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  #161  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2017, 1:14 AM
lawsond lawsond is offline
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Originally Posted by yal View Post
Man, I guess it is a Canadian/North American thing. I still see them as abominations in such central and well developed locations even in wealthier cities. So do you think having those in Toronto makes it okay to have it somewhere else as well? Like, "Oh they have them in Toronto as well, we can now stop striving for better"

I am just trying to understand why you are valiantly defending overhead utilities.
I don't think we really give a shite for the most part. It's a leftover frontier thing and particular to North America. Every now and then some Euro dude will complain about unsightly overhead wires. I would prefer if they weren't there but whatever honestly.
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  #162  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2017, 12:41 PM
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Only a person with a lack of knowledge would post a statement like you did. You obviously know nothing about the costs of building on granite and shale as compared to building in a pasture or corn field. Have you ever been to Halifax? It is NOT backward to anywhere especially Kitchener/Waterloo
Exactly!
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  #163  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2017, 12:48 PM
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Keith P. Keith P. is offline
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Originally Posted by ILoveHalifax View Post
Only a person with a lack of knowledge would post a statement like you did. You obviously know nothing about the costs of building on granite and shale as compared to building in a pasture or corn field. Have you ever been to Halifax? It is NOT backward to anywhere especially Kitchener/Waterloo
This would also explain why our water mains and sewer lines are above ground.

Check out Streetview pics of Boston. Not many overhead wires. It can be done, we just choose not to.
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  #164  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2017, 2:48 PM
Drybrain Drybrain is offline
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
This would also explain why our water mains and sewer lines are above ground.

Check out Streetview pics of Boston. Not many overhead wires. It can be done, we just choose not to.
Boston's full of overhead wires, though. In South Boston, in Cambridge, even in the South End and Back Bay, though at least in those neighbourhoods they put them in back laneways. (Similar to the Hydrostone here, I guess).

Outside of Manhattan and brownstone Brooklyn, even NYC has them.

If those cities, at their population densities (and higher tax revenues per square foot of land) finding it too costly to underground utilities, I doubt we ever will.
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  #165  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2017, 4:31 PM
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Keith P. Keith P. is offline
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Originally Posted by Drybrain View Post
Boston's full of overhead wires, though.
Despite your finding an alleyway with some wires, most of the Back Bay is devoid of them. Look at the main streets that might bear some resemblance to Quinpool in terms of being busy. No wires in sight.

In any event, my point stands. It can be done and has nothing to do with the age of the neighborhood or being built on granite (which we are not). We simply choose to say wires strung on poles is good enough for us.
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  #166  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2017, 12:15 PM
IanWatson IanWatson is offline
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I wouldn't complain if Halifax got rid of its noisy, polluting diesel buses and adopted electric trolleybuses again. The wires wouldn't bother me one little bit...
Getting super off-topic, butttt....

We're getting to the point where electric buses won't even need wires. HRM just approved a pilot project to get a fully electric bus. Hopefully it goes well and all new bus purchases can start being electric. I think this transition to electric is going to be huge for downtown areas around the world.

On the topic of underground wires: they're about 10 times as expensive as overhead wires. NSP will never put them in themselves, because as a regulated utility all customers are technically paying for them, and they don't really want to justify paying for underground wires in Halifax to their customers in Ecum Secum. So it's up to HRM or developers to pay for undergrounding (which is what happened in the areas of downtown where it's been done). Again, that costs $$$, so the HRM has a priority list of streets to do over time.

Even if someone pays for them, NSP doesn't like them. Underground wires obviously have a lot less go wrong with them, but when something does go wrong they're really expensive to fix. I've heard some rumblings that the underground systems in some of HRM's older suburbs (Cowie Hill and the like) are aging, and when it comes time to replace them NSP will put them above ground.

Personally, I'd like to see them done, especially in high-profile areas (Bishop St. next to Province House being one...). But at the same time, it's a pretty low priority in the grand scheme of things. I don't think the government and residents of this city "lack vision" if we don't run out and underground all the wires today.
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  #167  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2017, 3:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
This would also explain why our water mains and sewer lines are above ground.

Check out Streetview pics of Boston. Not many overhead wires. It can be done, we just choose not to.
True, but it still more expensive to do here, which is a detering factor. That being said they should look at making more of a push to get them under ground. Less maintence, looks better and prevents power outages.
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  #168  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2017, 4:11 PM
Drybrain Drybrain is offline
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True, but it still more expensive to do here, which is a detering factor.
Also, outside of Beacon Hill, downtown, and the North End, wires in most of Boston are above-ground; they're just hidden in the lanes. That's what most of Back Bay is like, as well as the South End.

Most of Halifax has backyards rather than service lanes, so the wires have to go in front, on the streets. And sure enough, we see the same in the parts of Boston that are more like Halifax (South Boston, Cambridge, etc) we see above-ground wires on the streets.
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  #169  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2017, 4:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
This would also explain why our water mains and sewer lines are above ground.
I have never been able to figure out why we can underground these utilities but not power lines. I'm pretty sure the latter would be at about the same depth, if not more shallow (never a need for gravity feed). In any case, surely not so deep as to require blasting through solid granite?

Also, in addition to improving aesthetics by a factor of night to day, I figure the initial cost difference should be offset by the exposed lines being subject to frequent weather issues, leading to many repairs, not to mention lost productivity due to power outages.
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  #170  
Old Posted Jun 21, 2017, 5:47 PM
dtown dtown is offline
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Originally Posted by ILoveHalifax View Post
Only a person with a lack of knowledge would post a statement like you did. You obviously know nothing about the costs of building on granite and shale as compared to building in a pasture or corn field. Have you ever been to Halifax? It is NOT backward to anywhere especially Kitchener/Waterloo
Wow ok, I was born and raised in Halifax thank you and even stated in my comment that I UNDERSTAND COST IS THE MAIN REASON...calm down there it was merely an observation.
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  #171  
Old Posted Jun 22, 2017, 12:25 AM
yal yal is offline
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You guys are still not getting it. The exact same conversation went down with Keith. He says most visible, downtown/ish, developed neighbours are undergrounded in major cities. We are not saying bury down the entire HRM for gods sake. But some nicely planned streetscape projects with undergrounding and forcing developers to bury them if the development size passes a certain size threshold, would make a huge difference in Halifax. Quinpool, Gottingen, South Barrington, Agricola etc. This will not gonna effin break the Halifax financially and it is really not hard to accomplish.

But oh wait ! Some alley in the X city in Y province has overhead utilities, I guess my argument is invalid.
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  #172  
Old Posted Jun 22, 2017, 10:28 AM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Originally Posted by IanWatson View Post
Getting super off-topic, butttt....

We're getting to the point where electric buses won't even need wires. HRM just approved a pilot project to get a fully electric bus. Hopefully it goes well and all new bus purchases can start being electric. I think this transition to electric is going to be huge for downtown areas around the world.

On the topic of underground wires: they're about 10 times as expensive as overhead wires. NSP will never put them in themselves, because as a regulated utility all customers are technically paying for them, and they don't really want to justify paying for underground wires in Halifax to their customers in Ecum Secum. So it's up to HRM or developers to pay for undergrounding (which is what happened in the areas of downtown where it's been done). Again, that costs $$$, so the HRM has a priority list of streets to do over time.

Even if someone pays for them, NSP doesn't like them. Underground wires obviously have a lot less go wrong with them, but when something does go wrong they're really expensive to fix. I've heard some rumblings that the underground systems in some of HRM's older suburbs (Cowie Hill and the like) are aging, and when it comes time to replace them NSP will put them above ground.

Personally, I'd like to see them done, especially in high-profile areas (Bishop St. next to Province House being one...). But at the same time, it's a pretty low priority in the grand scheme of things. I don't think the government and residents of this city "lack vision" if we don't run out and underground all the wires today.
Interesting info regarding the electric buses. I was under the impression that the battery technology wasn't up to par as yet to make it a viable option. I'd be interested to hear how their trial goes. I suspect that, in the long run, it will come down to cost as usual. Just like in the case of BC's hydrogen fuel cell buses, diesel continues to chosen over more environmentally friendly choices due to its lower running costs. As battery technology improves and costs come down, maybe the scales will tip the other way. Additionally, though, electricity prices are not showing any sign of reducing which could also factor into the decision.

Regarding undergrounding wires, I agree that it would be a good idea in some of the showcase areas in the city, but at 10X cost who is going to pay? Perhaps yal can add some good information on how this has been paid for in other areas rather than simply putting Halifax down for not adhering to his/her wishes.
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  #173  
Old Posted Jun 22, 2017, 11:41 AM
IanWatson IanWatson is offline
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Originally Posted by yal View Post
But some nicely planned streetscape projects with undergrounding and forcing developers to bury them if the development size passes a certain size threshold, would make a huge difference in Halifax. Quinpool, Gottingen, South Barrington, Agricola etc.
That's... basically what's happening. HRM has a core area downtown where they will bury power lines as part of any streetscaping project (e.g. recently done on SGR), and even will occasionally do it outside of this area (e.g. North Park St.). Developers aren't required to underground them, but in the Downtown Plan Area the density bonusing provisions will give a height bonus for undergrounding. Banc/Fares did this on the Mary-Ann.

Maybe it's not happening as fast as people would like, but it is happening.
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  #174  
Old Posted Jun 22, 2017, 6:27 PM
DT Hfx DT Hfx is offline
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Originally Posted by IanWatson View Post
Banc/Fares did this on the Mary-Ann.
Actually Banc/Fares did not do this on the Mary-Ann. The city did the east side of Mary-Ann at the time they did the library and Banc/Fares left the ugly poles as-is on the other sides.

I hope, but doubt, Banc/Fares will bury the utilities on the adjacent Margaretta. Still, surely they will apply lessons learned, and make a better job of the Margaretta than the Mary-Ann.
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  #175  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2017, 9:32 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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I thought this was quite timely for the discussion. Sounds like you all have angered the gods of underground power lines...

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-s...down-1.4174172
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  #176  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2017, 3:42 AM
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hoser111 hoser111 is offline
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It was merely an observation! Sheesh!



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Originally Posted by hoser111 View Post
Another area that would be well served by some undergrounding of wires! Hopefully that'll be part of the eventual renewal/street-scaping that's been talked about.
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  #177  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2017, 12:11 PM
IanWatson IanWatson is offline
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Originally Posted by DT Hfx View Post
Actually Banc/Fares did not do this on the Mary-Ann. The city did the east side of Mary-Ann at the time they did the library and Banc/Fares left the ugly poles as-is on the other sides.

I hope, but doubt, Banc/Fares will bury the utilities on the adjacent Margaretta. Still, surely they will apply lessons learned, and make a better job of the Margaretta than the Mary-Ann.
They did do a portion of the Clyde St. frontage. There's still one pole worth of wires; my guess is they didn't do it yet because the next pole is all the way on the Margaretta site, i.e. they would have had to dig a trench under Brimingham all the way to the Margaretta site. You can see though that they have put in the wiring and bases for streetlights all along the Clyde frontage of the Mary-Ann. My thought/hope is that they'll finish the undergrounding on Clyde when they excavate for the Margaretta.

For comparison: 2009 | 2016
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  #178  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2017, 12:58 PM
ScovaNotian ScovaNotian is online now
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I may be wrong, but aren't the buildings across the street part of the problem? There are wires running from the pole in front of The Port to the blue building on the south side of Clyde. Getting rid of those would require tunneling the street, wouldn't it?
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  #179  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2017, 1:45 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Originally Posted by ScovaNotian View Post
I may be wrong, but aren't the buildings across the street part of the problem? There are wires running from the pole in front of The Port to the blue building on the south side of Clyde. Getting rid of those would require tunneling the street, wouldn't it?
I don't think it's a problem, as you can see from the two Google streetside links that the 3 dwellings closest to Queen street have been converted to underground services, and at least the 4th place (the blue house) already has the underground conduit installed, though the overhead wiring hasn't been switched over as yet in the pic.
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  #180  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2017, 7:37 PM
ScovaNotian ScovaNotian is online now
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Indeed, you're right. It must be Nova Scotia Power as much as the developer then that takes care of the undergrounding?
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