Monday, March 23, 2009
DOTT - Tunney's Pasture Transfer Station
DOTT refers to the Downtown Ottawa Transit Tunnel project. I sit on the public advisory committee, with a particular interest in the LRT project from Bronson to Tunney's. Under the current plan, Tunney's will be the main place for bus users from the west to transfer to the LRT trains which will run roughly along the current transitway alignment to Bayview, LeBreton, and the downtown. Eventually the LRT train service will be extended further west to Lincoln Fields.
The City has come up with two concepts for how the bus users will transfer to the LRT trains. Keep in mind the size of this operation: we are looking at a station as big and busy as Hurdman, Lincoln Fields, or Baseline. Thousands of buses will arrive at Tunney's every day, discharge or pick up passengers, and after a time stop, cycle again back to the western suburbs. The station will be in use for a number of years, maybe decades. Both plans have the buses come up out of the transitway cut on the north side of the station (there is an existing exit ramp there).
Concept one is termed the Parallel alignment, with a Hurdman style station located to the north of the transitway; the Linear option circles the buses around to put some of the stops along Scott Street.
My preference is for a Parallel station design, ie north of the transitway. The volume of buses will be huge, and in place for an undetermined number of years or decades. In Ottawa, and for transit plans, ‘temporary’ can often turn into ‘forever’. It is important to get the buses off the street and into a contained area away from cycle and pedestrian traffic. Noise barriers and landscaping is also possible if the bus lay-by areas are off Scott Street. This will be a major transfer station; we do not see any other major stations such as Baseline, Hurdman, or Lincoln Fields built on the shoulder of a busy road with adjacent residential land uses.