Opposition to Metrolinx’ plan to build an elevated rail line through Eglinton Flats is growing. A local group, Stop the Trains in Our Parks, has called on newly-elected MPP Michael Ford to “Get It Done” and tunnel the trains through the Flats.
In a press release, STOP said,
While campaigning as a candidate in YSW earlier this month, Progressive Conservative Michael Ford wrote to local residents stating that as MPP and part of a Doug Ford government he would be in the best position to advocate for the community’s priorities on the Eglinton Crosstown West LRT issue. In a June 13 tweet, thanking Etobicoke North, Michael Ford cited one of his accomplishments in his riding as “Championing new transit connections for our community. Tunnelling Eglinton West in the south”.
Now that Michael Ford is the current York South-Weston MPP, will he work with his new constituents and Get It Done?
Metrolinx is planning to build an elevated LRT through the parks at Eglinton Flats because, they say, it isn’t feasible to tunnel through the valley. The LRT will
- Be in the park (not on the roadway),
- Lead to deforestation
- Close bike, car, and pedestrian routes for 8 years
- Have large tunnel entrances.
Transit blogger and guru Steve Munro has an excoriating history of the ECWE in Eglinton Flats. He supports STOP’s argument:
The structure is presented as unobtrusively as possible, and the effects of construction are ignored. As at other locations on Metrolinx projects, the effect on green space is treated as an unavoidable side-effect of transit expansion.
He also has some devastating images. Metrolinx said in 2012 that the train would (and presumably could) run down the centre of Eglinton instead of in the park. The images also give some sense of the scale of the construction.
Munro also criticizes the late response of City Council, saying: “this is an example of Council sitting in blissful ignorance of the damage inherent in Metrolinx plans until the last possible moment when nothing but hand-wringing remains as an option.”