Not enough transit use in Westboro for west line

This is a neighbourhood where residents’ pocketbooks are known for oozing moolah.

Just six kilometres west of Parliament Hill, Westboro boasts high-end boutiques, fancy condos, and homes in the million-dollar range.

With the city’s preferred proposal for the western LRT corridor running along Richmond Rd., the plan for rapid transit is raising the ire of residents and merchants.

Small business owner Kevin Tappin, whose shop Stained Glass Stuff is along Richmond Rd. west of Westboro, said he doesn’t see the point of building the line in a posh area where most everyone drives.

“I’m no planner, but mass transit … the word ‘mass’ in it seems to imply you want a lot of people to take it, so why would you run it through a neighbourhood like this?” asked Tappin.

“Further down (the road), around Lincoln Fields, you’ve got more people (who) would be taking the bus a lot more.”

Kitchissippi Coun. Katherine Hobbs says otherwise.

“We’re an urban ward and we’ve got a real mix of people,” she said, adding the area includes community housing.

“To call it yuppie-ville, I think, is unfair to the diverse population that is here.”

Hobbs said she sold her car last summer and takes the bus.

“I don’t believe that people in Westboro — any more than anywhere else in Kitchissippi — don’t take transit. They certainly do,” Hobbs said.

“You ride the No. 16 bus through here and it is packed all the way through Kitchissippi.”

Tappin isn’t sold.

Compared to Richmond Rd., Carling Ave., “although difficult and expensive, seems to be where all the people would tend to be and you’ve got much more north-south access with all the major roads,” said Tappin.

With a $2.3-billion price tag, a Carling route has pretty much been ruled out.

The plan for the western link is building a rail line from Tunney’s Pasture to Baseline station via Lincoln Fields.

Roughly 2 kms would run underground.

Flowers By Maggie owner Maggie Freitas said she wants the city to “leave Richmond Rd. the way it is. This is an historical area,” Freitas said

Instead, “invest the $900 million somewhere that needs love and care. This is a beautiful area. You’re going to destroy it. Wake up, people. This is Richmond Rd. We don’t need that.”

Twitter: @ottawasunkroche

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