Guest post written by Lyse-Pascale Inamuco
My name is Lyse-Pascale Inamuco. I live in Orléans and am excited but anxious at the same time about the arrival of the LRT Phase 2.
Why? We don’t want a replica of phase 1.
It’s true that everyone is looking forward to having the LRT here because it will help a lot of residents get to and from work faster, and will encourage more people to come visit Orléans as it will no longer be a long distance trip. It’s good for our local businesses. However, the people I have talked to since October 2019 keep bringing up a but to this beautiful story.
Well... they dread the delays and technical issues that will cause a lot of discomfort. Having to commute on an overcrowded train during rush hours feeling like salmon in a closed plastic bag is another concern, especially for claustrophobics.
Since things seems to be getting worse with LRT phase 1, we anticipate it will be the same with phase 2 if we keep the same contractor. And guess what? We will look for other alternatives: the only option for Orléans residents is driving, which is equal to traffic traffic traffic. Biking isn’t really an option so...
We can then say that the goal of having the LRT as our main means of transportation would have failed.
Also, keep in mind that during the LRT phase 2 construction, one lane will have to be blocked and we haven’t been informed of any solution put in place to help us avoid or navigate traffic during rush hour. What’s the plan? Getting on the road two hours earlier than usual?
There is definitely a need for more consultation on phase 2 so we can prevent the mistakes of phase 1. We should incorporate lessons learned from phase 1.
Why can’t the City of Ottawa start looking into what it would cost us to pay for the numerous repairs in the long run versus the cost of getting out of the contract? Which one would cost taxpayers more money? I wonder if it’s the first one or the latter. Big question mark.