Saturday, July 11, 2009

DCA Comments on Bayview for LRT Maintenance Site, Offers Input on LRT Technology Issues

Letter from DCA to City of Ottawa re Study suggesting Bayview Maintenance Site for LRT:

I attended the recent LRT technology forum and the maintenance facility briefing on behalf of the Dalhousie Community Association. The DCA represents the area from Bay St to Bayview, Ottawa River to Carling.

The Association prefers the maintenance facility options for St Laurent.

The DCA opposes the use of Bayview for the maintenance facility on the following grounds:

1. the land is extraordinarily well located for intense urban development at the junction of the east-west and north-south transit lines, including the POW link to Gatineau. It will be a severe underuse of the land to use it for a maintenace yard instead of a mixed use urban centre.

2. there will be noise and traffic impacts on adjacent residential neighborhoods, both existing and proposed.

3. the yard may negatively affect the development of a major, highly visible national site immediately east of the Bayview property, currently touted for the new Museum of Science and Technology

4. an existing CDP is in place for the area, calling for residential development

5. in the 1960's, millions of dollars was spent to relocate the urban railway lines and remove the rail yards from this inner city neighborhood. It is strange to think that we are now considering rebuilding rail yards in the inner city.

With respect to LRT technology issues, we offer the following suggestions:

1. corridor segregation: the conversion of the BRT transitway to LRT offers extraordinary opportunities to develop a largely segregated corridor for much of the LRT route. However, we need standards set in place before hand that identify the frequency and quality of pedestrian, cyclist, and motorist crossings. For example, in our community area, a pedestrian/cyclist crossing must be built, as the LRT is constructed, at Preston extension, to replace the existing legal at-grade crossing. It cannot be delayed to some vague, future date when "redevelopment" occurs. We understand that in some areas, a considerable distance might be possible before grade separated crossings are provided. In other areas, such as along the Ottawa River commuter expressway, crossings may need to be more frequent, as they currently are along Scott. However, we do not want the provision, frequency, or timing of such crossings to be subject to political vagaries or budgetary constraints. The LRT team needs to indentify crossing standards now.

2. drivers vs automated vehicles: even if the City choses on-board drivers, they are only in the first vehicle of what may be six car trainsets, with no opportunity for staff or patrons to move from vehicle to vehicle between stations. Therefore, the majority of users will be in unattended vehicles. We suggest that if there is on-board staff, it be a conductor position, only operating the doors and commencing the automated train acceleration and running.

3. fleet composition: the LRT system should be able to use a variety of vehicles from different manufacturers. Some of these vehicles might be dual-mode (eg diesel-electric) which might permit the earlier extension of LRT service by building rails first, electrifying later; or permitting catenary-free operation along the Ottawa River portions.
Eric Darwin.
EricDarwin1@gmail.com
President,
Dalhousie Community Association





 The Hintonburg Community Assoc concurred, sending this letter to the City:
The Hintonburg Community Association concurs with The Dalhousie Community Association on this issue and is fully opposed to the Bayview site being used as a train yard.

Respectfully,
Dickson Davidson
Traffic Committee
Hintonburg Community Association

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