I went to the meeting this afternoon as I expected debate. However, it was accepted without dissent. I was pleasantly surprised, and have sent the following thanks to members of the committee:
I want to commend all of you for accepting the staff position on rejecting the offer of funding for an environmental assessment of expansion of Hwy 174. We must put an end to subsidizing inefficient automobile use. If there are to be subsidies, the most efficient forms of mass transit must be at the top of the funding list.It's a great start. Now, if we can just transform this thinking into solid mass transit investment.
Within a generation, transformation of the transportation infrastructure shall be imposed on all cities as a result of rapidly increasing costs of energy. Urban areas that depend on expansive road networks shall be left behind. It is imperative that the City of Ottawa become forward looking in how it makes these decisions. We are already hearing increases in the call for efficient mass transit in this city as expansive suburban living becomes increasingly expensive. These voices shall get louder and stronger in the very near future as more of us accept that building a city that is primarily dependent on the private automobile is more costly in the short term and not sustainable in the long term.
I went to the meeting this afternoon assuming there would be some debate. I was delighted to see this pass so readily.
The decision we make with respect to mass transit in the near future will only be the beginning of 'transformation' of the transportation infrastructure in this city.
Thanks for sending a clear message to the Province that we are not prepared to continue to subsidize inefficient individual car use at the expense of needed investment in mass transit.