Kanata LRT could stretch to Stittsville, af­ter a while

Mas­ter trans­porta­tion plan de­pends on fund­ing for big-ticket projects

Ottawa Citizen - - CITY - JON WILL­ING jwill­ing@post­media.com twit­ter.com/JonathanWilling

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.

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