News / Edmonton

Edmonton Ward 12 candidates weigh in on the Valley Line

Some of the many candidates running in the Ward 12 byelection.

Metro File

Some of the many candidates running in the Ward 12 byelection.

Throughout the campaign Metro will be asking the 32 candidates in the race for Ward 12 about some of the issues facing the area and giving them a chance to weigh in.

We begin with the city’s Valley Line project, which will bring long-awaited LRT service right to the ward’s door. We asked all of the candidates this question

Do you support the city's plan for the Valley Line LRT? Why or why not? 


By virtue of city bureaucracy and poor management and no long-range planning  and irresponsible spending we don’t have LRT to Mill Woods.

Many who contacted me are against this Valley Line.  Before I can speak to this issue intelligently or offer an alternative solution I would need to review and study the documentation provided by the administration and speak to the planning dept and engineers but so far have been unable to reach them.

In a long letter that I wrote to city in early 2000’s I suggested that they prepare before development south of 10th Avenue and put in a Transit or LRT Station on the corner of 23rd Avenue and Calgary Trail.

- Jeri Stevens

Yes. I support. You look at any great city London, Paris, New York or Toronto, underground train system and network is the key. Therefore, LRT development and mostly underground is a must. Valley Line LRT is a project integral to the future development of Edmonton.

- Rakesh Patel

I’m strongly in favour of building the Valley Line LRT. Ward 12 needs more and better public transportation and public transportation infrastructure. This must include both LRT and express buses (BRT) as complementary options to support different geographical regions of the ward. Although the LRT requires substantial initial investment, over time it costs the city six times less per rider that a bus does; an expanded LRT that serves the needs of Ward 12 is essential as both an improved service and as a cost-savings mechanism.  

- Nav Kaur

I do support Valley Line LRT. City of Edmonton spread out over 685 sq km and is rapidly growing, we need to provide our residents economical and environmentally friendly transportation.

If we compare with Calgary their LRT rider-ship is 300,000 and its operating cost is only .27 cents whereas bus cost $1.50. Valley line will generate 13,000 full time jobs and 3 billion in economic output. The opening of the Metro LRT line was delayed so many times.

While the infrastructure was complete and under budget, the new signalling system that will allow the two lines to share the same track is causing delays. 


- Preet Toor

I am committed to the best public transportation routes and to the Valley Line to South East Edmonton. Edmonton has so much to offer and making it accessible to everyone is critical. Ward 12 is growing at an extremely high rate and as a resident of Ward 12, I am aware that the community of South East Edmonton wants and needs access to all areas of Edmonton.

I wholeheartedly support and will advocate for appropriate and adequate public transportation for the Southeast sector of the City. Infrastructure needs of ward 12 cannot be neglected.

- Laura Thibert

No, I believe the $1.8 B allocated should be spent constructing interchanges on arterial roadways.

- Don Koziak

I do support the city's plan for the Valley Line LRT as a majority of Ward 12 residents (and Edmonton for that matter) want to see this line built, however, many people are concerned that the project is being rushed and will turn into another Metro line fiasco.

I do support the Valley Line LRT but I will call for it to be postponed until we are absolutely confident that this will not turn into another Metro line or Southside line. This is the biggest capital project in history and Edmontonians will not stand for another poorly developed LRT line. 

- Dan Johnstone

I support the construction of the Valley Line LRT. It will improve transit services to residents of Ward 12 and all of Edmonton. Having efficient and effective transit also works to reduce traffic congestion on roads.

- Nicole Szymanowka


Yes, the City has taken big steps forward in planning the construction for the new Valley Line LRT expansion, connecting Ward 12 to the city core and beyond.

The Valley Line will create a safe, affordable, green mode of transportation for our community.  However, I feel further thought should be placed on the type of LRT we, as a city require Ie: Sky Train, sub terrain train.

I believe it is important to keep the dialogue open and communicate timelines and the impact the Valley Line will have in our community.

- Field Pieterse

        

I support the city's responsibility to do due diligence. I want to open the discussion back up, consider Bus Rapid Transit again, and make sure we're getting the best deal we can. This seems a bit like a solution that either doesn't solve the problem, or creates too many new ones, so we need to slow down and do some more think and consulting.

- Andrew Gorman

While I agree that rail service was necessary to Southeast Edmonton, the design of Valley Line in its proposed form will be a disservice to both transit users and drivers. Going through Bonnie Doon traffic circle is a huge mistake, as is the detour it takes before getting downtown. It certainly won't beat the bus which may take only 4 minutes to get to Bonnie Doon. There is no way to change Valley Line, but I'd ensure future lines will not impact key intersections and use alternatives to expensive tunnels such as cut-and-cover.

- Lincoln Ho

I do support this plan. It is a good way to connect MillWoods to core areas of the city. The City will fund this project via a P3, however, more transparency and accountability as the project evolves will be useful, so that we avoid similar missteps made in the construction of the Metro line. Questions remain about parking costs and etc., so it is important to engage with the community fairly soon to develop a strategy that meets the need of the residents.

- Irfan Chaudry

I support the city’s plan for the Valley Line with one exception.  The Valley Line should use the CPR route that was once proposed.  The CPR route would make use of existing infrastructure, thus being more cost effective and efficient.  It would give residents of Ward 12 direct access to the U of A, and if it follows the metro line we would also have direct access to NAIT and McEwan University.  This route is simply superior to the proposed route, because you do not have to cross the river twice to get to the U of A.

- Jag Gill

Yes I do, but I think instead of "land acquisitions" the Mayor suggested, we should buy out the P3 on the valley line, and stand alone on this project. I have this stand because I've talked to nearly 85 per cent of Ward 12 residents and voters personally, whoever was home when I canvassed, and everyone was for the LRT Line, even drivers who never will use it.


If we reduced fares 40%, more and more people would fill the trains. None want to wait another 10 or 20 years for something they wanted 20 years ago.


- Nick Chamchuk

Mill Woods needs LRT. The plans to bring LRT to Mill Woods are decades old. Many plans were considered before they reached the current one.

I feel it is one of the more expensive plans in that it doesn't consider in place right of way and it relies on a very disruptive path and a new bridge. That said, there is no turning back from this plan at this point. It is very important that traffic studies are done to minimize disruptions and to eliminate a mess like we had on the NAIT route.


- Terry McKinnon

I’m completely opposed. Will the benefits to riders outweigh the inconvenience, disruptiveness, frustrations, years of traffic congestion and delays to drivers? Coun. Ed Gibbons in a front-page article said "I think this (Valley Line) is a disaster waiting to happen. Good luck." That is clearly not a ringing endorsement.

The Metro line and 112th street LRT projects back up Mr. Gibbons comments. In my opinion, the Valley Line will be the single biggest transportation infrastructure mistake in Edmonton's history.

- Kelly Kadla

Absolutely not, we need to fix and repair roads for cars first above all else as we are under snow and ice six months a year.


- R. Joey Koopmans

No, I do not support the city's plan for the LRT. I feel like it's being implemented just for the sake of having another LRT. I would rather see it delayed in favour of a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), so that we can test out lines and offer more city wide coverage. 

- Jason Bale

I support the expansion of affordable, accessible and efficient public transit systems. I think many people have legitimate concerns about the design of the Valley Line and while I believe integrated LRT lines are valuable, we need to ensure that we are moving ahead with a product that gives us value for money and is not just the cheapest option.

- Danisha Bhaloo

LRT development is critical to sound public transit policy. This is a great opportunity to connect Mill Woods and Southeast Edmonton to the city and share our strengths with our fellow Edmontonians.

The Valley Line could also potentially act as a catalyst for other transit initiatives like Bus Rapid Transit. It is also important to ensure that there is strong government accountability in relation to large projects so that tax dollars are used prudently without waste. Given the recent issues regarding the Metro Line, it is imperative that the Valley Line remain on time and on budget.

- Arundeep Singh Sandhu

I support.  Integrated modes of active and public transportation are required for Edmonton moving forward.

- Moe Banga

No I do not. A rapid transit system would be more efficient, offer better service to riders, and cost less.

My primary objection is that the city is broke. We need to desperately cut spending today in order to keep taxes low and to avoid losing jobs in the private sector. Since we have already started building this if we can finish the LRT without raising taxes then I could support it, otherwise this LRT line might end up like the first one and left unfinished for a few years.

- Stephen Wutzke

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