Friday, February 27, 2009

Ottawa Transit: Subways Ahead?

Some of you will already be aware of the troubles we've faced in Ottawa in the course of expanding OC Transpo's light rail component. We've had at least one proposal get right up to the point of putting shovels in the ground...and then we got a sort of whiplash thanks to the election of Larry O'Brien. That's a long story I will not go into here.

Last night, we started what may finally be a good next step.

There was an open house at City Hall. Detailed was the proposal for a subway/light rail corridor running from Tunney's Pasture through the downtown core, the University of Ottawa Campus, the local VIA Rail station and St. Laurent Mall out to Gloucester Centre Mall out on the edge of the Greenbelt in the eastern end.

It was certainly well-attended. Alex Cullen was there for City Council, as was Marianne Wilkinson. Enough people to fill the public galleries in the Council Chambers, and if they'd had room for more, I suspect there would have been more.

As to the project...well, it makes sense. They're trying to sort through several different options for different parts of the corridor. What combination would work the best? That was part of the point of the displays, the Power Point show, and so forth.

The corridor itself makes a certain amount of sense in general terms. I'm not entirely sure that it will defuse the current "bottleneck effect" we've been seeing for years in the central east-west corridor through Centretown on its own. The idea that a subway running under it will reduce the need for buses or anything else in a mass transit vein?

I just don't know.

At least there's lot of people from one end of town to the other paying attention.

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