Comment 25507

By Artaud (anonymous) | Posted June 12, 2008 at 16:30:08

I think an east-west line is a great idea, but can't see the point of a harbor-Upper James N-S route. Nobody lives on Upper James. All you find there is strip-malls. I suspect the only reason it's being floated is to give Tradeport and the DeSantis types reason to support it - as in, they get a rapid-transit line to feed their new suburban developments south of Rymal.

I think the proper way to design this system is to integrate it properly with the bus system, making light rail the high-speed backbone and using buses for local feeders - similar to the way we do it now, but marshalling at LRT stops instead of the malls we use today.

But also important would be to place the LRT in areas of high population density. I don't think any N-S route makes any sense at all, unless it's some sort of winding sidespur off of the mainline - say, a N-S east-end spur from whatever's densely populated down there, to an east-end E-W link, up the mountain (perhaps) to the densely populated mountain areas like Ottawa/Fennell and Mohawk/Wellington, across to the dense area near Rice, then back down the mountain linking back up to the downtown system at/near Mac.

No N-S line makes sense from a rider's perspective - anywhere you live on the mountain, you're closer to the downtown E-W link than you are to the purported Upper James N-S link - or any other N-S location.

I'd even support eliminating the mountain line entirely, and concentration on a downtown rapid-transit system. After all, the mountain's nothing but a big sprawling suburb anyway. It hasn't been designed with transit in mind, and it'd take billions of dollars to replace the low-density crud we've got up here now with high-density properties that can make good use of an LRT system. I don't think you'll see that level of investment in the existing mountain area - so, like I said, the N-S LRT line ends up being just a free gift to Tradeport and the DeSantis bunch.

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