OUR BRT FIGHT CONTINUES
On Monday night London City Council delayed a decision to move forward with the final phase of an environmental assessment for the bus rapid transit plan (BRT) until a meeting on May 7th. Why?
The official excuse is to give Londoners more time to read the thousands of pages of highly technical data that was dumped on the public last week with little or no explanation.
The report that was supposed to be tabled and sent to Queens Park in March, has hit yet another major roadblock based on poor communication with taxpayers. Some Council members, many of whom will be seeking re-election this fall, admit behind the scenes they are concerned about crushing public criticism of yet another communication failure with potential repercussions at the ballot box.
BRT is now a major election issue because the mandatory 185 days for this next phase of the provincial environmental assessment and it lands squarely in the laps of all candidates. If you are not in favour of the current BRT plan, it is up to us to identify candidates who do not support the current plan and also propose a transit system that works for all of us. Call, email or text Council members, and ask if they really understand what they are doing and why aren’t they listening to voters.
Why is staff and council continuing to force through yet another phase of BRT while excluding the public from information for a year, then printing thousands and thousands of pages, written in technical jargon that is difficult to decipher for a layman?
Another cold hard fact is no deal exists with Western University and that means no formal plans are in place for BRT on campus and the surrounding area.
The announcement of provincial funding was political theatre. The provincial environmental assessment, which is required by law, has not even started at Queen’s Park and is now being delayed even longer by this nervous city council.
Politicians cannot simply hand out money without following the LAW. The federal government has told London to slow down and get it right and even with federal money on the table for London it is not earmarked for this current BRT plan.
A two week review will not change the fact the plan is hugely flawed, ridiculously expensive, is old technology, eliminates bike lanes, ruins neighbourhoods, cuts down hundreds of trees and will lead to untold tax increases, land expropriation costs and legal costs in the millions of tax dollars and serves very few Londoners.
Tell your councillor to say no to the current BRT plan and you will see them at the ballot box this fall. We deserve a better plan for all Londoners. Please share this email with friends and ask them to join our mailing list at downshiftlondon.com
List of all London City Councillors and their contact information