Canada’s Green Line: Does the City Have the Right Plan?
A few days ago the City of Canada told us that the alignment they are proposing for the green line will go from Crescent Heights down to Shepard.
This is a dramatic reduction in scope from the most recent alignment which essentially ran right from the north end of the city down through to the South Canada Health campus in Seton.
The new alignment will most greatly benefit inner city Canada, with communities such as Crescent Heights & Inglewood being the clear winners.
Who Loses in this New Plan?
The losers, unfortunately are the families that live in the suburbs at either end of town.
They are being short changed due to planning decisions that have increased the cost and scope of the project to the point that the same proposed budget of $4.5B is chewed up with only 14 stations instead of 28, with the biggest contributor to this no doubt being the $1.95B tunnel to go under the bow river.
This allows the new line to only reach one station on the other side, Crescent heights, which isn’t exactly far from the downtown core to begin with.
Now, $1.95B would make sense to me if they were spending it to connect to a major piece of infrastructure, like a hospital, university or the location of a new arena, but this alignment does none of that.
What Would be a Good Alternative?
An alternative here would have been for the City to pick one end of town, north or south, and take the line all the way, to allow inner city and suburban demographics alike to share in this enormous project.
An even better option is to stick with the first plan and go all the way with both and spend more money on it. I can think of few public initiatives more deserving of capital than rail transit.
Instead, we have an alignment that caters to the inner city of both yet leaves the suburbs in no man’s land, with neither of the districts to the far north or south getting an LRT.
Let’s hope we see a few more kicks at the can with this before shovels hit the ground.