The council members made decisions that will greatly benefit our entire community. They no longer support the further study of an expensive citywide tunnel because funding is so unlikely. Now the city council, staff and residents can focus their attention on more viable grade separation solutions. The council members also instructed staff to modify the statement of work for the study of fully elevated grade separations so that all potentially viable track elevation profiles are considered and construction impacts are evaluated. The initial draft had appeared to unnecessarily limit potential designs. The broader study scope will now ensure that this alternative can be fairly compared to those previously studied.
The positive dynamics of the meeting was strikingly different from past ones. The communications between council members and staff was clear and well reasoned, and resident input was genuinely welcomed. I hope this represents a sea change in how our city conducts a key activity in its project planning process.
Grade separation planning is one of the most important activities for our city, and lots of work and challenges lie ahead. Last night was a major milestone. Congratulations!