Next Meeting: Wednesday, March 22, 2017; 6:00pm Social, 6:30pm Meeting @ St. Dominic Gym
RTA's New Plans For The Canal St. Terminal
On July 12, 2014, LCIA met with representatives from Veoila Transportation and the Regional Transit Authority to discuss their plans to redevelop the existing Bus & Streetcar Terminals located at the intersection of Canal Blvd., City Park Avenue and Canal Street.
The revised plan that was provided is the third rendition that has been presented to LCIA in as many years. The two preceding plans were very obtrusive, promoting the introduction of large shelters to be utilized for toilets, concessions, and waiting areas, the destruction of existing neutral grounds, widening of streets & expansion farther north into Lakeview.
I am pleased to report that the current plan is much less invasive. The operator comfort station and large concession & toilet room structures have been eliminated. Streetcars will no longer track through the neutral grounds, but rather utilize the two most southern bays and buses will be pushed north to the turnarounds in front of The Bulldog. They will not move pedestrians or buses any further north than what is in effect today, however there will be more bus/pedestrian traffic since they are consolidating two bus bays into three.
The RTA is proposing larger bus and streetcar shelters than what is there now and do have plans for a pedestrian canopy to run from the streetcar shelter to the bus shelter. No elevations or renderings were provided. The existing streetcar shelter at the corner of Canal Street will be removed and no one will be allowed to board or exit the streetcars until they cross City Park Avenue. Two additional sets of streetlights will be added to control streetcar and vehicular traffic.
There will be a public meeting in early August and all will be invited to attend. LCIA will post further information on their website once a time and place is established. Plans are currently going through internal design and environmental review. All plans will be reviewed by both DPW and Regional Planning Commission prior to going out to bid. The RTA plans to go out to bid the first quarter of next year and construction will take 12-15 months and will impact traffic at the intersection of City Park and Canal drastically.
It is my opinion that, upon completion, traffic at the corner of City Park and Canal will be made more complicated due to the streetcar crossing, which may lead to vehicular delays at peak travel times. One good thing is that the pedestrian’s crossing over City Park Avenue to catch the buses should be all but eliminated, which should make for a much safer environment for vehicles and pedestrians.