Comment 26743

By geoff's two cents (anonymous) | Posted September 27, 2008 at 18:56:57

Couldn't agree more, though the city's plan to densify Main, as highwater suggests, shows they don't have their heads completely in the sand.

On one hand, this vision could become reality with the added investment LRT brings. On the other, if this vision did not take off in a timely fashion with the construction of LRT, the city would be stuck with an expensive, underutilized route, and McMaster and Westdale commuters would be left - relatively speaking - out of the loop.

Without any more concrete action taken to densify Main (either on the part of the city or the university, in the form of student and market housing), or at least to attract interested developers, I've not quite come around to the idea of the Main LRT route.

At any rate, I think there should be some serious debate amongst the city, university, and perhaps prospective investors, student union reps, etc., concerning the relative merits of a Westdale or Main route.

In an ideal world, it would be possible to have the LRT run along Main through downtown, turn left on Longwood or Paisley, go through Westdale village, follow Sterling to campus, exit campus on the west side, and take Cootes Drive to downtown Dundas.

The choice of a Paisley route would prevent the delays that would likely arise from LRT having to share a ROW through the entire Westdale Village area. Following Main until this turn would allow the LRT to service Innovation Park. It would also likely pave the way for some private investment on that stretch of Main west of the 403.

An additional benefit of having LRT run through campus might include the possibility of having less bus routes go to campus, which would work towards Mac's otherwise half-baked idea of a more pedestrianized campus. With this in mind, the city might consider a new bus loop on Longwood somewhere between Main and King, or at the corner of Paisley and Main.

At any rate, I think the possibility of an alternate route to Main should be considered carefully. In order for this to happen, of course, the city would need to engage the university in constructive debate. . .

Anybody here heard of the SFU Surrey campus? Say what you like about Surrey (I know I often do), but there's an example of a city, university, metro transit and private sector working together in relative harmony. None of this suburban campus, ivory tower nonsense. . .

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