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Posts Tagged ‘Transit’

David Graham joined us again on March 11 to talk about some of the transit issues affecting Guelph. In David’s estimation, the GTA West project still looks like it’s leaning toward building a new 400 series highway despite the fact that light rail transportation would be a far better solution. Unfortunately the Ontario Ministry of Transportation only seems interested in solutions that involve the building of another highway.

The good news is that the Go Trains will be coming to Guelph sooner rather than later. However, the bad news is that both Go and the City of Guelph think (at least, initially) the downtown railway station should be the only Go Train facility.

This seems completely wrongheaded particularly as it will entail building a 1200 car parking garage near the station where commuters will leave their cars all day why they head off to Toronto for work.

Surely it would make more sense to build a Park and Ride parking lot on the LaFarge property close to the highway network?

As well, commuters would have to pay parking fees downtown so that developers can get their money back. Whereas, at a Park and Ride parking lot parking could be free. This would clearly be an incentive for people to leave their cars behind and take public transportation.

Seems like downtown is looking at three new parking garages in the near future… which will do nothing more than hold cars all day.

I’m all for encouraging people to go downtown, but just to park their cars?

Check out David Graham’s blog for more on how we can cope with our transportation challenges… and why investing in real public transportation would be a good thing for all of us, not just for those in the business of building roads and parking garages.

Did I also mention that we discussed what could be a better use of the billions being talked about to bailout North America’s failing auto companies?

Can you imagine the public transportation network we’d have if we threw $3 billion at it instead of trying to keep the “Big Three” car makers alive for a few more months?

Personally, I’d let Chrysler go to the wall after the threats their joke of a CEO made about pulling out of Canada, if they didn’t get all they wanted.

Beyond transit issues… we aired a great interview with Sid Ryan, President of CUPE Ontario, recorded on the Unbottle It tour with Maude Barlow, about why we should ditch bottled water and go back to the tap.

The Council of Canadians would like to highlight the number of individuals who are rejecting bottled water by collecting pledge signatures through their website.

To sign the pledge, visit: http://www.canadians.org/water/issues/World_Water_Day/petition/index.php

Music:
Stephen Fearing, Home from The Man Who Married Music
Stompin Tom Connors, The Flying CPR from The Stompin Tom Phenomenon

Listen to the show:

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Transit and Transportation advocate David Graham will be joining us again on Royal City Rag on March 11.

Among other things we’ll be talking about the GTA West Corridor project and the proposed upgrades to the Hanlon Expressway. David also has some interesting things to say about the Go Trains coming to Guelph and why a true Park and Ride facility would be good for Guelph.

The show won’t just be about transit though…

We also have a great interview with Sid Ryan, President of CUPE Ontario about why we should ditch bottled water.

Listen live on CFRU 93.3fm, Guelph’s Campus and Community Radio Station or after the fact via the website.

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David Graham was in the studio to provide an update on a variety of transit-related issues including the proposed improvements to the Hanlon Expressway, the ongoing environment assessment for the GTA West Corridor transit route, the real possibility of the Go Train coming to Guelph in 2010 and parking in Downtown Guelph.

As David was also heavily involved in the campaign to elect Liberal Frank Valeriote as MP for Guelph we also had a chance to reminisce about the recent federal general election.

We started the show with a short interview from November 2007 with Maude Barlow, national chairperson of the Council of Canadians. Maude has recently been appointed United Nations Senior Advisor on Water Issues. Maude was in Guelph on November 20 to discuss the worldwide fight to protect public access to water as part of the University of Guelph Campus Cafe speaker series.

Music:
Fembots – God Keep Our Hands Clean from Calling Out
Funky Mamas – Rolling Along from Rolling Along
Johnny Cash – Come Along And Ride This Train from Johnny Cash’s America
Fred Eaglesmith – I Like Trains from Official Fred Eaglesmith Bootleg Volume 1

The audio for this show is no longer available on the website.  If however you wish to hear it again, please contact us at info@royalcityrag.ca. Thank You.

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finalumb333We started the show with a two song tribute to the elevation of the first African American to the highest position in the United States; Bruce Springsteen’s “Long Time Coming” followed by Ben Harper’s version of Maya Angelou’s “I’ll Rise”.

America has finally turned away from the dark side. Let’s hope they make the effort to truly close the book on the dark days of the last eight years.

Brian Holstein was back in the studio for a wide-ranging conversation that covered far more than the usual municipal goings-on… including the election of Barack Obama, uniting the centre left in Canada and transit in Prague.

Getting back to City goings-on we chatted about downtown pedestrianization and parking, the development of the new City Hall, the Guelph Civic League’s new offices opposite City Hall, a possible city community art centre in the museum or library, and, finally, rude people at the farmers market. Phew!

Brian’s rant focused on the Upper Grand District School Board’s controversial plan to convert Victory School in Exhibition Park to a french-immersion program only facility. There will be a public meeting at this issue on November 19 at College Heights School.

Music:
Bruce Springsteen and the Sessions Band – Long Time Coming from Bruce Springsteen and the Sessions Band Live in Dublin
Ben Harper – I’ll Rise from Welcome to the Cruel World
Ian McNamara – The Last Post/Waltzing Maltida from Sunday Morning with Macca

The audio for this show is no longer available on the website.  If however you wish to hear it again, please contact us at info@royalcityrag.ca. Thank You.

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A show dedicated to environmental issues.

Erin Harkins from the OPIRG-Guelph Speed River Project joined us in the first half to chat about the upcoming Urban Wilderness Weekend May 17-19 and the upcoming Speed River Clean Up on June 7.

We also updated the need to submit comments about Ontario’s proposed Cosmetic Pesticides legislation before May 22, 2008 to the Environmental Registry to ensure that the legislation and regulations will most effectively protect human and environmental health. Not only should you send in your comments to the registry but you should also send a letter to Dalton McGuinty and Environment Minister Gerretsen. You can read me about this issue here.

In the second half of the show we were able to follow up on on the proposed improvements to the Hanlon Expressway and the recent workshops put on by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation with our regular transit and traffic correspondents, David “CDLU” Graham and Laura Murr.

Unfortunately the jury is still out as to whether the Ministry of Transportation will pay any attention to the community input they’ve received during the workshops. We’ll continue to follow this issue as it develops.

Remember to let all our elected representatives, municipal and provincial, know about what you think about the proposed improvements to the Hanlon. Don’t forget that as Guelph citizens we are likely to pick up the tab for any of the money the city needs to spend in our taxes!

Ask yourself one question, is it really appropriate to have a 100 km per hour expressway running right through the centre of Guelph?

Who is this going to benefit?

I’m biased, but if I’ve learnt anything in the life, you only need to “follow the money” to work out who benefits from something like this. It ain’t you and me folks!

Top of the list of beneficiaries will be the lobbyists, engineers and road contractors. Don’t forget the MTO is really the Ministry of Roads and Highways. This is all about helping big business move goods past Guelph. Its not at all about making it easier for you to get home or to Home Depot. Faster roads don’t ease congestion they just move congestion.

Apologies for sound quality that is not as good as normal. Not sure why that happened. I’d heard from one listener that the show sounded fine on the radio at the time. Please let me know if you’ve had problems listening to the show. We’re still adjusting to a nice new studio which has created some minor sound issues.

Music:
Two Hours Traffic, “Sure can start” from “Little Jabs”
James Gordon and Sons: “This is just a song” from “James Gordon and Sons”
Kraftwerk: “Autobahn” from “Autobahn”

The audio for this show is no longer available on the website.  If however you wish to hear it again, please contact us at info@royalcityrag.ca. Thank You.

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This past weekend the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) held a couple of workshops with community members and other stakeholders to discuss the proposed improvements to the Hanlon Expressway.

You can review the Guelph Mercury report on the workshop here.

The good news, according to the Mercury report is the MTO’s preferred plan is off the table. Only time will tell whether the MTO will truly take the concerns of the Guelph citizens at the meeting into consideration when they come up with “son of the preferred plan”.

An excellent report from one of the community members at the workshop, David Graham, is available here. David’s blog, www.cdlu.net is an excellent source of alternative transit solutions to the “lets just build another highway” lobby.

The results of the workshop discussions will be presented back to the participants at another workshop on May 13th.

Credit is due to all those working hard to ensure that the concerns of the citizens of Guelph are taken into consideration as the proposed improvements are finalized.

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I picked this off the Guelph News RSS Feed I added to the blog yesterday. This is an event that may be of interest to anyone concerned about transportation and making sure that the needs of the community are factored into proposed improvements.

After listening to the comments of former President of Guelph Chamber of Commerce, Ian Smith, at the council meeting to hear public delegations with respect to the MTO’s proposed improvements to the Hanlon Expressway, a strong showing at the meeting by community members would seem a good idea.

I’ll try and find time to post the audio of Ian Smith’s comments to City Council with respect to the proposed Hanlon Expressway improvements in the next few days. They leave you in no doubt that the goals of the improvements are more to benefit big business not necessarily the people of our community who are likely to see their quality of life significantly eroded.

 

Guelph Corridor Transportation and Economic Development Panel Discussion

The City of Guelph and the Guelph Chamber of Commerce are holding a panel discussion on business and transportation issues impacting Guelph on Tuesday May 13, at the Italian Canadian Club.

Topics include Travel Demand Management, rail and road goods movement in Guelph, and service and capacity improvements at Guelph Transit. This event focuses on transportation issues affecting the community, and provides the opportunity for your feedback. Registration begins at 9:45 a.m. and the meeting will start at 10:00 a.m. and run until noon; a copy of the program is located at www.guelphchamber.com.

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