Thursday, October 10, 2013

Transit corridors that are no longer considered priorities

The newly proposed light-rail projects, named "Stage 2", in the 2013 Transportation Master Plan draft lead the transit discussion. To make room for these new initiatives, some project ideas in 2008 had to be dropped from the plan or moved beyond 2031. A comparison between the 2013 and 2008 maps will determine which transit corridors are no longer a priority.

Current 2013 proposed 2031 "affordable" transit network map:

From 2008, the 2031 transit network map:

(The links above open full-sized maps in PDF format.)

In Orleans, the Cumberland Transitway doesn't seem to be a priority anymore with the newly proposed Confederation Line extension into the eastern suburb. In 2008, the plan for Orleans was to have two busways, one grade separated along Regional Road 174 and one along Innes, both to Trim Road. Five years later, the new plan is to have light-rail extended from Blair to Place D'Orleans along Highway 174 and transit priority measurements (bus lanes, transit signal priority at intersections) on Innes Rd, Blackburn Bypass, and Brian Coburn Blvd.

The Innes Road/Industrial Avenue BRT, west of Orleans, from the 2008 plan is completely removed from this year's draft. The busway would have been parallel to the Confederation LRT Line, acting as a secondary east-west rapid transit corridor.

While the O-Train line is still planned to be extended to Bowesville, it will no longer reach Limebank as envisioned in 2008 and a rail link to the Ottawa International Airport has been removed too. Improved transit service to and from the airport is expected to happen by 2031 when HOV lanes are implemented on the Airport Parkway.

Heron/Walkley/Russell/St. Laurent was once a suggested route for bus lanes, but that's been removed from the current draft plan. St. Laurent Blvd will instead receive transit priority signals and queue jump lanes at some intersections.

Carling Avenue will no longer be a priority for rail of any kind and instead, bus lanes will be in place from the O-Train station to Lincoln Fields Station. There was a lot of discussion about Carling Avenue as an alternative route to the Sir John A. MacDonald Parkway for light rail. Or perhaps, the corridor would be served by a tram or streetcar of some sort with more local stops. For the next two decades though, it's strictly buses.

A Transitway linking Baseline Station to the Barrhaven Transitway will have to wait after 2031.

In Barrhaven, the Transitway was supposed to get an extension southwards eventually from Barrhaven Centre to Cambrian and another one eastwards along Chapman Mills across the Strandherd-Armstrong bridge, which isn't complete yet, to the previously proposed terminus of the O-Train line at Limebank Road. That was the idea five years ago and today, the plan is to have a combination of bus lanes and other transit priority measures on the same east-west route connecting Barrhaven with Riverside South.

The Kanata North Transitway will no longer be constructed northwards to Maxwell Bridge and instead, it will end at Carling Avenue. The Kanata Transitway, which was planned to run north along Highway 417 from Moodie to Huntmar and dip south between Stittsville and Kanata to Fernbank Road, is removed entirely from the 2013 plan. There are no transit priority measures of any kind in place of it.

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