In reading the background papers for the LRT Technology Forum tomorrow morning, much ado is made about segregated corridors. That is to say, if you don't put rail in a tunnel or up in the air, you need to put up fences to keep pedestrians from crossing the line, or else chaos will result.
So it's interesting that I came upon a video of Vancouver Streetcar traffic in 1907, which clearly shows pedestrians, cyclists and horse-drawn carriages crossing the streetcar tracks with no difficulty or conflict. (Nor, I might add, signals to tell them when and where to cross)
If they put light rail along the Western Parkway (emphasis on "if"), would tracks with a train passing promptly every 30 or 60 seconds really be as dangerous to cross as, say, the four lanes of constant car and bus traffic already there?
Why don't we have fences along, say, Carling?
Yet another bias in our car-based culture. Cars and buses are safe because they're normal, trains are dangerous because we're not used to them.