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  #3581  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2020, 3:18 PM
milomilo milomilo is online now
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Originally Posted by jawagord View Post
Sensible Alternative website LRT map:

https://greenlineinfo.ca/assets/uplo...ve_May2020.pdf
The " Use surface or elevated lines instead" is pure nonsense though and makes me question his analysis. It's very hard to thread a surface route through the Beltline and it would involve extensive grade separation regardless. No one has ever presented the slightest additional description of what route would be taken. And elevated is a non starter for a bunch of obvious reasons.
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  #3582  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2020, 6:03 PM
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Mazrim Mazrim is offline
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I see that the City had a slide today showing that Stage 1 is a "catalyst for development", but TOD sites at LRT stations have almost always failed. The only one that seems successful to me is Brentwood station, I think? I can't imagine they're pleased with how Westbrook station turned out, and Heritage station is nothing like they imagined. And then you have places like Canyon Meadows station where it's surrounded by car dealerships.
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  #3583  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2020, 6:23 PM
milomilo milomilo is online now
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I see that the City had a slide today showing that Stage 1 is a "catalyst for development", but TOD sites at LRT stations have almost always failed. The only one that seems successful to me is Brentwood station, I think? I can't imagine they're pleased with how Westbrook station turned out, and Heritage station is nothing like they imagined. And then you have places like Canyon Meadows station where it's surrounded by car dealerships.
Yep. I'd also compare it to 16 Ave, I'm sure the vision the city had was much more than one new building being built in 10 years after spending that much money and effort re constructing the road. The "build it and they will come" protocol does not seem to work, perhaps short of tax incentives.
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  #3584  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2020, 8:15 PM
MalcolmTucker MalcolmTucker is offline
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The city when it tries to capture too much value from TOD the city creates economic conditions where TOD fails. Westbrook is a key example of that. Developers bid too much to get the opportunity. Second best auctions would be better (has a history of finding the 'at cost' price and ensuring your partner doesn't bankrupt themselves). CMLC has a better track record for being able to secure development, not just maximize land sale profit. When it is private, TOD is much better. Also important to remember the city has rejected plenty of rezoning in TOD areas because while they like TOD, only in specific places have they had the stomach to implement it over local opposition.
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  #3585  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2020, 8:33 PM
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Jeff Davison has posted a blog entry that outlines a new proposal for the Green Line. Based on the reactions I'm seeing on Twitter the pro-transit crowd is not happy!

Getting on Track with the Green Line: Alternative Options

June 01, 2020

By: Councillors Davison, Demong, Gondek, Sutherland

One of the things that has been lost in the recent debate over the Green Line is that it is actually two projects, not one. We have conveniently called it a single project with two stages, a narrative that has tied us to delivering a single, connected north-south LRT line to Calgarians.

Right now, Green Line south is roughly 18 km of track running from Eau Claire to Shepard, with underground segments in sensitive parts of downtown and the Beltline. Green Line south was prioritized as Stage 1 because the physical challenges of building to the southeast are less severe than the north, given no river to cross and easier land acquisition that is already complete.

Also in Stage 1 is a 2 km segment from downtown to 16th Avenue North, involving a bridge over the Bow River and the eastern end of Prince’s Island Park, with a steep climb up McHugh Bluff to ultimately run along Centre Street North. This is essentially the plan to connect the two lines from the north and south.

This two-line project is the most complex and expensive in Calgary’s history with a capital budget of $4.9 billion that includes welcomed federal and provincial capital contributions over just over $1.5 billion each. However, neither line will be complete after the $4.9 billion is spent.

The current plan is to build Stage 1 and concurrently lobby for additional capital to extend the Green Line north and south to reach the communities where people actually live, like Coventry Hills, Beddington and McKenzie Towne.

In effect, the current plan is to build the foundations for two houses with neither being complete and crossing our fingers for more funding.

The problem with this approach has become obvious over time, with the current pandemic and economic crisis making our future increasingly uncertain. COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of often undervalued essential workers and it is driving changes in how people work, creating implications for the way we think about public transit into the future.

In addition, the transformation of global energy markets is putting incredible pressure on Calgarians who come to us with their heartbreaking stories of job loss, business closure, and family upheaval. With a project the size of the Green Line looming large in front of us during this compounding crisis, we must take stock of our options to move forward pragmatically.

With limited dollars, the current plan to build two unfinished lines is built on hope, which is not a strategy for success. For this reason, we will be putting forward a plan to Council to build one line, and get it right.

We respectfully disagree with those who say the project should be canceled entirely. We need to continue city-building in a measured and responsible way that addresses the needs of the present without sacrificing the future. The Green Line presents an opportunity to get Calgarians back to work, to help move them around the city and to build a project we can be proud of.

Our “one good line” plan involves building the planned and cost-effective Green Line south to Shepard. This would connect Calgarians in the southeast to downtown, the Beltline, and the entertainment district.

At the same time, we support a focused effort to address the needs of north-central Calgarians who have not seen meaningful transit improvements in decades. By investing in a dedicated BRT network along Centre Street north, we can resolve issues of overcapacity and access along the heaviest used portion of the proposed Green Line. From there, we can explore other options like transit-on-demand, artificial intelligence and other new developments in urban transportation to move people around in ways that are data-driven, progressive, and environmentally sustainable.

We have the opportunity to build the most innovative urban transportation network in North America while we thoughtfully address existing challenges, like what a connector for the north-south lines could look like or how a multimodal transit system could best serve the city.

The vision of the Green Line project is best served by two projects: building the Green Line south and initiating a dedicated north BRT. This will meet the transit needs of the greatest number of Calgarians while creating jobs in a very challenging economy. It is time to move forward with building Calgary’s future in a fiscally responsible manner.

Jeff Davison

Source: https://www.jeffdavisonyyc.com/blog/...native-options
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  #3586  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2020, 9:19 PM
lucx lucx is offline
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Originally Posted by milomilo View Post
The vision for Centre St is gross. It's confirmed that the city wants to run both buses and trains on the LRT tracks, thus even further negating any advantage a train has. It's essentially going to be kilometre after kilometre of 7 Ave.
Centre street will probably have lower LRT volume with less train-bus conflicts.

"Kilometre after kilometre" suggests BRT will run atop LRT until McKnight. That won't happen for at lease a decade. If the line goes up to 64 Ave, there may be a forced transfer and LRT will get the right of way to itself.
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  #3587  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2020, 12:55 AM
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I listened to most of the June 1 Green Line Committee. I reluctantly supported the 2020 alignment but questioned if it needed to cross the river in Stage 1. After today’s presentation, I can accept that crossing the river is the best option available.

TLDR: Centre Street and Downtown roads will struggle to handle more buses. It needs LRT capacity. Stopping the line downtown gambles away this capacity with bad odds for major funding later vs available funding now.


- All options involve crossing your fingers for future funding. Stopping the line downtown is gambling that funding will still be available a decade from now. The current funding is basically committed. Future funding will likely be smaller chunks in the $100 million range – enough for the necessary incremental extensions, but not for the river crossing.

- If the underground Eau Claire station isn’t built in Stage 1, it's unlikely to ever be built after the site is redeveloped. I'm a little more convinced it's now or never for North LRT.

- Crescent Height appears to have 50/50 support for the surface line. Opposition seems to be about incomplete plans for traffic and parking rather than the line itself. Proponents like the idea of transforming Centre Street from a commuter road into a community corridor.

- If there's less traffic on Centre Street, I can accept the idea of crossing 16 Ave at grade. This eliminates a $250 million underground station allowing the line to extend much faster.

Last edited by lucx; Jun 2, 2020 at 7:55 AM.
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  #3588  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2020, 2:06 PM
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The " Use surface or elevated lines instead" is pure nonsense though and makes me question his analysis. It's very hard to thread a surface route through the Beltline and it would involve extensive grade separation regardless. No one has ever presented the slightest additional description of what route would be taken. And elevated is a non starter for a bunch of obvious reasons.
I think how the line goes through downtown is less important than getting track built out to the south, so the line has ridership to support its operating costs. We can make surface or elevated lines work, as my old boss would often say, “give me that problem, it means we are successful”.

Dismissing things that work because it creates some issues you don’t like is what is nonsense, when the budget is compromised all options need to be reviewed to see what works best within the budget. To paraphrase an old Liberal slogan, the green line alignment through downtown could be “at grade if necessary, but not necessarily at grade”.
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  #3589  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2020, 4:39 PM
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The Red and Blue lines travel on the surface through downtown and cause so much unnecessary congestion. Adding a third line on the surface will cause even more congestion. I think it’s smart to keep the Green Line underground through downtown. As for the debate over building past Eau Claire to the north versus using that portion of the finding to complete the south line all the way to Seton, I was originally of the opinion that getting all the Seton was the way to go. However, after hearing that if we don’t proceed with the river crossing at this time, then the Eau Claire station will not ever be integrated into the Eau Claire redevelopment and that would be a mistake. Perhaps, as it was mentioned at the meeting, that getting to 16th Ave N will make future extensions easier and cheaper as the hard part will already be done! However, I’m not a fan at all of ruining part of Prince’s Island Park with a bridge, however nice they try to make it. I hope they can come up with a sensitive treatment to mitigate loss of green space and views!
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  #3590  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2020, 4:53 PM
milomilo milomilo is online now
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I think how the line goes through downtown is less important than getting track built out to the south, so the line has ridership to support its operating costs. We can make surface or elevated lines work, as my old boss would often say, “give me that problem, it means we are successful”.

Dismissing things that work because it creates some issues you don’t like is what is nonsense, when the budget is compromised all options need to be reviewed to see what works best within the budget. To paraphrase an old Liberal slogan, the green line alignment through downtown could be “at grade if necessary, but not necessarily at grade”.
Yet still, no one with this idea has ever attempted a realistic description of what it would look like. You have to go underneath the cp line and 7th, you have to have at least one underground station. The original lines have a long tunnel, remember, but we don't have a wasteland to dig up for the green line. Even if you do surface in the beltline, which roads do you hand over to lrt? Do you cross MacLeod at grade? What happens when the people currently complaining for at grade then conveniently switch their opinion back to not wanting road lanes taken away? This has all been considered before, and the complainants are not making their suggestions in good faith.
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  #3591  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2020, 5:04 PM
MalcolmTucker MalcolmTucker is offline
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Elevated could work, but of course council shot that down after a major pushback by tower owners stating that elevated would reduce the value of their properties making the downtown-periphery non-residential property tax shift worse. Since council is trying to limit that shift, the savings from being elevated would probably end up with residential property taxes being raised more than just spending more in the first place.



Elevated in the Beltline could work, then going underground to cross the CPR and to pass through the commercial core. But then you have a whole other set of pushback points.



All of the changes proposed in this last round have been evaluated and rejected for various reasons, sometimes by not very detailed evaluation, but yes, they were evaluated. They even looked at the weird running the Greenline into the existing CPR tunnel, then under city hall to a stub 8th Avenue subway which the eminent men committee seems to love, since they think that would mean we don't need a new maintenance building. That 'solution' would permanently limit Green and Red Line frequencies.
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  #3592  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2020, 7:05 PM
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I think how the line goes through downtown is less important than getting track built out to the south, so the line has ridership to support its operating costs. We can make surface or elevated lines work, as my old boss would often say, “give me that problem, it means we are successful”.
How is elevated a solution when it has zero support?

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- North Center bus system is highly successful and can be improved to increase ridership at much lower cost than LRT. Don't build LRT to the North at this time.
How do you increase ridership on a line that is at capacity?
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  #3593  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2020, 7:45 PM
milomilo milomilo is online now
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How do you increase ridership on a line that is at capacity?
Increase the capacity of the buses, exactly what they are going to do. I would push pack that the bus lines are at capacity anyway, they could run more. It would be even crappier of course, but Calgary Transit has always prioritised capacity and access to transit over service quality, the Green Line being no different.
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  #3594  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2020, 8:12 PM
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Increase the capacity of the buses, exactly what they are going to do. I would push pack that the bus lines are at capacity anyway, they could run more. It would be even crappier of course, but Calgary Transit has always prioritised capacity and access to transit over service quality, the Green Line being no different.
The June 1 presentation specifically said they haven't found a good solution to get more buses in and out of downtown. So yes, it will be crappier.
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  #3595  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2020, 8:25 PM
MalcolmTucker MalcolmTucker is offline
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The June 1 presentation specifically said they haven't found a good solution to get more buses in and out of downtown. So yes, it will be crappier.

Bus terminal just north of the Bow would help a bit. But, it doesn't get people as close to the epicenter of employment, and it might not increase the bus capacity enough to be worth it.
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  #3596  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2020, 8:34 PM
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IMO the only solution is for the City to increase the Stage 1 budget to $6-6.5B so you can build Beddington to Shepard/McKenzie and then beg the Province and Federal Government for the extra money.

It's the only way Stage 1 gives you useful north and south segments and alleviates concerns about Centre Street being crippled for commuter traffic with no timeline on any gain for all that pain.
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  #3597  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2020, 8:35 PM
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How is elevated a solution when it has zero support?



How do you increase ridership on a line that is at capacity?
Really Lucx? An elevated line would have support if the alternative is an at grade line and it would be easier and cheaper to construct than a cut and cover subway.

How do you increase bus ridership on Center Street, well I imagine the City will dust off the old Green Line plans for BRT that were binned when the City thought it had a windfall of money enough to build 2 LRT lines. Why do you think Gondek has gone over to the "build one good line" side? She knows BRT to the North is doable and a better transit option than a 1 km above grade LRT to 16th Ave.

Green Line: Centre Street
Transitway Downtown
to 24 Ave

Project Characteristics
Timeline: short-term
Mode progression: construct transitway and urban boulevard
Estimated construction cost: $60,000,000
Estimated annual operating cost: $7,100,000
Estimated annual ridership: 8,000,000
Length: 3 km

Major trip generators: downtown, Centre Street urban corridor, northern communities
Additional considerations: project ranked highly in
RouteAhead evaluation,
however there are a number of
steps (community input, functional and detailed design,
traffic impact analysis) to be completed before the transitway
can be constructed.

Green Line: Centre Street
Transitway 24 Ave to 78 Ave N

Timeline: short-term
Mode progression: extend transitway from 24 Avenue N
Estimated construction cost: $75,000,000
Estimated annual operating cost: $10,600,000
Estimated annual ridership: 6,000,000
Length: 6 km

Major trip generators: Centre Street urban corridor,
northern communities
Additional considerations: project ranked highly in
RouteAhead evaluation;
however there are a number of
steps (community input, functional and detailed design,
traffic impact analysis) to be completed before the transitway
can be constructed


https://www.calgarytransit.com/sites...yaheadweb2.pdf
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  #3598  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2020, 8:43 PM
lucx lucx is offline
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Really Lucx? An elevated line would have support if the alternative is an at grade line and it would be easier and cheaper to construct than a cut and cover subway.
Yes, really. It has zero support.

Edit: it's not me you have to convince. It's council and property owners. Elevated has been rejected year after year. A solution with no buy-in is no solution at all.

Last edited by lucx; Jun 2, 2020 at 8:57 PM.
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  #3599  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2020, 11:29 PM
milomilo milomilo is online now
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Bus terminal just north of the Bow would help a bit. But, it doesn't get people as close to the epicenter of employment, and it might not increase the bus capacity enough to be worth it.
I'd really like to see the city put some effort into the bus network downtown, as without improvements the "BRT" network will never be much good. Having a fixed loop with dedicated lanes, signal priority and proper bus platforms would be wonderful.
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  #3600  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2020, 11:38 PM
milomilo milomilo is online now
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Elevated could work, but of course council shot that down after a major pushback by tower owners stating that elevated would reduce the value of their properties making the downtown-periphery non-residential property tax shift worse. Since council is trying to limit that shift, the savings from being elevated would probably end up with residential property taxes being raised more than just spending more in the first place.

Elevated in the Beltline could work, then going underground to cross the CPR and to pass through the commercial core. But then you have a whole other set of pushback points.
I don't see elevated as remotely feasible. Downtown it would have to be so high up to ride over everything, and the streets are quite narrow compared to the typical corridor elevated would run in. Even if you could get political support (and I doubt that), I can't see it not being quite expensive, so you're only saving a small portion of money on this few km section, which is itself only a portion of the whole cost.

If it's elevated in the Beltline but underground downtown, that's a large elevation change that you have to find room for and the same political issues, to save a miniscule amount of money relative to the project.

It's a non starter, IMO. It was worth the city looking at for sure, but they did look at it and they did reject it. Done. The only supporter of this in Calgary was suburbia (the poster).

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Originally Posted by MalcolmTucker View Post
All of the changes proposed in this last round have been evaluated and rejected for various reasons, sometimes by not very detailed evaluation, but yes, they were evaluated. They even looked at the weird running the Greenline into the existing CPR tunnel, then under city hall to a stub 8th Avenue subway which the eminent men committee seems to love, since they think that would mean we don't need a new maintenance building. That 'solution' would permanently limit Green and Red Line frequencies.
That's the first time I've heard that exact plan, was the city the one who looked at it or just a back of a napkin plan from Jim Fray. It's obviously a stupid idea from a stupid person, diminishing the performance and expandability of the entire system to maybe (or not) save some money in the short term.
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