Last night, June 5th, I had the pleasure of attending the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Kanata Extension Environmental Assessment Open House.
The event was well attended with over 100 participants from within the west-end communities and it was great to see residents so engaged and asking questions for such an important topic to the future of Stittsville.
The meeting discussed potential options regarding the future of the LRT extension from Moodie to Palladium through Kanata and requested feedback from community members on their thoughts.
A total of 13 potential corridors were identified, including locations north, south and central to Highway 417. All options are compatible with proposed extension of LRT to Moodie (Stage 2) and each option presented Palladium as the location for the western terminus (as per the City’s Transportation Master Plan). The high density development potential for this area makes Palladium an ideal location for the line to end despite the uncertainty of what will become of the Canadian Tire Centre.
Ideally, I would like to see the rail continue one step further and see the line extended closer to Maple Grove to better serve the residents of Stittsville – even though this is not part of the LRT network as currently depicted in the Transportation Master Plan.
The presentation outline and boards listing provide a complete overview of the considerations for all 13 options.
I am pleased to report that Corridor 8 is the recommended option going forward as there are a number of benefits to this option:
- It is centrally located for Kanata and runs along the northern edge of Highway 417 and provides a strong spine for bus transportation to complement the system
- Serves residents north and south of the highway and therefore provides good ridership potential
- Minimal impact on residents living near the line
- Utilizes existing park and rides (Eagleson, Terry Fox, and Palladium)
- Has limited affect on the natural environment
- Please see the Corridor 8 Board for more information on this plan.
In addition to selecting Corridor 8 as the preliminary preferred choice, the City will still further review Corridors 5 and 13 based on initial feedback.
Corridor 5 provides service to Kanata North which does assist by providing access to the employment area in Kanata North but I feel this corridor provides little benefit to Stittsville residents. Additionally, I feel this creates a missed opportunity as the Terry Fox Park and Ride would not be utilized and the corridor has greater negative impacts as well including natural environment impact, complexity, and capital & operational costs.
Corridor 13 provides greater service to Kanata South as well as Stittsville, however, this option runs along the Trans Canada Trail (TCT). I feel this will be create problems and change the nature of the corridor, and as such, the majority of residents would not support LRT in the TCT.
City staff and the consultants provided an excellent overview of all the corridors considered. The next step in the process is for a further analysis of corridors 5, 8 and 13. A second open house will be held in the Fall with more information.
Right now it is important that residents provide their comments by June 23, 2017. It is important that Stittsville residents are heard. If you support Corridor 8 and think the terminus should be south of Pallidum to provide a greater connection to Stittsville or have other ideas, please send them to the City.
Residents can provide comments by June 23, 2017 to:
Senior Project Engineer, Transportation Planning
613-580-2424 Ext. 15210
I would like to thank all residents who took the time to come out to the event and I encourage all residents to provide their thoughts on what is certain to be a developmental decision which affects Stittsville for many generations to come. Thank you for your engagement.