2006-12-13

Ottawa Transit Plan B's

So it looks like Ottawa’s transit plan is about to be de-railed. Anyway, if it looks like Mayor Lex Luthor and his posse are about to fully capitulate on the whole idea of public transit, I offer the following plan B’s for consideration.

Idea#1 – Very, very, very-light rail



Did any of you ever visit Upper Canada Village as a kid? Or maybe even as an adult? It seems every year of my life between grade 2 and grade 7, our annual school trip took us to that wonderful pioneer world just off the banks of the St. Lawrence River. I hated it, of course. At the time, I wasn’t into history and found it all very boring. But the cool thing was the miniature train. I’m sure it doesn’t cost hundreds of millions of dollars to build. Once the Feds and the province back out, it may be all we can afford. On the plus side, I imagine we can build enough track to cover all major coordinates on the compass. Imagine taking the North by Northeast Line and transferring to the West by Southwest line to get from Vanier to the Airport. Cool. Of course, we would have to have mandatory tunnels on all lines to appease the coolness factor for the kids. I imagine most of the materials could be provided from a mini-putt supplier.

Idea#2 -- Everyone Loves a Parade

What is the only fun one can have while driving at 5 mph? Answer: when it’s a parade. Under this scheme we don’t do anything to the road infrastructure. Instead, the Queensway commute officially becomes a parade 5 days a week (and anytime there is a Senators home game). I’m pretty sure we can hire those Shriner guys with the go-carts for a song, and Max Keeping is probably good for a couple of shifts a week as parade marshal. Throw in a brass band and some bag-pipers and we’re all set. The Pride-Week commute alone could make it all very entertaining and enjoyable.

Idea#3 -- Return the Rideau Canal to its roots

Before pleasure boaters and skaters monopolized that swath of waterway that cuts through the city, the canal’s main purpose was for transportation (namely to by-pass hostile American waters of Loyalist times). Why not resurrect this function? I like the idea of a high-speed hydrofoil connecting the Rideau Centre to Carleton University, but that’s mostly for the selfish desire that we get a James Bond film shoot in town someday. That said, this whole scheme could be completely self-financing with the tourism spin-offs. First, we would have to dismantle the NCC seeing that they would never support anything so fun. And maybe send Randall Denley on a sabbatical. Wow. This would solve several problems in this town.

Just some ideas, City Hall, in case you're too busy figuring out how to spend your big fat raises on Christmas presents, instead of trying to run a municipality.

5 comments:

Agatha said...

Brilliant ideas, as usual, Chair. I had the feeling your silence on the blog was because you were incubating.

4th Dwarf said...

Chair, it is good to see you taking time away from keeping your hurdy gurdy in tune. And you've definitely got some great ideas going here. The Elgin Street Irregulars should campaign to make them happen.

Ideas #1 and #2 will only need a small nudge. With the Feds and the Provs backing out, our light rail will be the scale you predict; and the Queensway commuters with their cute little Senators flags are halfway to parade status already.

Your vision of a hydrofoil service may need something more. Remember "Pave the Dream" the group who lobbied for the 416?

And you realize that once the canal freezes, we'll have to dock the hydrofoil and bring out the hovercraft.

Paul G said...

Why refer to our duly elected Mayor as "Lex Luthor?"

Lex, after all, tried to make good on all his promises and is an evil genius. Our mayor is more like this.

coyote said...

Paul, we just want to thank you, and all your friends who clicked over from Skyscraper Forum, and CBC's Ottawa Voices, for blowing our very, very, very light little steam-driven hit counter straight to hell...

evolver said...

I don't care what O'Brien has to say about it, I'm not riding the Lady Duck to work!