Thursday, June 5, 2008

Chernushenko, part three: Light rail won't intensify growth

Should Ottawa develop the greenbelt? Has development inside the greenbelt been as intense as initially hoped, or have Ottawa's suburbs simply been pushed away? Is it worth it to extend light rail to the suburbs, or should it remain inside the greenbelt?

David Chernushenko suggests that light rail is only part of the solution to a denser urban core.

"The choice of an approach to rail—an Ottawa rail plan—will not on its own result in densification. That has to come through a series of other decisions, all of which are part of a common approach," he says.

"I can’t come down one way or another about whether extending the line to the suburbs or not doing so beyond the greenbelt is or isn’t going to have an expected result."

Chernushenko did say, however, that more established communities ought to be served by light rail before it is extended to budding developments.

"I’m inclined to say, though, that available money should be spent on taking the rail lines out to existing communities, which are already there," he says. "We may not want them to grow in size, but we would love for them to be able to become denser."


Part Three of David Chernushenko's Reflections on Ottawa Transit, a exclusive:

Part One: Introduction
Part Two: Cycling
Part Three: Inside the Greenbelt
Part Four: Serving the suburbs
Part Five: Ottawa's subway

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