Archive for the ‘Eglinton-Crosstown LRT’ Category

Eglinton-Crosstown LRT Comments

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

Eglinton-Crosstown LRTI made it out to tonight’s open house at the CNIB Conference Centre. I managed to get a Transit City button and an Eglinton Crosstown button. :-)

I prepared most of my comments ahead of time and attached a printed sheet with the following on it:

The Eglinton-Crosstown LRT has the potential to be an extremely important part of Toronto’s transit network. Station spacing and design are well though out.

However, there are several issues in the design that have the potential to detract from its benefits and attractiveness to the public:

1) Not taking advantage of side-of-the-road right of ways.

A side-of-the-road right of way is not practical where driveways for parking access enter the main road by crossing the right of way, and while there are few opportunities where this situation does not exist within Toronto, Eglinton has two significant stretches that should be taken advantage of: one on its south side from Don Mills west to the eastern portal of the underground section, and the other on its north side west from Jane Street.

The first has no driveways at all and geography dictates that this will continue to be the case. There is one ramp-accessed driveway that is easily avoided by shifting the alignment approximately 100 metres to the south. The second makes use of land that was originally reserved for a new expressway. While there are future development possibilities along this section, the presence of a side-of-the-road LRT right of way can, and should, dictate the development plans to reflect parking access via secondary roads. This is a common practice in GTA municipalities outside of Toronto even without rapid transit plans.

One advantage of a side-of-the-road right of way includes less interference with traffic, which benefits both LRT operations and lessens the impact due to changes to automobile traffic arrangements such as left turns at intersections. LRT crossings of side streets can have railway-type crossing signals and gates that are interlocked to the traffic signals at the intersection (see the photo of Minneapolis’ Hiawatha Avenue for an example).

A side-of-the-road right of way also has the advantage of being less costly to build as ballasted tie construction may be used. For the eastern section, an added benefit is that if future needs dictate running longer trains in the tunnel that are not practical in a median right of way, this operation can extend as far east as Don Mills, where it is expected that a major connection hub will exist. This alignment would require a new underpass at the railway east of Leslie, but the lower cost of ballasted tie construction for this 2-km section should nearly balance that out. Since the station at Don Mills Road will be underground, the transition from side-of-the-road to median can be accomplished without the need for any traffic controlling signals.

2) Out of the way access to the airport that misses significant trip-generators.In an attempt to serve a connection with the Mississauga BRT station at Commerce as well as the airport, an inconvenient out-of-the-way trip that misses significant trip-generators is required.A better approach would be to build two branches west of Martin Grove. One would follow the proposed alignment to Commerce to connect with the BRT station. The other could basically follow Highway 27 (again, using a side-of-the-road right of way) and Dixon Road into the airport. In addition to providing a more direct route to the airport, this line will serve the hotels located on Dixon Road with a convenient transit choice into the city.\

The added cost for this crossing over Highway 401 could be covered by the savings from ballasted tie construction for a side-of-the-road right of way west of Jane Street.

3) Poor connection with Mississauga BRT.

Pedestrian access between the LRT and the BRT station is somewhat awkward, and potentially dangerous with added crossing traffic on foot. An LRT alignment that uses a side-of-the-road right of way would facilitate a same-level transfer facility at this station.

The possibility of Mississauga implementing LRT operations in the future would also take advantage of such an arrangement by sharing platforms or perhaps even with run-through services.

4) Possible problems with Median U-turns

It is hoped that proper consideration and design are given to the operation of the signals at intersections and their corresponding signalised median U-turns. If not, LRT operations may be drastically disturbed by three traffic signals, rather than just one.

In addition to these comments, I also added two hand-written points. One was to encourage better planning for connections with GO Transit as these will become an important part of the transit network by the time the line opens. The other was to encourage rescheduling the construction to permit a phase one opening from Pearson Airport to Allen Road in time for the Pan Am games.

Eglinton-Crosstown LRT Open Houses

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

Eglinton-Crosstown LRT

December 2 update: I plan on attending tonight’s open house at the  CNIB Conference Centre. I plan to submit my comments at the open house, and will post them on this site once I have done that.

The next round of open houses will be held for the Eglinton-Crosstown LRT. There will be seven open houses held over the next few weeks. You can read the official notice here.

Here are the display panels for the open houses (each are about 2 MB in size):

All will be held from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm. The dates and locations are as  follows:

  • Monday November 23 at York Memorial Collegiate - 2690 Eglinton Avenue West
  • Tuesday November 24 at Etobicoke Olympium - 590 Rathburn Road
  • Wednesday November 25 at Northern Secondary School - 851 Mount Pleasant Road
  • Thursday November 26 at Richview Collegiate - 1738 Islington Avenue
  • Wednesday December 2 at the CNIB Conference Centre - 1929 Bayview Avenue
  • Tuesday December 8 at the Don Montgomery Community Centre - 2467 Eglinton Avenue East
  • Thursday December 10 at Beth Shalom Synagogue - 1445 Eglinton Avenue West

Eglinton-Crosstown LRT to Pearson Airport

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Eglinton-Crosstown LRT

The display panels from the Martin Grove to Pearson Airport public consultation held on September 2 are now available along with an updated FAQ. There are five proposed routes, four involving an alignment west of the 427 and one east.

The route east of the 427 provides the most direct and fastest route, likely cutting a one-way trip to the airport by about four minutes. It is also the most expensive route that involves a tunnel below the 401.

The routes west of the 427 have two southern variants, one heading north at Renforth Drive and the other heading north at Commerce Boulevard, and two northern variants, one using Silver Dart Drive and the other using Carlingview Drive. The actual alignment into the airport itself is still to be determined.

The options using Commerce Boulevard would be most useful as this is where the Mississauga Transitway will have a major terminal. The one really bizarre thing about the proposals is that the LRT would be in a median on the road while the Transitway terminal will be next to the road and grade separated. This has the potential to be an extremely useful connection point with connecting services into Mississauga and to the Kipling Subway station, but why on earth should people have to go up a level of stairs and cross a road to an LRT platform on a median?

The whole point of the Commerce Boulevard alignments, which are rather out-of-the-way, is to provide a useful connection. Why mess it up with an awkward connection?

If there is not going to be a useful benefit, why bother with any of the western alignments? Otherwise, forget the Renforth Drive alignments as they don’t make the connection, and its bridge across the 401 is longer and more expensive. Use the Commerce Boulevard alignments, provided the LRT moves to the north side of Eglinton (perhaps at Renforth) and follows the Transitway alignment to Commerce. From there, it can curve underground and come up to the surface in the median of Commerce, or perhaps just south of the 401.

I haven’t decided whether the western options should use Silver Dart Drive or Carlingview Drive. Steve Munro pointed out an odd irony in his review of these proposals. He notes that in the past the idea of electrifying the Dufferin bus route was shot down because the overhead wires on Wilson beyond the end of a runway at Downsview was a show stopper. Now, two of the route choices involve using Silver Dart Drive, which is right at the end of runways 6L and 6R.

One last note: the plans at this point only suggest that this line will only server Terminal 1. While I believe that LRT service should also involve Terminal 3, I would suggest that when the plans for a western extension of the Finch LRT have it coming into the airport, that its alignment might be better to serve Terminal 3 on the way to Terminal 1. Hopefully, the design of the Eglinton-Crosstown alignment into Terminal 1 will take this into account. I suspect that LRT operations could become the preferred way to transfer between the two terminals. A good example of using LRT for intra-terminal movement can be seen in both Minneapolis and St. Louis. LRT fare is free between the airport terminals.

Eglinton-Crosstown LRT Open House - Airport Extension

Monday, August 24th, 2009

Eglinton-Crosstown LRT

A public open house for the preliminary planning stage of the Martin Grove Road to Pearson International Airport section of the Eglinton-Crosstown LRT line will be held on Wednesday September 2, 2009 from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm. It will be held at Etobicoke Olympium (Olympic Lounge, 2nd floor), 590 Rathburn Road, just west of Renforth Avenue.

The announcement for these can be read here .

Eglinton-Crosstown LRT Open House

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Eglinton-Crosstown LRT

One open house will be held for the Eglinton-Crosstown LRT on Wednesday July 29 at Iondale Heights United Church at 115 Ionview Road from 6:30 to 9:00 pm. Ionview Road is the first street west of Kennedy Road along Eglinton. 115 Ionview Road is north of Bertrand Avenue.

This meeting replaces one previously scheduled on June 26 that had to be canceled due to the city’s labour disruption.

The announcement for these can be read here (1.1 M file).