Re: Western Light Rail Is Really Suburban LRT
Excellent letter! Its really sad Staff won’t consider Carling as an option for the Western LRT route because it achieves all of their objectives. It will get people to and from Kanata quickly during rush hours and will service the local community, bringing communities on either side together, rather than dividing them. Not to mention the economic upside to redeveloping Carling for the remainder of this century.
Councillor Egli sits on the Finance and Economic Development Committee in addition to being the Chair of the Transportation Committee. Let's hope he will connect the dots now that the revised plan calls for a longer tunnel which will increase the cost to an estimated $1.7 Billion. If the Carling route is estimated to cost $2.1 Billion to build, a similar amount, but also has a much greater upside from an economic development perspective, not to mention that it is the popular choice of residents, then it is hands down the best choice.
In response to @David's comment that there will be opposition to Carling Ave. if it becomes the City's preferred route, I responded:
I’m sure there will be people who oppose Carling as well, but the residential stretches you identify along Carling will be redevelop anyway at some point in the near future. The City’s intensification policy identifies arterial roads and main streets for intensification. Whereas the residential areas affected by the Richmond Underground route will not be intensified to the same degree and shouldn’t be.
The City even went as far as to say earlier this week that they would not pursue intensification opportunities around the new stations along the Richmond Underground route. A strategy that is contrary to the City’s current LRT intensification strategy. In fact, the City had IBM in last summer to help them come up with a strategy for intensifying around LRT hubs.
As for suburban commuters… You can’t expect people living in the core to accept having their lives turned upside down just so suburbanites can commute more easily. At the same time, we need a solution that addresses the ever increasing traffic on the Queensway. So, the right solution addresses both groups’ needs.
Carling achieves both because it runs in a straight line directly to Kanata. During rush hour periods the number of stops can be reduced to major hubs only. During off hours the trains can stop more frequently to service the local community. The technology exists to sync traffic lights, so now that we know the cost of the City’s compromise solution is very close to their estimate for Carling, its time to focus on the one answer for the Western LRT route that will address most residents needs: Carling Ave.