June 14, 2020
Councillor Sean Chu, Ward 4
As the latest discussions on the Green Line have been underway, we have been asked by many what our position on the North Central Green line segment is. Our position has not fundamentally changed since we began the conversation ten years ago.
First and foremost, we are 100% supportive that public transit is vital to our community and it has greatly enhanced our community and those residents who call Thorncliffe-Greenview home. In fact, although extremely taxed by the significant population increases to the north, we have been well served by transit. As such, we recognize the value a well-planned and designed Green Line would be not only for us but our neighbours to the north, who desperately require better transit.
We have been a lone voice, however, in calling for and not receiving an acceptable answer on the dilemma posed by a Green Line that has been promised to achieve two objectives – a commuter train that moves people quickly from the far north and at the same time will bring neighbourhood revitalization to the inner city Centre Street corridor. Both objectives are noble, but when you are serving two conflicting interests, destiny would say you can only serve one and betray another. Will it be Centre Street communities having a commuter train barreling through our neighbourhoods at high speed leaving us to be a sacrifice zone? Or will it be commuters stuck on a slow moving tram thinking they would be better off driving? These are not trivial concerns or fears that are present within our community. In fact, they only illustrate how important it is to get a project of that magnitude right or the consequences will be dire.
With the continued growth of our city and the regions neighbouring the city effective and efficient movement of people will be imperative in the near future. This project already has the support of-three levels of government because they understand a large regional metropolitan area needs good transit. Roads are expensive, good transit is as well, but the payoff of moving cars off our streets is worth the cost, and having the foresight to build a system that will eventually be able to service the entire regional Calgary area is imperative.
The process has been ten years of intensive activity on charrettes and engagement followed by long periods of silence. Thorncliffe-Greenview has many residents along Centre Street who will be directly impacted by the Green Line and have been living with uncertainty, not to mention the entire Centre Street corridor anxiously looking for answers that have yet to come. A feeling of resignation has set in along with a lack of trust there will ever be a Green Line coming north.
We respectfully request that council makes the best decision recognizing that public transit is foundational while committing to ensuring the design principles meet the diverse needs of the residents and businesses along the Centre Street corridor. Transit is a critical component for Calgary but the most recent plan put forward is not without issue.
You have our commitment, we will partner with the city advocating for Thorncliffe-Greenview while not losing sight of the overall goal and respecting our fellow communities on this vital project.
Thorncliffe-Greenview Community Association
Calgary City Council
MP Michelle Rempel, Calgary Nosehill
MLA Jeremy Nixon, Calgary Klein