Friday, April 17, 2009

Brockton diesel

There was a public meeting on Wednesday night about the Metrolinx project going through our neighbourhood. On the face of it, a good thing, much-needed expansion of the GO Transit system and an infusion of provincial (and presumably federal as well) money to expedite the project. But there are troubling aspects to it, principally the commitment to diesel-powered trains that will spew diesel fumes through our neighbouhood all day every day, and the lack of local stations so that we can take advantage of this transit corridor. The meeting was actually not a Metrolinx meeting and no Metrolinx officials attended, it was organized locally as an information session to get local folks up to speed on what was happening and, if warranted, stir up some concerned action to get Metrolinx to pay attention to our concerns. Other neighbourhoods along the route are also gearing up for some kind of political action on the matter.

I couldn't go because I was sick, but I did talk to some neighbours the next day at the dogpark. The consensus seems to be that this is going to have a horrific effect on the neighbourhood, the project is being speedily pushed through and there is little hope of fighting it, and some people are even talking about selling their homes and moving away in anticipation of the worst. There is a 6-month Environmental Assessment period before it is a done deal, and already one month of the six has passed, so if there is going to be any fighting it, it has to happen immediately. An official Metrolinx public session is happening next week so we are all urged to show up and let Metrolinx know that, Houston, we have a problem.


Barbara Anne said...

Good luck, Anne, This seems like something must be rotten for so many areas to be affected but not to have any benefit.

Years ago in Memphis, the city took property and tore down many nice older homes for a highway that was to be built. Decades later, that property was sold parcel by parcel so homes could be built since that highway never was build. Outrageous, but it happened.

Hope things turn out better in your neighborhood.


Alan G said...

I don't envy you having to deal with this. Like you said, most times there is little chance to deter these type expansions....unless, of course, someone claims to have an old Indian burial ground on their property!

Zabetha said...

It is very easy to be cynical and despairing about this kind of project/event. Here in Toronto we have one thing going for us, well, actually two related things. One is the inspiration of Jane Jacobs and the other is the story of the demise of the Spadina Expressway.

Jane was a transplanted American, author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities, who helped to raise enough local resistance to the mega-highway project to have it quashed. At the time it was considered pretty much a done deal, nothing could stop it. That happened in the late '60s-early '70s, and it is still talked about, a real turning point in the history of the City. Jane died in '06 at the age of 90, still a political activist and sh**-disturber in her adopted home.

I'm just sorry I'm planning to leave right when things are getting a little exciting around here. Every danger is an opportunity, this danger is an opportunity for community-building.