- Scenic route allows for a pleasant train ride.
- Arguably less environmentally damaging than buses.
- Least disruptive to current roadways and residences.
- Likely most cost-effective (due to lack of residential and road disruptions).
- Possibly a shorter distane travelled.
- Difficult to cross when walking to river.
- Low population density, so people need to walk to get to train stations.
- Arguably disruptive to greenspace.
- More banked curves for rail car to negotiate.
I’m assuming the only “buffer” residents will accept is the four-lane strip of tarmac affectionately known as the Ottawa River Parkway. Originally designed as a scenic route, it now functions primarily as a downtown commuter artery for west-end residents, where speed limits are routinely ignored and the air is always scented with exhaust fumes.Doolittle also mentions a number of Federal politicians in opposition of rail on the Parkway. Ottawa Centre candidates Penny Collenette (Liberal), Brian McGarry (Conservative), and Paul Dewar (NDP) all suggested that they wouldn't stand for it. Ottawa West-Nepean Conservative candidate and incumbent John Baird has been quoted as being strongly against the idea. Without federal will, it might be difficult to secure the permission of the NCC to go ahead. Difficult, but not impossible; it would be a shame if the Parkway turned out to be the best option, but political posturing forced the city into other alternatives.
But hey, this is NCC land and it’s their call. For its part, the commission wants every other option exhausted before they’ll consider giving permission to run light rail along the route.
Apparently they can accept 250 diesel buses per hour currently bombing down the parkway, but a clean, quiet train has them puzzled. Which means three years of environmental assessments, consultations, studies, open houses, possible expropriation, and so on—all at a cost to the city—before the NCC can render its verdict.
On this blog, we have explored two other options: One running rail along the Queensway, and the other running rail along Carling. Both of these solve the cons, but have negative aspects of their own. There are likely more options, too, and I'm sure some of them are good ones. Any and all are welcome in the comments section. It is up to the city to determine which is the absolute best, taking all variables into consideration.