Twelve questions for light rail . . .
Mr d’Eça’s questions on a tramway (last week’s Bulletin) are right on the money, and a few caught my attention. Years ago, in some cases. Light rail is the best idea as long as there are only 2 stops: Hull and Ottawa. If it will be making stops at several stations, it won’t work. The schedules will be just as long or longer than existing bus lines – unless there is an accident on one of the bridges. My concern is whether there will be 1 or 2 trains traveling at the same time so as to allow for an efficient system.
Any idea on joining the Ottawa rail or road accesses translates to Ottawa taxpayers voting on our projects. The Kanata bridge idea was voted down because of Shirley’s Bay and other Federal Government infrastructure in the immediate area where the road would reach Ontario, not to mention all the home and cottage owners who flat out turned down the idea. The old plans for Highway 148 had a bridge to be built as an extension to Perry Road. But ask yourself how many Aylmerites would take the bridge to downtown Ottawa through morning Kanata traffic? Not many.
You mention expropriation. This can only happen if the lines are displaced. All existing lines (decommissioned years ago), still belong to CN or CP. You may have noticed that nowhere on those lines have houses been built. The lines would require modernization and a re-install of new tracks. And also soil decontamination. When the Rapibus corridor was built, the STO had to remove the old lines and put in new ones and they even paid for decontamination costs which resulted in substantial budget overruns for something that is not in use – but in the hopes they will be. The section south of Taché Boulevard is laden with trees between the tracks so these will have to be completely re-done. The bridge as well.
I think a ferry is a good idea for those wishing to go to Kanata, for hockey games, or for work in Kanata, but a bridge is not the solution, given the destination of most Aylmerites – which is not going to work in Kanata. Travel to Kanata is for the CTC Centre. You’re better off taking the 416 at Bayshore than passing by Shirley’s Bay.
Finally, I’d rather have federal funding and oversight on any project than to have our municipal or provincial officials have responsibility for such a project. The results of the past have resulted in cut corners, budget overruns, and the lowest grade of materials used. Our roads need to be re-done within 5 years and some are simply left in a decrepit state.