NCC Urged to Reject City of Ottawa’s New Proposals to Destroy Western Parkway

23 06 2013

Posted on behalf of ‘Underground Solution’.  For contact details, please see below.  The opinions expressed may not reflect those of the WCA.

 

The National Capital Commission (NCC) should reject the City of Ottawa’s revamped Western Light Rail Transit (LRT) plan because it fails to preserve irreplaceable green space and people’s open access to the Ottawa River and Western Parkway, said Lesley Taylor, president of the community group, the Underground Solution, today.

“We still believe that the train must run fully underground, in a tunnel, between the proposed Dominion Station and Cleary Station,” Taylor said. “This is the only way to preserve the integrity of the historic Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway for the benefit of residents and visitors to our capital.”

The City’s proposal today to put its dual-track LRT into a somewhat deeper trench—covering the top of the trains with a thin layer of earth–for 700 metres of the 1.2 km. stretch of threatened Parkway land from Dominion to Cleary Avenues still involves permanently destroying hundreds of trees along the Westboro-McKellar Woodland Path used daily for walking, cycling, and other recreational pursuits.

“There is no way the skimpy hair-piece of dirt the City proposes to perch on top of the LRT trains will sustain trees or other plants, except maybe yellowing grass,” commented Underground Solution member Jacques Vachon.

The city also plans to dramatically reduce access to the Parkway lands by erecting a 500-metre fenced barrier from Dominion Ave. to Rochester Field.

The grassroots community group deplored as well the size, placement and appearance of the large-scale LRT stations proposed for Dominion and Cleary Avenues, which would encroach within metres of hundreds of residences.

“The approach to the proposed station at Cleary is encased on one side in an ugly, soon-to-be-covered-by-graffiti concrete bunker that boxes in nearby homes, offering residents front-row seats on the ventilation exhaust fans,” Vachon noted.  “And the City proposes to put the tracks at Dominion 40 feet or so from homes, while cutting down all the trees and leaving hundreds of residents completely exposed to the dual-track trains passing every two minutes at peak, and four lanes of parkway traffic,” he added.

Taylor said the group wants the City to clarify aspects of its plan at a City Hall “open house” June 17. “We are very disappointed that the city is insisting on splintering people into small, separate ‘breakout’ rooms,” she said. More than 1,100 people have already signed a petition demanding that the trains be moved fully underground.

“Democracy in this case calls for an open, ‘town-hall’-style meeting where people can share their concerns and ideas with each other, as well as with the City,” Taylor emphasized.

 

The Underground Solution is the voice of hundreds of Westboro and McKellar Park residents who are fighting to preserve their neighborhoods and everyone’s access to the historic Ottawa River and priceless Western Parkway green space. The community group demands that the City of Ottawa move its proposed Western LRT trains fully into an underground tunnel.

For more information: Lesley Taylor (Underground Solution president)

613 851-8455

LesleyTaylor.Media@bell.net

Rich Brandau (Underground Solution steering committee)

613 304-7663

 

For email signature line: UndergroundSoln@hotmail.com

For the latest news from the Underground Solution, like us on Facebook at: facebook.com/UndergroundSoln, and follow us on Twitter at: @UndergroundSoln.

Google Search:  Petition Underground Solution

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2 responses

29 08 2013
cr872190

I think these “hundreds” of westboro/mckellar park residents should pay the difference for underground if thats what they want. the whole city is taking some sacrifices for this advancement in public transportation. the city has even gone back to the drawing board at the expense of tax payers to adjust the plan to please the residents and lower it into a ditch (which is more than I think they should do to please my fellow westboro/mckellar park neighbours). This vocal minority need to either put up ($$$) or shut up.

30 08 2013
WCA Jennifer

Thank you very much for your comments. This is a hot topic in the neighbourhood and it is good to hear perspectives from both sides.

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