“Bank Street O-Train can make connecting communities doable” Ward 23 Kanata South candidate Erin Coffin
Ottawans are excited about the Sens hockey team moving downtown in the north of the core, and Lansdowne 2.0 being redeveloped in the south of the core. The approved towers happening in the city, and other developments in the approvals stage, indicates Ottawa is in a period of strong densification.
I had a lovely conversation with Ward 23 Kanata South candidate Erin Coffin about her vision for Ottawa’s O-Train network. When asked how she will deal with the growing public voices for Bank Street O-Train, candidate Coffin believes we should “finish the existing project of Orleans to Kanata first. I’m not against Bank Street. I think if there is a way to connect our communities to the core, where you don’t need a car, people will adapt and use it. If I could easily take my children from Kanata South to downtown using Confederation Line 1 and hop on another line to visit the museums or a football game, I would do that. I think Bank Street O-Train can make connecting communities doable.”
“I want to finish what we started first with Confederation Line 1; but I’m not against bringing anything forward if we can pull off Bank Street” says Erin Coffin.
When asked about the provincial and federal government commitments to public rail transit funding, candidate Coffin states the “city could examine if it has the capacity to finish both Confederation Line 1 and Bank Street at the same time. If not, let’s finish what we started first. In the meantime, let’s go see what resources we have access to from the federal & provincial governments because I know they believe in public rail transit as well.”
“Bank Street is such an important artery in our city, I understand how frustrating is to drive in the downtown core with so much traffic, and Bank currently isn’t allowed to be the artery it should be at the present time. If we had started building the core in 2006 for the North/South corridor along Bank Street, we would not be having this conversation today. Instead past city councils wasted a decade. We also need the connections to be more seamless between our suburb communities and the downtown in order to encourage more ridership.”
“We need to get Confederation Line completed first, and let’s examine Bank Street after” says Candidate Coffin.
When asked if she thinks the transit commission is part of the problem for lack of proper planning around the Bank Street O-Train issue, Coffin responds that it’s her “hope the the transit commission is making smart and informed educated decisions; despite the lack of diversity on the commission which is an issue. I want to see more diversity involved. I understand the concerns of our different communities within the wards. I’m going to help lift all voices that are not being heard and that’s one of my goals.”
Candidate Coffin understands “the passion of Bank Street and I’m aware of the community working to make inter-city rail a reality in the core” she believes “they understand the issues, and it really is impressive, I’ve signed up for some of there stuff online, they are well organized.”
With voices like candidate Erin Coffin around the city council table, there is a strong likelihood the suburbs and the inner core of Ottawa would get along much better and find long term solutions to public rail transit in Ottawa.
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