LRT station switch catches neighbours by surprise
Cleary station moved above ground to Byron Linear Park in latest Stage 2 plan
People living near a proposed Stage 2 LRT station west of central Ottawa are upset about changes to the city's plans made public less than two weeks before the vote to approve the $4.66-billion expansion.
Cleary station has been pushed from the south side of Richmond Road onto the Byron Linear Park near Sherbourne Avenue, and will no longer be a covered underground station.
"The consultation process has been so poor that people feel insulted," said Tricia Ross, head of the Carlingwood Community Association.
"When you're seeing that your feedback is being directly disregarded, people start to feel like, 'What's the point?'"
Carlingwood Community Assoc <a href="https://twitter.com/TriciaRossOtt?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TriciaRossOtt</a> speaks to Swail about communication problem on LRT phase 2 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ottnews?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ottnews</a> in particular-change to Cleary Stn and impact now on their community <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ottnews?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ottnews</a> <a href="https://t.co/MI7dcTIipu">pic.twitter.com/MI7dcTIipu</a>—@onthebeat1
Ross said she and members of her association have participated in some 50 meetings about light rail, but weren't consulted about the Cleary station changes until the final plan was presented to the public a week ago.
The city's director of light rail planning, Chris Swail, apologized for the communications failure to more than 100 people who were at the meeting when Ross brought this up.
Residents who attended a meeting hosted by the two city councillors who represent the area on Monday night demanded answers about traffic, noise, construction and the future of a low-income housing project.
If council approves the Stage 2 LRT contracts on Wednesday, construction of the western extension is slated to begin in the second or third quarter of 2019. The expansion is scheduled to be completed by 2025.
Push to delay vote
Kitchissippi Coun. Jeff Leiper said he'll ask for a delay of Wednesday's council vote.
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"I don't have enough information to responsibly make a decision on Stage 2," Leiper said.
"We don't have a lot of information today on why we are so far delayed with Stage 1 and what are the systemic problems with the Stage 1 project that caused us to be late?"
He said he's still figuring out whether his request for a delay will involve a council motion or another mechanism, but said it will likely take place at Wednesday's council meeting.
Bay ward Coun. Theresa Kavanagh said she's "still waiting for more information" about the project.
"It's clearly a difficult position because we want that LRT, we want that Stage 2," Kavanagh said.