Metrolinx and GO begin their series of open houses for the expansion of tracks and service in the Weston corridor tonight. Politically, this project has moved from a concern just in the town of Weston to a growing controversy along the line as neighbourhoods learn of the potential impact on them.
Among the issues are:
- How many tracks are required to handle the planned service
- To what degree does the proposed Air Rail link (Blue 22) affect track layouts
- What pollution will be caused by a high level of diesel-hauled trains in the corridor
- Why isn’t the line being electrified, and what effect would this have on track and equipment needs
- What is the effect of increased service on existing grade crossings in Weston and at Strachan Avenue
GO Transit fought a long battle with the Weston Community Coalition over issues in their neighbourhood during an earlier GO-managed study of the line. GO used the term “NIMBY” in an attempt to marginalize this opposition, and that term crept into recent provincial announcements about the need for an enhanced (read less vulnerable to opposition) transit environmental assessment process. Sadly GO and their new partner, Metrolinx, do not seem to have learned much about meaningful public participation, but now face opposition from other neighbourhoods and possibly from the City of Toronto itself.
The open house schedule is available at the project website.