Possible Green Line LRT through Ramsay has residents 'scared, confused'

City officials encountered some skepticism Thursday as they held an open house to explain their latest thinking on how to connect the future Green Line LRT from the Beltline to the Ramsay-Inglewood area.

The Green Line will run either on or below 12th Avenue through the Beltline before heading north near the Calgary Transit bus barn in Victoria Park and then across the Elbow River.

Last week, the city revealed that technical considerations have forced planners to look at a new alignment that would have the C-Train travel along MacDonald Avenue, across the Elbow into Ramsay, and then curve to the southeast to align with the existing railway tracks along 11th Street S.E.

Some of the 200 people who turned out for the public meeting Thursday were skeptical about the new alignment proposal.

"I personally don't think it makes sense to go through Ramsay when you can go around Ramsay," said area resident Martin L'Heureux. "Going along the existing CPR rail line seems to be the better option all around."

On its Green Line website, the city says an earlier plan to align the LRT north of the bus barn "would result in slower travel times for Calgarians, and costly wear and tear on LRT vehicles due to very tight turns."

Running the LRT north of the Calgary Transit facility would also cause significant delays for buses, the city says.

"We just need a better way to communicate about this and make the decisions," said L'Heureux, adding people in the neighbourhood are "scared, confused and frustrated — very, very frustrated."

It's estimated 10 houses would have to be torn down if the MacDonald Avenue plan goes ahead, city spokesperson Julie Cavanagh said.

"We're trying to find the best route for the Green Line LRT for all of Calgary and so there are a number of options that we're looking at. The MacDonald Avenue is by no means a done deal."

Last week, Erin Joslin of the Ramsay Community Association said her organization was not happy to learn the city is considering the MacDonald Avenue route, since they were under the impression it had already been looked at and dismissed.

Planners explored the idea of tunnelling all the way through the Beltline and under MacDonald Avenue. But that option, while technically feasible, was removed from consideration because it would be too expensive, the city said.

The possibility of keeping the C-Train below 12th Avenue from Third Street S.W. to Fifth Street S.E. is still under consideration.

The multibillion-dollar Green Line, which will use low-floor trains, will stretch across the city from Country Hills Village in north-central Calgary to the southeast community of Seton.

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