Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Edmonton LRT. A new standard for them?

Our LRT system needs several things to make it safer and more efficient. Here are my ideas.

We need a few infill stations. One at 40 Ave and 111 St and another at the future LRT line down to Ellerslie Rd and Heritage Valley at 9 Ave N. On the North side of the line, we could benefit from a stop at 95 Ave, and on the route between Clareview and Gorman, we can put a stop halfway between 144 Ave and 153 Ave.

Second, we need a system that is safe at the level crossings. We do have a few grade separations, but not many stand alone ones. We could benefit from having one at Ellerslie Rd, 51 Ave and probably the Whitemud Drive / 111 St interchange and under under University Ave, possibly at 60 Ave as well. 112 Ave and 129 Ave also can be problem spots for traffic. They can get quite tied up, especially when a T or cross road junction is added to the mix because the left turns have to always be on a different cycle. Even at intersections without the LRT but with left turns on a separate cycle, they are better because of the lack of pre emption. Add pre timed traffic signals and it does not work very well. These grade separations also help with preventing an: LRT train, a 125 thousand tonne object that can go up to: 70 km/h, from crashing into a : car going ;0 km/h in the direction the train is moving at. They are very often severe crashes, the car or truck will be totaled, if the vehicle is a truck then the train can also be very severely damaged, and very likely someone will be killed or severely injured. We could use grade separations over 178 Ave, Whitemud Drive and 66 St, if the LRT gets expanded to the East, then under 75 St at 98 Ave and if the LRT gets extended Southeast, then 23 ave as well.

We need more lines at a much more rapid pace than we have in the past. I calculate that we have another 68 km of lines left to be planned to go through St Albert, to Windemere, to 41 Ave from Mill Woods, to Sherwood Park and to Fort Saskatchewan. Let alone the works we have already to be added. We have about 113 km in total to build, or about 4-6 billion dollars worth It doesn't need to be at once of course, and the federal and provincial governments are probably going to take up about 2/3 of the cost for a remainder of about 2 billion or so. Over 10 years worth of funding, we can contribute about 200 million dollars towards the LRT and so can the feds and province.

We need better bus connections. Seeing what buses are actually at the terminals helps a lot. And having buses that can turn around and go back and stop easier is better.

We need a bikeshare system at the stations. This is very useful for ensuring that we are always in range of our end destination, easily, on the other end of the LRT or transit.

Better speed. I know very well that our trains could go 10 km/h faster on everything than they actually do. They test the trains for 10 km/h faster. Faster, even to save seconds for a transfer, is invaluable.

Priority at junctions. We still need this, pre emption in fact. But we can have, the rest of the time, signals according to actual demand.

Just my takes. Share yours in the comments below. Bye.

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