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Full Version: ION - Waterloo Region's Light Rail Transit
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(11-15-2015, 09:37 AM)Canard Wrote: [ -> ]Oh boo. I went up to Northfield this morning expecting to see them getting 3 sets of tracks in place, including the two LRT ones that will curve up onto Northfield through the intersection. I guess I misunderstood; all they're doing there this weekend is replacing the one freight track crossing on the West side. Yawn! Big Grin

I think it might take more than a weekend to do that job. :-)
I finally watched the video. Lotsa lovely drone footage, indeed!

What caught my eye were the mottos at the end:
[Image: kdWg45r.png]

"Moving People" - Okay, yeah, you're not a transit authority, but this is pretty on the nose.

"Limiting Sprawl" - ...interesting choice. Not sure that directly follows, but I'll give you that you're increasing the people-moving capacity at the core of these towns, which supports increased denisty. However, it does not follow that the people who would develop and populate the "sprawling" developments would be more interested in developing or populating higher-density core developments. My guess is that this will attract additional developers and populations to the centre, while letting the existing sprawl continue as it would have without ion. This is not awful or anything, but isn't exactly what's being said. But I'll give them the benefit of the doubt on this one, since I don't have any figures backing me up.

"Protecting farmland" - whut. This is almost a non-sequitur.

Have these always been the mottos/goals/public-facing communication vectors of the ion project, or are they new?
(11-15-2015, 01:24 PM)chutten Wrote: [ -> ]I finally watched the video. Lotsa lovely drone footage, indeed!

What caught my eye were the mottos at the end:

"Moving People" - Okay, yeah, you're not a transit authority, but this is pretty on the nose.

"Limiting Sprawl" - ...interesting choice. Not sure that directly follows, but I'll give you that you're increasing the people-moving capacity at the core of these towns, which supports increased denisty. However, it does not follow that the people who would develop and populate the "sprawling" developments would be more interested in developing or populating higher-density core developments. My guess is that this will attract additional developers and populations to the centre, while letting the existing sprawl continue as it would have without ion. This is not awful or anything, but isn't exactly what's being said. But I'll give them the benefit of the doubt on this one, since I don't have any figures backing me up.

"Protecting farmland" - whut. This is almost a non-sequitur.

Have these always been the mottos/goals/public-facing communication vectors of the ion project, or are they new?

These points certainly came up at the public consultations for Ion. Indeed, much of the required support came from township mayors; their constituents came and said "yes, we want Ion to lessen development pressure on farmland". This is in conjunction with the Region's Master Plan as well. It's hard to un-sprawl and I don't think we'll see existing buildings be abandoned, but I think that it will reduce the amount of new development in outlying areas.
The latter two go together. Limiting sprawl means less greenfield construction - greenfields being, generally, farmland. So a denser urban form with limited sprawl means the rural sphere is protected.
(11-15-2015, 12:25 AM)KevinL Wrote: [ -> ]
(11-14-2015, 11:51 PM)GtwoK Wrote: [ -> ]The thing I find sort of ridiculous that I didn't consider before is how FAR they want it to run down Water St in Galt. Going past GCI, sure that makes sense, but then right downtown Galt? There's barely enough room for 2 automobile lanes, how do they possibly expect to fit 2 LRT lanes?

The original 2011 proposal only had a single (bidirectional) track in central Galt - which would make for very tricky timing arrangements. I don't know if they ever came up with an alternate option.

The original-original turned off Water at the railway station to meet the GO CP trains, then briefly on Dundas and finally down to Main along what is now the Mill Creek Trail (not to be confused with the Mill Run Trail, which was the Preston–Hespeler line.)
(11-15-2015, 01:24 PM)chutten Wrote: [ -> ]However, it does not follow that the people who would develop and populate the "sprawling" developments would be more interested in developing or populating higher-density core developments.

True enough, however before there was no choice in town. We simply had no dense areas to speak of. Now we have three well defined high density areas: Northdale, Uptown, Downtown. Think of nice towns and cities in Europe to get a picture of what density done right looks like. Europe has suburbs nonetheless, but the percentage of people living in them is lower than in North America, and most young people and even young families often live in dense areas in downtown. General availability of public parks and other spaces help in this regard. In Europe we lived in a dense area within walking distance of two awesome play yards and one urban forest with a small zoo. Who needs a backyard?
(11-15-2015, 01:24 PM)chutten Wrote: [ -> ]"Moving People" - Okay, yeah, you're not a transit authority, but this is pretty on the nose.

"Limiting Sprawl" - ...interesting choice. Not sure that directly follows, but I'll give you that you're increasing the people-moving capacity at the core of these towns, which supports increased denisty. However, it does not follow that the people who would develop and populate the "sprawling" developments would be more interested in developing or populating higher-density core developments. My guess is that this will attract additional developers and populations to the centre, while letting the existing sprawl continue as it would have without ion. This is not awful or anything, but isn't exactly what's being said. But I'll give them the benefit of the doubt on this one, since I don't have any figures backing me up.

"Protecting farmland" - whut. This is almost a non-sequitur.

Have these always been the mottos/goals/public-facing communication vectors of the ion project, or are they new?

The specific mottos in marketing are relatively new, but those have been core goals of the project since its inception. ION is happening because of the land-use goals of the Region of Waterloo, which seeks to limit sprawl and intensify the central corridor through hard urban growth boundaries and transit infrastructure to support and encourage infill growth.

It would be much harder to maintain the urban growth boundaries if there weren't viable ways to add capacity for more people and jobs in the urban core areas, and if there weren't the transportation infrastructure for more people to get around. But if ION does those things, the Region can maintain a hard line on limiting sprawl.
RE phase two and using maple grove / speeds vile. Maybe they're thinking they could actually get people to take it to work in that area. Seems a bit unlikely though.
Note that the Region of Waterloo has taken probably one of the most strictest approaches again urban sprawl out of all the municipalities and regions that are affected by the province's Greenbelt Act and Places to Grow Act.

Urban planning is multi disciplinary right now. Transit planning isn't just about transit, but also about environmental and land use planning.
(11-15-2015, 06:54 PM)BrianT Wrote: [ -> ]The tamping machine was out working near University of Waterloo today.... https://video-lga3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hvideo...e=56492C5C

0:22: Whoops, I went too far.
It looks like the intersection at Courtland and Borden will be closed starting tomorrow for two weeks for ION-related work. I imagine they will be building the crossing at this time.
Looks like lots of finishing touches on the paving on King between Union and William this weekend. Lines, temporary curbs and manhole covers. At least that stretch appears to be open, although very few are using it yet. Saw the 7 taking advantage of it though.
(11-16-2015, 09:44 AM)megabytephreak Wrote: [ -> ]Looks like lots of finishing touches on the paving on King between Union and William this weekend. Lines, temporary curbs and manhole covers. At least that stretch appears to be open, although very few are using it yet. Saw the 7 taking advantage of it though.

7 will be turning from Park > Union > King as the "Detour" while William/Caroline is getting tracks.
Drove down from Union to Allen just now. The permanent (?) curbs on this side are nice. Kind of crazy how much higher the grade is, compared to the SB side of things.
I haven't been by yet but I was of the impression everything on that section of King was just temporary? Or have they really got so far that they have final curbs in? If they have final curbs in, why did they show temporary pavement on the news?
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