ONR and road safety facts, Bikeway principles

A new bridge will help Kamploopsians get together.

Kamloops reconnects, Road safety? Ontario Northland subsidy 23 cents more per passenger than GO Train, Costs of going underground. Inter-city bus service returns to NB and PEI and more in today Transport Action Hotline.

Transport Action Atlantic, Bus service and seniors housing among top issues in St. Andrews

"Voters in Charlotte County's shiretown say bus services, housing for seniors and employment for young people are issues that need to be addressed. "They (councillors) don't think of people who don't have wheels," resident Mike Perry said. "They can't conceive of it. They should." Charlotte County needs something better than bus connections three days a week, said Perry, a member of Transport Action Atlantic," Derwin Gowan wrote for the Telegraph-Journal on May 12.

"Charlotte County communities should subsidize a daily local bus that would allow people without cars to attend events at the civic centre under construction in St. Stephen, meet the Grand Manan Ferry at Blacks Harbour or commute to work in Saint John, he suggested. Many young people cannot afford to drive, while seniors avoid driving on the highway, he said, adding that seniors' housing is another major issue," the Telegraph-Journal reported.

Chris Holloway s’occupera du dossier du train à vapeur, Transport Action

"Le Centre local de développement des Collines-de-l’Outaouais a annoncé aujourd’hui la nomination de Chris Holloway comme chargé de projet pour le train à vapeur Gatineau-Chelsea-Wakefield
M. Holloway a travaillé dans le domaine du transport urbain et a déjà été directeur national pour Transport 2000, un organisme voué à la protection des intérêts des usagers du transport en commun et du transport ferroviaire interurbain.

Son mandat sera principalement de travailler en collaboration avec le comité de relance du train à vapeur et de rassembler toutes les études actuelles et futures, concernant le train à vapeur et ses composantes. Il dressera aussi l’historique du train dans la région. Ce nouveau mandat est un grand défi pour Chris Holloway. «Toute ma vie j’ai travaillé dans un milieu anglophone, et là je me retrouve dans un milieu très francophone, indique-t-il. Ce sera un gros défi.»   Yannick Boursier  a écrit pour la Revule le 11 Mai. http ://is.gd/llE5m4

Transport Action BC, Kamloops reconnects, New pedestrian and bike bridge

"The long awaited bridge and paths linking the eastern end of downtown with the Rivers trail and the Valleyview are complete. The bridge and trail will do a lot for walking and cycling in Kamloops; linking parts of the city that have been disconnected for decades. The highway interchange (the Trans Canada and the Yellowhead Highway junction) and the Canadian Pacific mainline go through the area. There hasn’t been a safe way to walk between Valleyview and the central area of Kamloops until this new path opened," Matthew Buchanan blogged for Transport Action BC on May 11.

Some people complained about the high cost of the trails and bridge, saying that the money would have been better spent building more parking spaces at the hospital. It certainly was expensive and did go over budget, but it was a difficult site with the railway and highway on-ramps in close proximity, and both had to remain open at all times. A lot of retaining walls had to be built to squeeze the trail in between the existing lanes. Poor decisions in the past when the interchanges was built led to this expensive solution today. Why didn’t they build a proper sidewalk at the time? That’s a good question, but I think the idea was that people should be forced into cars or the infrequent bus. Walkers and cyclists were just not thought important enough. We’ve come a long way since those dark days, but it is still an uphill battle to get proper and safe sidewalks, paths and bike lanes so that there are real alternatives to driving. I think Kamloopsians will grow to appreciate this important link on the eastern side of the city.

"Coincident with the new bridge and paths is a new designated bike lane through central Kamloops. Aligning along Nicola and St Paul streets, which see less car traffic then nearby roads, it links the new bridge to the west (downtown). The north side of the bridge connects to the River’s Trail and an unpleasant sidewalk on the Yellowhead highway bridge towards Tk’emlups Band territory. The east link connects to on-road bike lanes on Valleyview Drive," Transport Action BC president Matthew Buchanan wrote. http://is.gd/ia5iBR

Paul-André Larose, The 12 Attributes of Bikeway Networks

"Cycling can be either of a Competitive, Recreational or Functional nature; as a result, there are three types of Cycling. This document deals with one of these, namely “Functional Cycling”; this is a form of Active Transportation, intra-urban in nature, that is known as “Cyclo-Mobility”. For cycling to be widely accepted, it must be made safe – presently, it is NOT, as a result of a lack of proper infrastructures. In particular, city streets must be viewed and designed in a way that is not “Auto-Centric”; in fact, the purpose of transportation should be to move people and goods, not cars. A key element towards this is the provision of Bikeways in the streetscape.

In the same manner that motorized vehicles depend on maintained (and plowed) roads, similarly Bikeways require a basic level of maintenance. They should not be seen as suitable only for mild-weather months. Moreover, they should not be confused with Bike Trails, as these are recreational and generally go where the topography permits, not where the functional needs really are. Bikeways can have different levels of sophistication (and costs) depending on the type of intra-urban road conditions and traffic; these need not be a drain on municipal resources. Whenever possible, low-traffic non-arterial roadways can be used successfully in this manner. The essential requirement however is that there has to be a “Political Will” to address the issue, Transport Action's Paul-André Larose wrote on May 12.

A Bikeway does not exist in isolation, but rather it is part of a Bikeway Network. In addition, it has the following Twelve Attributes:
1. Functional: Providing corridors linking ”Need To Go” places
2. Safe: Free of moving/parked vehicles and pedestrians
3. Secure: No isolated, unlit or inaccessible areas
4. Quasi-Direct: Minimal increase in travel distance
5. Gap-Free: Continuous interconnection of routings
6. Conflict-Free: Smart intersection designs and protocols
7. Extensive: City-wide coverage within a 0.5 km grid
8. Unrestricted: Usable at any time, in any season, 24/365
9. All-Weather: No splashing and timely snow removal
10. Integrative: Ties-in with parking, buildings and transit
11. Beautifying: Adds to streetscape and neighborhoods
12. Cost-Effective: For users, taxpayers and businesses

Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains, Keep Ontario Northland public

CAPT reports, "If you have been following the news, you will know that the fight to save the ONTC is gaining increasing attention, both in the public sphere and in the Ontario Legislature.  In case you missed it I have included a list of facts taken out of recent ONTC media as well as the links to new articles, videos and media clips.  Please help support our cause and keep public transportation in Northern Ontario. Write to your local MP or MPP, sign the petitions at http://www.nd4on.ca,http://www.captrains.ca, and http://www.thepetitionsite.com/585/131/716/ontario-northland-not-for-sale/ or join the Ontario Northland Facebook group.  The privatization of the ONTC affects more than just the employees who will lose their jobs, it impacts how Northerners stay connected economically, socially and politically.

Ontario Northland facts, 23 cents more per passenger to subsidize the ONTC than Metrolinx

ONTC has been operating in Ontario for over 100 yrs. On March 23rd, 2012 the Ontario Government announced its plans to privatize the ONTC.

Premier Dalton McGuinty pledged never to divest the ONTC in 2002 during his election campaign in North Bay.  The pledge was entitled “Saving jobs, protecting our future in the north: a contract with the people of Nipissing”. McGuinty once referred to the ONTC as a vital service for the North.

This decision was made without community or any other consultations prior to or since the announcement.   All passenger trains along the ONR are to be replaced with private coached.  The only passenger rail that will remain is the Polar Bear express.

Ridership increased by 10% in 2010.  It is expected to increase by an additional 16% by the end of this year. (2009- 31,746; 2010- 34,959; 2012- expected 40,552). Revenue is up 7% from 2003 (before government funding). Rail passenger ridership surpasses VIA Rail on a per capita basis. It only costs 23 cents more per passenger to subsidize the ONTC than Metrolinx.

Currently, the only bidder for the ONR, if it is sold, is CN.  CN has admitted that they are unwilling to engage in public-sector-like guarantees.  If you look at CN’s record, this purchase would be dangerous for ONTC jobs.  In 2005, CN purchased the publically funded BC Rail Ltd.  At the time of purchase CN promised that only 31% would lose their jobs.  Today, there is less than half the number of jobs left.

Ontario Government is going to increase their subsidy to the GOtrain.  Soon, any rider whose train is more than 15 minutes late will have their ticket reimbursed. Premier McGuinty plans on investing in Ontario’s public transit- however it is a shame that this plan does not include Northern Ontario. Premier McGuinty is now demanding all signs campaigning against the sale of the ONTC be removed from all provincially funded buildings and all of Northern Ontario roadways.

Canada Road Safety Week, Annual cost of collisions is estimated at $62.7 billion
Press releases notwithstanding the facts suggest road safety is not a priority for Canadian governments.

Consider the government's Canadian Motor Vehicle Traffic Collision Statistics. This week, if we are lucky, the feds will release stats for 2010. Why not 2011? Why not real-time?This "data lag" does a major disservice to those interested in a serious road safety effort. How do we analyze the effect of new safety measures? How can we interest the public when all we have are old numbers. Key elements are missing like the amount of driving done in a year. There is nothing about the 19% of collisions involving big trucks. There are no comparisons to other countries.

Media coverage of "road safety" is limited to only the most horrific crashes. The 6 people killed every day in Canada are not news. Even the money involved does not seem to be a great concern. The annual cost of collisions is estimated at $62.7 billion for 2004 amounts to about 4.9 per cent of Canada's Gross Domestic Product. But because the cost is covered by taxpayers (health care, policing, courts) there is not great hue and cry. http://t.co/VKPcrsjZ

The Shining Waters Railway Concept,  Havelock-Peterborough-Toronto

The economic, environmental and social benefits of rail passenger and freight service are being increasingly recognized throughout North America.  It is, therefore, not surprising that the elimination of VIA’s Havelock-Peterborough-Toronto passenger service in 1990 and the future of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) freight service have long concerned many residents, business people and elected officials in Peterborough, Havelock, Kawartha Lakes and Durham.

Spearheaded by MP Dean Del Mastro, a plan has evolved to incorporate the Shining Waters Railway (SWR) as the locally owned and managed vehicle to restore passenger and improve freight service from Toronto to Peterborough, Havelock, Blue Mountain, Perth and Smiths Falls. The SWR plan is supported by a Government of Canada capital commitment of $150 million and an equal amount from the Government of Ontario, for a total of $300 million.  Key supporters include five federal Cabinet Ministers, four Members of Parliament, every municipality along the route, the Eastern Ontario Wardens, the Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Peterborough Economic Development Corporation and the CPR.

Key to all aspects of the SWR plan will be:
•    The transfer by charitable donation of 107.2 miles of main track, spurs, sidings, structures and all land owned by the CPR, consisting principally of the Havelock Subdivision (Mile 90.78-178.0) and the Nephton Subdivision (Mile 0.0-20.0).
•    Rehabilitation of the Havelock Subdivision from Havelock to the CPR’s Toronto Yard (Mile 90.78-178.0) to Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Class 4 standards for operation at a maximum permissible track speed of 80 mph for passenger trains and 60 mph for freight trains.
•    Upgrading of the Nephton Subdivision (Mile 0.0-20.0) to FRA Class 2 for freight operation up to 25 mph. http://shiningwatersrailway.com/

Steve Munro, The costs of going underground

"Urban consultant and former city Councillor Richard Gilbert has an article on the Globe & Mail’s blog titled “How Toronto’s transit plan takes taxpayers for a ride”.  The article decries the high cost of the Eglinton LRT and in particular the high effective subsidy per rider of the capital cost of burying much of the line. The basic premise, the questions behind the article are sound, but the methodology is not.  This leads to a substantial overstatement of the per passenger subsidy for the capital construction," Steve Munro reported on May 17. http://stevemunro.ca/?p=6256

First Acadian bus since lockout hits the road

CBC News reported on May 16: "The first Acadian Lines bus since December left Charlottetown at 7:45 a.m. Wednesday morning. Partial service has been restored after a five-month labour dispute that halted intercity bus service in P.E.I. and New Brunswick."

Transport Action Canada
Hotline 1166, May 18, 2012
(formerly Transport 2000 / anciennement Transport 2000 Canada)
(613) 594-3290
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/TransportAction
RSS: feed://www.transport-action.ca/rss/tarss.php

May 23, Vancouver, Transport Action BC 17:45 to 19:45 at the Vancouver Firehall Library at West 10th and Granville. Annual General Meeting will be from 19:00 – 19:15 http://bc.transport2000.ca/

May 31, Toronto, Mobility pricing conference,Metropolitan Hotel http://www.transportfutures.ca/goods

June 2, Toronto, Cycle and sole, 3pm  Rally at Queen's Park for pedestrian and cycling safety. http://cycleandsole.com/home.html