Take the more expensive route, Clarington tells GO
Published: July 8, 2008
Source: Metroland Media

BOWMANVILLE -- The GO train should come to Bowmanville as soon as possible and though it might be more expensive, it ought to come right into the urban area of town, Clarington council says.

A recent announcement by the Province, streamlining the environmental assessment process for transit projects coupled by an announcement by GO that extending the train to Bowmanville would be among its top priorities under the new rule, is welcome, councillors said.

"It's good news for sure," Regional Councillor Charlie Trim said. But at the same time, there's a need to ensure GO knows what Clarington wants.

"It's crucial that the main stop is south of Canadian Tire (located on Hwy. 2 in west Bowmanville), and that there be a stop in Courtice," Coun. Trim said.

That's so the train is accessible to residents and fits within Clarington's long-term plan, said a report from the Municipality's planning department. That will require the new line to follow the CPR rail line into the west Bowmanville Town Centre, along the tracks west of Martin Road between Prince William Drive and Aspen Springs Boulevard.

Following the CPR route, as opposed to the likely less expensive CN route, which would mean the train would arrive in Bowmanville south of Hwy. 401, "provides the best service to Clarington's urban areas," close to established transit, said the planning report.

That's what Clarington has planned for more than a decade, as planners worked to develop the West Bowmanville Town Centre.

"The goal has been, since 1994, to have it come into the centre of (west) Bowmanville so it serves the population surrounding it," planning director David Crome said.

Mayor Jim Abernethy expressed concern about "overtaxing the area with traffic and we may not have enough parking" for those who go to the station to catch the train.

But the "real answer" on how many cars can be accommodated on the lot is dependent on "how many stories they can build tall," Mr. Crome said. More importantly, the area has been planned so not everyone has to drive there to catch the train, he said.

"The concept of the hub is that more people are using transit," Mr. Crome said. "They can use bikeways or transit to get to the station as well as cars."

Clarington's General Purpose and Administration Committee gave a resolution stating the Municipality's preference preliminary approval, and once final approval is attained, will forward it to the decision-makers, including GO.