Early on in the light-rail planning process, the National Capital Commission made it clear that its officials thought Carling Avenue was the correct route for LRT.
Then the NCC stopped discussing the issue … perhaps feeling it was treading on areas of municipal jurisdiction.
Not such a problem for the City of Ottawa. It started building this huge, over-priced project with no western exit secured. It presumed it could use NCC land on the Macdonald Parkway.
Video above: Ottawa LRT … looks great.
The city was wrong. The NCC didn’t want it, perhaps thinking its resistance would push rail down Carling Avenue … a location even a grade-school student would say is correct.
But the city kept demanding the parkway land. So the NCC made the city an impossible offer.
If the city wanted to use the parkway lands, it would have to tunnel the light-rail line down the parkway. Not even an idiot would buy into that alternative because of the huge cost. The NCC had effectively blocked light rail down the parkway.
Or so it thought.
The Crown corporation didn’t see the idiocy of the City of Ottawa coming.
The municipality said OK … we’ll tunnel.
The NCC had to have been the most shocked organization in Ottawa. The municipality bought into this ridiculous demand. The city was actually going to pay for tunnelling down a park where no one lived. Who knew?
Jim Watson’s administration made this out to be a great compromise and he the key to this mighty accommodation.
Compromise? Are you kidding me? The NCC ate Watson’s lunch. It got everything it wanted (and much much more) and couldn’t believe the city would bite at such a ridiculous demand.
Now taxpayers are paying to tunnel a light-rail line beneath a park where no one lives.
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