Staff Report #4
June 27, 2018
To All Commissioners
Re: 2018 Road Construction Update
The report be NOTED and FILED.
LTC administration has been working closely with civic administration as well as the specific contractors on each major construction project to ensure regular communication regarding the status of the projects in an effort to mitigate the impact of construction on service and ridership by allowing buses to operate in work zones where it is deemed safe to do so. LTC administration attends weekly meetings with Civic Administration, specifically to discuss the impacts of ongoing and upcoming downtown construction projects.
LTC administration has developed and implemented a communications strategy with respect to service interruptions in an effort to ensure passengers and Operators are aware of the detours with as much advance notice as possible, including stop level notifications of upcoming closures, website and InfoWeb alerts, Twitter and internal Marlin postings.
Buses off Dundas
Construction work continues on the Dundas Place project, resulting in a single lane of traffic in each direction on Richmond Street. This has the impact of eliminating all bus stops along Richmond south of Queens and north of King as the buses cannot stop along the only travelled lane on a busy corridor and is causing delays for northbound and southbound traffic. It is anticipated that this reduction will continue until September 4, 2018 at which time there will be a complete closure of Richmond between Queens and King for approximately six weeks. As figure I indicates, during the complete closure northbound buses will be detoured to Wellington via King Street and southbound buses will be detoured to Ridout via Queens Ave. It should be noted, that Talbot Street is currently closed at Dundas. This work is anticipated to be completed by September 4, 2018 to allow for the closure on Richmond however, there are current concerns that the work at Talbot may not be completed by this time.
Figure I- Richmond Street Detour
Wharncliffe and Western Construction
Through both external discussions with Civic administration and internal discussions with operations and planning staff, it has been determined that the best course of action with respect to providing transit service during this period of construction is to maintain routing of Routes 2 and 102 along Wharncliffe. While this approach will result in no stops in either direction on Wharncliffe between Oxford and south of Phillip Aziz, the alternative options provide far less access for passengers. As set out in Figure II buses cannot stop to service bus stops within the construction zone due to safety concerns, four stops in each direction will not be serviced. This results in the closest accessible transit stops being approximately 1.38 kilometers apart at Wharncliffe and Oxford and Western south of Phillip Aziz. The un-serviced stops have daily weekday ridership of 1,576 and 1,672 boardings and alightings respectively.
Platts Lane cannot be designated for buses only and with the increased amount of vehicle traffic along Platts Lane schedule adherence would not be able to be maintained if buses were detoured. Additionally, there is currently work taking place on Platts Lane at Western Road resulting in Routes 9 and 33 being detoured around the area. At this time the duration of the Platts Lane closure is not known. The other alternative route would be to have Routes 2 and 102 operate along Wonderland however, this removes service completely along Western/Wharncliffe between Oxford and Sarnia Road. London Transit administration will continue to work with Civic administration to ensure that there are safe and accessible boarding and alighting areas for passengers at Oxford and Philip Aziz.
Figure II- Bus Stop Closures on Western/Wharncliffe
Oxford and Adelaide Intersection
Due to emergency work required to repair a Bell vault in the Oxford and Adelaide intersection, there will be impacts to both northbound/southbound and eastbound/westbound buses from approximately July 4 to August 31, 2018. The project is being divided into three phases with the following impacts to bus routes.
Phase I- A full road closure of Oxford east of Adelaide will be required to complete a water main connection. The work will take place at night and is anticipated to be done in one night. This phase is anticipated to start between July 4 and July 6. The full road closure will likely still have impacts on east/west buses as overnight work generally starts before service is finished and ends after service has started the next morning.
Phase II- This phase will funnel east and west traffic around the work zone. The work in this phase is anticipated to last one to two weeks. It is anticipated that delays will be experienced both east and west on Oxford during this phase; however, it is not expected to have a significant impact on north/south bus routes.
Phase III- The final phase will channel east and west traffic down to one lane in each direction on the south side of the road. Northbound traffic will be reduced to one lane as well as pushed to the west. Southbound traffic will also experience delays. In order to try to mitigate the impacts, all left-turns will be restricted to keep traffic moving as well as possible.
The intersection work will impact Route 16 and 92 in the north/south direction and Routes 4, 17, 91 for east/west travel. It is anticipated that the construction will last approximately two months and be completed by the end of August, therefore it is not expected to impact Route 104 which does not operate during the summer months. Detours are not expected for this work however, schedule adherence will be impacted in all directions due to the channeling of lanes and associated traffic slowdowns.
As in past years, Queens Ave will be closed at Ridout on July 1st to accommodate the fireworks in Harris Park. The impacts on bus routes is compounded this year due to the significant amount of work taking place in the core impacting the normal detour routing along Talbot and York. In order to stay as close to the core as possible and minimize the number of stops that are missed, all eastbound and westbound buses will travel along Horton both into and out of the core. This will also add an additional nine buses per hour travelling southbound on Richmond through the construction zone which has the potential to impact schedule adherence. Figure III sets out the downtown detour routing for all eastbound and westbound buses through the core noting Routes 2 and 20 have an extended detour along Springbank Ave, Springbank Drive and Horton Street due to the left turning restrictions southbound on Wharncliffe to eastbound on Horton.
Figure III- Downtown Canada Day Detour
The underlying goals with respect to communications regarding detours are to provide the information with as much advance notice as possible, and as accurately as possible. Accomplishing both of these goals requires a balanced approach.
Given the aforementioned detours will have significant impact on the post-secondary students returning this fall from both Western and Fanshawe, administration will be providing the respective student council’s with the detour information in the near term, so it can be available to students as they begin arriving in the city for the fall semester. LTC staff will also be available during student orientations to provide information and answer questions with respect to transit.
Information regarding all impacts to service is posted on the London Transit website and Twitter, to provide as much advance notice as possible. Updates are also posted on Twitter in real time as new information is received.
Planning and Operations staff were in the core during the buses off Dundas transition in April to provide information to Operators and passengers. This approach proved to be very successful, and as such staff will again be available in the core in September to provide assistance related to the Richmond Street detour.
A special construction Transit Talk is currently available on the buses to provide details regarding ongoing and upcoming major construction projects, including those listed above.
Shawn Wilson, Director of Operations
Katie Burns, Director of Planning
Concurred in by:
Kelly S. Paleczny, General Manager