Sunday, June 8, 2008

Prince of Wales: better served by better public transit?

A couple of days ago, the Ottawa Citizen reported on the potential expansion of Prince of Wales Drive. Council is predictably split: near-suburban and suburban councillors are on board, while central councillors are opposed.

It would be an expensive project, according to estimates:
The city has already earmarked $15 million just for the property acquisition and design for the project. A smaller project, to widen Limebank Road, cost $44 million.

The two-year, $700,000 environmental assessment for the Prince of Wales project is under way and the road, if approved by council, could be built by 2013.

A few paragraphs into the story, one critic of the widening suggested that public transit might be a better solution to congested roads.
David Jeanes, of Transport 2000, said he is disappointed that the city seems so intent on building more roads for cars when there may be rail and other public transit solutions to get more people around. He said there's no point in getting more cars up to intersections such as Prince of Wales and Hog's Back, where there is "no capacity" for more vehicles.

"Widening Prince of Wales doesn't seem to make sense," said Mr. Jeanes. "Unfortunately, the city's policies are: Build what we can, rather than build what we need. They're all short-term decisions. I'm very frustrated."