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Commentary
Kanata councillor needs to jump on board the LRT train... to Orléans

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

So Kanata South Coun. Alan Hubley thinks Ottawa’s LRT system should be extended to Kanata before it’s extended to Trim Road, to which we say, “Nice try Al”.

Extending light rail from Place d’Orléans to Trim Road should have been included in the second phase of Ottawa’s mega-transit project in the first place.

Why the plan calls for construction to halt 1.5 kms short of the massive park and ride at Trim and Hwy. 174, the future Petrie’s Landing III business park, and the 2,500 homes that will make up Cardinal Creek Village is anybody’s guess.

It was a major failing of the city’s planners and city council that can only be rectified by extending construction to Trim Road from Place d’Orléans in as seamless a manner as possible.

Suspending construction indefinitely while we wait for light rail to be extended from the Bayshore Shopping Centre to Kanata is nuts.

For one thing, the Trim Road extension will only cost $160 million, while the Kanata extension will cost three or four times that much. For another, the Trim Road extension will negate having to run shuttles between the Trim Road park and ride and Place d’Orléans, thus saving tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in operating costs.

It should be noted that the Transportation Master Plan does not call for the Kanata extension until sometime after 2031, while the city is still hoping to convince the federal government to beef up its funding for Phase 2 to include the Trim Road extension.

You can’t fault Hubley for trying, but his suggestion should be immediately shot down by our east end city councillors in as strong a fashion as possible.

Cumberland Coun. Stephen Blais and Orléans Coun. Bob Monette wasted no time in raining on Hubley’s parade, stating rather emphatically that their colleague is way off base in thinking that Orléans transit users should take a backseat to their counterparts in Kanata. And we applaud both men for doing so.

There’s no question that for light rail to serve the entire city it must run from Trim Road to Kanata and south to Barrhaven, but trying to pit one community against another is not the best way to make your case.

If Hubley wants to realize his dream he needs to work with his colleagues rather than at cross purposes.

(Updated 1:30 p.m., April 1)

 

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