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ION Phase 2 - Cambridge's Light Rail Transit
[Image: 10-10-dbbuz-t05rt.jpg]

I'm interested, how would that look?

I also have concerns about the line cutting through a very established Preston neighbourhood. I can anticipate significant resistance; don't be surprised if the line is kept along/north of Chopin to be connected at King, before Eagle.

Would the new King bridge in Freeport be west or east of the heritage bridge? East would mean expropriting Canoeing on the Grand, and a narrow workspace betwee the old road bridge and the CPR. West is probably preferred, but that would impact the park access on the north side of the river.
My Twitter: @KevinLMaps
The question about the Preston stop is, how does the neighbourhood respond? They should be being asked about redevelopment and intensification. If they are insistent on not having any of that, then the stop, frankly, can go too. It's already listed as the worst one (IIRC) for any kind of intra- or inter-modal transfers, so the only incentive for going to Preston would be to welcome Preston into a future built for all of us.
As for the Sportsworld stop, it looks like they are thinking of King at Sportsworld Crossing. There's still a vacant lot to the north of that intersection, I suppose the Park&Ride could be moved there?
My Twitter: @KevinLMaps
Full-resolution extracts of the selected route. (Open for double the dimensions shown in a standard desktop window.)

Would have been nice to see them scale the yellow highlighted areas, to show the range of property acquisition relative risk, from "tiny sliver" to "your Beverly backyard is gone" to "we need your entire lot"
LRT Cambridge proposed route announced
I never liked the idea of the Sportsworld station being out in no man's land, so I'm glad they're ditching that.

I'm not a big fan of having it elevated over Fountain Street - or running through a park for that matter. Would have preferred a K2-N1 combo.

Following the rail corridor from Eagle to Hespeler is a neat idea, though I suspect it means the end of Gillies Lumber, at least on Industrial. Calling the station Pinebush is a bit of a stretch considering how far away it will be. Not much they can do, though. Calling Eagle-Hespeler-Pinebush "at capacity" is putting it mildly.

"Pinebush" or Cambridge Centre would be a good site for a new intercity bus station to take some of the pressure off Ainslie. Greyhound's already up there, so they only need to add stops for GO (out of SmartCentres) and Coach Canada.

I never liked the Water Street alignment in Galt either, so I don't miss that. Shame it more or less eliminates the old Galt station buildings from GO reuse, though (unless they move them). Putting a GO station on Beverly Street is an interesting idea but I can't see it working with the creek and the number of properties along the potential right of way. Yes, the GRR used to be there, but there's been encroachment since, plus environmental standards are much different. Closer to Dundas is probably the way to go.
I say put the GO platform in the middle of the corridor under Dundas (accessed from underground tunnels, like many a GTA GO station). Have the main entrance building on Samuelson, with parking in the empty triangle to the north; a secondary entrance would be accessible from the end of Oxford. Then put an LRT platform at Samuelson as well, a short walk away.
My Twitter: @KevinLMaps
So, I have some opinions.
TLDR; Add stations at River Rd/King and the 401 and move the route off Hespeler Rd and onto Coronation Blvd.

[Image: GiDwgBt.jpg]

Of the available alternatives within the study area, I believe the preferred route option is the best option. However, given costs and constraints of this option, I believe it would be prudent to expand the study area while constuction and upper level funding are still a few years off.

Given the extensive amount of property acquisition required on Eagle St, cost associated with the CP grade separation, and difficulties associated with converting a busy truck route along Hespeler Rd into a string of livable communities, it may be preferable to avoid serving Hespeler Rd altogether. Alternatively, routings paralelling King St through Prestion and along Corontation Blvd should be re-considered and costed.

I do understand that proposing a Phase 2 routing along Corontation Blvd route would significantly change the council-approved route, run contrary to the existing plan for Preston Towne Centre, and that any potential for re-urbanization on Hespeler Rd would be diminished or deferred until the ION bus corridor is upgraded in a later phase. However, the endorsed route was approved before we knew that running the LRT via the CP ROW between Kitchener and Cambridge was infeasible and the necessity of a CP grade separation at Eagle Street and associated costs were known.

Starting and ending at common points, an LRT route beginning at Eagle St and ending at the Delta folowing Queenston/Coronation would be roughly 4.8km vs 7.4 km following Eagle St, the rail spur, and Hespeler Rd. The amount of property impact through Preston would be roughly equal. A shorter and more direct route would have the potential to reduce end-to-end travel times and reduce overall project cost and property impact while still acheiving many of the instensification objectives of the Hespeler Rd alignment.

An LRT right-of way could feasibly be constructed within the existing road envelope along Coronation Blvd with very little property impacts outside of a station and development node at Cambridge Memorial Hospital. A Coronation Blvd route also has the advantage of avoiding almost all existing rail corridors except for at Dundas St where grade separaion already exists and could be modified to run LRT.

While it is likely not feasible to run a dedicated right-of-way along King St E given current streetscape plans, a route running the length of Preston paralell to King St E would still have good potential to bring new life and interest to an existing urban core. Potential development nodes could exist around stations in the vicinity of Eagle St, Downtown Preston (Westminster), and near King/Bishop.

Property impacts through Preston could be further mitigated if the light rail route were split (not preferable), or if the road LRT was travelling on was converted to a one-way operation. There are more than enough other paralell streets that would be able to absorb the traffic impact that one-way operation cause and if designed with appropriate corner radii, could actually assist in calming traffic on the street.
(02-10-2017, 11:51 PM)dunkalunk Wrote: So, I have some opinions.
TLDR; Add stations at River Rd/King and the 401 and move the route off Hespeler Rd and onto Coronation Blvd.

I totally agree with your entire (well written) post!

At the first Phase 2 consultation (a year ago? I don't even remember...), my partner and I both talked at length with staff about using Coronation. It just seemed so obvious to us. Preston gets a huge (needed!) uplift, running through downtown European tramway style... then zips down the wide centre median on Coronation to the Delta. We stressed that nobody is going to take the train to Pinebush and walk to Home Depot or any of the Smart Centre shops. 24 is a lost cause... and, as you brought up, we did too the issue of Eagle being a total mess (far too narrow/massive expropriation). But they kept saying "our hands are tied" and "we have to use the route that the Region directed us to use" - which is to go down 24 and use the LRT only as a Development Tool (which I hate). In my mind, trains should be used for moving people.

I do get that we've already seen a huge push from developers even before Phase 1 is open, and that's great. But is it sustainable? What happens when all the buildings are up? Does it just stop? And then we'll be left with a non-optimal transit system? People might forget about the development and just say "shoot, this train is really akward and doesn't go where I want it to go."

On the station art;
  • I love the birds at Fairway. I actually shouted "YES" when I saw it made the recommended list!
  • The entrance canopy at R+T is going to look stunning - I bet that's going to be my favourite stop now.
  • Continuum at Conestoga was a no-brainer - it's just perfect! (for those who didn't know - where that fence is going, there has to be a fence, anyway, to keep people from jumping up onto the driver's lounge roof.)
  • I am going to stop and have a sit on the Spine bench every time I bike by. Big Grin
  • I'm very sad that Jonathan Enn's Digital Sun didn't make the cut - that, I feel, was the most interesting piece (and the most developed from a conceptual standpoint). I wonder if there were technical issues that couldn't be overcome (cavities fill with snow?)
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
I agree with the Coronation route as well. It would bring a boost to the area and it serves the function of transit in my opinion: It takes people from where they live to where they work. We can dream...
I used to be the mayor of sim city. I know what I am talking about.
The categories in the evaluation weighted? I'm just curious how F2a became the preferred option at 7.5 "circles" when F1 had the name number of "circles."

Reading through the report it seems like council has hitched its wagon to the intensification of Hespeler and is willing to pound that square peg in to the round hole no matter what. I'm not saying that shouldn't be the goal and the opportunities along that category aren't higher, just that it seems like a lot of effort to get it over to that point.

I would support a stop at River and I had thought of one at the 401 too, but what would the 401 stop serve? A park and ride? Intercity bus? There's no easy connection to Conestoga College unless some sort of bus only lane was added along the 401.

The Coronation route presented above is interesting. 

In general I am pretty please with the art selections. I was disappointed that the Lucent Observatory and Digital Sun were not selected.
Everyone move to the back of the bus and we all get home faster.
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