How long does this have to go on?
We’ve seen repeated problems with rail signals on level crossings north of Barrhaven reaching the point of absurdity.
In 2015, difficulties with the crossings were occurring almost weekly.
So perhaps we should be happy that there has only been three problems with signals on the VIA line north of Barrhaven since last June. That’s three problems in five months.
Except that it takes only one problem to cause a fatal accident such as the one that killed six people at the Woodroffe Avenue crossing in 2013.
Mayor Jim Watson says the city lacks the funds to build these crossings and needs help from Via and the federal government.
Well Watson wouldn’t need that help if he didn’t spend an extra $3.2 billion on his BMW light-rail line. That’s about 32 overpasses … more than enough to solve the level-crossing problem on the heavy commuter roads north of Barrhaven.
So five years after the tragic deaths on an OC Transpo bus, what has the city accomplished in making South Urban Community residents safe? Nothing. Oh the city has conducted studies. Nice studies, too. Studies that push building those overpasses far into the future. And oh yes, it has cut some bushes.
Perhaps we’re being a bit harsh on the city not moving on this safety problem. Why they’ve taken action such as soothing words and a small memorial to the victims. Hope there’s room for another monument for the next group of people killed north of Barrhaven.
And where is planning committee chairwoman Jan Harder on all this? Barrhaven is her ward. Her constituents are in danger. And as the head of planning, she’s in an ideal spot to move the overpasses forward on the city agenda.
But instead Ottawa residents see her playing nice to developers, slapping down verbally fellow council colleagues and telling the public loudly that she is smarter than some of her council peers.
If she would use her big voice, enormous energy and her influence to get overpasses for her constituents, she might just prevent another round of rail-vehicle deaths.
Harder is perceived as being a good constituency politician. Putting your residents in danger is good?
A Transportation Safety Board video on the 2013 OC Transpo bus-train collision north of Barrhaven.
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