Thursday, September 9, 2010

2010 Election: Lawrance on the DOTT

Over the course of the 2010 Mayoral Election campaign, Public Transit in Ottawa will be sitting down with as many mayoral candidates as are available, discussing their platforms and thoughts on transit in this city, and what they hope to achieve during their mandate, if elected mayor.

The Downtown Ottawa Transit Tunnel (DOTT) has received its share of criticism, mostly about the $700M price tag associated with it. Mayoral candidate Robin Lawrance, however, has public safety concerns with the project.
A month ago, we had an earthquake, remember? What have we got underground, has anybody asked? Bedrock. You keep shifting that bedrock, you’re going to have a major earthquake, down comes all the buildings, hundreds of thousands will be dead. We don’t even have a disaster team put together.
Although the recently-released environmentally assessment contained no reference to an increased risk of earthquake due to the tunneling (which will be about 100 feet underground), Lawrance still cautions about the risk.

He's also concerned about price, though, and would prefer to see the city look at expanding O-Train service, although he didn't offer details on specifics of any plan. And Lawrance also said that the city could pursue agreements with VIA Rail to "open up the rest of the tracks in the city".


JuliaR said...

While I am still on the fence about the tunnel for practical and cost reasons, the earthquake argument doesn't hold water. Many cities in major earthquake zones have subways - San Francisco and Tokyo for two. If Toronto and Montreal can have safe subways, I suppose so can Ottawa.

Thall said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thall said...

Totally agree Julia. That earthquake argument is garbage - at best!

"hundreds of thousands will be dead" This guy may as well have said "Don't vote for me, I'm a fear mongering idiot!"

gordon said...

If I were an undecided voter, that one quote alone would be enough to convince me not to vote for him.
Lowrance's knowledge of geology appears to be on par with his knowledge of emergency preparedness.

Subway systems have been built in much higher earthquake risk zones with no earthquakes I'm aware of being attributed to the tunnels.

Also, Ottawa has an emergency management plan that would be activated in the event of an incident such as the one he described. And if it was as great as he suggested, emergency management plans at other levels of government would almost certainly activate, too.

WJM said...

Somehow earthquakes and underground transit manage to co-exist in western North America, Mexico, Japan, Turkey, Italy, Greece, etc., etc., etc.

And EVERY city is underlain, eventually, by "bedrock". Sheesh.