September 22, 2017

RELEASE: Farkas calls for voters to have final say on Southwest BRT

Ward 11 City Council candidate calls for the voters,
not City administration, to decide future of Southwest BRT

SEPTEMBER 22, 2017 — CALGARY, AB: After learning that City administration is fast-tracking the approval for the tender of the Southwest Transitway project (SWBRT) days before the election, Ward 11 city councillor candidate Jeromy Farkas is calling for the public to have the final say.

“This political decision by the unelected City administration confirms what we’ve heard for the past two years at the doors: the tail is wagging the dog. We need a strong City Council that is willing to hold City Administration accountable — instead of taking instructions from staff, as City Council often does now,” Farkas stated.

“Any major reconstruction of the 14th Street SW corridor should wait until after the completion of the Southwest Ring Road (SWRR). Calgarians using the corridor on a daily basis should not be expected to tolerate two more straight years of the chaos experienced this past summer with the ATCO project,” Farkas insisted.

“I strongly support thoughtful, well-planned, and efficient transit. Ward 11 families and businesses need a comprehensive transportation plan that makes sense now, and into the future. One that acknowledges our economic reality, one that provides accessibility for our most vulnerable, and most importantly, one that reflects the wishes of Ward 11 residents,” Farkas adds.

“Unfortunately, we’ve seen time and time again how the SWBRT falls short. That’s why the public can, and must, have the final say,” Jeromy Farkas concluded, with the following proposal:

  1. Immediately halt the contracting process, pending review by the new City Council elected on October 16th, 2017.The contract documents allow the City to delay the award for up to 60 days (until November 27). To date, no actual project costs have been confirmed by the City, despite repeated requests for this information. The unrealistic budget of up-to $100 million is expected to rise even further, at the expense of other needed projects city-wide.

    Because the contract documents do not specify any staging or time frame to complete the work, the contractor could have all four intersections (Southland Drive, Heritage Drive, 75 Avenue, and 90 Avenue) continuously under construction for the next two-year period — during the peak of the construction of the Southwest Ring Road.

  2. Immediately introduce a pilot project on the existing roadway. The existing gap in transit access to Mount Royal University from Southwest Calgary is well documented and must be addressed. The need to service one of Alberta’s leading educational institutions is evident today, and cannot afford to wait.
  3. Re-open public consultations to genuinely listen to neighbouringcommunities’ vision for the 14th Street corridor.The Southwest BRT was approved in an omnibus motion nearly a decade ago: before the approval of the Southwest Ring Road, the introduction of 4-car trains, before the overbuild of the Airport Tunnel to allow for a potential LRT extension to the airport, and before the advent of autonomous vehicles.

    An evidence-driven approach, in tandem with collecting data on the impact to traffic flows from the SWRR, will ensure that current and future Calgarians’ needs are met cost-effectively — and with an eye to future innovations.

    Note: Regardless of Council or City staff’s opinion, Jeromy Farkas has committed to hosting monthly in-person meetings to be held accountable on this or any other issue.

  4. Upon completion of the Southwest Ring Road, implement Bus Rapid Transit as a true mass transit alternative.Partners such as the Tsuut’ina Nation and Provincial Government have shown willingness to explore and implement mass transit as part of the ring road. Successful distribution networks — whether moving people, goods, or airplanes — have tested and proven the value of “spoke and hub” models.
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About Jeromy Farkas
Jeromy Farkas — your conservative choice in Ward 11 — is a born-and-raised Calgarian and resident of Palliser. Escaping communist Hungary in 1956, his family built a new life and found success in Canada.

Farkas is supported by a diverse, positive, and grassroots team of volunteers who are focused on restoring Calgary’s economic opportunity. Click here for a list of community endorsements.

Farkas has spent literally thousands of hours combing through records and meetings to hold City Hall accountable. He has run a solutions-based campaign — and regularly weighs in with detail on issues such as negative campaigningCity Hall secrecypublic art, the Southwest BRTMidfield Parkrespectsmall business successutility bill fairness, and more.

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