How stupid is Ottawa’s light-rail line?
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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