Presuming the conversion of the transitway from buses to LRT goes ahead after the upcoming municipal election — and this is a big presumption since Watson, for one, is running on a platform of reexamining not just the tunnel component but even whether we should have LRT service at all (he seems to favour perpetual bus service)— there will be many transitioning issues to deal with.
One contentious issue is what to do with the buses that currently run on the transitway while the road is being removed and rails and LRT stations are being installed. This was a big issue last year, and in my opinion a lot of the worst aspects have been addressed: http://www.http//westsideaction.blogspot.com/2009/10/dott-plans-affect-west-side-residents_4600.html, and http://www.http//westsideaction.blogspot.com/2009/10/dott-plans-affect-west-side-residents-v.html. You can click on the links in the word cloud to the right to go back to read previous LRT and DOTT posts. There are still a number of issues to be addressed regarding how many buses will be shifted onto Scott Street between Tunney’s and Bayview, and Albert Street from Bayview to downtown, during and after the construction period.
A somewhat alarmist poster and “fact sheet” are reproduced below. I will attend the walkabout. I am hoping that the organizers will show concern for catholic and french children in the area and invite those school trustees too.
I think it is important that the bus route concern not become a hammer to whack at the LRT project itself, or we run the risk of rising the tide of opposition (for various diverse and contradictory reasons) that might delay or kill the LRT project.
• Scott Street is being proposed to be used as a temporary route for 3- 5 years as the light rail extension is being constructed. This is 3 buses a minute during rush hour and bus traffic 24 hrs a day.
• Scott St. is being proposed to be used permanently as a route for express buses coming from Kanata and Stittsville. This is to save suburban riders the inconvenience of transferring stations. It makes no sense to spend 1.2 Billion dollars on a transitway to then take buses off the new transitway and have them go down a residential street.
• Alternative routes are being considered,which are more suitable such as the Ottawa River Parkway which is not residential.
• Scott St. is already heavily travelled with traffic exceeding the speed limits. Adding a significant amount of bus traffic will make it dangerous to both local residents and pedestrians. Laneways and small streets off Scott will be next to impossible to turn onto, back out of especially during rush hour. The narrow sidewalk is not suitable and safe for pedestrians, especially children, with numerous fast vehicles so close. Many school children must cross Scott to get to school, which will be difficult with heavy traffic.
• Scott St is residential with some houses less than 6’ from the road (house at corner of Hilda and Scott) Houses are already sprayed with slush etc. which will only increase with numerous buses all day long.
• Our own local bus service has been cut to one bus every ½ hour.
• The original transitway was built below ground in order to protect the community from the noise, pollution and environmental consequences of mass transit so close to homes. No protection is being proposed for the residents of Scott St. in either the short term or long term.