Coun. Shane Keating asks for SW BRT face-to-face meetings
In-person meetings were pulled in Feb. after city employees reported yelling, threats and violence
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After Mayor Naheed Nenshi hit pause on face-to-face engagement for the the South West Bus Rapid Transit project, one councillor is asking to get it back.
On Monday, Coun. Shane Keating, chair of the Transportation and Transit committee, asked if it would be possible to bring back in-person consultation after the April 20 meeting – which is expected to be a doozie.
The meetings were put on hold in February after a meeting went sour with reports of yelling, swearing, pushing and shoving, physical assault and even a death threat during a city-hosted information session on the SW BRT project.
Grassroots groups, like Ready to Engage, are planning to attend the April meeting in full-force, and Keating said he expects the session to run over a day.
"Depending on engagement at the April 20 and T&T meeting, could the transportation department host a strictly moderated, public open house on the SWBRT, provided that the meetings are conducted in a manner which efficiently allows for respectful public discussion and safety of the participants and city staff?" asked Keating.
All engagement has turned online to the city's brand new Engage! portal where members of the public can participate in forum-like discussions with other members of the public and city workers.
Director of Calgary Transit, Doug Morgan, said engagement has continued with over 1,500 pieces of feedback online.
"We do anticipate, as we move towards the project, if we can be assured city staff are safe, that we have respectful engagement and all Calgarians are heard … we will be able to go back out to the public," said Morgan. "We see the potential to do that."
Morgan said the city does want to interact with customers, and future customers. He said likely the interaction would come when Calgary Transit is closer to opening and fine-tuning service.
"It really helps fine-tune the process and gives us great engagement to build a better project," said Morgan.