I was at the Southeast LRT presentation at the Four Points Sheraton on Argyll this evening for the 7:00 PM presentation and questions. There was a decent turnout, lots of older people in attendance, but a few younger people as well. Ben Henderson was there for both presentations and questions periods, apparently.
The presentations were good, I think the consultants have done an excellent job, and really seem to understand this stuff and the neighborhood concerns, and for the most part seem to have been able to incorporate recommendations made in the last open house with the communities.
I think the vibe was generally and overall positive, I think a lot of people really want this LRT to move forward and believe that the concepts presented are on the right track.
There were of course a few oddball questions as can be expected, but some good ones were raised, and some of those asking questions seemed satisfied by the answers that the consultants were able to provide.
Some of the concerns raised were possible loss of greenspace around Louise McKinney, the Muttart, and the ski hill, geotechnical concerns around Conners Hill, the fate of Cloverdale Hill Road and ingress/egress from Cloverdale neighborhood, and of course parking and traffic concerns, particularly around 73 Ave. The consultants did an admirable job listening to the concerns, explaining where they had already been considered, and otherwise took notes and advised people to fill out the surveys to ensure their feedback is taken into consideration for the next round.
In the breakout sessions after the presentation and Q&A, I was able to confirm that a multi-use trail will be maintained for the new river crossing, and will actually be built at approximately the same grade as the existing bridge. I also brought up concerns about east-west bike travel since it does not appear to have been accounted for on 95 Ave., for which I will be submitting comments to the online survey.
Jenn and I got into a minor argument with a Strathearn couple who didn’t appreciate that the LRT alignment down 95 Ave. would change the traffic patterns predicted for the Strathearn redevelopment. I understand their concerns but also tried to point out that much of that will be mitigated by the presence of the LRT station, and would in fact be worse without the station there. They didn’t seem to get it, but oh well, you can’t please everyone.
Overall I think there is a lot of support for the alignment as it is and confidence that the right balance and compromises are being made.