Originally Posted by lrt's friend
Why are we spending so much to accomplish so little? To support intensification around the station? I fail to understand the merits of letting intensification cost the taxpayer so much money.
The short answer is: Because Staff has gone wild.
There was a Concept plan for the Centrepointe Town Centre (CTC) developed in 2006-7 through a series of 5 public workshops. The resulting plan was approved by Council Nov. 14, 2007.
Also at that time, Council voted to give some land to Algonquin College for their Construction and Building Sciences Building (BSB). Also, Council voted to give $5M (gross) toward a pedestrian bridge across Woodroffe, between the new BSB and the old ‘C’ Building. Council, in principle, agreed that the new BSB should be tightly integrated with the Baseline Transit Station.
Then Staff went wild:
“City staff, College staff and consultants have worked collaboratively to advance the Concept Plans for the CTC and Algonquin Projects”
Without further public consultation. The result is an “Updated CTC – 2008”.
Notice the differences: the transit station is not on the surface; a building has been removed to create a new "public Focal Point" instead of the one which was on the Main Street; the park has shrunk.
But don’t worry:
"Subject to Council approval of the recommendations in this report, it is the intention to coordinate with the Ward Councillor to hold a public meeting early in 2009 that will deal with all planned CTC initiatives including the site plans for the Archives and Algonquin Projects and the EA for the rapid transit system.”
Once everything is approved and construction is underway, there might be a public meeting.
Any way, Algonquin got the land under the current station so we need to move by spring 2009. So we are building a temporary station – which will be built to permanent standards, according to staff when questioned by Wilkinson about the cost, because it will be there until 2013. This will be a $6.35M temporary surface station.
Things get worse from there. The temporary station will need to be removed by 2013 because it will be built on land which Staff has also deemed as Algonquin’s. This is so that there can be Algonquin buildings on both sides of the final station, thus ‘integrating’ it. Algonquin expects that they will need to build their Health Sciences Building starting in 2013. We need to have our new tunnel and station by then to vacate their land.
Oh, and Algonquin didn’t like having the surface transit station, as depicted in the approved plan, so it must be buried. Algonquin was given the surface and air rights above the tunnel so they could have a courtyard. This courtyard will replace the “Public Focal Point” of the approved plan. (Also, since this is a larger area and park-like, the public park has been shrunk.)
An extra cost for burying the Transitway is that the Pinecrest Creek (SWM) must be buried under the new tunnel. I have to assume that it will still be high enough to flow.
At the Meeting on Wednesday, Councillor Chiarelli brought in a couple of people from the Community Association who stated that they were in favour of burying the busway.
In fact, that is what is getting buried – the busway. The four lanes of bus Transitway will run through the tunnel adjacent to the new BSB, but will not stop there: The transfer stop is planned to be at, and under, College Avenue. This will be a station similar to what exists at Westboro Station with local buses on the bridge and the Transitway below.
As far as integrating the station and buildings: There will be no more direct access from the buildings to the station than there is at Billings Bridge. Although the buildings will have doors on the courtyard side of the building.
All for the low, low price of $185M!