On last Thursday, the Ottawa Citizen's Ken Gray wrote an editorial raising the significant number of questions surrounding the light-rail route recently approved by city council. The route, whose downtown portion is shown above in a map courtesy of The Ottawa Project, has raised some concerns from interested parties.
Many of these concerns were raised by Gray in his editorial:
- Transport Canada believes the city's $550-million cost estimate is low
- Minister John Baird isn't sold on Phase 1
- Ottawa doesn't have permission from the Department of Public Works and Government Services Public Works to "drill beside the Langevin Block where Stephen Harper toils, or near the war memorial or the federal conference centre"
- The National Capital Commission (NCC) is, according to Gray, "unlikely to permit rail to run down the Ottawa River Parkway"
- Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty "is wary about rail"
- That the depth of the tunnel, which will have to run below existing structural foundations, makes it less beneficial for business interests downtown to invest in the stations
- As well, Ottawa's downtown business community had expressed preference for a different route
- The route is, in Gray's words, "unlikely to garner many more riders because it travels much the same route as the Transitway"
- There is little room for further development on route, particularly the Parkway (assuming the NCC gives permission to use that route)
- And that Gray, and many other critics, argue "that tunnelling is financially and technically risky"
What are your opinions on the tunnel, and how it's progressed so far? Are you in favour of the route, or do you have problems with how it's going forward (or, if it's your belief, backward)?