CTV News - Opposition Parties say they would open up provincial funding for BRT to alternative plans

April 11, 2018

CTV News - Opposition Parties say they would open up provincial funding for BRT to alternative plans

https://london.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1367921


London's BRT Team Misses Critical Deadline.... this Council Now Out of the Decision Making Loop

March 27, 2018

London's BRT Team Misses Critical Deadline.... this Council Now Out of the Decision Making Loop

CTV London reports - https://london.ctvnews.ca/video?binId=1.1807099   -  story begins at 3:09

That's right... the multi-million dollar team of consultants, Shift London and city staff putting together a critical report about the environmental impact of the project will miss the April 10, 2018 deadline for a detailed recommendation going to Council.

This may sound insignificant.....it is NOT insignificant. The present council is now effectively out of the decision making loop and will NOT make the final call on BRT!

Here’s the explanation:

The City of London and its consultants have been working on the provincially required environmental report for London’s proposed BRT plan. Provincial law mandates this report be submitted before any funding for the project can be considered. When the environmental report is approved at city hall it then goes to the province for a mandatory 180-day plus review. If and only if it passes that juncture, it then proceeds to an extensive review in Ottawa. The federal government has already promised a meticulous review that will also take time and will likely take the project to 2019 before the paper shuffle really begins.

But what about that money the provincial politicians promised? The harsh reality is that without a completed and approved environmental assessment, no one is cutting a cheque to London. This is all good theatre but not based on the reality of following provincial law. The premier and cabinet ministers can't override legal requirements by calling a news conference to state provincial funds are on the way.

By missing this April 10 deadline and in the midst of a civic election campaign, citizens now have an election issue. Londoners who question the viability of BRT can ask candidates if they want this plan or to develop something that works.

Council members seeking re-election will face tough questions. To date, many councillors have been avoiding questions about expropriation and real construction costs. Most members of council have ignored and avoided so called consultation meetings that in fact were one-sided lectures.

Londoners deserve improved public transit. Even the federal government committed just over $200-million for improved transit but not necessarily the Shift London BRT.

What to do? Become a municipal candidate; ask all candidates where they stand on London’s BRT.

This is now in Londoners hands, make good use of this time to protect an increase in taxes and assist in the development of a good transit system built on the needs of users, not politicians looking for photo opportunities.


London Free Press - London Needs Time to Get Shift Rolling Right

http://lfpress.com/opinion/columnists/martin-london-needs-time-to-get-shift-rolling-right

Could there be a worse time or way for city council to give an important green light to Shift, the city’s controversial plan for bus rapid transit?

On April 10, council is expected to approve the recommended design and trigger the final step toward a $500-million transit scheme that is touted as improving travel time for Londoners by as much as five minutes.

This biggest-ever spend in city history is being backed just as it is becoming clear that the use of public transit is waning. The number of trips taken on public transit buses in the United States has decreased by 15 per cent since 2012. This disturbing trend was shared this week with North London residents worried the plan would gut the Richmond Street corridor north of Oxford Street.

Rocky Moretti, a transportation consultant based in Washington, D.C., said the use of transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft has skyrocketed by 4,200 per cent during the same time.

“We need to enhance mobility for all Londoners,” Moretti, a North London resident, told an audience of about 120 gathered this week for a ward meeting by Coun. Phil Squire. “We need to anticipate changes in technology.”

The Shift plan fails to anticipate the changes in technology such as electric vehicles, automated vehicles and ride-sharing services, all of which will dramatically change the transportation landscape, he said.


Federal Funding Statement

March 22, 2018
Downshift London Statement
Londoners were put through a misleading exercise by Mayor Matt Brown this week. During a radio interview, Brown told the host the BRT (bus rapid transit) project was fully funded and ready to go. His misguided, erroneous statement was  spawned by a Federal government announcement that London had been earmarked for $204-million in transportation funding. The funding, in reality, is not specifically for London’s proposed BRT plan.
The Mayor plowed through the reality of the announcement by Member of Parliament, Peter Fragiskatos who repeatedly told all who would listen that these funds
were not specifically earmarked for BRT. The Member of Parliament has put great effort (another interview this morning) into explaining in detail the many hoops London’s BRT proposal will have to go through before it is even considered in Ottawa. In fact, despite a political announcement from the Provincial government, the province has still not officially granted London one penny. The BRT plan has not passed the Environmental Assessment required by law and that process will not be completed until October 2018.
The strength and integrity of the Member of Parliament, London North shows the reasonable level-headed leadership Londoners should expect from all elected officials.
The City of London has been continuously criticized for poor communication regarding the BRT plan with London taxpayers for over a year. 
 
Taxpayers should not be put through this calculated nonsense. BRT is clearly becoming the number one issue in the 2018 fall London municipal election.

Downshift London - Statement March 16 re: Funding

March 16, 2018
Downshift Statement

London Gets Its Share
 
Good news on Friday, March 16, the Federal Government announced transportation allocations for Ontario. London's share is $204-million and the best news, it is not allocated for the flawed Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) plan being fronted by City Hall.

Peter Fragiskatos, Member of Parliament, London North Centre, made it clear, very clear these funds will not be distributed without fully vetted business plans and hefty due diligence in Ottawa. This process takes time, lots of time, so there is little to no chance BRT will be reviewed in Ottawa before the provincial and municipal elections.

Without getting into the weeds on details, the province has not completed its environmental assessment, so the earlier "announcement" about provincial funding is raw politics that is not supported by provincial environmental laws.

London can still present an alternative to BRT that makes sense and provides real service across the entire city, for everyone and all modes of transportation. This is far from over.

To do:
1. Citizens of London, keep the pressure on London council members, keep the pressure on provincial candidates and members. Write, call and email elected representatives who represent you.

2. Sign up to receive news and information from Downshift London through the new NationBuilder site at https://downshiftlondon.nationbuilder.com. We've outgrown the Change.org site.
 
London City Councillors and contact information
https://www.london.ca/city-hall/city-council/pages/default.aspx

Mayor's Office
Office of the Mayor Phone: 519-661-4920  E-mail: mayor@london.ca
c/o London City Hall
Suite 214 - 300 Dufferin Avenue
London ON   N6B 1Z2

London North Centre : Deborah Matthews

dmatthew.mpp@liberal.ola.org, 519-432-7339


CTV News - BRT Document Dump 5 Days Prior to Vote


London Free Press - Letters to the Editor - No hiding allowed

http://lfpress.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor-march-10

No hiding allowed

Regarding the letter Let voters decide on BRT (March 3).

The suggestion to have all candidates declare their position on the bus rapid transit is exactly what Candidates Against BRT is going to accomplish when the candidates declare themselves.

CAB will determine the candidates’ position and advertise it immediately prior to the Oct. 22 London election. This will eliminate the urge of the candidate to skirt around the issue.

Walt Lonc

London

Fix BRT flaws

I have reviewed the latest bus rapid transit presentations and attended three BRT public meetings. London drivers need to understand there has been almost zero focus from the BRT team and City of London transportation director Edward Saldo on the impact of these system changes for London drivers.

Unaddressed scenarios for drivers on sections where there will be only two vehicle lanes include delays from garbage and recycling trucks, landscaping companies unloading equipment, delivery services, Uber and taxi services doing curbside pickups and drop-offs, and commercial delivery trucks.

Does the City of London expect to serve breakfast or lunch to drivers to mitigate these expected blockages, or get down to some serious concept-design work to resolve this flaw to gain my support as a driver?

Chris Butler

London

 

Tiny changes first

Why is London is trying to go from the current system straight to BRT? How come cheaper minor changes to the current bus system, which could create major benefits, are not being looked into?

Try spreading the stops out a bit so the buses don’t stop as often. BRT will make riders have to walk farther anyway.

Try putting in cutouts at all bus stops so that buses are off the road while dropping off and picking up. Traffic can then continue unimpeded.

If all traffic is moving quicker this will include the buses. BRT will be permanently removing whole lanes for London traffic that will lead to bottlenecks and slowdowns.

James Norton

London

 

U-turn chaos

This flawed BRT plan keeps slowly revealing strange and dangerous concepts that the city planners want us to just leave to them because they know best .

I have driven in London for 40 years and in the past approximate five years random and impromptu U turns in traffic have grown increasingly common. Now the city hall bus planners are endorsing that driving practice.

It’s chaotic and unsafe and should never be encouraged, unless perhaps the full traffic pattern was originally planned to accommodate that type of flow as I have seen in Michigan and Australia.

But London’s traffic flow was never created for that, neither by BRT or drivers who might be commanded by their GPS.

What crazy, expensive and sadly slim results this BRT scheme is destined to create if it gets past the upcoming election.

Robert Webb

London


AM 980 Interview w/ MP Peter Fragiskatos


CBC London - Plan to widen Wellington Road for BRT puts this church building in peril


CTV News - BRT Safe for Cyclists?

March 5, 2018 CTV News BRT Safe for Cyclists?

https://london.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1341053