Rail crossing study

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The Study

We've initiated a transportation study to explore the transportation impacts on five road-level railway crossings along the Metrolinx corridor. This work supports planned Metrolinx service expansion along the Kitchener GO rail line through Guelph including all-day two-way GO service. While Metrolinx is indicating they do not plan on closing any more crossings, we continued with our study because we want to preserve connectivity and ensure it aligns with our transportation goals now and into the future.

This is a City of Guelph-led project, and the results will be shared with Metrolinx when the study is complete.

The rail crossings we’re looking at are:

  • Alma Street between Crimea and Inkerman streets
  • Edinburgh Road between Foster Avenue and Preston/Inkerman streets
  • Yorkshire Street between Foster Avenue and Preston Street
  • Glasgow Street at Kent Street
  • Watson Road just north of York Road

The study will also look at and assess options for active transportation (e.g. footbridge) connection across the rail line at Cityview Drive. As a result of the engagement, we have added the assessment of options for active transportation at Margaret Green park and Dublin Street.

To find the best solution for each crossing we’ll look at the unique context of each one and our city’s overall transportation network. For example, we’ll need to consider how closing one rail crossing would affect traffic flow at another and in the local area. Some options may not be possible to implement for every crossing.

What is the process moving forward?

  • The current open house comment period ends June 29.
  • The next step is to commence an EA in 2023. Through a Schedule C Municipal Class EA, we will continue refining and exploring options in close consultation with the community. Options include do nothing and various design alternatives for grade separating. A recommendation will be brought forth to City Council in 2024 or 2025 for decision.
  • It is possible the do nothing option is selected with no property impacts.

The Study

We've initiated a transportation study to explore the transportation impacts on five road-level railway crossings along the Metrolinx corridor. This work supports planned Metrolinx service expansion along the Kitchener GO rail line through Guelph including all-day two-way GO service. While Metrolinx is indicating they do not plan on closing any more crossings, we continued with our study because we want to preserve connectivity and ensure it aligns with our transportation goals now and into the future.

This is a City of Guelph-led project, and the results will be shared with Metrolinx when the study is complete.

The rail crossings we’re looking at are:

  • Alma Street between Crimea and Inkerman streets
  • Edinburgh Road between Foster Avenue and Preston/Inkerman streets
  • Yorkshire Street between Foster Avenue and Preston Street
  • Glasgow Street at Kent Street
  • Watson Road just north of York Road

The study will also look at and assess options for active transportation (e.g. footbridge) connection across the rail line at Cityview Drive. As a result of the engagement, we have added the assessment of options for active transportation at Margaret Green park and Dublin Street.

To find the best solution for each crossing we’ll look at the unique context of each one and our city’s overall transportation network. For example, we’ll need to consider how closing one rail crossing would affect traffic flow at another and in the local area. Some options may not be possible to implement for every crossing.

What is the process moving forward?

  • The current open house comment period ends June 29.
  • The next step is to commence an EA in 2023. Through a Schedule C Municipal Class EA, we will continue refining and exploring options in close consultation with the community. Options include do nothing and various design alternatives for grade separating. A recommendation will be brought forth to City Council in 2024 or 2025 for decision.
  • It is possible the do nothing option is selected with no property impacts.

Comments

Do you have a comment for us about the Rail Crossing Study or any of the crossings in the study? Tell us here. 

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

We are a young family living in the paisley Edinburgh region. I read this study and looked at these diagrams. I think you are all missing the primary issue/intersection. Raglan/Edinburgh location is the primary issue. Are there studies and discussions regarding this intersection and train operation? The traffic wait times are due to this railway ripping though a family neighbourhood.

Maybe you should focus millions of dollars on making this intersection 1)more quiet, 2) safer for kids 3) focus on traffic here 4) making this intersection more efficient for all.

You guys are looking at the wrong intersections. Maybe also doing some research as to why Edinburgh has so much traffic to begin with. The Hanlon lights, other major arteries that need attention.

The Edinburgh and Raglan intersection is so disruptive to our community. A lot of the community will move away. They already have begun. Especially if taxes go through the roof due to $50 mil plus infrastructure that doesn’t even address the intersection at fault. What is being done about this?

Genevieve 2 months ago

What was the cost of the study ? Did the City pay?

AEI 2 months ago

In your Public Notice, the City has praised itself that it is conducting this road-level railway crossing study to preserve neighbourhood connectivity.
I fully agree that we have to ensure cross rail connectivity in the Old City from North to South of the tracks and it would be wonderful if a pedestrian/bicycle crossing at Dublin St. can be reinstated, BUT that should not come at a cost of disconnecting East and West as the City seems to propose with an underpass at Edinburgh.
There are perfectly safe and cost-effective grade level crossing solutions for trains that do not require under or overpasses and have been used in Europe for decades. For instance, in Germany, grade level crossings with appropriate gates can be installed for train speeds up to 160 km/h.
Will the city consider lobbying Metrolinx and - if necessary - the federal government to allow such well established, engineering solutions of grade level crossings, to be acceptable under the Transportation Act so that they can be used and installed as safe measures for all the level crossings in Guelph? Perhaps Guelph can be a pilot project to establish the use of such safe grade level crossing gates?

This way, Guelphites in the Old City will remain connected and safe from North to South and East to West and the city can save its portion of the $48.5M from the underpass construction and instead use it to support other capital projects, for instance, the construction of affordable housing throughout the city, the South End Community Centre or the new central library.

Thomas 2 months ago

Even this proposal and possible future will affect property values starting Now. Home owners planning on renovations now have to consider the City’s reckless behaviour
All Based on false data, False representations.
The City should be held accountable. Seems citizens might need to explore legal action against the City.

mikesavage 2 months ago

Is it correct that heavy delivery trucks are not supposed to drive along Alma?
If so, how will the Guelph Food Bank receive its delivery, how will the other businesses along Crimea St. be delivered if the city dead ends Crimea St. at Edinburgh?

As far as I can tell, 65' delivery trucks only drive into and out of Crimea St. at Edinburgh! What is your proposed alternative route for those delivery trucks to access the businesses along Crimea?

Thomas 2 months ago

This is not what Guelph should be investing.
50 million budget? Will probably be another 30-40 million to buy all those properties
Have they even considered raising the tracks instead? Doesn’t current track property have sufficient right of ways? What would
Impact be?
There MusT be other plans to consider
Call Elon and build a tunnel for the train.

mikesavage 2 months ago

The proposed diagram for the Edinburgh Road underpass requires a great deal of clarification.

1. What is the exact nature and extend of impacts to the orange-highlighted properties? Are we talking loss of driveway access, outright appropriation, or something in between? Appropriation and demolition of homes for what appears to be a temporary road while construction is underway seems woefully shortsighted -- these are century homes in a historic neighborhood.

1a. Loss of driveway access. While a city laneway remains on the books for the homes between Preston and Galt streets, it was last used a century ago, is currently inaccessible at one end, as homeowners have extended fencing across it, and the old retaining walls from the 1920s are crumbing and would need to be restored before it could safely handle vehicle traffic again.

2. If Preston, Foster, Robinson all dead end to traffic, will active transport be maintained along Edinburgh for foot and cycle traffic? Sunny Acres Park is a primary reason for many young families to live within the neighborhood that bears its name, and for the west half of Preston in particular, a lack of active transport along Edinburgh would mean a significant detour down to Yorkshire.

A better-annotated plan with possible scenarios would be appreciated.

Lisa L. 2 months ago

this is an extraordinary cost not only in dollars but in loss of neighbors this is a horrible use of tax dollar. to save a few second on a commute.

Smithboys2013 2 months ago

Underpass on Edinburgh - I counted and the trains take 80 seconds now - not like in your data. The car line ups aren't bad for this crossing (- but the paisley one is terrible!)

Does City of Guelph have nothing else to spend 50 million dollars on ? I want my taxes spent on other priorities. thx

AEI 2 months ago

This will impact property values now. Why no letter, no knock on the door...Why didn't you notify the homeowners/ business owners before uploading all this information publicly?

AEI 2 months ago

As someone who multiple times a day makes left hand turns onto Edinburgh road right beside the Edinburgh road crossing and crosses Edinburgh road on foot my experience with the wait times are they are never more than a standard traffic light cycle and are very often less. I find it difficult to see how an underpass would improve traffic flow in the impacted neighborhood when all of the intercepting streets would dead end at Edinburgh. The Parsons feasibility study seems to look at train speeds that are slower than current speeds or at current speeds with 45 total trains in a typical weekday. How the current corridor usage conditions compares to metrolix's future plans or multiple potential future scenarios for the corridor (train speed and frequency) should be explored in the study. This would be a better metric for evaluating these proposed solutions (overpass, underpass, road closure, do-nothing) and ensuring that the selected solution will in fact address the issues that may arise from future conditions.

The traffic congestion typically results from the shunting of trains at the Paisley road crossing which should also be taken into consideration.

The figure in the Parson's report suggests multiple residential homes on Edinborgh are to be demolished for the purposes of a temporary road during the construction of the overpass. It would be good to see other options explored (e.g. closing of Edinborgh road or rerouting traffic around closure) as that would be a large expense for a temporary road.

DanielleMT 2 months ago

I'm not sure how you could possibly justify demolishing 20+ historic homes for the purpose of building a TEMPORARY detour for a project that doesn't need to happen in the first place. I'm all for an underpass, conceptually, but it shouldn't come at the expense of anyone's home or financial future. Have some decency.

Andrew_ 2 months ago

Can you tell us whether the Edinburgh underpass for the Metrolinx corridor is part of the City's new Transportation Master Plan?

Thomas 2 months ago

Paisley rd train is the issue
Not the fast commuter train
Study for traffic was done before they sped up the trains , the data being used to justify this is Not valid
Just because province is offering handouts doesn’t give good reason to destroy a number of historic homes and the soul of a historic neighbourhood
This would be a Tragedy

mikesavage 2 months ago

I don’t think that the trains cause a backup at all and this money could be used for much bigger issues this city faces.

Levi 2 months ago

Robturland, for impact on property please look at the Rail Crossing Study_ grade separation, technical memo.pdf in the Document section of this website. On page 2 you find a description of the impact on Edinburgh, on page 7 the drawing for the underpass construction outlining the impacted properties and in Appendix B, page 14, the costing of the Grade separation at Edinburgh which is $48.5M including a 23% contingency.
Thus far, from my point of view, the city has not been able to provide a convincing argument as to why the underpass at Edinburgh is really needed!

What I read from the technical memo is that: 1) Crimea St. / Robinson Ave. / Foster Ave. / Preston St. / Inkerman St. will be closed for access to and from Edinburgh. 2) At least 20 private properties will be impacted and have to be partly expropriated if the Roadway Detour is built during construction. 3) There is no true East-West connection across Edinburg anymore between Waterloo and Paisley. 4) Businesses in Sunny Acres Plaza will be cut off from Edinburg and Sunny Acres and can only be accessed via Alma and Crimea. 5) Sunny Acre's Park will loose its trees to the east that provide shade in the afternoon sun and at least part of its community garden.

If you look at the Weber Street underpass in Kitchener https://www.google.com/maps/@43.4561093,-80.4947355,3a,75y,202.2h,83.34t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sHSMWDe7p70vvgpq03F9mPw!2e0!5s20130501T000000!7i16384!8i8192
you can see how "pretty" the Sunny Acres neighbourhood will be, especially close to the underpass when the sound of traffic ricochets off the retaining walls. (I should point out that the City of Guelph only considers 2 lanes of traffic based on the provided document and Weber St. has 4 lanes of traffic but the visual impression is similar only that Edinburgh will feel more like a trench that separates the Neighbourhood).

Thomas 2 months ago

I was not able to attend the meeting but thank you for access to the presentation boards. Can you also please provide information (in the form of a interim report?) on the methodology for scoring and ranking, and the methodology (and results) for evaluating the effects on specific criteria, including, for example, effects on property. The presentation boards are a nice summary but the details behind the summary should be made available well before the closing date for comments.

robturland 2 months ago

How can the study be over
When résidence directly affected were not consulted
Spoke with another neighbour who was also oblivious of all this (who also lives On Edinburgh accross from the park.

mikesavage 2 months ago

How can the survey be closed
We just found out about all this and our house is directly facing section of Edinburgh that will be affected
Closing Crimea st would be awful for the alley way that parallel Edinburgh, used to access our driveways
This will become a
Through way for
The traffic
It’s not wide enough to accommodate this
Also how do
Pedestrians cross Edinburgh at Crimea/Robinson ?
This is Very popular crossing as entire junction neighbourhood foot access to sunny acres park
These things done seem To be in consideration at all! I am shocked we did not receive direct contact as our property will be Heavily impacted

mikesavage 2 months ago

On behalf of the 30 residents of the condo building at 40 Northumberland St., an active transportation crossing at the Dublin St. tracks would be GREATLY appreciated. This used to be such a great connection point for our community that is definitely missed.

alisa.wiebe 2 months ago
Page last updated: 04 Jul 2022, 09:20 AM