Comment 37359

By realitycheck (anonymous) | Posted January 25, 2010 at 09:29:56

Mr. Butani wrote "The picture above, from my earlier post, shows a perfectly valid and elegant real life example of a road that has a similar urban density found in the IV/Gore area.

In-ground two-way LRT tracks and two-way car lanes can co-exist with each other, while simultaneously allowing for alternate-side - time-of-day/week curbside parking. This example also allows switching the one and two car lanes in-between the north and south sides of the road on a time-of-day basis, if directional densities need to be accommodated during peak hours."

The photograph posted is indeed a fine example of a streetcar route where lanes are shared with the streetcar and automobiles. However, this is not how Metrolinx envisions LRT in Hamilton. Metrolinx' transit vision is to develop rapid transit lines, not streetcar lines. The B-Line LRT is not intended to be a shared streetcar route but a dedicated rapid transit route, either as BRT in dedicated lanes or LRT on dedicated tracks. If Metrolinx approves LRT for Hamilton, the rails will be designed for LRT exclusively and will not accomodate automobile traffic. It may be possible to hybridize the route to a shared traffic format throughout the downtown should it run on King Street, but this will seriously compromise the relaibiltiy of rapid service on the B-line as trains in shared lanes will be subject to traffic bottlenecks. Anyone who endures a ride on the King Streetcar route in Toronto can attest to this fact.

Comparitively speaking, Main Street has a width that will easily accomodate dedicated LRT lanes in both directions, as well as two lanes for two-way automobile traffic and an additional lane of bumpout parking. In such a format, King Street can also be converted back to two-way traffic. Why is this much more preferrable traffic design being completely ignored? I will be pressing my city councillor to include this option in the traffic engineering study, and invite others to do so as well.

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