About the Blog:

Guelph Politico is locally sourced and dedicated to covering the political and cultural scene in the City of Guelph. Est. 2008.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Tranist Hub Bub and Such

Last week's news that stimulus funds from the Provincial and Federal governments will not be revoked on March 31st, 2011 and, in fact, the City of Guelph has until October 2011 to finish off all ongoing infrastructure projects, up to and including the Transit Hub being built along Carden, was well received. 
It was especially a sweet sigh of relief for all of us looking forward to one-stop transit shopping and the simple joy of being able to jump from city bus to out-of-town bus or train. Others though, sigh in relief for other reasons.
The week before, it was reported that Ward 1 Councillor Bob Bell was going to ask his colleagues at tonight's newly inaugurated city council to take another look at the Transit Hub's design. From the Guelph Mercury:
"Bell has prepared a sketch of what the terminal could look like. It would keep Carden Street open to cars in both directions, maintain some green space and see the old Greyhound building reused as a bus depot with public washrooms." 
How would he open the street to two-way traffic again? 
"Bell’s design would have 18 bus bays, rather than the 22 envisioned in the current proposal. But Bell argues those additional four bays are not required on Carden Street and could be accommodated along the Gordon/Norfolk streets corridor."
What about this makes the least sense? Not taking into account the growth of transit use, or creating an "all-in-one" transit" stop where 19 per cent of the bus connections is a five-minute, three block walk up the road? 
And since when can council rethink the design of a capital project mid-construction? After all, wasn't that the argument against stopping construction on the Hanlon Creek Business Park, no matter the reason presented be it protection of habitat or necessity of a big business park when so much land in the City goes unused? The shovels are in the ground! It's too late to go back to the drawing board now.
I wonder how Bell's motion will be received. I hope that it will get a resounding "Thanks, but no thanks..." Palin-esque put down, but I'm far too cynical about how this city treats transit to think that's likely. I don't think a redesign is as simple as throwing out the official plans for Bell's "sketch" and it certainly would delay the project further than the October deadline for stimulus funds. And it should be pointed out that this is the only infrastructure project that has been talked about being "rethought", and this considering the constant state of complaint about the construction on a cross-city basis. 
Would talk of a Transit Hub redeisgn be coming forward at council tonight if it wasn't the Transit Hub? I'm not so sure. Either way, I'll be there.

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