Friction of rapid transit by bus scolds planning for West London

An unexpected spike in rapid transit friction between city councilors could sideline a plan to guide growth in west London.

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An unexpected surge in rapid transit friction between city councilorscould put aside a plan to guide growth in West London.

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A recent vote rejecting rule making for more intensive development in the Oxford Street and Wonderland Road area highlights the growing divergence of some politicians from the city’s overall growth plan.

The Council’s planning committee voted against preparing a ‘secondary plan’ for this busy west London intersection, saying it is too closely tied to a proposed rapid transit line that has been canceled in 2019.

These rapid bus injuries (BRT) represent an underlying tension that will soon have to be resolved, warned a municipal expert.

“We are now in conflict between the approved (official city) plan and what this council wants,” said Western University political scientist Martin Horak.

A secondary plan creates a vision and describes special policies, such as design rules, for development in a particular area.

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The region of Oxford-Wonderland is considered a transit village in the official plan, also known as the London plan, as the west corridor of the BRT was going to end there before it was removed. As a transit village, the area would be ready for more intensive development.

But Con. Steve Lehman, whose Ward 8 borders the intersection, said he would not support the terms of the secondary plan due to his connection to the BRT.

“My concern is that we are creating a bottleneck at this corner and I don’t see how a transit village addresses that concern,” Lehman told his colleagues.

Ward 2 Council. Shawn Lewis said he didn’t think the secondary plan was a good use of resources with the BRT’s west route scuttled.

“I am very concerned that we are in an era of prelude to BRT, part 2,” added Ward 6 Coun. Phil Squire.

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Lehman, Lewis and Squire were opponents of BRT and voted against its north and west legs.

However, a secondary plan was recently approved for the northern sector of Masonville, also considered a transit village even though its section of BRT has been cut.

Ward 9 Council. Only Anna Hopkins voted in favor of launching the Oxford-Wonderland secondary plan. It goes to city council for a final vote on Tuesday evening.

“They don’t have to develop a secondary plan, but if they don’t, they are deviating from the logic of the master plan that we currently have in place. It’s a difficult situation ”, Horak noted.

“This underlines the inherent tension between long-term planning and short-term political pressure.”

Horak said the council will have to decide whether it wants more development, and at a higher intensity, in West London.

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“The denser the development, the more development there is in place, the more important it is, I think, to have a secondary plan, so the city sets detailed guidelines on how this place will look,” he said. -he declares.

“It’s a tool that is used more and more because it’s kind of a finer grain (guideline to show) what a place will grow and look like.”

It is not clear whether city staff could come back with different terms for the secondary plan, or whether a vote against existing terms in council would end it altogether. The planning committee did not ask for alternatives. When asked, cGregg, Town Hall Planning Director Barrett said next steps would not be clear until after the board vote.

“Either way, this needs to be sorted out, because I think London is going to start growing faster,” Horak said.

“Either the city and city leaders can make decisions about whether it’s going to stick to our long-term plan or in a different way, and be systematic about it, or we’ll end up.” with random development. This is what leads to congestion and this is what leads to problems.

mstacey@postmedia.com

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