Ottawans Favourable to Bank Street O-Train Tunnel

Krio Guan is a local Ottawa radio & podcast personality and host of the MR7 podcast. Guan has done multiple episodes on the subject of the Ottawa O-Train network. He has developed an audience that is primarily made up of people who live in the city core. He works downtown, and “Bank Street is much too slow, a Bank Street O-Train Tunnel would speed things up for everyone” according to Krio.

Krio has thoughts on the traffic coming from Ottawa South, “with O-Train oriented communities the Billing Bridge bus terminal could feed the downtown core for everyone who lives in Ottawa South via the Bank Street O-Train Tunnel.” Krio believes the city “never planned for the growth that has happened, and instead focused on the suburbs and neglected the core.”

He is happy that the core of Ottawa is “demanding the Bank Street O-Train Tunnel, it’s almost a class issue, between the suburbs vs the core.”

Guan is also passionate to see more economic opportunities throughout the downtown, “the Bank Street O-Train Tunnel means our local businesses can leverage tourism and encourage more Bank Street development and really boost businesses and jobs. An O-Train Tunnel for Bank would be a game changer and really progressive for Ottawa.”

Alex Cullen is someone who knows what the people of Ottawa want. He’s a former MPP and former city councillor. Currently Alex is the President of the Belltown Community Association. “Bank Street is a natural busy retail area that is a long street and a major artery for the city. It’s a natural layout for the Bank Street O-Train Tunnel.” Alex points out “the city always takes the path of least resistance when it comes to development. The next phases should be Bank Street and Montreal Road.”

Alex believes “the timing is good to set this as a priority, the next priority. It’s appropriate for the city core to get into the transit plan.” When discussing the growth of Ottawa, he points out “the Bank Street communities are dense and are demanding this.” Alex circles back to timing, “it’s a question of staging, the folks on Bank Street should be making their case. Those needs should be in the plan.”

Alex also has thoughts when it comes to traffic, “2 major impacts, if we can get cars off the road that’s a very positive impact. (1) As the city grows, we can’t just accommodate more and more vehicles because of (2) congestion & emissions. O-Train on Bank is a positive outcome, the O-Train on Bank would run off of electricity.”

“Underground makes it easier for people traversing the city. We need to reduce the impact of growth; the people with cars and the whole Lansdowne debate needs to be factored. The road infrastructure for Lansdowne is the other issue. The O-Train on Bank can handle volumes of people, obviously the O-Train solves those problems.”

Noise is a recurring theme with anyone who had an opinion on the Bank Street O-Train Tunnel, “the noise is also a major concern. The sound barriers are not the greatest mechanism to deal with noise.” Alex also references Montreal, “it needs to be grade separated like the REM line in Montreal but if it’s underground, the noise is captured.”

Heather Burns has been a Market Researcher for 2 decades in Ottawa and she volunteers for a kids drop in shelter. She believes the Bank Street O-Train Tunnel has “captivated people so much because” the core “of the city when it comes to beautification” has been ignored.

Heather has a feeling “the O-Train coming (to Bank Street) will bring people back to the downtown core, will have less traffic, more people, less smog, less emissions, more pedestrian traffic and more cyclists.” She goes on to point out that “when I am downtown, I use the O-Train. I love it.” Heather also believes the Bank Street O-Train Tunnel idea is “extremely important, Bank Street needs pedestrian traffic.” Buses are another issue for her, “buses are not reliable, this would be helpful during game days and game nights to Lansdowne for games. There is a number of businesses there that are suffering.”

Nick Paquin a local Carleton university student, is excited for the complete expansion of the Ottawa Gatineau O-Train network on both sides of the river. O-Train oriented communities from the Ottawa South region to the city core is something Nick is passionate about.

Nick is looking for “a more direct route from Billings Bridge Shopping Centre, a north/south route in a straight line. Less complication for people in the core.”

Nick likes to get to places fast with less hassle - “one of the reasons why I’m in favour of rails is that it’s faster than buses or cars. Working & shopping from Old Ottawa South to the Byward Market needs to be easier.”

Nick is also excited with the community discussions about the Bank Street O-Train Tunnel, “hearing the public voices in recent weeks speaking in favour of the Bank Street O-Train Tunnel lends credibility to the issue.”

“As development of the O-Train network expands east to Trim Station and west to Stittsville Station there is a sentiment that development companies have too much say; it’s an imbalance because there are more rural wards instead of urban wards and the feeling is the core is being neglected.”

Dwight Williams is a local community writer and social thought leader who was the first Ottawan to come up with the Bank Street O-Train Tunnel idea some 15 years ago - “I formed my opinion as a result of riding the bus routes then operating on Bank Street about a decade ago.”

Dwight goes on to say, “I think they’ve (Ottawans) embraced the idea for their own reasons, independently of anything I’ve ever said on the subject.”

Sports & entertainment events in the core of Ottawa were a factor in helping Dwight develop his thoughts on the subject - “some of those weekend occasions would involve sports events at Lansdowne. Football games, or maybe the 67’s (junior OHL hockey club) in winter.”

“Between the Lansdowne events - whatever they might be - and regular weekday traffic, it seemed as if Bank Street might benefit from having an LRT line” and “traffic patterns persisted outside of pandemic times. And will likely resume with the pandemic’s (COID19) end.”

For more stories on the Ottawa Bank Street O-Train Tunnel see links below

Clinton Desveaux can be reached via email: ClintonDesveaux@gmail.com

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Clinton Desveaux

Clinton Desveaux

Social Thought Leader, Left Handed Guitar, Photographer and Talk Jock