Gatineau Shows Ottawa LRT Is Moronic

How stupid is Ottawa’s light-rail line?

This stupid.

The Ottawa line didn’t need a tunnel because light rail is designed to run on the surface in traffic.

The Ottawa line didn’t need a dedicated corridor because light rail is designed to run in the confined spaces along roads … say Carling Avenue for example.

But here is the major stupid.

Gatineau is doing light rail correctly. That city will be paying $2.1 billion for 26 kilometres that runs for the most part along already-constructed roads. The geniuses at Ottawa City Hall are paying $2.1 billion for 12.5 kilometres of LRT.

That’s because we have gold-plated new wind-tunnel LRT stations rather than using the ones that were already there that were perfectly suitable for light rail. But some obscure bureaucrats will win awards for this scandalously over-priced line at a cost of about $1 billion to Ottawa taxpayers. Even morons (we’re not mentioning names here) can figure that one out. This moron did.


Ottawa LRT testing last month.


And awards, oh my god, awards. Already the uncompleted project has won a major tunnelling award. Congratulations. Ottawa’s tunnel had three sinkholes. Did the project that finished second have four or more?

When Gatineau wants to put up a new station, it could erect a bus shelter if it wants. If Ottawa wants to put a new station downtown (which will be necessary if not now, but a few years down the track), it will cost tens or hundreds of millions of dollars along the tunnel. A dedicated surface route along Slater or Albert could have had those bus shelters and bike lanes along either side that would be safe without the cars. The train wouldn’t make a sharp right turn in front of a cyclist unless it derailed – not out of the question given the moronic planning behind the line.

But then a surface route might not have won awards. Can’t have that.

Despite Gatineau’s late start, LRT will be finished there in 2028. Ottawa won’t get to Kanata or Barrhaven beyond 2031. There is no date for the Kanata or Barrhaven extension.

One more point before your agent has a stroke.

Planning committee chairwoman Jan Harder and Mayor Jim Watson are spending $600,000 for an environmental assessment to Barrhaven to give Barrhoovians the impression that light rail is on the way. An EA expires in five years. Rail won’t get to Barrhaven past 2031. Harder and Watson are paying $600,000 to do something that will be massively obsolete by the time construction comes.

That said, that wasted $600,000 will attract votes in Barrhaven for Watson and Harder come election time. Most voters don’t read the fine print.

Let’s see … $300,000 each for Watson and Harder.

Now taxpayers are really overpaying.


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7 thoughts on “Gatineau Shows Ottawa LRT Is Moronic

  1. Ken,
    You said it yourself – you are a moron.
    Don’t you realize that Ottawa is getting a subway and an LRT all in one?
    Don’t you realize that your city is winning awards for design and that is as important as a citizen receiving the Watson handshake?
    Don’t you realize that 12.5 km is about half of 26 km? That’s like 50 per cent. When the butcher offers me a half pound of hamburger for the price of a pound steak, I rush to the store and stock up.
    Don’t you realize that 2031 is bigger than 2028?
    Don’t you realize that the tunnel was a preventative maintenance project? They found all those nasty sink holes.
    I held a vote and I am unanimous in my opinion – you are mordant and I mourn for your city.



      1. Jimmy Durante often said, “I gotta million of ’em.”
        Yogi Berra is quoted as saying, ” I never said most of the things I said.”

        Ken might attest to both re: me ’cause I do gotta lot of ’em and he is stuck reading ’em. I may (on occasion) be too voluminous. And, Ken often has to delete or alter my words ’cause he is the editor.

        To the Voter – Chaz says, “Thank you for your kind comment.”



  2. Gatineau’s plan appears to take a relatively large number of people a relatively long distance in relatively less time, to the places where those people are most likely wanting to go. Who would have thought of that as an objective worth planning for? And the answer is – no one who reports to work for the city on the south side of the Ottawa River.


  3. Ken. The underground tunnel portion of LRT was Ottawa’s way of saying “If Toronto can go underground so can we”. Ottawans spend so much time hating Toronto, I can’t understand why we feel we need to compete at every turn. Unfortunately for Sens fans we won’t have to worry for much longer about which team, the Leafs or Sens, have more points in the standings because there’s only going to be one team left if Ottawa doesn’t smarten up.


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