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ION Phase 2 - Cambridge's Light Rail Transit
Galt, Preston, and Hespeler will soon be as forgotten as Streetsville, because they will atrophy at their current residents' request.
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I went to the info session at the Preston arena last night.  I felt bad for the project representatives there, one was beset by the same group of residents for over half an hour, repeating their same anti-everything talking points over and over and over again.

One kept insisting that they should just expropriate the rail line from CP, then all of the North Cambridge routing problems would be solved.  "They can take our homes, why can't they just take CP's track?"  No matter how many times he was told by the project rep that rail lines are federally regulated and a municipality just doesn't have the authority to do that, he continued to repeat his point.

Looking at the display boards full size, I realized just how much I like the F2b/K3b route for Kitchener, and S3c/S3d route in South Cambridge.  Sad to see the trail get wacked, but it would really minimize disruption to the surrounding streets and properties and hopefully there'd be width for rail + trail.

North Cambridge is a real puzzle.  I like V/W/X to avoid a large chunk of Eagle St, and M/M1 is an interesting way of feeding into that, but how do you make the turn from King St onto M?  I find myself dreaming of some magical way to put a tunnel under the 401 right, about, here:

[Image: Tunnel.jpg]

It's short, and you wouldn't have to worry about any homes or buildings, so it could be done by cut-and-cover methods or even just as a trench with three portals under the 401 and King/ramp complexes.  But would the MTO let them???

Also, where do you put the Preston stop if they go with M/M1 to V/W/X?  It would be neat in the park, but that torpedoes bus connections.

I don't envy them this game, but can't wait to see how it all works out.
...K
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(11-29-2017, 02:09 PM)Viewfromthe42 Wrote: Galt, Preston, and Hespeler will soon be as forgotten as Streetsville, because they will atrophy at their current residents' request.

Dear God, I hope whatever new downtown gets built in Cambridge (DH Lawrence is right that Hespeler Road is the best opportunity for it), it turns out better than Mississauga City Centre. I'd take Streetsville or Port Credit over that any day.
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Mississauga is definitely a good comparable for the development of a bunch of small centres that didn't want to accommodate growth, and the easiest-to-develop commercial area taking the development without much thought as to long-term planning. But that's what you get with a bunch of self-important (there must be a Preston stop!) NIMBYs (but no properties can be affected and no serious intensification of jobs or residents can occur!).
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Can Cambridge even be compared to Mississauga? That city has always been a suburban mess with no potential for a decent downtown core. Downtown Cambridge (which is currently located in Galt and I can't see that changing anytime soon) has the prettiest, most unique core in our region in my opinion. Hespeler road might intensify and become more urban, but there is no doubt in my mind that the current downtown will fade away.
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(11-29-2017, 02:09 PM)Viewfromthe42 Wrote: Galt, Preston, and Hespeler will soon be as forgotten as Streetsville, because they will atrophy at their current residents' request.

This is exactly the point that people refuse to accept.  There are certainly costs to developing the LRT in Preston, but to pretend *not* doing so means everything will stay the same forever is lying to one's self.
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There's a big difference between no development whatsoever and development that isn't a dozen glass monoliths. Lots of urban planning opinion pieces stress the importance of having "in between" projects. Those are perfect for the three towns. Preston's already had two - the Kanmet redevelopment and the new apartment building on Eagle. Streetsville is getting a few of those too, as it happens.

There's more to urban intensification than reaching for the sky.
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(11-29-2017, 03:09 PM)Waterlooer Wrote: Can Cambridge even be compared to Mississauga? That city has always been a suburban mess with no potential for a decent downtown core. Downtown Cambridge (which is currently located in Galt and I can't see that changing anytime soon) has the prettiest, most unique core in our region in my opinion. Hespeler road might intensify and become more urban, but there is no doubt in my mind that the current downtown will fade away.

Clarkson, Lakeview, Cooksville, Erindale, Sheridan, Dixie, Meadowvale Village and Malton might disagree with you. And if you visit Streetsville, you might disagree with yourself  Big Grin but they are indeed good examples of multiples cores getting combined into one city, and with none really stepping up to the plate when it comes to intensification, atrophy they did. If you consider Cambridge as the least intensification-friendly of the tri-cities in our region of almost 600,000, you can see why Uptown and Downtown are getting the love while Cambridge will largely be shaped by the owners of Hespeler Road properties.
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If it weren't for the GO stations, most of those communities you name wouldn't be remembered. Streetsville and Port Credit are still remembered.
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And that's just my point, there is nothing of those communities that remains to be remembered by, from outsiders' perspectives. Had the GO stops been named differently, there wouldn't even be the recollection of historical context, and without the GO stops, the areas would be hollow of people and activity aside from suburban homes.
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And what do they look like? Strip malls, industrial parks, and suburban sprawl. Galt, Preston, and Hespeler have urban cores and a built environment that could easily be enhanced with proper planning. Same with Streetsville and Port Credit. They haven't become suburban anonymity. You've contradicted yourself in your argument.
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(11-29-2017, 01:19 PM)DHLawrence Wrote: Having the central terminal in Galt has also been a logistical nightmare for people in the rest of town trying to get somewhere on the bus that isn't Galt. Getting from Preston to Hespeler either required a trip down to Galt or two changes minimum. (I think you still have to change twice but the change points are closer together).

There's not a whole lot of "growing up" Galt can do. A few low-rise infill projects at most. Hespeler Road is a blank slate; there isn't a single thing along that road of even the faintest architectural or sentimental value. The old cores will become satellites to the real downtown; this will be a lot more for old Galtonians to swallow than residents of the rest of the city. (You think Cambridge vs Kitchener-Waterloo is bad?)

I believe an option for a Park and Ride and GO transfer facilities are being explored at Pinebush, as there is the land nearby there to do so.
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(11-29-2017, 02:25 PM)KevinT Wrote: North Cambridge is a real puzzle.  I like V/W/X to avoid a large chunk of Eagle St, and M/M1 is an interesting way of feeding into that, but how do you make the turn from King St onto M?  I find myself dreaming of some magical way to put a tunnel under the 401 right, about, here:

[Image: Tunnel.jpg]
It's short, and you wouldn't have to worry about any homes or buildings, so it could be done by cut-and-cover methods or even just as a trench with three portals under the 401 and King/ramp complexes.  But would the MTO let them???

Also, where do you put the Preston stop if they go with M/M1 to V/W/X?  It would be neat in the park, but that torpedoes bus connections.

I don't envy them this game, but can't wait to see how it all works out.

Shantz Hill is definitely constrained, but it is far from the most constrained portion of the route (Eagle between Moore St and CP is). The current plan is to elevate the route above Fountain Street and the Speed River to reduce the impacts to traffic operations at the bottom of the hill, as well as make crossing the Speed River easier.

I really don't think M/M1 (following Highway 401 and through Riverside park) would be a wise use of tax dollars. Yes, there's the possibility of avoiding negative property impacts to Preston with the existing route, but you'd lose most of the be benefits of a station in Preston. You'd still need to pay for a grade separation of the CP line, build a new tunnel under the 401 Eb On-Ramp (provided MTO will allow that), and cross the speed river where it is wider at the reservoir. The nearest a station would be possible in Preston is near Hedley Street, possibly further if the grade separation at Eagle St is still required.

I'm not so much a fan of V-W-X. While there would definitely be the possibility to run the line at higher speeds, the land to the north is almost entirely floodplain and would have very low potential for redevelopment. If a station were to be added at Eagle and Speedsville, it would increase the palatability of using Eagle Street by providing Preston with a second station.
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(11-29-2017, 11:41 PM)dunkalunk Wrote: I believe an option for a Park and Ride and GO transfer facilities are being explored at Pinebush, as there is the land nearby there to do so.

Glad to hear it. Get Greyhound to move off Industrial and share the facilities and we'd be halfway there.

It wouldn't surprise me if half of the push to get rid of the dam at Riverside Park is to make room for another track. Assuming there's enough clearance under the wires for auto carriers, they could pull a Waterloo and use the CP track during the day, with the Preston station built on land made available by reducing the width of the Speed River there. I wouldn't want it to go through the park either; they'd live to regret it.

If they follow the old CP track to Speedsville and turn onto Eagle there, a station would still be a possibility. Whether they use the railbed or Eagle they're missing a big opportunity by not putting one at Speedsville. They should at least consider roughing one in for future growth.
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Some context here. Region of Waterloo actually owns the spur that's runs to Elmira while CN/GEXR is allowed to serve customers it has on that line (Chemtura). Since the Region owns the track, they can dictate when freight is allowed to go through.

CP by comparison is incredibly hostile to any other users on its track (see: Milton/Cambridge 3-track GO expansion requirements) CP's track is also heavily used by Toyota, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. There will be no track sharing agreements between CP and ION along the Speed River. If ION is going to use the CP spur north of Eagle St, it will likely require buyout.
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