Posted by: HamptonIona | June 23, 2010

Western LRT – Planning and Environmental Assessment Process Has Begun

Kevin O’Donnell is representing Hampton Iona at discussions over the proposed western leg of the LRT.  He attended the public consultation meeting on June 21st and files this report (cross-posted from his website):

The City of Ottawa has begun the Western LRT Corridor Planning and Environmental Assessment project.  This project is going to determine the route that light rail will take as it leaves Downtown (at Bayview station) and heads to Baseline Station.  While the current Transit Master Plan (TMP) chose the Western Parkway, this study is going to “wipe the slate clean” and look at all the route options.  Anything from the Western Parkway, Byron Avenue, O-Train cut, Carling Avenue, Churchill, etc, are on the table for review and investigation.

The NCC has not said one way or another that they will permit light rail on the parkway.  But the NCC was a key contributor in designing the study and process we are about to work through.  The feeling at the City is that the NCC wants to make sure the City has really investigated alternate routes and is not choosing the parkway simply because its there and is the easy”status-quo” choice.

The City is engaging stakeholders by forming three different input groups: agency, business and public.  The Agency groups are composed of government ministries and agencies that are involved because they are a major employer, land holder or provide oversight to the Environment Assessment process.  The Business group is made up of the school boards, hospitals and BIAs in the area.  Finally the Public group is made up of Community Associations, advocacy groups and members from the City Advisory Committees.

Monday June 21st was the first day of meetings between the City and the consultation groups.  The agenda was to get the groups up to speed on how the process will work and to invite the groups to offer feedback on the process itself.

The next meeting in September is where we’ll get into the real details of choosing an alternate route.  Delcan will be preparing a number of options that we can review at that point.  Both the City and Delcan were very up front about the fact that all options are on the table.  As we go through the process we’ll “fan out” to explore all sorts of routes (parkway, carling, o-train, byron, etc) and designs (underground, below grade, overhead, etc) then whittle the options done until we reach just one.

As the representative for Hampton Iona I will be attending all of the public consultation meetings.  If you have questions feel free to send them over and I’ll do my best to get you an answer, or at least help by pointing you in the right direction.  The Western LRT won’t be built for quite a few years, but now is the time to make sure we make the best decision for the City’s long term health, efficiency and livability.

More reading:

  • City of Ottawa’s Western LRT Project information (http://ottawa.ca/westernLRT)
  • Western LRT Corridor, Planning and Environmental Assessment, Study Design and Schedule Document (PDF)
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