LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Tramway pause, moose memories
Further to “Could tramway pause be beneficial?” (Nov. 22): The second most costly aspect of the project, according to Alain Mercier, ex-director general of the Réseau de transport de la Capitale, corresponds to the doubling of the water and sewer lines all along the path of the tram. The justification given for this decision was to guarantee transit service if ever there was a need to undertake underground repairs. It is this doubling that pushes the pipes towards the sides of the roadway, which explains a good part of the tree-cutting that is foreseen.
If the pipes are placed right beside one set of rails, it would be possible to undertake repairs by redirecting the railcars for a short distance during the work period on the rail line in the opposite direction. Using electronic controls, it is possible to have alternate movement of the railcars in opposing directions without lowering the quality of transit service. One must remember that the announced peak frequency of the tramway is every four minutes, which gives ample time to create the necessary separation.
As for eventual repairs to the branch lines of these pipes that service residences on the other side of the tramway, there are now trenchless solutions that would solve the issue.
The third element to examine is the platform that is to be built in the centre of the roadway, at a height of 14 centimetres. The justification provided is that it would be essential for the speed, reliability and regularity of the tramway and that it would inhibit left turns at the planned non-traversable intersections. This inhibition is supposed to avoid having the tramway sit in the blind spot of drivers wanting to turn left. In reality, the blind spot of a car does not exceed 10 metres in length, while the railcars will be 43 metres long – they will thus be impossible to miss! The speed and regularity will depend a lot on the operation of the traffic signals and not the platform.
On the reverse side of the coin, notably on Boul. René-Lévesque and on Chemin de la Canardière, the platform creates a significant barrier for the movement of drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. While it is true that level crossings will allow passage at a reduced number of intersections, the platform will nonetheless create many detours, which is particularly detrimental for seniors, visually impaired people and those in wheelchairs – without considering that sidewalks are not well-plowed!
Your Oct. 11 [issue] was great … I especially enjoyed Peter Black’s story of the moose hunt. My own closest encounter was on the Upper St. Maurice at night. The moose stood his ground, we grazed past him with contact, so – match nul.
Rest of that issue commendable.