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LRT Expansion Planning

I always thought this was the place to run the LRT and I say that as someone who grew up a stone's throw from the future Castle Downs stop.

When you want to build high capacity transit, look to where the buses are already running and build there (in this case, 97th St.).

But that debate is over and I don't see the city building two bridges when we can't get one funded (yet)
On the bright side, the dense areas of 97th street around Northgate will be well connected to the Metro Line Extension via the new active transportation corridor through Rosslyn. Then, you could link up the swaths of suburbs to the Castle Downs with good feeder bus service (which has always driven high ridership) on the massive grid network of the area. There are always workarounds, but the delays and costs associated with reconsidering the route will be too much considering how much you Northsiders have needed this extension.
 
I always thought this was the place to run the LRT and I say that as someone who grew up a stone's throw from the future Castle Downs stop.

When you want to build high capacity transit, look to where the buses are already running and build there (in this case, 97th St.).

But that debate is over and I don't see the city building two bridges when we can't get one funded (yet)

The best metro systems in the world have a bit of redundancy built into them because, realistically, most cities are not just one linear stretch where everything of note is a stone’s throw from one street.

I think having a line go down West Jasper, up 124th, then 127th, to 137 Ave, then over to St Albert Trail would be good for servicing that part of the NW. Then a second line (or maybe they meet up in the downtown tunnel and become a U-line, like Line 1 in Toronto?) down 97 St, branching off from under the CN Tower where it would remain tunnelled until 111 Ave. The west leg would similarly be tunnelled until 124 St/109 Ave.

This overall gets people far more places they’re likely to go in a fast, non-meandering way, and meets more people where they live, while also connecting to places with high redevelopment potential (Skyview, 97 St in general, West Jasper). It meets up with walkable neighbourhoods like McCauley and Alberta Ave. It goes through the main part of Calder, even, not to mention Inglewood and Westmount.

The problem with the current Metro Line is it snakes along this tiny spur and doesn’t connect well to the major destinations on the line. The new NAIT station is further from campus than the old, the Kingsway station is a mess to anyone actually trying to do some shopping. Instead of meeting people where they already live, the train has been built out to nowhere, with stations ready to go that aren’t in use due to where they’re located. The city is building on the anticipation of demand, not meeting existing demand and building off of that. And then once it goes past the Yellowhead it skirts the edges of communities like Calder and Griesbach, away from the main cores of these neighbourhoods, and then passes down 153rd ave, which has low density tract housing built on inefficient road layouts that will not have the potential of having rapid transit down 137 ave.

The only issue with my proposed alternate (aside from the fact that it’ll never happen) is that it doesn’t connect to Kingsway, NAIT, or Blatchford. This could be alleviated by another LRT spur or BRT. I also don’t mind the idea of the existing line branching off down 97 St. More realistic than nuking the existing Metro Line and starting from scratch. McCauley could be served by a 95 St infill station.
 
One more Reece Martin fan appreciation post:

Love the channel Reece! I’ve learned a ton from it. Entertaining and informative. Appreciated the recent video on Alberta too!

I hope as well that we get an airport rail link. The current plan proposes a direct link to downtown along the existing rail corridor running just east of Gateway Boulevard. (The old plan was to extend the Capital Line.):


View attachment 558483


I hope that whatever tunnel/bridge they construct for the airport connection to get downtown will also be used for future intercity rail travel to Calgary.
That seems like a dubious route for anything but heavy rail, which I don't expect to happen so soon. Capital Line is fine I think
 
The best metro systems in the world have a bit of redundancy built into them because, realistically, most cities are not just one linear stretch where everything of note is a stone’s throw from one street.

I think having a line go down West Jasper, up 124th, then 127th, to 137 Ave, then over to St Albert Trail would be good for servicing that part of the NW. Then a second line (or maybe they meet up in the downtown tunnel and become a U-line, like Line 1 in Toronto?) down 97 St, branching off from under the CN Tower where it would remain tunnelled until 111 Ave. The west leg would similarly be tunnelled until 124 St/109 Ave.

This overall gets people far more places they’re likely to go in a fast, non-meandering way, and meets more people where they live, while also connecting to places with high redevelopment potential (Skyview, 97 St in general, West Jasper). It meets up with walkable neighbourhoods like McCauley and Alberta Ave. It goes through the main part of Calder, even, not to mention Inglewood and Westmount.

The problem with the current Metro Line is it snakes along this tiny spur and doesn’t connect well to the major destinations on the line. The new NAIT station is further from campus than the old, the Kingsway station is a mess to anyone actually trying to do some shopping. Instead of meeting people where they already live, the train has been built out to nowhere, with stations ready to go that aren’t in use due to where they’re located. The city is building on the anticipation of demand, not meeting existing demand and building off of that. And then once it goes past the Yellowhead it skirts the edges of communities like Calder and Griesbach, away from the main cores of these neighbourhoods, and then passes down 153rd ave, which has low density tract housing built on inefficient road layouts that will not have the potential of having rapid transit down 137 ave.

The only issue with my proposed alternate (aside from the fact that it’ll never happen) is that it doesn’t connect to Kingsway, NAIT, or Blatchford. This could be alleviated by another LRT spur or BRT. I also don’t mind the idea of the existing line branching off down 97 St. More realistic than nuking the existing Metro Line and starting from scratch. McCauley could be served by a 95 St infill station.
You have to remember that Mayor Mandel decreed that all LRT lines must meet downtown and Transit is for TOD, NOT moving people...
 
That seems like a dubious route for anything but heavy rail, which I don't expect to happen so soon. Capital Line is fine I think
I see the opportunity to link the heart of Strathcona to the rest of our rail network (especially directly to Downtown and Wihkwentowin) to be a huge strength of this route. I'd also like to see this stop in the south once or twice (much like the UP's stops at Bloor and Weston in Toronto).
 
You have to remember that Mayor Mandel decreed that all LRT lines must meet downtown and Transit is for TOD, NOT moving people...
I think if you look at a more european model you find that the central “core” system comes first and then you start building out the ring system.

I feel its likely wise to listen to these european experts as they have proven time and time again that they are able to build ACTUAL livable cities.

It would be a failure to recognize that our North American city building instincts and biases have largely resulted in very inhospitable cities to people.
 
I think if you look at a more european model you find that the central “core” system comes first and then you start building out the ring system.

I feel its likely wise to listen to these european experts as they have proven time and time again that they are able to build ACTUAL livable cities.

It would be a failure to recognize that our North American city building instincts and biases have largely resulted in very inhospitable cities to people.
Agreed when everything was happening downtown, Edmonton is now a much more decentralized city, with major generators and destination outside of the downtown core.

Wondering if maybe BRT linking the outer LRT stations might be a viable option?
 
Agreed when everything was happening downtown, Edmonton is now a much more decentralized city, with major generators and destination outside of the downtown core.

Wondering if maybe BRT linking the outer LRT stations might be a viable option?
After VLW, all attractive destinations in the city (for city lovers) besides Strathcona, will be easily connected to the LRT system. Here's another FU to city council for killing the gondola.

Circulator lines should be next. I will continue to be in favour of running a LRV down the middle of Whyte, and no I don't care about it being a major car route.
 
You have to remember that Mayor Mandel decreed that all LRT lines must meet downtown and Transit is for TOD, NOT moving people...
I think this is a false dichotomy.

LRT lines, without TOD, are severely limited in their reach. South campus, mckernan, etc are great examples of this. Only having a few hundreds homes within a 5 min walk is a tough way to build successful transit. That’s why Vancouver has succeeded so much. Almost every station has 2-10k people within a 5min walk.

Instead, we do the idiocy of things like windemere currents, ellerslie, secord etc with thousands and thousands of car dependent apartments.

Our move to TOD thinking the last 15 years was an important one imo for long term transit success. The entire Valley Line is a better choice than the high floor, far spaced stations, that some tried to advocate for. SPR vs 107ave is a great example. And this all looks even better now that we are moving away from a downtown centric city era. Half the stations, but faster movement from outside the henday to downtown isn’t helpful when downtown work declines even more. Instead, we have lines that compliment 15min city building vs downtown commuting. Only critique I have is not grade separating more, but that’s of course the financial compromise.
 
I think the bottlenecks for Edmonton trafffic are largely around river crossings. The Menzies and Tawatina bridges are key for the LRT system.
 
I think this is a false dichotomy.

LRT lines, without TOD, are severely limited in their reach. South campus, mckernan, etc are great examples of this. Only having a few hundreds homes within a 5 min walk is a tough way to build successful transit. That’s why Vancouver has succeeded so much. Almost every station has 2-10k people within a 5min walk.

Instead, we do the idiocy of things like windemere currents, ellerslie, secord etc with thousands and thousands of car dependent apartments.

Our move to TOD thinking the last 15 years was an important one imo for long term transit success. The entire Valley Line is a better choice than the high floor, far spaced stations, that some tried to advocate for. SPR vs 107ave is a great example. And this all looks even better now that we are moving away from a downtown centric city era. Half the stations, but faster movement from outside the henday to downtown isn’t helpful when downtown work declines even more. Instead, we have lines that compliment 15min city building vs downtown commuting. Only critique I have is not grade separating more, but that’s of course the financial compromise.
Some areas will develop faster for TOD than others, but it should continue to be encouraged and supported. We are not a downtown centric city, like some others (ex. Calgary or Toronto), so a LRT that allows people to travel between various areas is good, so encouraging TOD such as Century Park and on 142 Street makes sense. Of course, we don't have the same density and severe constraints as Vancouver, but in other ways it is not a bad model for us to follow.
 
While Edmonton added 100,000 residents in the past 2 years, that also resulted in an extra 65,000 vehicles on our roads (Mayor Sohi recently shared that stat). That's like 90 cars a day being added to our streets. And with most roads not getting wider - especially in areas taking us to major destinations like downtown, universities, schools, rec centres, WEM and other shopping malls, Commonwealth Stadium etc, we definitely need TODs and expanded transit (as well as other viable options like bike lanes/MUPs) to move us around or else drivers are just going to experience more congestion and our streets less pleasant.

And if we're adding 65,000 vehicles every 2 or even 3 years, there is no way our core will be able to manage that parking demand if everyone drives. Nor do we want a downtown that is built to accommodate so much traffic.
 

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