Man on a mission
Opposition builds against airport train link
Article mis en ligne le jeudi 4 novembre 2010
David Seto is on the front line, along with other CDN-NDG residents, in the campaign to plan a safer, eco-friendlier high-speed train route between the airport in Dorval and downtown Montreal.
The airport plans would likely see express trains using the existing commuter tracks that span the southern portion of the borough, south of Sherbrooke St. Seto thinks that the safety of pedestrians, especially the throngs of high school students at nearby Royal West Academy, could be compromised at level crossings at Elmhurst Ave. and Westminster Ave.
Right now, commuter trains must slow down as they approach the Montreal-Ouest station. But an express Dorval-Montreal train would not stop there and would continue right through at high speed.
“This will mean that both the Elmhurst and Westminster level crossings will see frequent and high-speed trains passing in both directions at least every thirty minutes, endangering the lives of residents and students in the area,” Seto explains. NDG resident Patrick McDonnell thinks that the increased frequency of train crossings will result in more pollution because of heavier traffic congestion. “Cars and buses will be blocked and traffic will pile up to Sherbrooke and probably all the way to St. Jacques.”
A good solution, David Seto says, would be to build a tunnel underneath Sherbrooke Street between downtown and Westminster Avenue. He estimates the cost of a 6 km tunnel to be $1 billion. That’s a formidable obstacle, he acknowledges, but believes it to be feasible through a public-private partnership arrangement, similar to the one now in place for building the McGill University Health Centre facilities at the Glen Yards.
Seto, a pharmacist by profession, has worked out a detailed presentation of his arguments that he’s submitted to borough elected officials. He’s been working on the file since 2004 and says he’ll continue to make his and other residents’ voices heard.