Lack of public consultation was at issue during an all-day public hearing held yesterday regarding the west, southeast and downtown LRT projects.
Concept plans for the southeast and west lines are slated for approval from the transportation and public works committee.
“There seems to be a wide disconnect between the city and the people that are going to be affected,” said Roger Silcox, speaking in opposition to the west line.
Coun. Kim Krushell said the concept plans are simply picking corridors, and changes will be realized and made along the way.
“I also think there’s a lack of understanding the LRT process,” she said. “We’re not at the detailed design stage (yet).”
There were questions from those in the southeast regarding the stability of tunnelling through the hillside underneath 95 Street to exit onto a bridge over Louise McKinney Park en route to Millwoods. There was also concern from the Chinese community about the “feng shui” of their area, as an above-ground connector route on 102 Avenue would run underneath the Chinatown gate.
“It’s going to have a negative impact on the energy in the surrounding area,” said Stephan Chan of the Canada Society of Yi Jing.
Those opposed to the west line, from Lewis Estates to the University of Alberta, were incredibly worried about the businesses along Stony Plain Road.
Robert Noce, representing one concerned businessman, said the way his client learned about possible expropriation is unacceptable.
“There is a public good for the LRT,” he said. “The problem is when you do your reports, there is no human element or understanding that people’s lives will be impacted.”