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LRT Expansion Planning

Council just approved High Level Bridge rehab that is set to begin this budget cycle. I can't see any plans to rebuild it for decades unless the City saw unprecedented growth beyond the UCPs already crazy estimates.

I think there are too many other higher priorities to deal with well ahead of building LRT or a tram down Whyte Ave, not to mention further densification that would need to happen. Whyte Ave these days isn't bustling off peak commuting hours on weekdays. It only takes a long time to go down Whyte on weekends, evenings and events by vehicle. That travel time can be mitigated by simply taking an alternate route.

I still don't know if there is enough of a compelling problem that exists today or even 10 years from now that needs solving. If it is simply vehicle volume, there are better long term solutions than a tram or LRT that may even exacerbate the issue. As others have said, you could go underground, but I don't see it happening in our lifetimes.

I think prioritized bus service is still the best option for getting people west and east, and significantly cheaper and less disruptive than LRT or a tram.
Wasn’t that rehab just kicking the can like 5-10 years though? I don’t remember it being super significant, was it?
 
I think there are too many other higher priorities to deal with well ahead of building LRT or a tram down Whyte Ave, not to mention further densification that would need to happen. Whyte Ave these days isn't bustling off peak commuting hours on weekdays. It only takes a long time to go down Whyte on weekends, evenings and events by vehicle. That travel time can be mitigated by simply taking an alternate route.

I still don't know if there is enough of a compelling problem that exists today or even 10 years from now that needs solving. If it is simply vehicle volume, there are better long term solutions than a tram or LRT that may even exacerbate the issue. As others have said, you could go underground, but I don't see it happening in our lifetimes.

I think prioritized bus service is still the best option for getting people west and east, and significantly cheaper and less disruptive than LRT or a tram.

No doubt, there are higher priorities for transit than a Whyte Ave Subway right now (and truth be told, as much as I love the idea, I wouldn't support fast-tracking it over the other projects in the oven). But as this decade wraps up, we'll be seeing the completion of the whole Valley Line and the southward extension of the Capital Line (to Heritage Valley North). There's also a good chance that by this point, they'll be starting construction on the Northwest extension to Castle Downs, and the remaining extensions to Desrochers, Gorman and Campbell road might not be far behind in the 2030s. All in all, I think we are on track to fulfill the current vision for LRT in 2040, which means it's good to start brainstorming ideas for where LRT expansion will go after that.

Counterpoint to Whyte Ave not needing a subway: as our city grows to 2 million and the University of Alberta expands enrollment, Whyte Ave, as one of the city's few entertainment districts with a lively bar/nightclub scene, will only get busier and more attractive as its own destination separate from the university, and the inevitable densification of the area won't help. Traffic will keep spiralling out of control without the subway, and a surface tram is out of the question, so the investment into a subway is absolutley worth it.

The psychological impact of having a fast and high-frequency metro-style service is enormous, especially if you're a university student on campus without a car. Regular spontaneous trips TO Whyte Ave become a lot more palatable and that will be a huge boon for all kinds of local businesses. And let's not forget that areas like Capilano, the King's University amd Sherwood Park could all be linked up with such a line, and at that point, the impact on the whole network of adding all of those communities will be staggering. We're talking cross-town trips between suburbs on opposite ends of the Henday for instance (imagine a one-seat ride between Sherwood Park and St. Albert on the Metro Line). The Valley Line also gets opened up to more riders that way through very quick transfers. This could be big, guys.
 
No doubt, there are higher priorities for transit than a Whyte Ave Subway right now (and truth be told, as much as I love the idea, I wouldn't support fast-tracking it over the other projects in the oven). But as this decade wraps up, we'll be seeing the completion of the whole Valley Line and the southward extension of the Capital Line (to Heritage Valley North). There's also a good chance that by this point, they'll be starting construction on the Northwest extension to Castle Downs, and the remaining extensions to Desrochers, Gorman and Campbell road might not be far behind in the 2030s. All in all, I think we are on track to fulfill the current vision for LRT in 2040, which means it's good to start brainstorming ideas for where LRT expansion will go after that.

Counterpoint to Whyte Ave not needing a subway: as our city grows to 2 million and the University of Alberta expands enrollment, Whyte Ave, as one of the city's few entertainment districts with a lively bar/nightclub scene, will only get busier and more attractive as its own destination separate from the university, and the inevitable densification of the area won't help. Traffic will keep spiralling out of control without the subway, and a surface tram is out of the question, so the investment into a subway is absolutley worth it.

The psychological impact of having a fast and high-frequency metro-style service is enormous, especially if you're a university student on campus without a car. Regular spontaneous trips TO Whyte Ave become a lot more palatable and that will be a huge boon for all kinds of local businesses. And let's not forget that areas like Capilano, the King's University amd Sherwood Park could all be linked up with such a line, and at that point, the impact on the whole network of adding all of those communities will be staggering. We're talking cross-town trips between suburbs on opposite ends of the Henday for instance (imagine a one-seat ride between Sherwood Park and St. Albert on the Metro Line). The Valley Line also gets opened up to more riders that way through very quick transfers. This could be big, guys.
As soon as the Valley Line West opens and the Capital Line South Phase 1 is completed, the focus needs to shift to the Metro Line to Castle Downs. The community has been waiting far too long for the LRT. The City needs to work out the design of the bridge that will cross the Yellowhead and the CN yard and come to an agreement with the railway now so that time is not wasted in the future, i.e. commencement of the project is not delayed because of issues with CN.

After Castle Downs the focus needs to be on getting the LRT to St. Albert. Not Gorman (which is a waste of time), not Desrochers (the hospital probably won't have even started construction by then) nor a Whyte Avenue subway. Get the LRT to Jensen Lakes as soon as possible. St. Albert wants LRT, has planned for LRT, has reserved space for LRT, wants to be part of the network. Plugging the city into Edmonton's LRT system will be huge for commuters, for alleviating traffic volume and will provide a significant passenger boost to the Metro Line. Arguably as importantly, running the LRT into another city will be the first significant step Edmonton has ever taken to build a region-wide transit network.

Provincial taxes and gas taxes from St. Albert residents (and everyone else) have for decades helped pay for projects in Edmonton, including LRT expansion. It is high time that the system the wider region has helped pay for is actually extended to serve residents outside the city limits.
 
Wasn’t that rehab just kicking the can like 5-10 years though? I don’t remember it being super significant, was it?
It's a full structural rehab, the only things they cut were the paths on the top deck. They say it'll stretch the bridge's lifespan another 30-odd years.
 
As soon as the Valley Line West opens and the Capital Line South Phase 1 is completed, the focus needs to shift to the Metro Line to Castle Downs. The community has been waiting far too long for the LRT. The City needs to work out the design of the bridge that will cross the Yellowhead and the CN yard and come to an agreement with the railway now so that time is not wasted in the future, i.e. commencement of the project is not delayed because of issues with CN.

After Castle Downs the focus needs to be on getting the LRT to St. Albert. Not Gorman (which is a waste of time), not Desrochers (the hospital probably won't have even started construction by then) nor a Whyte Avenue subway. Get the LRT to Jensen Lakes as soon as possible. St. Albert wants LRT, has planned for LRT, has reserved space for LRT, wants to be part of the network. Plugging the city into Edmonton's LRT system will be huge for commuters, for alleviating traffic volume and will provide a significant passenger boost to the Metro Line. Arguably as importantly, running the LRT into another city will be the first significant step Edmonton has ever taken to build a region-wide transit network.

Provincial taxes and gas taxes from St. Albert residents (and everyone else) have for decades helped pay for projects in Edmonton, including LRT expansion. It is high time that the system the wider region has helped pay for is actually extended to serve residents outside the city limits.
Does anyone know how extending LRT out of legal Edmonton boundaries works in terms of funding, procurement, construction, etc? My uneducated assumption would be that the city of St. Albert works with ETS or some sort of consortium, depending on how it's built, and they work with the province and the feds for funding (aka Edmonton proper won't be paying for any of it). Is that right? I'm happy for St Albert to be connected by LRT but if there were some sort of deal between the 2 cities to pay for it I'd be pretty unhappy (with my current understanding) considering we're already going to be paying for an extension all the way to Campbell Rd when stopping at 127 street would serve NW Edmontonians quite well. I'm more than happy to eat those words if that won't be the case.
 
Edmontonians in Trumpeter and area could utilize the park and ride that's been paid for and maintained by StAT.

Mayor Sohi did note that Castledowns is a high priority. Gorman and Horsehill is not a priority at this time and I don't think it should be until both neighbourhoods are substantially built out even though Gorman would be a 10-15 minute walk for me. But I would fully support Desrochers if it's part of a starter extension to YEG. Single track gravel bed, elevated across Hwy 19 and upon approach to the airport. /dream
 
I think the E/W of our city is the next big thing after NW metro/St Albert link.

This might be BRT, not LRT. But I think the clearest line through our city to make connects is WEM/UNI/Whyte/BD/SP.

So that could be the 87ave bridge? Those are the only E/W nodes that’ll have the density for a train I think. You could make arguments for E/W suburban connectors or ring road type transit in the burbs. But I don’t see any nodes that could provide ridership.

South Camus to the new Michener park/UofA 240 land, then down to windemere through terwillegar could be a worthwhile extension too. A lot of uni kids will be living down there for decades to come based on school pops.
 
Does anyone know how extending LRT out of legal Edmonton boundaries works in terms of funding, procurement, construction, etc? My uneducated assumption would be that the city of St. Albert works with ETS or some sort of consortium, depending on how it's built, and they work with the province and the feds for funding (aka Edmonton proper won't be paying for any of it). Is that right? I'm happy for St Albert to be connected by LRT but if there were some sort of deal between the 2 cities to pay for it I'd be pretty unhappy (with my current understanding) considering we're already going to be paying for an extension all the way to Campbell Rd when stopping at 127 street would serve NW Edmontonians quite well. I'm more than happy to eat those words if that won't be the case.
I believe there is a commitment from other levels of Gov to fund the St Albert Section. At least that is what I read a few years back. There is some form of agreement for costs. or Fees. STAT already does crossover for passengers. STAT is always picking up passengers along the various routes they take in the city. The big cost which will probably largely be federally funded are the CN and Henday Crossings.
 
As soon as the Valley Line West opens and the Capital Line South Phase 1 is completed, the focus needs to shift to the Metro Line to Castle Downs. The community has been waiting far too long for the LRT. The City needs to work out the design of the bridge that will cross the Yellowhead and the CN yard and come to an agreement with the railway now so that time is not wasted in the future, i.e. commencement of the project is not delayed because of issues with CN.

After Castle Downs the focus needs to be on getting the LRT to St. Albert. Not Gorman (which is a waste of time), not Desrochers (the hospital probably won't have even started construction by then) nor a Whyte Avenue subway. Get the LRT to Jensen Lakes as soon as possible. St. Albert wants LRT, has planned for LRT, has reserved space for LRT, wants to be part of the network. Plugging the city into Edmonton's LRT system will be huge for commuters, for alleviating traffic volume and will provide a significant passenger boost to the Metro Line. Arguably as importantly, running the LRT into another city will be the first significant step Edmonton has ever taken to build a region-wide transit network.

Provincial taxes and gas taxes from St. Albert residents (and everyone else) have for decades helped pay for projects in Edmonton, including LRT expansion. It is high time that the system the wider region has helped pay for is actually extended to serve residents outside the city limits.
My issue with extending Metro line is that it cannot run more frequently than 12 minutes without reducing capital line capacity so it’s probably better to extend capital line south towards airport
 
My issue with extending Metro line is that it cannot run more frequently than 12 minutes without reducing capital line capacity so it’s probably better to extend capital line south towards airport

Wait, the fixed block system can’t accommodate 2.5 minute headways in the tunnel?
 
Wait, the fixed block system can’t accommodate 2.5 minute headways in the tunnel?
It can.
My issue with extending Metro line is that it cannot run more frequently than 12 minutes without reducing capital line capacity so it’s probably better to extend capital line south towards airport
What is your source that it's limited to 12 minute frequency?
 
Coun. Tim Cartmell from his Nov. 9 blog:

"The new Valley Line is great - fast, clean, welcoming. But the massive investment in LRT is part of the reason we cannot put proper bus service in Keswick or Windermere."
 
Coun. Tim Cartmell from his Nov. 9 blog:

"The new Valley Line is great - fast, clean, welcoming. But the massive investment in LRT is part of the reason we cannot put proper bus service in Keswick or Windermere."
….I just.. I’m too tired to even react to this. I read his blog too and I’m, what.

Bro we’re already spending a ton on your ward, what more do you want. You’re getting a massive freeway upgrade and future rapid bus connections.

I mean I shouldn’t be surprised considering his stance on Valley Line West but like still. It’s disappointing, and once again reinforces why I’m not his biggest fan.
 
….I just.. I’m too tired to even react to this. I read his blog too and I’m, what.

Bro we’re already spending a ton on your ward, what more do you want. You’re getting a massive freeway upgrade and future rapid bus connections.

I mean I shouldn’t be surprised considering his stance on Valley Line West but like still. It’s disappointing, and once again reinforces why I’m not his biggest fan.
Cartmell's out to lunch, there's no spinning it. He tried to stop the Valley Line West and even got all emotional over it at a council meeting (which made him look like an idiot).


I don't consider it fair play when a councillor attempts to stop a project just because it won't serve his ward.
 
Coun. Tim Cartmell from his Nov. 9 blog:

"The new Valley Line is great - fast, clean, welcoming. But the massive investment in LRT is part of the reason we cannot put proper bus service in Keswick or Windermere."
What a dumb take. Those areas can barely sustain busing anyways. Their entire existience and built form works in opposition to any kind of bussing being efficient and well used.
 

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