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Open House #2 - April 25 2013

The City of Ottawa is continuing its planning and environmental assessment study for the proposed Western Light Rail Transit Corridor (WLRTC) and is seeking public input. The goal of this study is to identify the most effective way to build on the first phase of light rail transit currently under construction (Confederation Line) to bring service to Baseline Station in a manner that aims to increase transit use and provide higher quality transit service.  This study will consider alternative options and designs toward determining a final alignment to inform the City’s Transportation Master Plan (TMP).

Richmond Underground identified as top Western Rail Route

The preferred route for the western extension of Ottawa’s light-rail service has been identified by the City of Ottawa. The route, called the Richmond Underground, takes into account the community’s wishes to limit impact on the Byron Linear Park and the Parkway; will boost transit ridership

Learn More

Next Steps

Preliminary Recommended Corridor Alignment (R-12)

Preliminary recommended corridor alignment: Richmond underground [ PDF 6.93 MB ]

Renderings

Skead, Cleary, New Orchard [ PDF 7.6 MB ]

Next Steps

  • Transportation Committee (June 5, 2013) and Council meetings to confirm preliminary recommended alignment
  • Refinement of preliminary preferred corridor alignment and preparation of Recommended Plan, including:
    • Further analysis of station locations
    • Design refinements to mitigate impacts
    • Development of recommended plan (functional design)
    • Implementation and staging of infrastructure (construction detours)
    • Undertake a provincial Environmental Project Report, in accordance with the Transit Project Assessment Process
    • Satisfy federal environmental assessment requirements

Please identify any issues and concerns that you may have by filling out a Comment-Questionnaire and leaving it in the box provided. Comments can also be submitted by email to westernLRT@ottawa.ca

The City will be accepting feedback on the preferred route until May 10, but would appreciate receiving your input as soon as possible to provide adequate time for thorough consideration.

Next Steps [ PDF 142 KB ]

Study Overview and Context

About this study

The City of Ottawa is proceeding with the preparation of a Planning and Environmental Assessment (EA) Study for the expansion and improvement of its rapid transit network to accommodate future travel demand. The WLRTC Planning and Environmental Assessment Study will:

  • Identify and evaluate alternative rapid transit corridors and alignments
  • Develop a Recommended Plan for the preferred corridor alignment, including a functional design for the runningway, stations and ancillary facilities needed to construct, operate and maintain the WLRTC
  • Assess all project impacts on the environment and identify mitigation measures
  • Complete and submit for approval an Environmental Project Report, under the Province of Ontario's Transit Project Assessment Process
  • Undertake any required federal environmental assessment requirements
  • Consult with stakeholders and the general public so they can contribute to the decision-making process

About this study [ PDF 122 KB ]

Study Progress

June 2010 - June 2012

  • Initiate study
  • Develop objectives criteria
  • Identity corridor options
  • Public Open House #1
  • Preliminary screening
  • Conceptual design of 15 corridor alignments
  • Corridor evaluation and sensitivity testing
  • Report to transportation committee and council

June 2012 - April 2013

  • Refinement of corridor alignment options
  • 2nd round of corridor evaluation
  • Identify preliminary recommended alignment

June 2013 - June 2014

  • Report to transportation committee and council
  • Functional design
  • Staging and implementation
  • Impact assessment and mitigation
  • Environmental assessment

Study Progress [ PDF 588 KB ]

Consultation

The WLRTC study includes consultation with public and stakeholders.

To-date:

  • Three stakeholder consultation groups have been set up representing agency, business and public interests
  • The consultation Groups have met five times since the study was initiated
    • A planning workshop with stakeholders was held to develop planning objectives and design criteria
    • Public Open House and Presentation #1 was held in November 2010 to introduce the study to the public and provide an overview of the potential corridors and evaluation process
    • An interim progress report was presented to the City's Transportation Committee in June 2012
      • Staff report identified four corridor alignments to be carried forward
      • Committee directed staff to undertake additional work to address public concerns

What we’ve heard from you

There has been significant interest in the study, with comments generally focused on the following areas:

  • Concern for the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway and its value as a cultural landscape and public open space
  • Potential impacts on the Byron linear park and its value as public open space
  • Potential impacts on existing communities
  • Support for corridors that encourage transit-oriented development

The study team has taken these concerns into account during the corridor evaluation process and will continue to refine the preferred corridor alignment to mitigate impacts on the community while meeting project objectives. 

Consultation [ PDF 130 KB ]

Ottawa’s Planned Rapid Transit Network

Rapid Transit Network - 2031 [ PDF 3.97 MB ]

Confederation Line - Overview

The WLRTC project will be an extension of Ottawa's Confederation Line LRT, currently under construction. Together, the two projects will form a new rapid transit spine running between Baseline Station in the west and Blair Station in the east. This LRT spine will replace the existing Bus Rapid Transit corridor between these two stations and provide sufficient capacity to accommodate ridership growth well into the future.

Confederation Line - Overview [ PDF 2.98 MB ]

Development and Evaluation of Alternative Corridors

Preliminary Process

Preliminary Process [ PDF 149 KB ]

Network Planning, Operational and Functional Requirements

The WLRTC will form a part of Ottawa's LRT network, and must support operational and functional requirements of the whole network while addressing local needs. Issues to be addressed include:

Train Operations:

  • Some service will start at Lincoln Fields Station to provide seats for riders from the west
  • Designed to permit future branching to provide LRT service to Baseline and Bayshore/Kanata
  • Branching reduces capacity along each line and increases operational complexity of network and must be carefully considered
  • Crossovers and pocket tracks will be provided at key locations to allow operational flexibility and accommodate maintenance shut-downs

Maintenance and Storage:

  • Confederation Line facility can accommodate heavy maintenance of WLRTC trains
  • Some overnight storage, interior cleaning and train dispatching will be handled at Baseline Station

Functional Requirements:

  • A fully exclusive LRT right-of-way is required to provide for a fast and reliable transit service providing sufficient capacity which cannot be delayed by other vehicles.
  • Design needs to ensure LRT is not a barrier to movement across corridor to:
    • Provide pedestrian/cyclist crossings

Ensure vehicular access to/from communities, development

Network Planning, Operational and Functional Requirements [ PDF 2.25 MB ]

Overview of Corridors Considered and Preliminary Screening

At the outset of the study, a long list of potential corridor options was developed with input from the consultation groups. The study team undertook a preliminary screening of this long list of corridor options, primarily from a constructability/feasibility perspective.

Overview of Corridors Considered and Preliminary Screening [ PDF 5.25 MB ]

Evaluation Methodology

Prior to commencing the corridor evaluation, a planning workshop was held with members of the consultation groups and other stakeholders. Nine design principles were identified to guide evaluation of the alternatives:

  • Promote Smart Growth
  • Compatibility with Adjacent Communities
  • Protect Historical, Cultural and Archaeological Resources
  • Create Successful Rapid Transit Stations
  • Provide a Safe Facility
  • Increase Ridership, Mobility and Capacity
  • Maximize Sensitivity to the Natural Environment
  • Apply Sustainable Design Best Practices
  • Wise Public Investment

For each principle, specific evaluation criteria were developed to allow each alternative to be assessed. Members of the three consultation group and the study team then assigned ranks and weights to the individual principles and criteria, reflecting their different priorities. Once this was complete, the study team scored each of the corridor alignments and applied the weights. A sensitivity analysis was undertaken to confirm results.

The following display boards provide an overview of each corridor alignment and how it performs against the evaluation criteria.

Evaluation Methodology [ PDF 124 KB ]

C-1: Carling via O-Train

Evaluation Summary

Not recommended for further consideration:

  • Creates a complex, discontinuous network
  • Requires termination of O-Train at Carling
  • Impacts Central Experimental Farm cultural landscape
  • Does not serve Tunney's Pasture or Westboro
  • Requires rapid transit service to remain on Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway
  • Est. capital cost: $2,310 million ($2013)

C-1: Carling via O-Train [ PDF 5.57 MB ]

C-2: Carling via Kirkwood

Evaluation Summary

Not recommended for further consideration:

  • Creates a complex, discontinuous network
  • Does not serve existing Westboro Station
  • Challenging to construct alignment into/out of Kirkwood
  • Challenge to effectively serve east end of Carling and west end of Richmond
  • Requires rapid transit service to remain on Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway
  • Est. capital cost: $2,550 million ($2013)

C-2: Carling via Kirkwood [ PDF 5.37 MB ]

C-3: Carling via Churchill

Evaluation Summary

Not recommended for further consideration:

  • Creates a complex, discontinuous network
  • Underground section along Churchill is disruptive and challenging to construct
  • Difficult to effectively serve east end of Carling and west end of Richmond
  • Est. capital cost: $2,200 million ($2013)

C-3: Carling via Churchill [ PDF 5.39 MB ]

R-1: Richmond via Churchill

Evaluation Summary

Carried forward for further consideration:

  • Least impact on NCC Parkway corridor
  • Provides additional station in heart of Westboro village
  • Challenging to construct alignment through Westboro
  • Greatest impact on Byron linear park corridor
  • Est. capital cost: $1,270 million ($2013)

R-1 Richmond via Churchill [ PDF 5.68 MB ]

R-2: Richmond via Churchill (underground)

Evaluation Summary

Not recommended for further consideration:

  • Least impact on NCC Parkway corridor
  • Provides additional station in heart of Westboro village
  • Challenging to construct alignment
  • Added underground section increases cost with little added benefit versus R-1 corridor alignment
  • Est. capital cost: $2,240 million ($2013)

R-2 Richmond via Churchill (underground) [ PDF 5.6 MB ]

R-3: Richmond via Churchill and Carling/Woodroffe

Evaluation Summary

Not recommended for further consideration:

  • Least impact on NCC Parkway corridor
  • Provides additional stations in heart of Westboro village and at Carlingwood Mall
  • Challenging to construct alignment
  • Increased operational and maintenance costs with little added benefit
  • Est. capital cost: $1,830 million ($2013)

R-3: Richmond via Churchill and Carling/Woodroffe [ PDF 5.54 MB ]

R-4: Richmond via Churchill and Carling/Woodroffe (Underground)

Evaluation Summary

Not recommended for further consideration:

  • Least impact on NCC Parkway corridor
  • Provides additional stations in heart of Westboro village and at Carlingwood Mall
  • Challenging to construct alignment
  • Increased operational and maintenance costs with little added benefit
  • Est. capital cost: $2,610 million ($2013)

R-4: Richmond via Churchill and Carling/Woodroffe (Underground) [ PDF 5.5 MB ]

R-5: Richmond via Rochester Field

Evaluation Summary

Not recommended for further consideration:

  • Least impact on NCC Parkway corridor
  • Provides additional stations in heart of Westboro village and at Carlingwood Mall
  • Challenging to construct alignment
  • Increased operational and maintenance costs with little added benefit
  • Est. capital cost: $960 million ($2013)

R-5: Richmond via Rochester Field [ PDF 5.68 MB ]

R-6: Richmond via Rochester Field (Underground)

Evaluation Summary

Not recommended for further consideration:

  • Minor impact on NCC Parkway corridor
  • Opportunity to create gateway to Parkway
  • Added underground section increases cost with little added benefit versus R-5 corridor alignment
  • Est. capital cost: $1,700 million ($2013)

R-6: Richmond via Rochester Field (Underground) [ PDF 5.67 MB ]

R-7: Richmond via Rochester Field and Carling/Woodroffe

Evaluation Summary

Not recommended for further consideration:

  • Minor impact on NCC Parkway corridor
  • Opportunity to create gateway to Parkway
  • Challenging to construct alignment
  • Increased operational and maintenance costs with little added benefit
  • Est. capital cost: $1,530 million ($2013)

R-7: Richmond via Rochester Field and Carling/Woodroffe [ PDF 5.47 MB ]

R-8: Richmond via Rochester Field and Carling/Woodroffe (Underground)

Evaluation Summary

Not recommended for further consideration:

  • Minor impact on NCC Parkway corridor
  • Opportunity to create gateway to Parkway
  • Challenging to construct alignment
  • Added underground section increases cost with little added benefit versus R-7 corridor alignment
  • Est. capital cost: $2,040 million ($2013)

R-8: Richmond via Rochester Field and Carling/Woodroffe (Underground) [ PDF 5.43 MB ]

R-9: CPR - Richmond

Evaluation Summary

Recommended to be carried forward for further consideration:

  • Impact on NCC Parkway corridor between Dominion and Cleary
  • Opportunity to create gateways to Parkway
  • Relatively easy to construct
  • Impact to Byron linear park between Cleary and Lincoln Fields
  • Est. capital cost: $1,090 million ($2013)

R-9: CPR - Richmond [ PDF 5.58 MB ]

R-10: CPR - Richmond (Underground)

Evaluation Summary 

Not recommended for further consideration:

  • Impact on NCC Parkway corridor between Dominion and Cleary
  • Opportunity to create gateways to Parkway
  • Relatively easy to construct
  • Impact to Byron linear park between Cleary and Lincoln Fields
  • Added underground section increases cost with little added benefit versus R-9 corridor alignment
  • Est. capital cost: $1,450 million ($2013)

R-10: CPR - Richmond (Underground) [ PDF 5.66 MB ]

R-11: CPR via Richmond

Evaluation Summary

Not recommended for further consideration:

  • Impact on NCC Parkway corridor between Dominion and Cleary
  • Opportunity to create gateways to Parkway
  • Challenging to construct
  • Added underground section increases cost with little added benefit versus R-10 corridor alignment
  • Est. capital cost: $1,720 million ($2013)

R-11: CPR via Richmond [ PDF 5.52 MB ]

O-1: Parkway (Re-Use Existing Lanes)

Evaluation Summary

Carried forward for further consideration:

  • Easiest to construct
  • Least impact to community
  • Impacts NCC Parkway cultural landscape
  • Creates potential barrier to riverfront (can be mitigated)
  • Est. capital cost: $630 million ($2013)

O-1: Parkway (Re-Use Existing Lanes) [ PDF 5.51 MB ]

Recap of Evaluation Results

Summary of Corridor Evaluation Results [ PDF 807 KB ]

Sensitivity Analysis

Sensitivity testing was undertaken to assess how the preliminary results would be affected by changing the evaluation parameters, including:

  • Removal of Wise Public Investment as a consideration
  • Removal of the weighted evaluation criteria
  • Focusing on the results for individual consultation groups (Agency, Business, Public, Study Team)
  • Assessing results based only on the most important criteria groups identified

Results of the sensitivity tests confirmed that the four corridor alignments which scored highest (O-1, R-1, R-5 and R-9) should be carried forward for further design, review and evaluation.

The common characteristics of the top four corridor alignments are:

  • Achieve high overall scores with lower capital investment required
  • Use all or part of the existing West Transitway asset
  • Require limited grade separation
  • Provide logical connectivity with other rapid transit corridors, including the O-Train and Carling Avenue

Sensitivity Analysis [ PDF 124 KB ]

C-4: Carling at-grade

Evaluation Summary

Not recommended for further consideration:

  • Creates a complex, discontinuous network
  • Requires termination of O-Train at Carling Station
  • Impacts Central Experimental Farm cultural landscape
  • Does not serve Tunney's Pasture or Westboro
  • Requires rapid transit service to remain on Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway
  • Est. capital cost: $2,000 million ($2013)

C-4: Carling at-grade [ PDF 2.52 MB ]

Top 4+C4 Evaluation

Evaluation of Corridors carried forward and Carling At-Grade [ PDF 365 KB ]

Why Carling Fails as a Primary LRT Corridor

  • Compromises the network and operations
    • Branching reduces capacity needed for primary line and leaves insufficient service to Tunney's Pasture
    • O-Train must terminate at Carling to avoid conflicts with WLRTC
    • O-Train cannot connect to Gatineau
  • Does not serve Tunney's Pasture and Westboro
  • Requires continued bus service on Parkway for foreseeable future
  • 2-3 times the cost of other options
  • Potentially very visually intrusive
  • 7.1 km underground is impractical
  • Adds between 3-13 minutes to travel time

Why Carling Fails as a Primary LRT Corridor [ PDF 2 MB ]

Evaluation Process

Proposed Evaluation Methodology for the Shortlist Corridor Alignments [ PDF 141 KB ]

Parkway (O-1)

  • Restricts access to greenspace, waterfront and pathway network
  • Relies on using the Parkway

Richmond via Churchill (R-1)

  • Ruins Byron Linear Park
  • Physically divides community
  • Does little to encourage/improve access to waterfront pathways and parkland

Parkway (O-1) and Richmond via Churchill (R-1) [ PDF 2.84 MB ]

Richmond via Rochester (R-5)

  • Ruins Byron Linear Park
  • Physically divides community

CPR - Richmond (R-9)

  • Does little to protect Byron Linear Park west of Woodroffe
  • Does little to encourage/improve access to waterfront pathways and parkland

Richmond via Rochester (R-5) and CPR - Richmond (R-9) [ PDF 2.95 MB ]

Richmond Underground (R-12) 

  • Protects Byron Linear Park and keeps LRT off the Ottawa River Parkway
  • Maintains community connectivity
  • Encourages access to greenspace, waterfront and pathway network

Richmond Underground North (R-13)

  • Protects Byron Linear Park
  • Maintains community connectivity
  • Encourages access to greenspace, waterfront and pathway network

Richmond Underground (R-12) and Richmond Underground North (R-13) [ PDF 3 MB ]

Evaluation Results

Shortlist Evaluation Results [ PDF 438 KB ]

Lincoln Fields - Baseline: Overview

  • Portion south of Lincoln Fields is common to all as it generally follows the current Southwest Transitway
  • BRT and LRT in corridor between Lincoln Fields and Queensway
    • Protect for future LRT to Bayshore/Kanata
  • New BRT connection to Queensway
  • Iris Station will be modified to suit LRT

Lincoln Fields - Baseline: Overview [ PDF 1.74 MB ]

Lincoln Fields - Baseline: West Transitway Connection, Queensway Station

Stage 1: Before LRT Extension westerly

  • LRT from Lincoln Fields to Baseline
  • BRT from Lincoln Fields to the Queensway
    • Inbound uses existing bus ramp
    • Outbound uses new ramp in northeast quadrant
  • 4-lanes required north of the Queensway to accommodate both services

Stage 2: After LRT Extension westerly

  • BRT connection removed

Lincoln Fields - Baseline: West Transitway Connection, Queensway Station [ PDF 8.96 MB ]

Lincoln Fields - Baseline: Iris Station

Cul-de-Sac

Iris Street would be closed to through traffic. A cul-de-sac would be built for both ends of Iris allowing for passenger drop-off and pick-up and potentially bus turn-around. A pedestrian bridge will be constructed for pedestrian and bicycle access. Local multi-use pathways would be modified to maintain connectivity.

Emergency vehicle access across the tracks may also be provided. The new station would be just south of Iris Street.

Half-up, Half-down

To reduce the impact of a large bridge, the LRT would be lowered as far as possible, without requiring substantial reworking of Pinecrest Creek. The lowered LRT profile allows for a shorter bridge and no impact on residential properties along Iris Street.

Pedestrians would access the station via stairs and elevators from the bridge and ramps to grade on each side of the LRT. Some modification of Pinecrest Creek is required to create enough vertical clearance to fit all of the elements into the site.

LRT in a Trench

To reduce the impact on Iris Street, this alternative would see the LRT lowered far enough to require only a short road bridge over the corridor. The presence of the creek requires substantial reworking of the creek past the station area to accommodate the LRT trench.

Lincoln Fields - Baseline: Iris Station [ PDF 8.46 MB ]

Round 2 evaluation criteria

Promote Smart Growth

The project will stimulate opportunities for land use intensification and transit oriented development (TOD) on adjacent lands and will require transit service to existing uses. Associated criteria include:

Criteria Indicator
Transit-oriented development (TOD) opportunities Inspire and encourage Transit Oriented Development (TOD) through enhanced connectivity to encourage and offer maximum potential.
 City building opportunities Supports City policies regarding intensification and community planning.

Compliance with NCC Plans and policies

 Integrated station development opportunities Station locations in corridor provide for integrated station development opportunities.

Compatibility with Adjacent Communities

The project will be planned and designed to be an integral and compatible component of existing and planned communities that it traverses. Associated criteria include:

Criteria Indicator
Integration of LRT with community Ability of the facility and supporting infrastructure to link and unite adjacent communities rather than separate them, and to provide enhanced access to the River shoreline.
Other transportation networks Minimizes operational impacts on other transportation networks.

Facilitate and enhance interprovincial connectivity and continuity.

Business development Not a differentiator in initial evaluation
Air quality, noise and vibration Assessment of air quality based on existing air quality estimates and proximity to sensitive receptors.
Construction impacts Accessibility/exposure to all land uses during construction.

Protect Historical, Cultural and Archaeological Resources

The project will be planned to be unobtrusive and respectful vis-à-vis the heritage, archaeological, cultural and visual elements of the study area. It will be compatible with and uphold the area's historical, cultural, archaeological and artistic characteristics.. Associated criteria include:

Criteria Indicator
Views, vistas and public open space Effects on scenic entry points and the Ottawa River.

Effects on public open space.

Heritage conservation Not a differentiator
Cultural landscapes Impact on identified cultural landscape including ability to respect and preserve the national significance of the Parkway and its intrinsic value and Capital-defining elements, and opportunities for programming, interpretation and commemoration.

Protect and distinguish symbolic character of the capital.

Archaeological resources Impact on archaeological resources.

Create Successful Rapid Transit Stations

The projects rapid transit Stations will be located within relatively short walking distances of medium and high density land uses, will be accessible, functional and integrated with other transportation networks. Associated criteria include:

Criteria Indicator
Location and spacing Existing and future population and employment density along the corridor and number of major facilities (such as hospitals, universities, colleges, regional facilities, recreation centres and shopping centres).
Accessibility Proximity of existing and future development to transit station/facility.
Layout, design and amenities Ability to provide vital passenger circulation, wayfinding and ease of orientation, avoid conflicts between vehicles and between users at transfer stations (including Bayview and Baseline Stations) and encourage accessory retail and service uses at stations to create opportunities for vibrant people-oriented places.
Multi-modal connections Ability to provide connections to existing/future pedestrian, cycling and transit facilities to enhance walking and cycling shares.

Provide a Safe Facility

The projects infrastructure will provide for safe, efficient and reliable movement of passengers and transit vehicles as well as the routing of services and utilities. Associated criteria include:  

Criteria Indicator
Personal safety Avoid designs which create isolated areas, unsafe circulation.
Infrastructure safety Ability to provide emergency services access to corridor and stations.

Ability to provide emergency evacuation from stations/corridors.

Operational safety Not a differentiator

Increase Ridership, Mobility and Capacity

The project will provide a fast, convenient, comfortable, reliable, and efficient rapid transit service that will be part of the core rapid transit network, while being fully integrated with other transportation networks. Associated criteria include:

Criteria Indicator
Travel times and rider comfort Degree of transit priority achieved and resulting travel times

LRT geometry (curves, grades) achieved.

Design for all-day use Not a differentiator
Network connectivity Ability to connect to other existing and planned rapid and local transit services.

Facilitate and enhance interprovincial connectivity and continuity.

Local and regional trips Not a differentiator

Maximize Sensitivity to Natural Environment

The focus of this category is to assess the potential effect of the alternative corridors on elements of the natural environment Associated criteria include:

Criteria Indicator
Surface and groundwater Disruption of surface watercourses.

Effect on infiltration.

Fisheries, flora and fauna Disruption to fish habitat.
Ecological linkages Incorporates “Environmental responsibility and context sensitivity”, Impact on “species at risk” and disruptions to ecological linkages.
Environmental contamination Disturbance of large areas of contamination.

Apply Sustainable Design Best Practices

The project will exemplify best practices in energy and environmental design, including green infrastructure choices. Associated criteria include:

Criteria Indicator
Energy efficiency Allows for reduced energy use in stations and in transit operations.
Infrastructure re-use Maximizes re-use of existing transit infrastructure.
Minimize footprint Minimizes footprint of corridor, stations and ancillary facilities.
Storm water management Ability to provide storm water management facilities.
GHG emissions Not a differentiator

Wise Public Investment

The identification of the economic factors associated with an alternative corridor to determine whether it is an acceptable solution to those who will ultimately pay for implementation and to identify public sector capital funding needs. Associated criteria include:  

Criteria Indicator
Capital costs Estimated Class D construction costs.
Operating and maintenance costs Estimated net operating and maintenance costs.
Land acquisition cost Estimated land acquisition requirements.
Value for money Estimated cost/benefit analysis