Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Phoenix LRT

Ken Gray has a reference to the Phoenix LRT in his column today. He especially notes it runs on the surface. It does, mixed with cross traffic. Note the video shows the street to be at least six lanes wide, plus wide sidewalks. A lot wider than Albert Street. The movie makes no mention of how well the LRT plays with cars.

I also noted that some stations are very narrow, basically open air platforms with sun shades. Somehow waiting outdoors in 110 degree heat is more acceptable than doing the same in Ottawa in January.

I especially noted the shots of the LRT passing over/in front of a bridge that is a doppelganger for the Prince of Wales Bridge here in Ottawa, an interprovincial asset that sits rusting away, forlorn and neglected, while council merrily chases new bridges for single occupancy car commuters.

The higher than expected ridership in Phoenix was mentioned at last Saturday's LRT technology forum, if you page down a few articles you will see that blog entry below.


  1. When I lived in Baltimore (about 9 years since I left) I would occasionally ride their LRT system, which goes through the city centre on a surface route, along a city street. It was quite frustrating that no priority was given to LRT; we would sit for what seemed like minutes at a red light at each intersection while cross-traffic was allowed to pass.

  2. Somehow waiting outdoors in 110 degree heat is more acceptable than doing the same in Ottawa in January.

    Not according to me. I'll take the cold over the heat, any day, and I'd like to smack the idiot who decided that the perfect model for an OC Transpo busway station was a greenhouse. The lack of available or comfortable mid-summer shade waiting space at places like Hurdman, Lebreton, Baseline, etc., etc., is a major design flaw.

  3. Calgary's c-train also travels at street level - with simple shelters.

    I am suprised that so few comparisons have been made between Calgary and Edmonton's LRT systems when considering a system for Ottawa. All three cities are of relatively similar size and climate. Lots of lessons can be learned from both Calgary and Edmonton.

  4. I was in Calgary recently, and took the opportunity to ride the entire C-train system (except for the last station on the NE line, which I didn't quite get to.)

    I liked the rolling stock and the station configuration in the downtown core. However, outside the core (and boy, the transition from CBD to suburbia is abrupt in Calgary!) the stations are located in places where it was easy to locate lines and stations... not in places that are useful or convenient for anything other than collecting bus passengers.

    I don't recall having seen a single example of TOD outside the core.

    Edmonton is a bit better, even though their system is so much smaller. The new stations on the south side of the city are particularly well done.