled train because the train can simply reverse at the station to begin its return journey — no need to visit the depot except at the end of the day.

The real problem at Lancaster is the long crossing occupancies by switching activities. Trains just going through like the GO trains are much less of an issue.
Reply
#4
(12-12-2016, 04:22 AM)ijmorlan Wrote: The real problem at Lancaster is the long crossing occupancies by switching activities. Trains just going through like the GO trains are much less of an issue.

I anticipate this will be more of an issue in the next few years when Victoria is closed and Wellington/Shirley/Bingeman's Centre Drive is one of the primary detour routes. It's already potentially dangerous when people are backed up across Victoria during GEXR switching. Anticipate the lineups with a larger number of vehicles turning there.
Reply
#5
(12-12-2016, 04:22 AM)ijmorlan Wrote: Additionally, with two-way GO service, you are back to one train movement per scheduled train because the train can simply reverse at the station to begin its return journey — no need to visit the depot except at the end of the day.

That is my point, each train crosses Lancaster and stops at Kitchener station and then would cross Lancaster again on it return journey (whether that is to the depot or back to Toronto).



Also, I had considered Cameron's pool, but I don't think it is accessible which will be a requirement and necessity going forward.
Everyone move to the back of the bus and we all get home faster.
Reply
#6
I would expect any needed underpasses/overpasses for GO Expansion and HSR to appear in provincial budgets.
Reply
#7
The region just bought 3 brand new rail over/underpasses in the past 3 years. (King, Weber, Margaret)
That's as many as they did in the, what, 40 years before that? (Ira Needles, Fisher-Hallman, Westmount)
I suspect they don't want to buy a new one for a long while.
Reply
#8
(12-11-2016, 08:58 PM)Pheidippides Wrote: I also did not see any items in the capital budget (or leisure facilities master plan) for leisure facilities downtown. More and more people are living downtown, but there are no proper indoor tracks, swimming pools, community kitchen, maker space, gymnasiums, etc. for these new residents to use (unless their condo comes with it, but that doesn't build community) and residents will need to leave the core to access them. Currently all the proposed investments are in new or refurbishing facilities in the suburbs; this needs to be rebalanced to keep downtown attractive.

Given that many living in the suburbs have been waiting quite a while for some of their promised community facilities, I'm not sure that either Kitchener could tell them to wait longer while they turn their attention to the downtown areas. My understanding is that all new construction included a development charge to help pay for community amenities ranging from streets to libraries. It is to be hoped that the City and Region have a provision for who is to cover the cost of future downtown amenities since development charges are/were waived to encourage downtown construction in Kitchener and Cambridge.
Reply
#9
I built a little tool to show the impact of increasing train and vehicle traffic on the level crossings in Kitchener. Please note I assumed a near-term future state of all GO trains operating out the Shirley yard (or from the east) and servicing the future transit hub location. Please let me know if I have made any errors or bad assumptions.

Budgeting for future grade separations
   

I understand that with having two recent grade separation projects, Weber and King, one of which is still underway, there may not be much public patience for similar projects, but I believe this is of great importance to the safety and further enhancement of our transportation network, and betterment of our community. All the more reason to start planning now.

Currently, Transport Canada has no formal recommendation for a cross-product threshold to consider a crossing for grade separation, but until recently it has used a threshold of 200,000 (although apparently this value was not based on evidence). Following the recent OC Transpo/VIA rail crash in Ottawa in 2013 Transport Canada reviewed its standards and is in the process of adopting, "specific guidance as to when grade separation should be considered;" for example, the US Department of Transportation thresholds of 400,000 (passenger trains only) and 500,000 (all trains) in urban areas as the thresholds for consideration as a grade separation.
 
For example, take the near-term future state of Lancaster St W. If we assume that 22 trains a day use the crossing (2 freight + 4 VIA (2 trains X 2 directions) + 16 GO trains (4 trains X 2 directions X 2 crossings to/from Shirley yard to future hub) and the annual average daily traffic (AADT) volume of vehicles passing through the crossing is 17,002 (Source: Region of Waterloo, 2014). The cross-product, or potential daily crashes, can be calculated as: 22 x 17,002 = 374,044, which is already above the Transport Canada threshold (200,000) and approaching the US DoT thresholds (400,000 and 500,000) for consideration as a grade separation before further GO expansion has even begun. Plus, if high speed rail (HSR) ever comes to fruition grade separations will be a requirement; so best to get ahead of the game especially if it means Metrolinx, the province, and/or the federal government would then contribute to the grade separations.
Everyone move to the back of the bus and we all get home faster.
Reply
#10
(01-01-2017, 09:50 PM)Pheidippides Wrote: I built a little tool to show the impact of increasing train and vehicle traffic on the level crossings in Kitchener. Please note I assumed a near-term future state of all GO trains operating out the Shirley yard (or from the east) and servicing the future transit hub location. Please let me know if I have made any errors or bad assumptions.

Budgeting for future grade separations

[....]

For example, take the near-term future state of Lancaster St W. If we assume that 22 trains a day use the crossing (2 freight + 4 VIA (2 trains X 2 directions) + 16 GO trains (4 trains X 2 directions X 2 crossings to/from Shirley yard to future hub) and the annual average daily traffic (AADT) volume of vehicles passing through the crossing is 17,002 (Source: Region of Waterloo, 2014). The cross-product, or potential daily crashes, can be calculated as: 22 x 17,002 = 374,044, which is already above the Transport Canada threshold (200,000) and approaching the US DoT thresholds (400,000 and 500,000) for consideration as a grade separation before further GO expansion has even begun. Plus, if high speed rail (HSR) ever comes to fruition grade separations will be a requirement; so best to get ahead of the game especially if it means Metrolinx, the province, and/or the federal government would then contribute to the grade separations.

Cool graph! One minor typo: I believe it is St. Leger, not Ledger.

Re: HSR, grade separations should not be required that close to the station. I can’t see the trains operating at “H” speeds anywhere west of the Grand River bridge, so the same separation used for the existing Via and Go should be fine. Of course if the frequency goes up that would change the calculation.

Also I question the characterization of the product (why called the cross-product? That is a specific term from the mathematical topic of vector spaces and doesn’t involve the multiplication of regular numbers at all) as potential daily crashes. A potential crash only occurs when a vehicle on the road and a train arrive at the crossing at approximately the same time. Also the time of day should be taken in to account, at least approximately. For example, the Spur Line crossing of Weber St. is in use for train traffic only in the middle of the night when traffic on Weber St. is low. If the train time was right during rush hour there would be much more potential for crashes and also much more traffic delay.

My concern at Lancaster St. is not actually with trains that just drive through. It is with the switching, which can foul the crossing for many minutes at a time. This leads to traffic backing up right into the Victoria/Lancaster intersection, which is an obvious hazard, and a significant source of traffic delay.

I wonder what the history is that resulted in Margaret St. getting a grade separation but not Lancaster?
Reply
#11
(01-02-2017, 08:11 AM)ijmorlan Wrote: (why called the cross-product? That is a specific term from the mathematical topic of vector spaces and doesn’t involve the multiplication of regular numbers at all)

That seemed incongruous to me as well, but I think it might just simply be related to the fact that the product is supposed to characterize the crossing (the crossing-product in other words).
Reply
#12
(01-02-2017, 08:11 AM)ijmorlan Wrote: I wonder what the history is that resulted in Margaret St. getting a grade separation but not Lancaster?

Having done a little investigation into it, it seems that Margaret got one because it's always had one.
Before the recently demolished bridge was built in the 50s, there had been a wooden bridge before that dated back to the 1910s at least. The geography around there naturally supported a bridge over the rail line, and with wooden construction being an option, it was relatively cheap.
Reply
#13
(01-01-2017, 09:50 PM)Pheidippides Wrote: I built a little tool to show the impact of increasing train and vehicle traffic on the level crossings in Kitchener. Please note I assumed a near-term future state of all GO trains operating out the Shirley yard (or from the east) and servicing the future transit hub location. Please let me know if I have made any errors or bad assumptions.
Thanks, Pheippides!  The one discrepancy here is the difference in impact between train types, especially at Lancaster (and possibly St Leger as well): GO and VIA trails run straight through, closing the crossing for only a short time, whereas the freight trains tend to perform multiple back-and-forth movements, causing extended closures of the crossing.
Of course this really increases the need for a bridge/underpass at Lancaster ...
Reply
#14
Thanks for the feedback.

I've added a tab where you can see the amount of delay in minutes for each crossing using variables such as number of shunting events, length of each shunting event, number of freight trains, number of VIA/GO trains, freight train crossing time, VIA/GO train crossing time, etc.:
   

As for the term cross-product that's just what Transport Canada calls it.
Everyone move to the back of the bus and we all get home faster.
Reply
#15
Thanks! Very comprehensive now, I think.
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)

About Waterloo Region Connected

Launched in August 2014, Waterloo Region Connected is an online community that brings together all the things that make Waterloo Region great. Waterloo Region Connected provides a news reporting service, opportunities for event promotion and other user-driven content complemented by a lively discussion forum covering topics like urban development, transportation projects, heritage issues, businesses and other issues of interest to those in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and the four Townships - North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot, and Woolwich.

              User Links