Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Letter published in the Toronto Star

The Toronto Star published a letter that I had sent to the editor today. However, they exercised their right to edit the letter and made a few changes to my original submission.

Here is a link to the letter as it was published in Today's Toronto Star, which was given the title, TTC needs to get its act together.

I found it incredible that the TTC did not consult with merchants in the district or tell area councillors of its proposal to turn a stretch of King St. W. into a streetcar-only route. In a democratic society, the TTC needs to do a significantly better job of consulting with the public.

If the TTC cannot get the community to buy into the King transit zone, what hope does it have of guiding the newly announced Toronto Transit City Plan through to completion?

Here is my letter as it was originally submitted.

In response to the article 'Critics assail King transit plan' published March 23, 2007, I found it incredible that the TTC did not consult with merchants in district or tell area councillors of its proposal. In a democratic society where the public participation is a major component of the planning process, the TTC needs to do a significantly better job of consulting with the public, especially when these proposals directly impact the livelihood of those in the community.

If the TTC cannot get the community to buy into the King Street transit zone, what hope do they have of guiding the newly announced Toronto Transit City Plan through to completion?

The point I'm trying to make is that the public needs to be given an opportunity to participate in the planning process. Ideally, a project proponent should, whenever it is possible, consult those that may be affected by the project to find out about concerns that may arise in order to address them as early in the planning stages as possible (though sometimes, I can appreciate the fact that this isn't always possible).

Whether it is an Official Plan review, an Environmental Assessment, Re-zoning or even a Committee of Adjustment application, attempting to sneak things through without consultation only generates ill-will in the community, and only makes the proponent's task to implement the project more difficult once the community does finds out about it. People are already resistant to change as it is, if they think something is being forced upon them, you can bet they will be further opposed, even if the plan is, in the end, good for them.

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