Takeaways from the disappointing meeting on the proposed GO train service to Niagara held at the downtown library last night:
1. I arrived before 6:00 and was far from the first one through the doors. People in this part of the world are, if nothing else, early birds.
2. The Metrolinx employees, including the presenter, acted as if they were sent from on high to save us unwashed masses out here in the boonies. Next time, try some humility.
3. Metrolinx staff evidently do have a policy of looking out for their own. Case in point was one poor staffer being harangued by Big Bearded Guy who was mercifully rescued by one of his colleagues, ostensibly to answer a question for another attendee.
3a. Big Bearded Guy sure did look lost after the target of his monologue was snatched from his grasp.
4. One of the slides of the virtually useless presentation dealt with “tree and vegetation mitigation.” I think they meant tree and vegetation impact mitigation.
5. There were lots of questions from the standing-room-only crowd, yet virtually no answers. Worse yet, when someone asked a question regarding the train station, the designated expert from Metrolinx assigned to give the non-answer admitted he hadn’t even been to the station. Forgive me if I don’t quite understand why they even came out and held the meeting.
6. Among the more noteworthy questions still waiting for an answer was whether or not the new line will be a feeder route to Burlington or will run directly to Union Station in the universe’s center.
7. There seemed to be a lot support for putting the station near 406 and Glendale, yet the current Western Hill location has evidently been set in stone.
8. They didn’t even seem to know how many parking spaces would be available at the station, nor the fact that Ridley College and the former TRW owned adjacent properties that could be used for that purpose.
9. When there was someone with a comment, it wouldn’t have hurt the Metrolinx staff to take note of it themselves instead of brusquely telling us to fill out a comment card.
10. Fear not, the GO bus service is not going to be eliminated.
11. The humpback bridge on St. Paul Street near the station is scheduled for replacement, yet the planning still hasn’t gone past the environmental assessment phase. Someone mentioned that regional chair Alan Caslin was quoted as saying that the bridge won’t be replaced until after the trains start rolling. Oy.