Friday, March 20, 2009

Newswire 502

Good morning, I bring you some you news from around Canada, starting off in Edmonton. Edmonton, like Calgary, is known for their ever expanding urban edge. It seems like whenever I visit, there is less fields and more single family house and power centres. Anyway, the region now has a plan. Much like our regional plan, not everyone is happy, but it is a great start to preserving open space. It will help the region to grow up, not out.
The report includes support for:
-Identifying farm land that needs protection from fragmentation or development, following consultations with municipalities;
-Concentrating growth in priority areas to get the most use out of infrastructure and public transit;
-Discouraging any development that compromises the extraction of natural resources such as sand, gravel and oil, and;
-Creating a regional transit committee responsible for buses between municipalities and LRT service, which could plan regional park-and-ride facilities and set up a fare system that might include smart cards.
Meanwhile, it looks like Ottawa is getting closer to replacing its bus rapid transit system with light rail.
The sooner work can start on new rapid transit projects, the more likely the City of Ottawa is to get funding for the $1.83-billion first phase of the transit plan.

On Tuesday, the city officially made its funding request to the federal and provincial governments, asking for around $610 million from each.

Both senior levels of government have reconfirmed the $200 million committed to the previous LRT plan and are suggesting that some of the Phase One projects should be put forward for economic stimulus funding, if they can be ready on time.
Finally, intercity rail service is getting a boast in Eastern Canada.
The federal government has plans to boost passenger rail service to Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto, Transport Minister John Baird announced Tuesday.

Baird made the announcement that track improvements are coming down the line after riding into Ottawa's Via Rail station by train.
Too bad the federal government doesn’t see the importance of getting intercity services up between Portland, OR and Vancouver, BC.

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