Rapid Transit: Public consultations start after council OKs master plan

City politicians gave London’s bus rapid transit master plan — including revised financials — the green light Monday night.
“I’m convinced it’s the right plan for London,” said Mayor Matt Brown. “I really think we are on the right road.”
Years in the making, the decision opens the door for London to seek the cash it needs for the project from the provincial and federal governments and start a formal public review.
The master plan, approved 10-2 by the strategic priorities and policy committee, heads to council for a formal vote tonight.
The updated business case projects a $1.18 return for every $1 invested in the project. But some city politicians weren’t sold on the benefits.
Coun. Phil Squire, whose ward includes the BRT system’s contentious north corridor, said a traffic analysis included in the master plan is a big concern, noting many downtown intersections will be busier after the introduction of BRT.
“It doesn’t hearten me or make me feel better about our BRT system that there’s deterioration in traffic congestion,” Squire said.
But increased volume is inevitable and would be even worse without the $500 million BRT system, transportation boss Edward Soldo said.
“Wherever we put this, there’s going to be congestion. The thing is, there are a lot of collateral routes for cars,” Coun. Stephen Turner added.
The traffic study also was a stumbling block for Coun. Michael van Holst, who sided with Squire in voting against the master plan. (Harold Usher and Anna Hopkins were absent, while Josh Morgan declared a conflict and did not vote on the master plan or business case.)
But BRT is probably the only way to save London from a gridlocked future, Coun. Maureen Cassidy said.
“We’ve been accommodating more and more cars every year at the expense of transit. If we keep doing this, we’ll never be able to keep up,” she said.
There were few in the public gallery for Monday’s debate. But the small crowd included two members of the previous council: Joe Fontana, who resigned as mayor in 2014, and Bud Polhill.
Londoners can expect many more opportunities to have their say when a 45-day public consultation period kicks off Aug. 3.
“It’s the communications that are really critical here, not just for the dissemination of information, but for keeping Londoners aware, informed and engaged,” Deputy Mayor Paul Hubert said, adding the city has “learned the hard way” about the importance of careful consultation.
The revived business-case debate brought out of hibernation Down Shift, the group of downtown merchants who have led the fight against London’s BRT project.
The group, started by Joe Kool’s owner Mike Smith, was successful in undermining BRT but also drew widespread criticism for tactics one rival called “nasty.”
While they were initially fighting against poor communication and then the now-dismissed tunnel, they revived their public campaign Monday with a more-generic complaint about the project’s price tag.
“This is the biggest waste of half a billion (dollars) we have seen in (London),” an unnamed Down Shift member wrote on their social-media account Monday.
London’s financial contribution for the BRT system is capped at $130 million, with the other $370 million needed from Ottawa and Queen’s Park.
Even Squire, who said he felt like “the skunk that shows up at a party” voicing his displeasure over the routes, recognized the need to stand behind council decisions.

lfpress
masterplan BRT
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
4 views in august
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Comments are designed to communicate and discuss the features of an enterprise or event, as well as to find out the interesting questions on it.

Society
Local Democracy Reporter - Bexley, Bromley & Greenwich A community group has pledged to fight council proposals that would “squeeze monster towers” into Bromley town centre. Bromley Council is consulting with residents on its Town Centre Masterplan, which sets out the vision for more than 1,200 homes, shops and community spaces. The council is asking for feedback on ideas for the heart of itsmasterplan site, which extendsalong the west side of the High Str...
Society
A group of fundraisers who organise projects to enhance their community hosted students from around the world in an exchange programme. In July, The Rotary Club of Northwick Park played host to the London Youth Exchange Camp 2018. Students from several countries including Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, Spain, Taiwan and Turkey were accommodated. A spokesperson for the club said the students were in the U...
Society
Police have revealed the movements of a car driven by a suspected terrorist who mowed down pedestrians and cyclists outside Parliament. Three people were injured when a silver Ford Fiesta veered across a busy road shortly after 7.30am on Tuesday before crashing into security barriers outside the Houses of Parliament  - writes standard.co.uk Scotland Yard has revealed the vehicle, which has the registration number FL10 CWZ and is privately owned, was driven...
Incidents
A young Kitchener diver who hoped to compete in the Olympics died Sunday at private music festival near Port Burwell. Colton James (C.J.) Moore, 24, died near the end of the Playground 2018 festival held at Otter River Farms, a private property off McQuiggan Line in the Municipality of Bayham with camping and cabins. Moore died in an apparent drowning, festival organizers said in Facebook post. Moore was a bio medical engineering student at the University...
Crime
London police are once again appealing to the pubic for help identifying a suspect in an armed robbery at an east-end convenience store a month ago. Police say a man walked into a mini-mart at 750 Lorne Ave., near English Street, July 15 and demanded money and items from the cashier. The man left the store and got in the passenger side of a dark coloured pickup truck. He made off with an undisclosed amount of cash and property, police said. Police say the...
Society
Weather Grey clouds will dominate today as temperatures keep to the low twenties. The sun may peak through the overcast skies later on. Traffic On the M25, one lane is closed due to emergency repairs clockwise between J26 A121 Honey Lane (Waltham Abbey) and J27 M11 J6. Lane four is closed after a vehicle went through the central reservation barrier on Saturday evening. Anticlockwise is running with four narrow lanes whilst repairs continue. North of Wood G...
Crime
A 48-year-old man is dead and a London man is in custody after a suspected hit-and-run in west-end Toronto late Monday. Police were called to the scene — near Lake Shore Boulevard West and Islington Avenue— for reports of a personal injury collision at 11 p.m. They say officers found the 48-year-old man with life-threatening injuries at the scene, adding he had an undisclosed altercation with the suspect. The 48-year-old man later died in hospital. Police...
Society
The father of a three-year-old girl attacked by a fox in her bed has told how she was left petrified by her ordeal. Heidi Cooper screamed when she woke to find the fox biting her arm after it had sneaked in through an open back door at the south-east London home - writes standard.co.uk Her parents were watching TV in the sitting room with their four-month-old baby when they heard her screams of panic. Father George Cooper, 37, a taxi driver, raced to her r...
Sports
Some time next year London city hall will publish its 10-year parks and recreation master plan — and one of the possible projects discussed will be a downtown stadium. Now, that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen in 10 years, or ever for that matter. What it does mean if the item appears in the long-term master plan for the city is that the pros and cons of a stadium will be discussed - writes lfpress.com But the fact that a small stadium of not-yet-determi...