The Silhouette, McMaster's student newspaper, has published an article titled "LRT plans go off the rails". It paints a discouraging picture of a project that started with excitement and momentum but has slowly foundered under political uncertainty and a lack of political leadership.
It cites Don Hull, the City's Director of Transportation, which looks after HSR and rapid transit, saying LRT is ten to fifteen years away.
So senior staff are assuming that LRT would probably not go into service until 15 years from now (i.e. 2027!). The City and Metrolinx had originally planned for LRT to be in place for the Pan Am Games in 2015, and later for LRT construction to begin just after the Games ended.
Now we're being told the line might be in service 20 years after the original promise in 2007. This is getting ridiculous!
We've slipped back 12 years in just of a couple of years of "planning"? Talk about keeping expectations low and dragging the process out.
Worse still, while the City is constantly pushing back the possible implementation date for LRT and feeding uncertainty over whether it will ever happen, it is simultaneously telling us we can't consider complete street improvements or two-way conversion on Main and King because these streets will be impacted by LRT.
If it really is going to be at least 10 to 15 years until LRT is built, we have plenty of time to try out two-way conversion and other complete street improvements long before LRT is a consideration.
Metrolinx actually recommended conversion of these streets to two-way to enhance LRT.
The divided bike lanes on Dunsmuir, Howe and Seymour Streets in Vancouver were originally six-month pilot projects. It is time for the City to stop using the lack of progress on some projects to stall progress on other vital projects.
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