Rail crossing study

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Information session - What does the Edinburgh rail crossing recommendation mean? June 20, 6:30 - 7:30 PM

The City of Guelph hosted a virtual open house on June 1 to share the findings of the transportation study for five road-level rail crossings in Guelph. The technical memo on grade separations shows conceptual underpass and overpass designs and their potential property impacts.

This is the second of two City staff follow-up sessions to address questions and comments related to the Edinburgh rail crossing specifically.

Meeting time Monday, June 22, 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Join the conversation at https://bit.ly/Edinburghrailcrossing

Password if prompted is Trains

Have your say

View our virtual public open house to learn about the draft results of our transportation study, and to ask questions and provide comments. View the presentation boards or the video recording posted in the video widget on the left of this page in advance if you wish.

Tell us what you think of our engagement process overall by taking the survey below.

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.

Information session - What does the Edinburgh rail crossing recommendation mean? June 20, 6:30 - 7:30 PM

The City of Guelph hosted a virtual open house on June 1 to share the findings of the transportation study for five road-level rail crossings in Guelph. The technical memo on grade separations shows conceptual underpass and overpass designs and their potential property impacts.

This is the second of two City staff follow-up sessions to address questions and comments related to the Edinburgh rail crossing specifically.

Meeting time Monday, June 22, 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Join the conversation at https://bit.ly/Edinburghrailcrossing

Password if prompted is Trains

Have your say

View our virtual public open house to learn about the draft results of our transportation study, and to ask questions and provide comments. View the presentation boards or the video recording posted in the video widget on the left of this page in advance if you wish.

Tell us what you think of our engagement process overall by taking the survey below.

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. 

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Folks this underpass has been on the books and planned for 30 years. The Guelph Community Pottery Centre is owned by the City as it was required for the planned underpass and expropriated for when this was planned aroung 1990 when GO first came to Guelph.

Times and regulations have changed but the whole point of the pottery place is to avoid future expropriations...

It merely has been delayed 30 years.

Steve about 2 hours ago

As per Guelph Today:

“ But Juste added they're taking the concerns presented back to the consulting team ‘and consider a different way to represent the technical study on the grade separation that's not as explicit to people's properties themselves.’

Juste said in the end, the final report would supersede the current draft report, and hopes buyers and sellers use the most recent documentation available when researching a property.”

Are you kidding me? All of these properties have essentially been flagged at risk, and you’re now asking the public to ignore the “draft” plans when researching a property. It’s too late! I’m curious how the city plans to compensate these families for destroying their property value.

We’re now told property owners have to wait years to find out whether their properties will in fact be impacted. How are they expected to make any decisions in terms of planned upgrades to their homes (ie. major renovations)?The way the city is brushing this off as “just a draft” is insulting.

The communication plan of this project, and dissemination of information has been severely mismanaged given the magnitude of impact this could have on property owners.

Larry52 about 15 hours ago

It does not have to be one or the other ...

The City of Guelph has a long history of living alongside the railway, since 1856 according to the Guelph Historical Railway Association. The City has since embraced the railway and grew around and with it. As a result, this neighbourhood is called ‘The junction’ for a reason and for generations people have managed to coexist with the railway. Why not keep it that way?

I do agree that two-way all-day service on the Metrolinx corridor is long overdue and will be welcomed, but it does not have to come at the expense of fundamentally changing the naturally grown neighbourhoods around the tracks by cutting through them and inserting an underpass or by completely blocking off level crossings. There are well-established, European engineering solutions for safe rail barriers and gates which put safety first, come at a fraction of the cost of an underpass, and allow pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists alike to cross the tracks safely as they have done for over a century in Guelph.
Therefore, I would recommend the city consider turning its Rail Crossing Study into an opportunity if such European grade-level crossing solutions are not yet well established in Canada. Based on its Rail Crossing Study, the City of Guelph could become a Pilot Project and model case to install state-of-the-art barriers and gates for level crossings and demonstrate how a vibrant community can continue to coexist with modern rapid transit solutions. Such an approach can also include reopening the Dublin St. level crossing for pedestrians and cyclists.

Thomas 4 days ago

I support the evaluation process, and the finding to do nothing, along with a long-term Edinburgh underpass. I would need to understand more of the impacts of the Edinburgh underpass, and the disruption that would be caused by construction, to be able to comment further. However, a good traffic flow on Edinburgh and 2-way all day GO, and (to a lesser extent) high-speed rail, should be considered extremely high priorities for the City of Guelph.

This process feels like it is being strongly driven by Metrolinx, and options A5 and A6 will be the natural "compromise" between the City of Guelph and Metrolinx. With Dublin closed, all traffic would be further increased on small side streets (i.e. Northumberland, Preston, etc.) that aren't meant for these increased flows. This could cause safety concerns for pedestrians, cyclists, children playing in the streets, and motorists. I'd encourage exploring all other options (i.e. more significant rail barriers and other safety measures) before we "split the difference" and agreed to eliminate more rail crossings and further divide a neighborhood.

Smccaw22 4 days ago

Restricting pedestrian and bicycle access at these points or forcing them onto overpasses will further malign active and non-automobile transportation methods - especially with the river-park corridor to the south of the area, thus cutting off northern areas from easy access. Traveling to edinburgh or norfolk/gordon to access the parks is up to an additional 1km or more of travel, which can be onerous for the less mobile. It also forces cyclists onto major routes, which, despite bike lanes, are not as safe.

KenChase 6 days ago

I’m very pro all day GO but the proposed underpass on Edinburgh seems like an unnecessary piece to that project. A huge waste of taxpayer dollars (keeping in mind the delays will be much greater at Paisley anyway) and involves demolishing several century homes, decreasing the beauty of our community, displacing people, etc. Not to mention, Edinburgh is a two lane road with more traffic than it can currently handle. Wouldn’t it be better to discourage cars on Edinburgh and encourage them on the Hanlon which is better equipped for volume?

Josh Greenlaw 7 days ago

If Metrolinx's goal is to remove all level crossings in Guelph, some grade separation scenarios cannot co-exist. For example, if there is an underpass at Edinburgh there cannot be an overpass at Alma because it would dead-end Crimea at both ends. The same is true for Northumberland and Preston. Is it true that some of the scenarios cannot co-exist?

If the answer is “yes,” it increases the likelihood of the crossings on Alma, Glasgow and Yorkshire being closed. Allowing an Edinburgh underpass will make other options impossible and therefore closures inevitable at Alma, Glasgow and Yorkshire. Do we want more Dublin streets?

Thomas 8 days ago

My house is within the affected on Edinburgh across from sunny acres. We own a heritage house and it is now in jeopardy if this plan moves forward.
There is on going studies being down towards this plan, timelines indicate years for completion. My house value is now affected, we are in the midst of Renovations which are now in question and the whole plan is affecting the value of homes in this area, as well as any potential for people to sell in this market.!!!
It’s absolutely unreasonable to think this plan in study that is now public information…(before some home owners.) and the area is now not desirable for resale.
We love our home. And it is where our life savings have gone to. Our life is there our childrens life’s friends and and schools. We spent more money on property in the downtown core to ensure development issues wouldn’t be a problem also. And this plan seems absolutely the least feasible option out of many
Another issue is the amount of traffic on Edinburgh when the hanlon was supposed to be the express route. The amount of lights there should be assessed and the traffic would be redirected.

Av snowden 9 days ago

In one of your answers in the Question section you are saying " The exact nature and extent of property impacts is not known at this time. The 'orange highlighted properties" represent one very conceptual design sketch for an underpass simply as a way to estimate comparative impacts between an underpass, an overpass, and keeping it at-grade. No design decisions have been made at this stage, so there is no confirmed property imapct."
How comes that the City of Guelph's Transportation Planning department publishes in your words "... a conceptual design sketch..." at this stage of the feasibility study when the feasibility study itself has not even been completed and you are further claiming that "... there is no confirmed property impact"?

Don't you agree that by publishing a Plan for the Edinburgh underpass which outlines potentially impacted properties, the market value of those orange-marked properties diminished over Night as a result of your publication of the Plan for the underpass, regardless of what you claim the plan means?

Why did you not publish a generic example of an underpass map from a location where an underpass had been built before in which case you could have provided a Plan from before and after, perhaps with pictures?

Thomas 9 days ago

According to Parsons own website on 4Transit Joint Venture, "... Metrolinx has entrusted Parsons and the entire 4TRANSIT team to help bring this important project to fruition, drawing on our extensive rail transit experience in Canada and across the world.” Which makes it obvious that Parsons is closely involved with Metrolinx.
As per the City of Guelph's procurement By-law Number (2018) - 20259
“Principle f. No Conflict of Interest:
(2.3.f.l.) The City shall include conflict of interest guidelines in all Competitive Bidding documents to minimize the risk of Bidders trying to influence officers, employees or members of Council of the City during the bid evaluation process.”
For your Rail-crossing-study audience, can the City please explain how the city ruled on and followed its Principle of – No Conflict of Interest when it came to awarding Parsons with the contract for the Rail Crossing Study, knowing that Parsons has along standing relationship with Metrolinx and any study conducted by Parsons for the City will have the appearance of potential bias and influence from Metrolinx?
What exact measures did the City take to alleviate any conflict of interest concerns before awarding its contract to Parsons?

References:
https://www.parsons.com/2017/08/4transit-joint-venture-wins-cad-300-million-metrolinx-contract-regional-express-rail-program/
https://guelph.ca/wp-content/uploads/Purchasing-Bylaw.pdf

Thomas 9 days ago

This is fundamentally the question the staff of the city and citizens of Guelph need to ask themselves: What type of community to we want to be? The type that promotes active transportation, preserves green space, respects the sanctity of people’s homes, and works to provide sensible alternative transportation routes to those running through residential communities? Or the type that is beholden to motorists, uprooting families and beloved community spaces for the sake of shaving 90 seconds off of a trip across town? This proposal is infuriating, and not remotely what I've come to hope Guelph represents as a city.

astraathof 10 days ago

I am supportive of ways to move our city toward a less car reliant existence - and thus I support plans to allow active transport, as is detailed in a number of rail.crossing plans. However, the Edinburgh plan to ease train issues for the tracks that cause a very small minority of this issues seem shortsighted. While an underpass would stop (small) delays at the Metro-link tracks, the shunting of trains as Paisley and Edingburgh is clearly a bigger contributor to delays and would simply leads to parked traffic under a fancy and expensive new bridge. I have never understood why trains are shunted so cliae to an intersection and in the dorection that causes the largest road(s) to be blocked. Of course there are historical reasons the yard exists where it is - but the tracks were purchased and revitalized in the past few years. Why were these switches not changed to shunt out toward Murphy's park/across Alma where there is little disruption? Also, while shuntimg delays are commonly caused by unmovimg trains and apathetic operators who simply allow the lights to run without need...why is this acceptable for our city and neighbourhood? I strongly suggest we address this issue first before an expensive and destructive contruction job on Edinburgh.

Jb44 11 days ago

It is inconceivable to me that the current plan appears to indicate the appropriation of a number of historic properties for a temporary detour on Edinburgh. This is absurd. I’m stunned by the lack of basic decency expressed by the city. Affected property owners were not notified prior to these plans being made public. Details are significantly lacking. This is absolutely appalling!

My vote will not go to any candidate that supports this underpass project in the next municipal election. Guelph can do better. This is horrible. I’m at a loss for words.

Larry52 11 days ago

How much did the current study cost? What was Parsons paid? How much will be budgeted for an environmental assessment ? As a tax payer there are better uses of our money...

AEI 11 days ago

How much money is the city going to spend on this environmental assessment needed before the crossing can be approved? Why isn't this money being spent on items of higher priority such as education infrastructure, or the hospital?

Jen_iffer 11 days ago

An Underpass at the Edinburgh-Metrolinx crossing seems to me to be one of the least beneficial to the surrounding neighbourhood.
Traffic at that crossing is rarely an issue, it is not considerably worse than that posed by a traffic light, in my experience. Although it does close several times a day, it is rarely for more than a very short time, then traffic returns to normal. It is a trivial disruption, especially compared to the Edinburgh-Paisely crossing.

Building an underpass, on the other hand, will disrupt traffic far more considerably, dead-ending roads, eliminating vital paths used to navigate the neighbourhood, changing the shape and nature of the community considerably. I hate this option.

If something needs to change, I'd rather see more substantial barriers put in place at the crossing, and consider that the ideal, an appropriate response to the reality of the crossing at its current traffic level, and even into a future with more frequent short-duration crossings.

SimonClark 11 days ago

Since Questions asked in the question Tab are not being posted right away, I decided to post my question here as well, which I submitted yesterday:

During the Open House, you claimed that the queuing caused at Edinburgh – Paisley due to shunting of CN rail cars is out of scope and not considered for your rail-crossing study.
How can you make such a claim when the Edinburgh-Paisley crossing is causing queuing as far South as the Edinburgh-Metrolinx crossing which is where you intend to build an underpass?

Having worked for the past 2 years from home, I can assure you that almost all queuing on Edinburgh is caused by the Edinburgh-Paisley crossing and not the Metrolinx crossing, especially since the train speeds have increased by December 2021 to about 72 km/h. Only freight trains on the Guelph Kitchener line, of which there are far fewer these days, can cause longer wait times.
With your statement that the Edinburgh-Paisley crossing is out of scope and, consequently, neglected its potential impact on the queuing for the Metrolinx crossing, you invalidate your own modelling approach because you made all the input data questionable that you used to inform your modelling of the Edinburgh Metrolinx crossing.

If the City wants anyone to trust its rail-crossing study, can the city prove that the model you are using
1. Was rigorously tested and validated with an independent dataset before using the model for your rail-crossing study?

2. Included only clean and unbiased input data that were collected over a sufficiently long period and were not affected by the Edinburgh-Paisley shunting and queuing?

3. Included reasonable assumptions to inform the model and did not just worst-case scenario assumptions but rather the most likely assumptions required in the timeframe for this study?

An example of point 3 is, for instance, that the Metrolinx 2041 Regional Transportation Plan considers rapid transit with 4 trains per hour both ways on the Kitchener line, totalling 8 trains per hour. 8 trains per hour would be an ambitious but very unrealistic assumption, especially given the electrification delay of the Kitchener corridor, not to mention that those trains would also need customers to justify and maintain the frequency of trains.

Thomas 11 days ago

Hi, Sorry for the late feedback.. Generally I would support the do nothing approach partnered with a specific program to encourage people to leave the car at home in the first place via making AT the safest and most convenient option for everyone.

BryanS59 12 days ago

An active transport corridor connecting Silvercreek parkways would be very useful (underpass?). Bike travel on paisley road is not very safe due to car speed and road width. This would offer direct connectivity to bike lanes on waterloo ave, and close access to the 'magic light' for safely crossing wellington st. It would be a boon for active transport connectivity

Justin1 12 days ago

Reading this proposal is extremely disheartening. Demolishing family homes where children live, all for a temporary detour, seems extremely callous and shortsighted. There must be a more pragmatic solution that can be engineered. This whole process has significantly lacked transparency. To not have the decency to even inform the impacted residents prior to dumping these documents is shameful. The City of Guelph needs to hold itself to a higher standard. This will certainly dictate how I, and many others vote in the next municipal election, and I plan on continuing to be vocal in my opposition to this plan.

Ben3 13 days ago
Page last updated: 22 Jun 2022, 12:07 PM