The new Confederation LRT line stations for downtown Ottawa — as proposed by the winning consortium — are very different from the previous designs worked out by the City.
The City’s previous designs were very big on safety through environmental design. To that end, the downtown tunnel stations had a upper level mezzanine with the ticketing functions, that was then open to the track level one floor below.
In quiet hours, someone on the mezzanine could eyeball the trackside waiting areas. People waiting on the platforms could be confident that someone could see them easily from the mezzanine. All that openness promotes subjective safety, ie the safety the user feels, regardless of what the stats might say about safety.
The selected downtown station designs largely do away with soaring, multi-level openness. From what I can tell from the provided illustrations, the mezzanine level is an enclosed space. The train platforms are a separate space. They are only connected visually by staircases. The train platforms, in particular, are low-ceilinged boxes. I’ve seen condos with higher ceilings.
It would be much easier to examine the Confederation Line station designs if plans had been published. Alas, the PR boffins favour pretty summertime “artist illustrations” so it is hard to figure out just where traffic flows or what the sightlines are.
I wonder if the City is going to sign a billion dollar contract without ever knowing just how this proponent is laying out the platforms? I, for one, would like to see a lot more detail before we commit to what is being offered.
For interest, here is a drawing of the original downtown west station design, with the highly rated centre platform, vaulted ceiling, and open mezannine. Compare this to the one the city is accepting from RTC, and weep: