Council approves route for light rail transit to Barrhaven, demolishing 120 homes

OTTAWA — The proposed route for the $3 billion light rail transit line into Barrhaven has received the green light, including the section that will force the demolition of 120 homes along Woodroffe Avenue.

Council voted 18 to 4 to approve the functional design for the Barrhaven Light Rail Transit line from Algonquin College to Barrhaven Town Centre.

Funding to build Stage 3 of the Light Rail Transit project into Barrhaven has not been secured.

The 10 kilometres of twin-track, fully segregated electric LRT would have seven LRT stations. There would be 2.4 kilometres of track on an elevated structure west of Woodroofe Avenue between Baseline Station and Nepean Sportsplex. Then there’s 7.6 kilometres of track along the existing Southwest Transitway between Nepean Sportsplex and Barrhaven Town Centre.

In order to build the new Knoxdale station, the city would need to demolish 120 homes in the Manor Village and Cheryl Gardens neighbourhoods for the route alignment.

Outside Ottawa City Hall, dozens of people protested the city’s plan to remove the homes for the LRT system.

On Tuesday, Ottawa ACORN organized a rally outside Mayor Jim Watson’s home to protest the city’s move to evict residents from 120 homes, saying there are other options to run light rail to Barrhaven.

Earlier this month, several residents told the transportation committee they wanted to stay in their homes because of the affordable rents.

“You are not just tearing down buildings, you are tearing apart homes and families,” resident Lisa Bilow stated at committee. “It’s not just houses, it’s three to four hundred people or more. These are families. We want to stay together. We want to stay here and we have made this community our own.”

The transportation committee voted to set up a working group to find solutions for the tenants, including Ottawa Community Housing.

Council was told it can’t start negotiations on expropriating the homes for the light rail transit line until it secures funding from the upper levels of government.

View original article here Source