Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Station sites adjusted for Waterloo region LRT

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Officials from Ontario's Waterloo-Kitchener-Cambridge metropolitan area, southwest of Toronto, say at least five station stops of the planned light rail transit system will be placed in the center of roadways and not along roadsides, similar to the approach taken in nearby Toronto.

Traffic and parking concerns were cited by many area residents if station placement was at curbside.

"This will optimize the alignment and help with the efficiency and may help with costs," said Waterloo Counsellor Sean Strickland to local media. "I think that it will be more convenient for all parties involved."

Strickland said light rail vehicles will control traffic signals — including the pedestrian signals — at station locations, which should reduce risks to both drivers and pedestrians. "Pedestrians have to be cautious at all times and with an LRT system they may have to be a little more cautious," he said.

In June 2011, the Waterloo Regional Council approved a C$818 million rail plan in June, 2011, identifying LRT in Waterloo and Kitchener, with Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) running into Cambridge. LRT would be extended to Cambridge in the future. Last June officials approved an order with Bombardier Transportation for 14 LRT vehicles, an add-on to the order placed by Toronto.