Kanata LRT could stretch to Stittsville, after a while
Master transportation plan depends on funding for big-ticket projects
The hardest part about doing a study on bringing LRT to Kanata might be managing expectations.
At an open house on Thursday night, west-end residents will review a proposed functional design of the LRT extension running along the north side of Highway 417 before veering south toward the Canadian Tire Centre.
As a bonus to Stittsville residents, the city is proposing to extend the western terminus past the CTC to Hazeldean Road.
Stittsville Coun. Shad Qadri said it makes sense to lay more tracks past the arena since the city is already building a rapid bus connection there.
Instead of a busway, the city could build what Qadri calls the “Cadillac” version of rapid transit.
Kanata shouldn’t see LRT for a long time if the city follows the timelines in the transportation master plan.
Things could change if the upper levels of government find more money to spend on big-ticket transportation projects, but without receiving another LRT windfall from the province and feds, the city won’t build the rail extension until after 2031.
“You manage expectations by saying it’s a plan, but it’s a long-term plan,” Qadri said of Kanata LRT.
Kanata LRT is already part of the “ultimate” network published in the current version of the TMP, along with things like an LRT line to Barrhaven on the existing southwest Transitway and an LRT line on Carling Avenue between Lincoln Fields and the Trillium Line.
Kanata would be the Stage 3 LRT candidate with a completed environmental assessment. The environmental assessment is expected to be done by December 2018.
Qadri remembered that 12 years ago not many residents of his ward were demanding more public transit, accepting that they bought homes in the western suburb and would need cars.
Now, transit service is a hot topic. Qadri expects that the open house on Kanata LRT will be busy with interested residents.
The city shortlisted three possible routes for trains to get from Moodie Drive, which is the terminus for Stage 2 LRT, to the CTC. While staff looked at routes that would have swung north and south through Kanata, the most obvious corridor all along has been the straight shot parallel to Highway 417.
People attending an open house Thursday night won’t get any insight into how much Kanata LRT will cost.
Vivi Chi, the city’s head of transportation planning, said staff will come up with a project cost after hearing from the public and, if necessary, refine the functional design.
The open house will be in Hall A at the Kanata Recreation Complex, 100 Charlie Rogers Pl. It will run from 5:30 p.m. until 8:30, with a presentation at 6:30.