In late April, I posted about a “leaked” memo from the Township of Langley’s Transportation Engineering department. The memo writer expressed some concerns about light rail in the South of Fraser. The short of it is that there is a belief that light rail would not meet performance targets because it is not built up in the sky, or buried underground.
While not explicitly in the Township’s Transportation Engineering memo, I know some have expressed concerns about the safety of light rail. Because light rail will run parallel to Fraser Highway, some believe it will create unsafe intersections and slow down cars.
This week I’m in Calgary. Calgary Transit has been operating light rail for the past 34 years. Calgary’s system has the highest light rail ridership in Canada and the US. The Calgary light rail network runs in grade separated right-of-ways and at-grade. The busiest section of Calgary’s light rail network runs at-grade with surface crossings.
Calgary light rail system provides consistent travel times. In Downtown Calgary, signals are timed to allow the smooth flow for light rail riders, cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists. Along 36 St NE, light rail traffic is prioritized at intersections.
Yes, there are occasional collisions between light rail vehicles and autos, but they are so few and far between, it is front page news when it happens.
As the saying goes, a picture is worth 1,000 words. I snapped some pictures of Calgary's CTrain network around Downtown Calgary, and in the inner neighbourhood of Kensington, to show how light rail interacts at various at-grade intersections. I also snapped a picture showing how light rail stations can blend into the context of any sized neighbourhood.
|CTrain about to cross 5 Ave SW in Downtown Calgary. Track Parallels 9 St SW. Note crossing barrier.|
|7 Ave SW and 2 St SW Intersection in Downtown Calgary.|
|CTrain and Calgary Transit Bus Sharing the Road.|
|CTrain Crossing 2 St SW in Downtown Calgary.|
|CTrain Crossing Sign at 8th St SW in Downtown Calgary.|
|CTrain Tracks Parallel to 9 St SW in Downtown Calgary.|
|CTrain Crossing 2 Ave NW in Kensington. Tracks parallel 9a St NW.|
|Sunnyside CTrain Station in Kensington. Station integrates into the community.|
|CTrain Tracks at Brentwood Station. Crowchild Trail and new Transit Oriented Development.|
If light rail has works for over 30-years in Calgary, with the busiest sections of the Calgary light rail network at-grade, it will certainly work in the South of Fraser.