Thursday, October 1, 2009

NCC needs justification to concede Greenbelt land for transit plan

According to the Ottawa Citizen, the National Capital Commission (NCC) is going to have to be convinced by the City of Ottawa that there's good reason to give up land in the Greenbelt for the city's transit plan--and that planners can't assume anything.

The NCC’s executive director of planning, Fran├žois Lapointe, has written to the city official overseeing the $5-billion transit plan, saying that the NCC is not prepared to hand over a slice of the Greenbelt for the west transitway extension between Bayshore Station and Moodie Drive.


“It should not be assumed that NCC property is available for new projects, but rather a thorough justification must be presented to demonstrate that all other options are not feasible. Cost alone may not be a sufficient reason to justify the use of NCC property over other potential options,” wrote Lapointe. He encouraged the city to “revisit” the selection of the preferred corridor.
As interesting as this development is with regards to the particular portion within the Greenbelt along the Queensway, it's hugely important with the city looking to build light-rail service along the Ottawa River Parkway into downtown. The NCC, according to this statement, will be insistent that all alternatives be examined--alternatives which include Carling Avenue, Byron Avenue, or any other possible corridor. These are fairly strict guidelines, and the fact that the NCC is insisting that all other options can't simply be proven less desirable, but must be proven "not feasible", it makes the onus on the city significant.


WJM said...

It is time to abolish this anachronism called the NCC.

If it isn't going to start supporting the NCR municipalities on initiative such as this, it should get out of the way.

Keith said...

The NCC maybe undemocratic but it's the voice of reason in this case. Building along the ORP is moronic. The curves can't handle rail (or at least at any speed that would be worthwhile) and the bordering lands offer next to no potential for densification and development. If they use the Byron/Richmond corridor instead, they'd solve all their problems.

WJM said...

I don't like the ORP corridor either, but at least a piece of the ORP area may be required to transition from the cut to Byron. But in either case, the NCC shouldn't be obstructionist. It needs to get its head out of the Greber mindset of 60 years ago.

In fact, if money were no object, I'd go for an east-west line entirely underground (cut and cover for the most part) along Richmond/Wellington, under downtown somehow, and east along Rideau/Montreal. The eastern alignment from east of UofO is still too suburban, too close to the Queensway, and too close to other waste land to have much hope of changing the urban form.

In any event, the instant issue is the western busway from Bayshore towards Kanata, not the alignment of the western LRT from Tunneys to wherever the city imagines it would terminate next. (If it ever starts at all.)

And all this Ontario-side blockading, while the NCC is leading a "consultation" on interprovincial transit? Give me a break.

WJM said...

And to be clear, I don't like the ORP corridor because it isn't "central" enough, not because it would cut precious precious greenspace. The ORP was built on the ruins of a neighbourhood that got Grebered out of existence.

Ottawa has too much so-called greenspace. It makes the city brown.

CTH said...

ORP should remain a _park_way. It's already part of the transitway from Lincoln Fields to Dominion.
Carling is a much better option. At least there are people on both sides of Carling who could be served. Only people on one side of the OPR could get on it. The other side is river. I don't get how people proposing the ORP route don't see this.