Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sir John Franklin Bus Loop

Sir John Franklin Bus Loop
The Number 12 Fire Hall on Grosvenor Avenue is relocated but the land continues to cause controversy. The land for the fire hall and the bus loop that wraps around it was acquired in 1955 from Sir John Franklin Community Club for $1. The club has since merged with two other clubs to form the Central Corydon Community Club.

At the time of the fire hall Shindico fiasco a number of parties indicated they might be interested in the fire hall if they had known it was on the market. The club indicated they wanted to make the field regulation size for soccer which meant getting that property back.

By all accounts, Sir John Franklin should have the first crack at it but they should have a good plan in place if they want to acquire the land. After all, the city use for it has not yet ended. It is still the only place to turn around buses on Grosvenor Avenue.

Over the decades Sir John Frankin has had three locations. The first was at the old elementary school in 1922. By 1940, they had moved to Wellington Crescent and in 1955, they moved to their present location. At no time was the soccer field adjacent to the bus loop ever regulation size. It hardly seemed to matter since the pitch was used by children.

In any event, there were a few other fields used over the years. The soccer pitches at the Kapyong Barracks were regulation size, a soccer field was used through the 1970s in the green space at Park Boulevard till Tuxedo residents chased it away and Joe Malone Park was an old stand by although it is unclear if the community club ever was in possession of that land or whether the city just let the club book soccer and tennis there.

As mentioned, a spokesman for the club said Sir John Franklin would like to get the land back to fulfill a plan to make the soccer pitch regulation size. I have not seen that plan nor why the club feels it needs the land to go ahead with it.

On January 23, River Heights City Councillor John Orlikow presented the second plan for relocating the bus loop. The first plan for putting the loop in front of Westworth Church seems to have no gained any momentum.

This second plan involves extending the bus route down Grosvenor past Westworth Church and crossing the old rail line between the new condo development and making a right turn onto Lockwood Street and then a left turn onto Tuxedo Avenue and heading towards the Rady Jewish Centre and turning around at the loop at Edgeland Boulevard.

The extension is to take another six minutes passing through the bus only passage between the condos and past Carpathia School on Lockwood and dropping passengers off at a transfer point at Kenaston and then past the Rady Centre to the bus loop at Edgeland.

Grosvenor past Westworth Church

Squeeze past the condos to Lockwood

Six minutes sounds hard to believe knowing what I know about the route.

Travelling west down Tuxedo at Kenaston is a blink and you miss it traffic light. It already can get crowded there and cause you to wait for a few light cycles to get through. Only two cars usually get through and often it is so narrow that two cars barely squeeze beside one another.

Throw a bus into the works that picks up and drops passengers means the light will have to be longer. There is no way a bus can accelerate fast enough before the signal changes.

Heading past down Tuxedo east past Kenaston is busier and although the light is longer and cars and buses often take a few light cycles to get through.

Tuxedo and Kenaston
From Tuxedo and Kenaston, the proposed route is to the Edgeland Boulevard bus loop.

Edgeland Blvd Bus Loop
I'm not sure what the demand for this extension would be as it goes through a low density area of River Heights.

The much better solution might be to leave well enough alone, keep the old bus loop and sell the fire hall to someone who can use it in keeping with the neighbourhood.

However, IF Sir John Franklin requires the section, the bus route should go down an extension of the gravel road between the Burlington Northern tracks to Corydon, past commercial areas, past higher density housing and condos and through the much better intersection of Corydon and Kenaston, to Edgeland, past Manitoba Housing to Tuxedo, down Tuxedo to to Kenaston and back down Kenaston to Corydon.

 What road up to between Grosvenor and Corydon am I talking about?

This road:

Looking north from Corydon on road between tracks

Looking south from Grosvenor on road between tracks
These rail tracks are used infrequently. How infrequently? Well, there are no crossing barriers on most of the streets the rail passes by.

How difficult would be to run a bus down the center?

And if not here, why not an extension down Sir John Franklin Road?

Or here?

Green Space from Grosvenor to Corydon

Green space from Corydon to Grosenor
I think the point is that there might be some better high density pathways for the bus to extend across Kenaston.

Is anyone even considering these ideas?

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