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A Better Future for Winnipeg

16 Jul

“Rapid Transit” & Rail Relocation*

PLEASE do not be frightened by the subtitle*.  Not only is this option far less expensive than the present so-called plans in Winnipeg,  it is also superior in so many ways that will become obvious as you read further!

All modern cities have modern transit….

BUT HOW is Winnipeg going to join the 21st century and regain its status as a modern city?

 Winnipeg Citizens want PROOF of any opinion or concept because they don’t want to make any more hugely expensive mistakes, and at this point  their trust in politicians is very, very low!

Here is  HOW  Winnipeg citizens  CAN find that proof and how it can be done quickly, efficiently and very  inexpensively ….especially when we compare this with the $600 MILLION costs of the continuation of the BRT bus road to nowhere..

Some facts first:

  • the greatest COST in any such project is LAND… but most important is getting  THE LAND that provides the most benefits and best transit system.
  • So far the Winnipeg BRT system has 2 huge flaws:
    • 1.)   It detours around the concentrations of population that need the modern transit, and
    • 2.)  IT IS TEMPORARY…everyone knows a road only lasts so long and then is CLOSED  for extended periods of time as it is re-built.. again and again and again!

A look at where the costs of the new $600 MILLION BRT extension come from, would be helpful

-AND-you should ask the questions: 

Is this functional?     –      Does this help anything?

Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 1.48.25 PM

Please look at this map.

On the right is the  Jubilee/ Pembina interchange

On the left is the top “Y” of the Letellier CN rail line

The “Plan”  is to widen the Pembina underpass, and also to have the BRT (the white road coming down from top R. corner) go over a new bridge across Pembina and then a huge overpass (100 + metres long) over those two parts of the Letellier line that forms a “Y”

All of these supposed “improvements” are HUGELY EXPENSIVE and also totally unnecessary.  If you really think widening the underpass will help, PLEASE look at what has happened on Kenaston:  road doubled, $40 Million underpass and yet total gridlock every day at rush hour!  These sorts of “improvements” have been proven to be wasteful and ‘useless’ all over the continent but here in Wpg. YOUR politicians try to sell them as rational!

So perhaps it is time to reveal a

A BETTER PLAN

A plan that would :

– Immediately   save the city HUNDREDS of millions of dollars

– Over the next two decades save many times that amount

– SOLVE  all sorts of traffic problems

  •  immeasurably improve Public Safety and Health in the city**
    • **THIS is the sort of thing RESPONSIBLE councillors think about!
    • **This is what “Planning” should do for the city and its citizens

– Bring in HUGE tax revenues on new ‘infill’ condo/homes  and businesses along Pembina (not in the Parker wetlands!)

– rejuvenate many neighbourhoods that have ‘declined’

– and bring Wpg. into the 21st century with possibly the best transit system on the continent

( or at least the best ‘cost/delivery-of-service’ system)

MOST IMPORTANTLY:   this vision shows

HOW to get from the MESS we are presently in, to the future that offers the most to everyone.

 Recently there was a derailment just south of St. Norbert on the rail line that parallels Pembina Hwy. between Jubilee and the Perimeter Hwy.

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/train-derails-south-of-Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 12.30.41 PMcity-255965401.html

In this and other  articles it is mentioned-

“Crews were rerouting trains to alternate tracks.”

 So trains CAN be re-routed via other rail lines. So at least in this very small section of the rail network in Winnipeg IT IS POSSIBLE to have a demonstration of the whole concept, that can and will save both huge amounts of tax-payer money, and at the same time demonstrate how Winnipeg can become (over the next 15 years) THE CITY we all wish to live in.

After the constant over-budget SCAMs and constant boondoggles around this town Everyone wants PROOF before the ‘buy’ another boondoggle

 ( BRT failed in Ottawa before ‘your’ politicians sold it to you here!!!)

A Starting Point for finding The PROOF.

I’m suggesting: The Letellier line, that’s the line parallel to Pembina  (see map 2) be closed to rail traffic while negotiations begin with CN about a five year plan to re-locate the CN main-line that goes through Winnipeg (and The Forks).  At the same time the city, the Province and the Federal governments will start a 10 year plan to re-locate the CP mainline that divides the ‘north end from the city.

Because this Latellier line is so under-used (Max. 4-5 trains a week) and the traffic CAN be re-routed it offers the perfect beginning for an LRT network in the City and at a very reasonable cost. It also uses the existing BRT road and provides a very efficient, and desperately needed transit solution to both the U of M and The Blue Bombers and other stadium tenants. It also services the dense population that resides on both sides of Pembina.

Here is the FIRST STAGE of a NEW Winnipeg LRT…

…that will in 15-20 years serve the whole city…15-20 years is a very short period only possible because the right-of-ways already exist, and because any responsible politician will acknowledge that the threat to PUBLIC SAFETY** that the existing rail lines present, is intolerable!                                        

**something politicians have been ‘skating around’ for decades !

Here: a proposed beginning that costs next to nothing, in-comparison with the present plan AND is part of a larger vision of  what could end up being:

THE BEST LRT SYSTEM ON THE CONTINENT

Starting at the Harkens – Osborne BRT Stations LRT rails will be placed on the BRT road to Jubilee where the LRT will cross Pembina beside the CN mainline…on the existing bridge.

Please notice there is lots of room beside the CN main line…Check out the first map!

COST?  1/100,000th of the proposed bridge AND when the CN mainline is relocated 5 years later that bridge will be MORE than adequate for any westward LRT LINE

Then following  the Letellier line south to Markham Road,  it will turn left and cross Pembina in less time than the existing traffic light ( and less often too!) into the newly acquired U.of M lands and continue over to stop in front of the Stadium and then turn westward along Chancellor Matheson Rd, across Pembina and back north up the railway right-of -way.

The rest of this document tries to explain SOME of  the  questions that many will have

How can this be “LESS EXPENSIVE?

1.)  The existing BRT through Ft. Rouge is only a very temporary system because the road will undoubtedly deteriorate  (as do all Winnipeg roads) and when that happens (every 5-8 years) that BRT route will be CLOSED for the time it takes to re-build the broken road …Months and months of  NO BRT.

However as a foundation for an LRT it will, as it crumbles & cracks  just become part of the gravel base below the LRT tracks. That in itself constitutes a future saving of MILLIONS of dollars.

2.)  You may have already noticed this:  This plan obliterates the need for umpteen over/underpasses…especially at Bishop Grandin where the railway already has a bridge built!

3.)  This route i goes through the very middle of a very large population that will find the LRT far, far superior AND CHEAPER than driving downtown.  Thus LARGE numbers of people will find the LRT useful… not just students going south.

4.)  With ‘Park & Ride’ available at Bishop Grandin   (check out the map) there is lots of possibility for large Park & Ride lot just north of Bishop Grandin and west of the rail right-of-way

5.)  This solves the problem of MASSES of people attending events at the stadium… ONE LRT car holds as many people as MANY buses, and there can be as many as 5-6 cars (with only one driver…savings, savings)

6.)  Eventually this line will connect with other lines all over the city ( check out a map of the city and see the possibilities that Rail Re-location offers!).  Imagine going to the airport from a Park & Ride is south Winnipeg for the cost of a bus ride..  If you are familiar with Chicago (and other cities) you know this already is possible there!)

7.)  The most expensive and difficult parts of any transit system implementation are:

    1. acquiring the land and right-of-way.   DONE!
    2. creating the foundation for the roadway… DONE

Short-term & Long-term Savings Benefit

The present City Plan, and it is difficult to call it a plan instead of a Scam, entails a new Pembina underpass, a new BRT over- pass at Pembina for buses and at least another large overpass at Bishop Grandin as the BRT route proceeds to the university / stadium.
With this plan there is no need for any such construction… that’s a saving of at least $2-300 Million  and you KNOW that is very conservative.

WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH THE REST OF THE CITY?

Rail Re-location offers Winnipeg an incredibly Bright future. It also offers an incredible infrastructure worth $Billions to replicate… The underpass on Kenaston cost $40 Million alone… count the over/under passes the railroads will leave behind!!!
A cursory glance at a map of the City of Winnipeg shows a central core that is isolated from the surrounding city by rail lines; a city that has huge traffic problems precisely because the rails are impeding everything from cars & trucks to bicycles and pedestrians from moving even short distances around town. Added to the noise and health hazards is the long-term continued decline of the city all because there is no long term plan for the future of this city.

A Quick View of the Big Picture (the Future plan)

There exists today a ‘circle’ of rail lines going (from the NW) From the Airport through the CP rail yards to Elmwood, back southward through The Forks to Jubilee and Pembina, westward along the CN mainline to River Heights, and back to the start parallel to Kenaston. That is a huge advantage-opportunity no other city has in N. America … A future very inexpensive right-of-way for the most efficient LRT Transit system on the whole continent. In reality that right-of-way the rails now use impedes traffic, and in all truth the economy of the centre city.  Instead it could provide the Central Rapid Transit infrastructure for a GREAT Transit system.

It would be great to start with that as the beginning vision, but starting with a small part of that concept  WILL give citizens HOPE that the city can be saved from the INCOMPETENCE AND CORRUPTED VALUES, AND IRRESPONSIBILITY  of this city, mayor,  council and administration.

ENOUGH of this “Good Enough for Winnipeg” cr_p

sold to you by politicians who cannot see past their own Narchistic needs.

 YOUR job is to get out there and support people who see-

 Winnipeg as a place to live

NOT

a place to build a political career

and retire somewhere else on the pension we pay them.

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