Light Rail questioned by Langley Township planner – Yesterday’s planning at work!

The same old cliched arguments about modern light rail have surfaced in Langley Township.

What old Zwei finds so tiresome is that the some planners remains so uninformed about SkyTrain light-metro and modern light rail, think both are “rapid transit“.

Transit is only as ‘rapid’ as it is designed to be.

Sadly, the term “rapid transit” is now a catchall phrase that can describe about anything, which TransLink has used with great success in confusing politicians to OK building more SkyTrain.

Of course modern LRT crosses road traffic at intersections, but those intersections are protected by lights and major intersections will include a station or stop for the tram (transit is to pick up and transport customers) and it is the auto and truck drivers, who disobey traffic signals and cause collisions.

This can be rectified to a great extent by having CCTV and red-light cameras at major tram/road intersections, fining those drivers who disobey a traffic light and if one causes a collision with a tram, a one year ban from driving, would deter many people from disobeying a red light. A tram driver who disobeys a red light normally gets sanctioned or fired.

Today road/rail intersections are about ten times safer than road/road intersections.

The Leewood/Rail for the Valley study’s time matrix showed that the travel time from Langley to Scott Road Station, via TramTrain, would be 25 minutes and the time to travel to downtown Vancouver would be another 25 minutes, thus giving a Langley to Vancouver travel time of 50 minutes, unbeatable, even with TransLink’s planning.

It is time for our regional planners to step out of the ‘rubber and asphalt‘ world they live in and join the 21st century as modern light rail in its various forms, is very friendly indeed.

A Alstom Citidis diesel TramTrain in action.

Rapid transit proposal questioned by Langley Township planner

The proposed LRT line to Surrey, set to be in place in about 12 years, will run at street level and won

The proposed LRT line to Surrey, set to be in place in about 12 years, will run at street level and won’t speed up commute times, Langley Township council has been told.

ai??i??Ai??image credit: TransLink graphic

A TransLink proposal that would use a ground-level light rapid transit (LRT) line to connect Langley and Surrey, rather than extend the elevated SkyTrain system, has been questioned by a senior Township planner, who says the line may not help Langley commuters get to Vancouver and could mean delays for riders and a higher risk of accidents.

In a letter to TransLink obtained by The Times, Langley manager of transportation engineering Paul Cordeiro expresses a number of concerns following a March 9 workshop to begin ai???Phase 3ai??? planning of proposed light rail lines to Langley and South Surrey.

Based on the discussion at the workshop, it appears commuters wonai??i??t be able to use the Langley line to take rapid transit to Vancouver, the Cordeiro letter states.

During the March 9 meeting, ai???comments were made about the LRT serving a local functionai??? that appear to indicate the line is ai???not to facilitate Langley to Vancouver regional trips, but instead to predominately serve local trips,ai??? the letter states.

ai???The framework guiding the design of this project does not appear to be consistent with a regional serving rapid transit lineai??? the letter adds.

It goes on to request that TransLink ai???clarify the role and function of this major capital project ai??i??ai???

The letter says that the line was originally described as a ai???rapid transit alternative with slightly longer trip times as compared to the SkyTrain model.ai???

The letter notes the line would run along Fraser Highway from Surrey into Langley at ground level, requiring the trains to cross several major road intersections, including Highway 15, described as a ai???high speedai??? major route and 200 Street, with an estimated 40,000 vehicles a day.

It describes the busy intersections as ai???major conflict pointsai??? and warnsAi?? ai???there is a potential for vehicle-train collisions.ai???

Cordeiro calls on TransLink to hire a road safety auditor ai???for assessment of risks at conflict points based on the traffic volume, traffic speed, probability of a collision and the consequences of a collision.ai???

Cordeiro also expresses doubt about the TransLink estimate that the Langley-to-Surrey trip would take 29 minutes on a ground-level LRT.

ai???Township staff would like to discuss what steps will be taken to ensure that this travel time is met on a consistent basis,ai??? Cordeiro says.

ai???Specifically, we would like to review what policies and procedures will be put in place when considering additional stops or other items that may impact the travel time of the system, which is of primary importance to the Township, due to our geographic location.ai???

A copy of the letter was distributed to members of Township council on March 19.

Comments

4 Responses to “Light Rail questioned by Langley Township planner – Yesterday’s planning at work!”
  1. Haveacow says:

    What is really annoying is that, when you go into the records of cities with surface LRT in North America and you look whom actually caused the Car/Truck vs. Surface LRT accidents, it is almost always the private vehicle’s fault. In Houston were they had a really large number of traffic accidents with the then new LRT line, they found that over 66% of all accidents were caused just by drivers not paying attention while making left hand turns. A local police Officer coined it the “Lazy Left Phenomena”! People were just so used to either making illegal or careless left hand turns along certain parts of the route before the LRT had been built that, the existence of the LRT line or the actual presence of the Light Rail Vehicle operating right beside them in traffic while driving was, just simply ignored by drivers. The results were quite predictable. If Surrey and Langley even get surface LRT, the local drivers are just going to have to slow down and pay attention while driving.

  2. Haveacow says:

    Wow, Hey, Sparky! If you really are a Senior Transportation Engineer I assume you have been looking at the same Translink proposals that everyone else has, or have you ? The LRT line doesn’t continue to downtown Vancouver in any of the maps I have seen. So, unless Greater Vancouver is the test site for a LRV that can suddenly jump from the planned at grade LRT tracks to the above grade Skytrain system’s tracks, without passengers having to transfer to a different vehicle somewhere in between them, then you are right, the LRT will not facilitate direct Langley to Vancouver trips and will most definitely, predominately serve local trips in Surrey and Langley. If Mr. Coedeiro a senior transportation official in his Township is just realizing this, someone needs to let him out of the office, a little more often. I’m not saying that his ideas don’t merit a look but, to suddenly say in the middle of a area wide Transit Plebiscite (a rare event in Canada) that, one of the main rail line proposals, a separate LRT network for the area south of the Fraser River is not going to function the same way as a continuous Skytrain line would and will not provide a direct link to downtown Vancouver, you are either grand standing or need a vacation. Keeping in mind, maybe the LRT should eventually have an independent link to downtown Vancouver?

    However, to suddenly wake up in the middle of a highly publicized and controversial vote, referendum, plebiscite, whatever you want to call it, and attack the yes side’s transportation plans as if you have just found out some secret is just showing that you don’t support the idea. Just be honest, state that you don’t agree with it and move on! Really, an at surface LRT line may have to be very careful about travel times and possible negative interaction with car and truck traffic at intersections, fascinating! It’s not like, it’s not already the law in most places that, you have to study these problems in this situation, right?

  3. nevergreen says:

    Wait, so this extra transit tax for metro Vancouver, won’t provide this service for at least 12 years? I guess they’re building the nevergreen line now, so they need a new one to keep kicking down the road?

    Langley planners are terrible, that area is a sprawling mess. Langley is an automall wrapped in an industrial park, with a lot of housing segregated to the north.

    They don’t want this LRT line sometime in the next 12 years, so they’ll hold out for what 30, 40, 45 years before they can have skytrain too? If skytrain is even available then.

  4. eric chris says:

    What I really do not like about the Surrey LRT lines is their spacing and ridiculous cost – to make them “fast” and frequent. As soon as you start using “feeder” diesel buses to transfer riders to the centralized hub to hub LRT stations spaced 1 km apart on average, LRT becomes another s-train debacle.

    http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/2015/04/09/lrt-101-surrey-lays-out-its-concept

    These lines are going to hamper and alienate drivers who are going to have most of their left turns eliminated. Unless you live a very structured life, student or government worker, transit is not for you. Although I support transit, I’m practical and don’t pretend that it is solving road congestion and cutting air pollution. It does not and is not:

    http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Opinion+glaring+imbalance

    Centralized hub to hub transit does not attract drivers. Hub to hub transit in Surrey is going to become another social welfare transportation mode for the “peasants” using it to work in Vancouver for minimum wage jobs. Personally, I find this disgusting and prefer trams replacing the polluting and costly “feeder” buses which the LRT lines are going to add to clog up the roads. Mathematically and statistically, trams reducing the number of buses on the roads (and as a corollary the road congestion and air pollution) are faster than centralized transit for the majority of users (point to point). Trams are inexpensive and do the job, well.

    http://www.railforthevalley.com/latest-news/zweisystem/trams-save-operating-costs/

    There is no reason for centralized transit other than for corrupt politicians such as Gregor Robertson and Geoff Meggs (who are being bribed or “funded” by developers) to rezone single family homes for high density housing which developers can then market in China to make easy money. This has reduced the availability of single family homes in Vancouver and has made Vancouver the most unaffordable place in Canada.

    Gangster developers are exchanging their laundered drug money (Yuan to Canadian dollars) to buy a few housing lots for $1,000,000 each in Vancouver and then put a high rise on the lots. This is what has made Vancouver unaffordable – foreign developers driving up the cost of land on transit corridors used as the catalyst for the over development under the guise that it is to reduce road congestion.

    Idiot morons at TransLink (as well as their stooge transportation engineers at the COV and it seems Surrey, now) don’t know what they are doing with their hub to hub transit siphoning money away from bridges (replacement for Burrard, Pattullo, Lions Gate and new bridges to debottleneck the existing bridges). They really are corrupt idiots and we have to get rid of them, in my opinion.

    Bridges do not put more cars on the roads. They reduce commuting times to reduce road congestion. End of story.

    http://www.theprovince.com/news/Opinion+Clock+ticking+Lions+Gate+Bridge/10978652/story.html

    Zwei replies: As I have stated previously, the LRT in Surrey are being designed as a poor man’s SkyTrain. I think a new Patullo road/rail bridge and the RftV Vancouver to Chilliwack TramTrain, plus a Whiterock to Surrey Centre/Vancouver LRT/TramTrain service would attract far more new transit customers than anything TransLink has presented.