In an exclusive interview today Ward 18 Alta-Vista candidate Marty Carr says “25% of Bank & Riverside in Alta-Vista would benefit from Bank Street O-Train.” The city is abuzz with discussions of a Bank Street O-Train line. The concept would run from Parliament Station to Billings Bridge.
There is talk of an eventual phase 2, running from Billings Bridge to South Keys. Large segments of the public, pundits, and politicians want a say on future public rail transit for the inner core of Ottawa and Bank Street communities. Ottawans appear ready to discuss Bank Street with polls showing it is the clear favourite with more then twice the support of the next closest option. What happens when Confederation Line 1, Trillium Line 2, and the Ottawa/Gatineau Rail Loop are eventually finished? With the population of Ottawa Gatineau now surpassing 1.4 million people and expected to reach 1.6 million within 10 years, Ottawans are asking what to do with car traffic in the city?
Candidate Marty Carr was travelling in Alberta and made time for an interview over the telephone. Marty is the Past President for the Alta Vista Community Association. She understands how “frustrating Bank Street congestion is” and says Bank Street O-Train is an issue in Ottawa because “Billings Bridge has been designated a protected major transit hub in the city and there would be benefit for Billings Bridge and Bank Street and Riverside Drive area.”
Candidate Carr says that “currently there is lots of congestion on Bank Street and Lansdowne 2.0 is coming quick which is going to complicate the traffic issue; we need a city council that is prepared to discuss these issues.”
The Ward 18 candidate points out “we need to invest more in public transit, it would be nice to have Bank Street O-Train and I don’t disagree with public rail transit.”
When asked about talks for an eventual ‘Phase 2’, running from Billings Bridge to South Keys, Carr says it “would be of benefit for folks travelling to Ottawa South and downtown through Billings Bridge no doubt.”
Marty Carr also believes the existing Confederal Line 1 and Trillium Line 2, would be completed by Bank Street O-Train, just not until “investments that need to be made to the existing rail lines are done” and “that should come first before enhancing the core like Bank with public rail transit, we need to get the priorities right.”
When asked if Lansdowne 2.0 is amplifying Bank Street O-Train discussions throughout the city, candidate Carr responds “congestion and traffic will be an issue because of Lansdowne.”
The incumbent she won’t face is Ottawa political giant Jean Cloutier who is retiring, it’s clear she has a long term vision for public rail transit judging by the strength in her voice and belief in Ottawa. She ends the interview by saying “we live in a city where cars were the focus, and so now we have to ask, how do we get people to accept public transit?” Perhaps Bank Street O-Train is the answer to her question.
Clinton P. Desveaux is an accredited writer and contributor for Troy Media Newspapers & Magazines, Medium, The Hill Times, The Centretown Buzz. For additional stories on Bank Street O-Train see links below:
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