Monday, July 29, 2013

Details of the Richmond Underground LRT extension

Although this is old news by now, the City of Ottawa is moving forward with the so-called "Richmond Underground" option as the western corridor of the city's new light-rail line. It's the second phase of the line, heading west from Tunney's Pasture Station towards Baseline Station.

Here's a brief video of the latest tweaks to the line, from the city:

Much has been made of the National Capital Commission's refusal to budge on light-rail on the Sir John A. MacDonald Parkway, and rightfully so; it's kind of a big deal. But the city seems convinced that their latest plans to bury most of the line in a deep trench should satisfy the NCC. The City has also said that to fully comply with what the NCC is asking for would cost an extra $180M, which isn't in the budget for the city.

Here's an image showing the route from Westboro to Lincoln Fields (click to enlarge); the remainder of the line will follow the existing Transitway infrastructure:



The addition of two new major transit stations, Cleary and New Orchard, is great; the huge distance between Dominion and Lincoln Fields without stops under the current Transitway system is a huge drawback. The catchment area for both stations is quite strong, as well, so it will offer residents of those areas hugely improved transit access.

Given that the first phase of the light-rail plan has just recently started construction, we're still a ways off from seeing this one running. Construction isn't even expected to begin until 2017 at the earliest, so there's still plenty of time for the city to gain the NCC's approval and gain some more community support.