News   Feb 06, 2023
 280     1 
News   Feb 06, 2023
 1.6K     4 
News   Feb 06, 2023
 487     0 

Brampton GO Station: Proposed Development (if you hate GO surface lots...)

SunriseChampion

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Mar 5, 2009
Messages
6,777
Reaction score
2,726
Location
Majorca
I do hate surface parking lots at GO stations! And, I do like this idea. I hope it works out for them and gets built and that all surface parking is integrated and disappears. Bye, bye, most inefficient use of space known to Man!
 

RedRocket191

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jul 30, 2007
Messages
2,306
Reaction score
0
Of course the knee-jerk reaction is "DON'T TOUCH MY FREE PARKING", but there's no reason why GO parking can't be incorporated into the development. In fact, reconfiguring the site could probably solve the traffic problems around train time. Surface lots are a terrible use of land when we can have jobs and economic development, and almost every planning principle I can think of says that, in principle, this is a good idea.

Mayor Susan Fennell is going to have to difficult time selling this to people who refuse to think outside of the box. But, downtown Brampton is booming and this is the kind of investment we need to keep that boom going. My only concern is that sight lines of the station from Church Street should be preserved. It's a federally designated heritage railway station, after all.
 

dunkalunk

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jun 26, 2008
Messages
1,215
Reaction score
61
This may sound a bit nostalgic, but its good to hear Brampton getting into the tradition of building Hotels at station stops. I only hope that whoever is chosen to design the building does so in a timeless fashion and it is not a quick, generic, stucco highrise job. This is where visitors to the city will stay, and their impression of the building will be part their impression of the city.
 

hwy7

New Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 23, 2009
Messages
52
Reaction score
0
Ohh, this makes me happy.

I never thought I'd say this, but I am actually excited about the future of Brampton.
 

CDL.TO

Moderator
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 22, 2007
Messages
4,274
Reaction score
120
Location
Christie Pits
Sure, I see the purpose of free surface parking at GO stations. It's GO's bread-and-butter and is currently an important part encouraging people to use public transit (hopefully that changes in the future).

But if there's anywhere that large parking lots do not make sense, it's in the established downtown cores of the region. Brampton, Port Credit, Cooksville, and Markham first and foremost. (Newmarket, Oakville, Streetsville, and Richmond Hill as well.) These parking lots gut the downtown cores, and stations in downtown cores offer the greatest opportunities for transit-oriented development and lifestyles.

Good on Brampton (but I'm always pretty cautious when I hear talk of convention centres). Hopefully this goes forward.

If GO needs to preserve their parking, build more at Bramalea instead. I don't think anyone cares about that wasteland.
 

SunriseChampion

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Mar 5, 2009
Messages
6,777
Reaction score
2,726
Location
Majorca
I'm not convinced that free surface parking encourages people to take the train for their daily commute. If there was a nominal fee for parking, people would stop taking the train altogether and instead drive downtown where parking costs more? That's not mentioning the hassle of sitting in traffic. Free surface parking only encourages GO Transit users to drive to the station instead of taking local public transit. I'd bury it all under smart development around the stations; integrate the parking spots with the new development and charge a nominal fee for use. Besides, even the car-fetishists could agree that keeping your car outside, victim to the elements is not a good thing!
 

TOareaFan

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Jun 24, 2008
Messages
11,927
Reaction score
2,518
When I started the thread I had just read the article and had not given it much thought. I just figured it was something people here would like to see/hear about/discuss.

I am still not sure what to think.

On the one hand, a hotel/convention centre (and I really think they mean a hotel with a lot of meeting space as opposed to a MTCC type development) has long been a goal for Brampton and they have looked at other sites in the past....and I have often thought that the sort of parky/low density site across Church Street from the GO parking made sense....so this site is not far from that. So, on its own merits, this is probably a very good development proposal and continues the momentum for downtown Brampton.

On the other hand, GO's primary role is to encourage commuters out of their cars and onto trains (or as it relates to Brampton currently, buses).....and this development has the potential to work against this role. The article notes that the current surface lot would be replaced with 250 - 300 underground parking spots. Those spots represent a significant reduction (from 629) to what is available now, they are not likely to be free and they are not likely to be dedicated to GO users (presuming that people will want to park at the new hotel/convention centre too) so, when this project is complete, there will be a significant disincentive for commuters to use this station........after the money that has gone into the station recently/currently this seems like a real shame (from a cost/return/utilization point of view and from a transit point of view). That does not even factor in that for, likley, 2 - 3 years of construction there would be virtually no parking at the site at all.

It is far too simplistic to simply say "they can drive to Bramalea or Mt. Pleasant"......both those lots fill up already and would represent a lengthier drive for the people who currently park at Brampton (presuming people park at the station most convenient to them) so once you stick people in their cars longer you run the risk that they fall into the "well I have driven this far I may as well drive to work" mentality. Add in that Mt. Pleasant leads to a more expensive commute (and is in the opposite direction) and that option probably dies fast.

Suggesting that they should just change their patterns and take Brampton Transit to get to the station is not much of a suggestion either as that is an option that is there now and, considering that those 600+ spots are filled by the time the second (of 4) rush hour trains has left the station a considerable number of people don't think of it as a viable solution.

Ideally, I guess, the combination of the hotel and the condos being built should lead to more people using that station and accessing it by foot....but that does not seem to make up for the potential of losing those drive to the station commuters.

So, I guess, from an urban planning/intensification/land use point of view this seems like a good develpment idea. From a transit utilization perspective, the risk seems very high (IMO).
 

RedRocket191

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jul 30, 2007
Messages
2,306
Reaction score
0
I think we need to look at where the people who park at Brampton are coming from. Brampton has relatively few "neighbourhood" oriented bus routes that go to Brampton Station, so unless you have an easy walk to a major artery it's not much of an option to take Brampton Transit to the GO station. We need more routes like the 24 and the 25. They serve as GO shuttles in the morning and they are very well used because they travel deep into residential neighbourhoods. We can't divert everyone away from the parking lot, but we should aim to divert everyone who doesn't have to make 800 stops on the way home.
 

TOareaFan

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Jun 24, 2008
Messages
11,927
Reaction score
2,518
I think we need to look at where the people who park at Brampton are coming from. Brampton has relatively few "neighbourhood" oriented bus routes that go to Brampton Station, so unless you have an easy walk to a major artery it's not much of an option to take Brampton Transit to the GO station. We need more routes like the 24 and the 25. They serve as GO shuttles in the morning and they are very well used because they travel deep into residential neighbourhoods. We can't divert everyone away from the parking lot, but we should aim to divert everyone who doesn't have to make 800 stops on the way home.

Brampton actually moved away from those GO shuttles.....at their inception there were 4 such routes now just two....they have been gradually moving the transit system to more "grid" oriented.

If this were a uni-course or a text book, this would actually be great topic to debate....."do you go ahead with this development and try to change commute patterns to take people out of their cars".

The problem is that this is very real life and the minute a shovel goes into the ground for a development like this it automatically changes people's daily lives and it is a bit of a roll of the dice to see how they react. The only fact now at hand is that every one of those 629 spots in the main parking lot is used every day.........what is the impact of losing all/some of those spots? Do people change their way of getting to the GO station? Do they find an alternative public transit route to their jobs to avoid that GO station? or Do they simply jump back into their cars and drive to work.

....I suspect the true-life answer is you will get a bit of each of those (and probably some reactions I have not thought of too).
 

RedRocket191

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jul 30, 2007
Messages
2,306
Reaction score
0
I've been in Brampton for over 15 years, and having experienced both systems I think they've swung the pendulum a little too far to the other side. The ideal is a hybrid of the two, where a strong grid is combined with neighbourhood routes. People aren't going to use the service if they don't have it, and those who do use it like it a lot.

It is a lot more complex than this, but nothing's going to be accomplished without the service in place.
 

TOareaFan

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Jun 24, 2008
Messages
11,927
Reaction score
2,518
I've been in Brampton for over 15 years, and having experienced both systems I think they've swung the pendulum a little too far to the other side. The ideal is a hybrid of the two, where a strong grid is combined with neighbourhood routes. People aren't going to use the service if they don't have it, and those who do use it like it a lot.

It is a lot more complex than this, but nothing's going to be accomplished without the service in place.

The big issue really is how the sub-divisions were laid out....the main roads (Kennedy, Bramalea, Dixie, Main, Steeles, Bovaird, Sandalwood, etc) are conducive to grid but the inner roads/streets/neighbourhoods are all built with meandering/curving/dead ending streets that seem specifically designed to divert traffic (and buses) away....there are very few "secondary" streets that cut through neighbourhoods in any sort of direct fashion.....so it is very difficult to design bus routes that get close to where people actually live.....when I ocassionally make the 7 minute walk out of my neighbourhood to catch a bus on Bovaird to go over to the Mt. Pleasant station I invariably get comments from neighbours like "did your car breakdown".....the car is just the defacto method of transportation and I don't think it is just personal attitudes (although that is definitely part of it).....the buses just don't seem to come close enough to where people live for a lot of them to consider it an option.
 

kettal

Banned
Member Bio
Joined
Jul 24, 2008
Messages
2,350
Reaction score
1
Build a mega huge parking structure at Bramalea station. That place is never going to be attractive for any other uses. Let the car addicts park there, rather than the valuable land in the middle of Brampton.
 

Platform 27

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jun 24, 2009
Messages
759
Reaction score
37
Build a mega huge parking structure at Bramalea station. That place is never going to be attractive for any other uses. Let the car addicts park there, rather than the valuable land in the middle of Brampton.

Agreed. No disrespect to the fine citizens of those leafier parts of Bramalea to the north, but the Bramalea station site is quite possibly the least pleasant patch of ground I've set foot on in the whole GTA. Great location in terms of connecting to 407 buses and so on, but holy hell there's a site that's not about to become a leafy mobility hub anytime soon.
 

doady

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 24, 2007
Messages
3,984
Reaction score
343
Location
Mississauga
I think Bramalea Station is within the airport's operating area, so it will never have residential uses anyways. But there is still the side effect of the traffic congestion that GO's giant parking lots create, so it is not just an issue of land use. Funneling Brampton's park and riders into this one location interfere with a whole lot of Brampton buses (Steeles is the busiest corridor for Brampton Transit during rush hour). Just shows that the park-and-ride concept doesn't work.
 

Top