Ward 4 residents receive bad news
Yesterday the City of Calgary announced the alignment for the new Green Line LRT. The first stage will start from 16th Ave North, go underground through downtown and continue deep into the Southeast. This means the Green Line will not service a single Ward 4 community, despite a $4.65 Billion charge to taxpayers.
So what happened?
Before the Green Line came along there were actually two new routes proposed for Calgary: The North-Central Line (through Ward 4) and the Southeast Line. The North-Central Line along Centre Street was the priority due to our higher population density and higher projected ridership.
In response, other councillors became informed and vocal advocates for their constituents and ensured the new LRT came to their communities sooner. Other councillors actively worked on alignment options to make sure the train respects their neighborhoods. But not Sean Chu. Instead he's pleading ignorance about the largest project in Calgary's history, stating: "I found out about this reduction in scope from media reports." Not surprising, given he's missed the memo before on the Green Line.
Yesterday’s news confirms his failure as an advocate for our communities.
What this means for Ward 4
Consider residents near the Highland Valley. The Golf Course proposal passed by council was labeled “Transit Oriented Development”. But without a 40th Ave Station, there is no “Transit”, only “Development”. Without a train, residents of the proposed 2,000+ apartment units will add to traffic and clog roads.
Ward 4 residents along the line in Thorncliffe Greenview, Huntington Hills and Beddington Heights will make do with crowded buses along an already congested Centre Street. Stations at 56th Ave and Beddington Blvd that could rejuvenate neighborhoods will wait. At 64th Ave, an ambitious Community Concept Plan to drive investment in housing, services and recreation will be left in limbo.
North of Beddington Trail and beyond, growing populations will attempt to board packed buses or simply drive their way through Ward 4 communities.
Ward 4 needs an effective advocate
Yesterday Sean Chu watched as the train left the station without us - and did nothing.
Ward 4 needs an effective advocate. We’re overdue for investment. LRT can reduce traffic, improve connections with our neighbours, and encourage good, thoughtful development in our communities.
We need an effective advocate to make Ward 4 a rightful priority for investment, sensible development and transportation choice.
That's why I'm running for City Councillor in Ward 4.