Last year I presented at the Light Rail Transit Environmental Assessment Report to city council. I was concerned because I had found out that the plan required the clear cutting of the trees along King Street. The review was ultimately farcical as of the 40 or so presentations, I think there were 2 of us who actually discussed anything to do with the environment. The whole marathon meeting became a debate over the need for LRT as an economic driver for the city, and council’s vision for the future.
I am running for mayor because I see this city sleepwalking into a traffic nightmare, for no good reason. For those who don’t yet know, the current plan is to run the LRT down the middle of King Street, with one lane for eastbound traffic and one lane for westbound traffic. For over a decade city council seems intent on impeding traffic flow, and the proposed East-West LRT is going to bring it to a stand-still.
Some “environmentalists” will say “yes- this is good, it will force people out of their cars”. I don’t think so. Firstly, environmentally speaking, a plan that replaces a half-billion dollars worth of infrastructure that isn’t broken and cuts down over 600 trees is a disaster. Secondly, instead of forcing people out of their cars, this East-West LRT plan is more likely to force people to move out of their homes rather than putting up with gridlock. Other than those who live and work directly along this route, everyone is going to suffer increased commute times. Why would I vote for that when we could build transit infrastructure that can actually benefit everyone and the environment?
A North-South LRT running from the Go Train station to the airport would service the upper and the lower city, run along streets wide enough to accommodate both trains and traffic, and encourage folks to use the GO trains by taking them directly to the train station platform.
Please go to my website at NorthSouthLRT.ca and have a look at what I am proposing. The decision is clear to me, and I’m running for mayor to offer the citizens a better choice, one that builds sound infrastructure without causing traffic chaos.