Kingston-Lawrence-Morningside Options Report
Five concepts were considered for the LRT alignment in the triangular area of Kingston Road, Lawrence Avenue and Morningside Avenue. A summary of the analysis is provided below. To request a full copy of the Kingston-Lawrence-Morningside Options Report, please email us or call us at 416-338-2848.
The Scarborough-Malvern LRT concept that was approved in 2009 recommended a street-level LRT with two stops, as shown in the figure below. Options for this area have been created and evaluated because two extended stops and the required track work for turning service back west towards Kennedy Station at this location are not feasible.
Three at-grade and two below-grade concepts were developed along Kingston Road and Lawrence Avenue East. Multi- modal simulation confirmed that mixing the LRT and traffic would delay all modes and restrict the capacity of the intersection.
The five concepts were:
1. Surface 1
A variation of the 2009-approved concept, modified to accommodate the extended platforms and required track work. The required modifications included a single stop with extended platforms, instead of two stops within close proximity of each other.
This concept has the lowest capital cost of all five concepts. Compared to the 2009 concept, the LRT would travel faster because it would only stop once in this area, but access to the LRT is slightly reduced. Turning from Kingston Road north onto Morningside Avenue would create delays for traffic on Kingston Road – a very busy connection between eastern Scarborough and downtown.
2. Surface 2
This concept proposes re-routing the LRT from Kingston Road to travel on Lawrence Avenue East and Morningside Avenue, as shown in the figure below. The concept features a single stop.
The concept slightly reduces the impact to traffic operations compared with Surface 1; however, with a longer track and an additional sharp turn for the LRT, the concept would incur greater capital and operating costs. The concept would slow the LRT travel time between UTSC and Eglinton Avenue. There may be some challenges associated with preserving service access to commercial properties in the area. Commercial properties in the area may have reduced access for service vehicles.
3. Surface 3
This concept also proposes re-routing the LRT from Kingston Road to travel on Lawrence Avenue East and Morningside Avenue, as shown in the figure below. The concept included two ‘split or far-side’ stops, at Lawrence Avenue and Kingston, and at Morningside-Kingston Road.
This concept improves local access to LRT stops. Multiple stops adds to LRT travel time and increases the complexity of operation. Greater capital and operating expenses would be incurred, compared to the other surface options.
4. Tunnel 1
To address traffic challenges in the area, this concept proposes a tunnel for the LRT, as shown in the figure below. The LRT enters the tunnel via a portal on Kingston Road, south of Lawrence, and emerges from the tunnel via a portal on Morningside Avenue, just north of Kingston Road. The concept accommodates the extended platform and required track work with a single underground stop/station on Kingston Road, between Lawrence Avenue and Morningside.
This option provides better operations for all modes of traffic, including LRT, vehicles, pedestrians and trucks. Operational flexibility is provided with this concept, as it preserves the ability to operate more frequent trains to UTSC in the future as it addresses traffic challenges within the area.
5. Tunnel 2
This concept also proposes a tunnel to address traffic challenges in the area, but extends the tunnel alignment off of Kingston Road, along Lawrence and Morningside, as shown in the figure below. This concept opens up the potential for improved connections between buses and LRT.
This concept opens up the potential for integration with any future development, but incurs the highest capital and operating expenses of the five concepts under consideration.
An early comparison of options determined that LRT alignments along Kingston Road performed better than alignments along Lawrence Avenue East. As a result, the Kingston Road alignments, both at-grade (Surface 1) and below-grade (Tunnel 1), were the subject of detailed evaluation using the Rapid Transit Evaluation Framework, including a detailed comparison of economic benefits and costs. The findings of the evaluation of these two options are summarized in the table below. The affordability criteria compares the net costs and benefits of the King Road tunnel option as described below.
|Rapid Transit Evaluation Criteria||Surface 1||Tunnel 1|
|Choice||Preferred option. Tunnel 1 provides more operational flexibility and preserves ability to operate more frequent transit service to UTSC.|
|Experience||Preferred option. Provides faster LRT travel time and minimizes traffic impacts.|
|Social Equity||Preferred option. Surface-level stop avoids the need for stairs and elevators.|
|Public Health & Environment||Preferred option. Reduced soil and geotechnical impacts compared with Tunnel 1.|
|Healthy Neighbourhoods||Preferred option. Minimizes property impacts, both during and after construction|
|Shaping the City||Equal impact||Equal impact|
|Affordability||Preferred option. Based on the economic analysis*, the Tunnel 1 Alternative provides benefits that exceed the net costs (over a 60-year life cycle).|
|Supports Growth||Preferred option. Tunnel 1 protects existing driveway accesses in the KLM area, and allows for more capacity for truck movement.|
* Economic analysis was undertaken in a separate study. Refer to the report Economic Analysis of Grade Separations – Kingston-Lawrence-Morningside and UTSC.
The at-grade concept (Surface 1 concept) performs better from some perspectives, including:
- Less complex stop design and fewer barriers to people with mobility challenges, as they do not have to change levels;
- Less construction impact than a below-grade concept; and
- Below-grade concept will require some property acquisition to accommodate entrances and portals.
The below-grade concept is preferred from other perspectives, including:
- Faster travel time for the LRT and less delay to mixed traffic;
- Better connections to surface transit (buses); and
- At-grade concept would reduce access to commercial and mixed-use properties by restricting left-turns in and out of driveways and loading facilities.
(*Economic analysis of affordability was undertaken in a separate study. The results were used as an input to this study. More information about the affordability measure can be found in a report on the economic analysis of potential grade separations.
The most significant factors in the comparison of the at-grade (Surface 1) and below-grade (Tunnel 1) concepts are costs and impacts to traffic and LRT travel time. The below-grade option has higher capital cost but would avoid conflicts between the turning movement of the LRT and general traffic (cars and trucks) using this already congested intersection.
Capital cost of the below-grade concept is estimated to be $249–$466 million (2018 $, Class 5. Total Net Present Value (NPV) of all incremental costs of the below-grade concept is estimated as $207–$387 million (2018 $), while the total NPV of benefits of the below-grade option is estimated as $408–$444 million (2018 $). Based on the analysis, the estimated benefits exceed the estimated incremental costs of the below-grade concept, demonstrating good value-for-money. More information about the affordability measure can be found in a report on the economic analysis of potential grade separations
Based on the above assessment, a below-grade (tunnel) alignment along Kingston Road with a single stop is recommended. A tunnel along Kingston Road minimizes LRT travel time, and minimizes impacts to traffic.
For more information
To request a full copy of the Kingston-Lawrence-Morningside Options Report, please email us or call us at 416-338-2848.