By Ryan McGreal
Published April 30, 2009
this blog entry has been updated
In a recent consultant's report titled "LRT Functional Planning Analysis: B-Line Corridor" [PDF], IBI Consulting has narrowed the long list of possible LRT configurations to two:
In the latter option, the LRT line would be two-way down its entire length. It would run on Main Street from its western terminus at University Plaza to Paradise Rd in West Hamilton, where it would cut north to King Street and cross Hwy 403. From there it would continue on King St. until King swings south and crosses Main St between Gage and Ottaw St. It would then continue along Main St. to its eastern terminus at Eastgate Square.
LRT Preferred Route: two-way conversion of Main and King with two-way LRT down the median of King through the downtown.
Contraflow LRT was eliminated for safety reasons. LRT in mixed lanes was eliminated because it loses the benefit of rapid transit and reliability. Curbside two-way LRT was eliminated because of the awkwardness for vehicles to cross transit lines onto interior driving lanes.
Of the two remaining options, the staff report recommends the two-way median reserved option. It cites the following advantages:
The report also notes that overall vehicular traffic on Main-King will need to be reduced by 30-40 percent, through demand management and alternative routing.
Update: The city rapid transit office has clarified that neither staff nor the public works committee has endorsed this consultant's recommendation. It is currently a working paper available on the city website [PDF].
The office indicated that they will not be making a recommendation to the public works committee until after Metrolinx releases its Business Case Analysis (BCA) on the B-Line, due this July. Metrolinx is studying whether the line should have Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) or Light Rail Transit (LRT) based on a full benefits analyis, which includes business, environmental and social factors.
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