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Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in Edmonton

The busses don't have to be "blasting through at top speed", the main issue of bus reliability and inconsistent commute times has more to do with getting stuck in traffic and at lights than the actual speed they are limited to. They would only need to travel slightly faster (or the same speed) as they currently do and it would still improve the riding experience and consistency of the bus significantly since they wouldn't be running in mixed-traffic. As a daily user of this bus route, the problem once again, is not necessarily with speed (though it could be better) but with consistency and reliability, which BRT would massively help with. I don't see how a BRT could possibly make things "worse" for pedestrians than they already are. Whyte Ave may be a pedestrian heavy street but it is heavily trafficked by cars. It's loud, and a major thoroughfare already. Busses along the edges of the road instead of parking makes this better, not worse.

I am not questioning the viability of BRT
BRT is a bust

If you aren't questioning the viability of BRT then what exactly do you mean by BRT is a bust?

LRT down Whyte is a dumb solution unless it is tunneled underground.

I agree with you here, but right now the reliability (or lack thereof) of the current bus routes down Whyte is unacceptable. Subway down Whyte is at least a few decades away from being a reality, BRT is a great solution that will save commuters significant headache until a better solution can be created.
 
One challenge going westbound on Whtye Avenue (by 112 Street) is the presence of some loading truck at the west side of College Plaza (despite the no stopping in the morning). This backs up traffic for blocks.
 
If you aren't questioning the viability of BRT then what exactly do you mean by BRT is a bust?
The viability of BRT is likely as good as or better than other transit solutions from a "bus" cost perspective although I doubt it would be a profit generating venture. The real bust is the damage done to communities that it cuts through -- one of Edmonton's most viable street retail enclaves doesn't want to have a community splitting enterprise going through its heart -- we should be looking at much more viable alternatives like the 76th Avenue route that could have the effect of drawing non-local thru traffic away from Old Strathcona (BTW BRT would still not be a good solution for 76th Ave. either). Also I used the word "bust" because it has the word "bus" neatly nestled within. For Old Strathcona I would also like to see Gateway Blvd. depressed from just past 76th Ave. all the way north to Saskatchewan Drive with lots of pedestrian crossovers along the route helping to sew that part of the community back together and making East Old Strath becoming more connected with West from a pedestrian perspective.
 
I doubt it would be a profit generating venture.
Is any public transport (directly) profit generating? That has never been and should never be the point of public transit.

The real bust is the damage done to communities that it cuts through -- one of Edmonton's most viable street retail enclaves doesn't want to have a community splitting enterprise going through its heart
I've yet to see any reason this would be any more "community splitting" than what currently exists on 82nd Ave. It's not a 12 lane super freeway, it's painting the parking lanes red and making them bus traffic only. This wouldn't be anymore "community splitting" than Whyte Ave itself. In it's current state Whyte Ave is basically a glorified stroad and you're going to try to argue that painting some lanes red is going to suddenly make it completely impermeable to pedestrian traffic? I would argue it would make the pedestrian experience more agreeable. Rather than being immediately beside a combination parking and turning lane, you're beside a relatively quiet lane with busses occasionally driving by.
 
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I don’t think painted bus lanes will split the community.

I think Whyte Ave once this is all completed will be a much nicer place to spend time and will draw more people to the area.

I also think the BRT will spur some development which will draw more people in.

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And BRT will have the potential to move far more people than a lane of traffic.

By no means is the plan perfect, but it will be a significant improvement over the status quo.
 
Is any public transport (directly) profit generating? That has never been and should never be the point of public transit.
I wasn't trying to make the point that it was or wasn't profit generating -- simply observing that developing BRT has more than a capital expense it also has an operating expense, and that any time that happens it better have an irrefutable positive outcome.
This wouldn't be anymore "community splitting" than Whyte Ave itself. In it's current state Whyte Ave is basically a glorified stroad and you're going to try to argue that painting some lanes red is going to suddenly make it completely impermeable to pedestrian traffic? I would argue it would make the pedestrian experience more agreeable. Rather than being immediately beside a combination parking and turning lane, you're beside a relatively quiet lane with busses occasionally driving by.
I don't disagree with any of this, so you misunderstand my argument (as a quick aside in the rendering put forth by @fromyeg you should note that the BRT lanes run down the middle of Whyte Ave. roadway not at curbside -- they are not intended to stop at all in Old Strathcona -- so what is not community splitting with that design?). I would take your design notion a few steps further -- I would get rid of the parking lanes curbside on both sides of Whyte (we agree); I would also not have indented right turn lanes (except where Whyte meets 109th Street; I would extend pedestrian sidewalks to consume the the entire space dedicated to curbside traffic (parking or otherwise -- again we agree, I think). I would have built a 76th Avenue traffic roadway across the CPR lands so that alternate thru lanes could handle non-local traffic. I would have a hop-on/hop-off streetcar lane built on what is now the second-from-curb lane on Whyte that would form a continuous loop from Gateway to 112th Street, then north on 112th Street to HUB on the UofA campus, then east along 89th Ave and south to 88th Ave. and Saskatchewan Drive, continuing east on Saskatchewan Drive to 104th Street, blocking off the west half of what is colloquially called the Calgary Trail and turning it into an Urban Park that connects physically to several existing parks over which the last leg of of the S'cona Loop would come back to its starting point. This streetcar would tie Old Strathcona and the UofA in a unique bond, it would create a community transit system (no BRRRRRTs) -- it would encourage thru traffic to get the hell out of Old Strathcona and it would convert Whyte into a traffic (and I mean all traffic) dieted into a pedestrian and streetcar paradise with an emphasis on maintaining local traffic. I would then like to see the lane between 82nd and 83rd Ave receive priority treatment as a well-marked two-way bicycle lane with 1/2 of the Alley reserved for that purpose; the other half dedicated to delivery vehicles, eliminating car traffic through the lane altogether. In this solution BRT is still a bust! I would love to describe life on and with the Streetcar Loop solution, but I fear readers here would nap off.
 
Oh god! If the goal is to cause mayhem and gridlock on an already very busy transportation corridor, this will probably do it.
 
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This is what I would propose, to be clear, I would absolutely do something a lot more drastic given a longer timeline. But as many people including myself would say, LRT needs to be tunneled to be reasonable along this corridor. This would primarily be as a semi-temporary measure to build somewhat rapid transit running east-west along the Whyte Ave corridor. The eventual goal is to have this be covered by the LRT eventually, however, there is already a pretty long backlog of LRT expansion projects which are currently under construction or in pre-construction phases, and this corridor has only really been brought in very long term projections of the system. So I'm assuming rail is not going to be on this corridor for a long time.

This plan would preserve same number of driving lanes, however it would remove the right turning/parking lanes and centre turning lanes. The edges would be the bus lanes, this would be ideal in my opinion as it would mean the bus passengers wouldn't be getting out right into traffic and could instead, just disembark onto the curb as they do nowadays. The eagle eyed will notice that the sidewalks have been widened about a metre as well (at least according to my admittedly somewhat janky google maps measurements).

I would love to either take the driving lanes down to one lane in each direction, or remove them entirely, however as we've mentioned numerous times already, Whyte is a key arterial road and unless something like 76th Ave or Argyle is upgraded to take on that burden, or the vast majority of people who travel this route decide to take transit instead of driving, it's going to stay that way for a long time. So two driving lanes in each direction is about the minimum I could reasonably justify giving to drivers.
 
my concern, and perhaps unfounded, is that we install a bet and then instead of getting the tunnelled subway the area deserves they just say the decision is to eventually convert the brt corridor to surface level LRT.

I’m all for improving the pedestrian experience, perhaps improving some pedestrian crossings of the street, closing off some of the intersections from direct access to Whyte if that makes sense.
 
The segment of Whyte from 99 to 112 Street is used for any traffic to the University and University Hospital, as well as Old Strathcona, serving perhaps 100,000 people. Whyte is the only east-west route..

Even with the BRT or bus lanes, Whyte, there will still be drivers turning left off Whyte into residential neighbourhoods south of Whyte, or to destinations on Calgary Trail. Likewise for traffic turning off Gateway Boulevard onto Whyte. I think extending 76 Avenue across the CPR tracks/yards will help divert some traffic.
 
The segment of Whyte from 99 to 112 Street is used for any traffic to the University and University Hospital, as well as Old Strathcona, serving perhaps 100,000 people. Whyte is the only east-west route..

Even with the BRT or bus lanes, Whyte, there will still be drivers turning left off Whyte into residential neighbourhoods south of Whyte, or to destinations on Calgary Trail. Likewise for traffic turning off Gateway Boulevard onto Whyte. I think extending 76 Avenue across the CPR tracks/yards will help divert some traffic.

Assuming that CPR will play ball.
I have no why why they're still hogging all that land.

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