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  #1  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2018, 6:02 PM
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Jamaican-Phoenix Jamaican-Phoenix is offline
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A modest Bank St. subway proposal | Fantasy

We know that after Stage 2 of the LRT, there will likely be a Stage 3. Stage three will likely ignore the core and extend into Riverside (good) and Kanata (meh). No doubt the core will still be getting busier and the problem of Bank Street is going to have to be addressed.

While there are already some basic plans and ideas about a Carling streetcar, no one is talking about Bank Street or Montreal Road. Here's my modest proposal for a first stage of a Bank St. and Montreal Rd. Subway:



Yes, I know it's small to start but it's what could reasonably be called for given the population and money. The southern "anchor" is Billings Bridge because it connects to the Transitway and is an employment area and close to residential towers. The eastern "anchor" is just over the bridge on Montreal Rd. where TOD can kick off, and office towers already exist.

This 'Stage One' would be entirely underground and use the existing downtown tunnel as a starting point. Moving on to 'Stage Two', the subway would be expanded south to Hunt Club and East and south to St. Laurent.



For the eastern expansion, a good deal of it would be underground. It would run just east of St. Laurent (businesses and residential towers there) before turning south where it could emerge into an open-air trench that runs just east of St. Laurent proper. This ensures ROW without cars getting into the mix. This would require some expropriation of school and residential lands, however.

A trench would be a good idea since it ensures ROW, won't involve too many road closures, and can more easily facilitate the sharp turn off of Montreal Rd. Stops are concentrated around schools, shopping centres, and residential towers. The eastern "terminus" of the line would be the St. Laurent Centre, which also helps to create an eastern Ottawa "Rapid Transit Loop" between Rideau Centre and St. Laurent Centre, with LRT and a 'subway' being the two components.

Future expansion could continue in a secondary line that runs east along Montreal Rd. until Bathgate where it heads south. This would connect the Montfort, the edge of the NRC campus, La Cite Collegiale, and more residential areas to rapid rail transit with this subsection's terminus being Blair Station.



For the Bank Street subway south of Billings Bridge, one could largely avoid the need for tunneling. Again, this is all meant to be a modest proposal.

An old rail ROW exists just west of Bank with only one strip of houses occupying it. A tunnel would be built, slowly rising until Cecil Avenue where it becomes largely surface/at-grade rail except for when it needs to go under major roads like Walkley and Heron.

The houses east of Glenhaven Private would have to be expropriated. South of Walkley, the 'Bank St. Subway' could interline with the tracks that the O-Train uses. This prevents the need for additional expensive tunneling and has the advantage of being able to co-opt existing rail infrastructure (from Stage 2 of the Trillium Line). This also means that the 'Bank Street Subway' could also connect to the airport in such a circumstance.
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  #2  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2018, 6:23 PM
Uhuniau Uhuniau is offline
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The local bus problem is much more serious on the Rideau-Montreal axis than the Bank Street one. I'd put more emphasis on that for a Phase I.

On the eastern end, I think it would also have to serve the Montfort hospital campus before turning south (or continuing further east).
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  #3  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2018, 6:31 PM
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I'm sure this will happen one day. It just makes so much sense. My one little change would be to move the Gladstone station closer to Catherine, since Somerset and Gladstone are just a few blocks apart. Maybe on Arlington to be close to the bus station, with a linking tunnel.
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Old Posted Apr 19, 2018, 6:34 PM
zzptichka zzptichka is offline
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This is great proposal but like most 5 Billion Dollar modest proposals it will never get built (at least in our life time)
More reasonable proposal is to dedicate two middle lanes on Bank, Rideau and Montreal to rail tracks and have same Alstom trains run on them.



But obviously this also won't happen because cars are the sacred cow in this city.
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  #5  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2018, 6:40 PM
Uhuniau Uhuniau is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zzptichka View Post
This is great proposal but like most 5 Billion Dollar modest proposals it will never get built (at least in our life time)
More reasonable proposal is to dedicate two middle lanes on Bank, Rideau and Montreal to rail tracks and have same Alstom trains run on them.



But obviously this also won't happen because cars are the sacred cow in this city.
The Montreal Road transit plan is a disaster. Five years ago, the "Affordable" plan called for bus lanes the whole length of the Rideau-Montreal. That plan has already been sacrificed on the altar of the bike lobby.

So to recap: the east side can't have LRT and can't have better bus service, either.
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  #6  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2018, 6:45 PM
Uhuniau Uhuniau is offline
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Originally Posted by FutureWickedCity View Post
I'm sure this will happen one day. It just makes so much sense. My one little change would be to move the Gladstone station closer to Catherine, since Somerset and Gladstone are just a few blocks apart. Maybe on Arlington to be close to the bus station, with a linking tunnel.
It won't happen this century: the city's financial capacity is tapped out in the rush to build LRT to every suburb. We are building suburban transit, not urban.

At the nearest, it'll be well into the 2100s before Ottawa will be able to have a truly urban transit line, serving truly urban, mixed-use, dense communities, rather than the path of least resistance to get suburbanites to and from their downtown offices. Even then, that'll be subject to the political and fiscal demands to build even more suburban higher-order transit to the crappy suburbs that Ottawa will continue to build for decades to come, because despite all the BS in Ottawa's official plan, there is neither the political will nor the economic incentive to approve or build anything other than suburbs on the same mid-century model that we've been building since 1950.
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  #7  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2018, 6:51 PM
lrt's friend lrt's friend is offline
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Modern streetcars in reserved lanes with signal priority would be more affordable. Just ditch the on-street parking. I am sure that this would rehabilitate the whole Rideau-Montreal corridor and solicit new investment. I am not so sure about Bank Street being a surface route simply because a Bank Street route will automatically replace the Trillium Line as the trunk route to the city centre.

South of Billings Bridge, the only realistic route is the Southeast Transitway.
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  #8  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2018, 6:51 PM
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Originally Posted by zzptichka View Post
But obviously this also won't happen because cars are the sacred cow in this city.
Eh, i'm tempted to lean a bit more on the optimistic side of things. Elgin Street, like a few others, is getting redesigned to lessen the dominance of cars in favour of pedestrians and cyclists.

For Bank Street I really hope we stay away from at-grade solutions like trams. A subway, at least from the CBD to Lansdowne, would be preferred IMO...some of the surface traffic issues are bad now and are only going to get worse as the core densifies moving forward. Taking a bus down Bank at rush hour from CBD to Billings can take a while at times. On rainy/snowy days i've found it quicker to walk to Lansdowne than wait for a bus and sit in traffic.

I admire the work Jamaican-Phoenix has put into this proposal but I agree that Somerset and Gladstone are too close together for stations and the Gladstone Station should be moved down to Flora. Outside of that I like the general idea, and having a station at Bank/Somerset should rejuvenate what has to be the most under-utilized major intersection in the city. As a Centretown resident i'm going to have limited need for the Confederation Line, so a Bank Street Subway would provide much more useability from where I live to where I need to go.
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Old Posted Apr 19, 2018, 6:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zzptichka View Post
This is great proposal but like most 5 Billion Dollar modest proposals it will never get built (at least in our life time)
More reasonable proposal is to dedicate two middle lanes on Bank, Rideau and Montreal to rail tracks and have same Alstom trains run on them.
Street cars are just a more cost effective way to transport people than buses. 30 years from now, when Ottawa will be hovering around 2 million, the need for a subway on this corridor will be screaming.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zzptichka View Post
But obviously this also won't happen because cars are the sacred cow in this city.
Well, for what's it's worth, Ottawa did built a very successful Transitway as well as the Trillium and Confed lines.
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Old Posted Apr 19, 2018, 6:59 PM
Uhuniau Uhuniau is offline
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Originally Posted by JHikka View Post
For Bank Street I really hope we stay away from at-grade solutions like trams. A subway, at least from the CBD to Lansdowne, would be preferred IMO...some of the surface traffic issues are bad now and are only going to get worse as the core densifies moving forward. Taking a bus down Bank at rush hour from CBD to Billings can take a while at times. On rainy/snowy days i've found it quicker to walk to Lansdowne than wait for a bus and sit in traffic.
Lansdowne could also be served by sacrificing the car-only fetish that the NCC has for the QE Drive and extending the future (24th century?) Carling LRT along Dows Lake and the Canal, along basically the SnoBus/Tulipmobile route. I'd have that surface LRT/tram serve platforms...

- under the Bronson Bridge
- under the Bank St Bridge
- at the 5th/Clegg crossing
- Pretoria Bridge
- Corkstown
- Confederation Park, for now, reserving the possibility of continuing further north once we finally come to our senses and demolish the NAC.
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  #11  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2018, 6:59 PM
Uhuniau Uhuniau is offline
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Well, for what's it's worth, Ottawa did built a very successful Transitway as well as the Trillium and Confed lines.
Yes, by, for the most part, not taking precious space away from drivers.
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  #12  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2018, 7:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrt's friend View Post
Modern streetcars in reserved lanes with signal priority would be more affordable. Just ditch the on-street parking. I am sure that this would rehabilitate the whole Rideau-Montreal corridor and solicit new investment. I am not so sure about Bank Street being a surface route simply because a Bank Street route will automatically replace the Trillium Line as the trunk route to the city centre.

South of Billings Bridge, the only realistic route is the Southeast Transitway.
I think this is part of the point. Trillium Line has limited capacity and it goes out of the way, terminating at Bayview, requiring a transfer and a somewhat circuitous routing (it veers to the northwest from South Keys and twists and turns a bit, as opposed to Bank which goes directly north in a straight line). It has value as a secondary rapid transit line serving Carleton, the condo node at Carling (plus future Civic Hospital), and the Confederation Heights office complex, but as a trunk route it's not as good, even if it was double tracked and electrified.

Hooking up the airport and Riverside South branches into the Bank Street subway would be a faster and more efficient route to get downtown from those places.

Trillium could be left as is, as a mostly single track line with 10 minute service. Some further improvements (like grade separating the VIA crossing and some more double tracking in key spots) could solve the reliability problems while allowing for 10 minute service. Trillium supports that frequency right now with its current ridership, which pretty much entirely excludes trunk-like traffic anyway (the bulk of that traffic currently goes to the Southeast Transitway).

In this scenario, the Southeast Transitway south of Heron could be repurposed as the route for the Bank Street subway, while the part north of Heron could be attached to the Baseline BRT.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FutureWickedCity View Post
I'm sure this will happen one day. It just makes so much sense. My one little change would be to move the Gladstone station closer to Catherine, since Somerset and Gladstone are just a few blocks apart. Maybe on Arlington to be close to the bus station, with a linking tunnel.
Yeah. I'd replace Gladstone with Arlington, but otherwise leave the stop placements as is on the Bank portion. I'd actually do the opposite in the east; I'd replace Jamaican-Phoenix's proposed stops on King Edward and Cobourg with stops at King Edward, Chapel, and Charlotte. This would be somewhat close placement (about 450m) but it would allow for local bus service on Rideau Street to be eliminated; having stops at just King Edward and Cobourg is likely not sufficient to do this without major complaints. Also, seeing as how the Rideau-Montreal section of this line is more of a "local" route (in the sense that only inner city traffic would use it), but the Bank Street section of the line would in my conception of the idea be a trunk route for the suburbs, it makes sense to have closer stop placement in the eastern section.

Last edited by 1overcosc; Apr 19, 2018 at 7:16 PM.
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  #13  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2018, 7:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Jamaican-Phoenix View Post

(snip)

An old rail ROW exists just west of Bank with only one strip of houses occupying it. A tunnel would be built, slowly rising until Cecil Avenue where it becomes largely surface/at-grade rail except for when it needs to go under major roads like Walkley and Heron.
Indeed. The first photo is the area now, the 2nd one from 1976, before the ROW was developed. (Screenshots from GeoOttawa.)



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Old Posted Apr 19, 2018, 7:19 PM
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For Bank Street I really hope we stay away from at-grade solutions like trams. A subway, at least from the CBD to Lansdowne, would be preferred IMO...some of the surface traffic issues are bad now and are only going to get worse as the core densifies moving forward.
The key with fast surface transport is you have to follow the French model. Trams get priority over all traffic, and their own lanes. That's the part that takes political will. This is actually the model that KW is following with Ion. The real test though is to see if it actually stays that way. Ion has started with the best of intentions, but over time people complaining about their slow car commute are going to make demands, and it's easy to start saying "well, maybe trams shouldn't always get a green light", down the slippery slope until it just becomes a really long bus stuck in traffic.
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Old Posted Apr 19, 2018, 7:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Uhuniau View Post
Lansdowne could also be served by sacrificing the car-only fetish that the NCC has for the QE Drive and extending the future (24th century?) Carling LRT along Dows Lake and the Canal, along basically the SnoBus/Tulipmobile route. I'd have that surface LRT/tram serve platforms...
This would be a reasonable substitute if we, for some reason, can't fathom a subway underneath Bank. I don't mind this idea at all, although it's still not entirely useful for Centretown residents unless they live near the canal.

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The key with fast surface transport is you have to follow the French model. Trams get priority over all traffic, and their own lanes. That's the part that takes political will. This is actually the model that KW is following with Ion. The real test though is to see if it actually stays that way. Ion has started with the best of intentions, but over time people complaining about their slow car commute are going to make demands, and it's easy to start saying "well, maybe trams shouldn't always get a green light", down the slippery slope until it just becomes a really long bus stuck in traffic.
That's fair enough. I'm interested in taking ION once it finally gets started (when Bombardier decides to deliver some trains...). Great to see Kitchener getting on board with some LRT along with increased GO frequency. The trams in Toronto are nice but are too similar to buses to really feel like a separate system, at least IMO.
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Old Posted Apr 19, 2018, 7:37 PM
zzptichka zzptichka is offline
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Street cars are just a more cost effective way to transport people than buses. 30 years from now, when Ottawa will be hovering around 2 million, the need for a subway on this corridor will be screaming.
Keyword here is "dedicated tracks". And also the fact that instead of waiting 50 years it can be built in 5 years at 20% the cost. And obviously, it doesn't mean we can't upgrade it to subway in 30-40 years.

Quote:
Well, for what's it's worth, Ottawa did built a very successful Transitway as well as the Trillium and Confed lines.
Yep, that's the point. Not a single car driver was inconvenienced by these. We will literally go through kilometers of rock only to avoid removing a car lane from a street here and there.
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Old Posted Apr 19, 2018, 7:38 PM
OCCheetos OCCheetos is online now
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It's hardly complete (a lot of things are still missing) but I've been working on this system map of a "realistic" ideal rail network in Ottawa.

(Click to view full size)


I have it extending it east to meet with the Confederation Line at Montreal road.

Also, in the southern portion it could replace the Trillium Line on the airport spur and you'd instantly have a (direct) Airport to Downtown train.
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Old Posted Apr 19, 2018, 7:46 PM
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Originally Posted by kmcamp View Post
The key with fast surface transport is you have to follow the French model. Trams get priority over all traffic, and their own lanes. That's the part that takes political will. This is actually the model that KW is following with Ion. The real test though is to see if it actually stays that way. Ion has started with the best of intentions, but over time people complaining about their slow car commute are going to make demands, and it's easy to start saying "well, maybe trams shouldn't always get a green light", down the slippery slope until it just becomes a really long bus stuck in traffic.
This is exactly what happened with the Spadina streetcar ROW in Toronto.
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Old Posted Apr 19, 2018, 8:15 PM
AndyMEng AndyMEng is offline
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Originally Posted by OCCheetos View Post
It's hardly complete (a lot of things are still missing) but I've been working on this system map of a "realistic" ideal rail network in Ottawa.

(Click to view full size)


I have it extending it east to meet with the Confederation Line at Montreal road.

Also, in the southern portion it could replace the Trillium Line on the airport spur and you'd instantly have a (direct) Airport to Downtown train.
This is more realistic. JP, you have some good points, but waaaay too many stations for a train. The stations are a huge cost, and trains shouldn't stop every 200 feet. Extending the length of Montreal Road is great.

Also good luck 'trenching' and not fully covering, lol. And also expropriating housing. South of Walkley you could run on the surface, and maybe East of St. Laurent on Montreal Road in the median.
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  #20  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2018, 9:03 PM
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Originally Posted by FutureWickedCity View Post
I'm sure this will happen one day. It just makes so much sense. My one little change would be to move the Gladstone station closer to Catherine, since Somerset and Gladstone are just a few blocks apart. Maybe on Arlington to be close to the bus station, with a linking tunnel.
A stop at Bank and Chamberlain might be a better option since the city already owns the parking lot at the corner.
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