Unused train station would meet bus terminal needs says DM Macintosh

February 15, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By James Matthews

Orangeville’s deputy mayor believes the town’s train station, unused since the death of the Credit Valley Explorer tour train, is a better location for the municipal transit transfer terminal than a proposed Centre Street site.

One of the recommendations in the 2016 Orangeville Transit Optimization Study is a centralized transit terminal to improve transfers and route travel times.

Several possible locations were evaluated and ultimately rejected before council settled on locating the new transit terminal in a lay-by on Centre Street beside the Edelbrock Centre. Town staff was directed to consult with Dufferin County, as putting the terminal there would encroach onto County property.

But here’s the rub: The Orangeville Community Garden and Orchard grows next to the Edelbrock Centre.

Given concerns about putting idling and accelerating diesel-burning vehicles so close to the town’s community garden, Deputy Mayor Andy Macintosh lobbied at Monday’s town council session to use the train station instead.

“The train station is sitting there unused,” said Macintosh. “Why don’t we use it for this?”

Doug Jones, the Town’s general manager of infrastructure services, said the bus transfer terminal needs a central location, and that need excludes the former train station.

Orangeville resident Mark Whitcombe is concerned about the potential for the community garden’s produce to be poisoned by carbon dioxide and noxious pollutants spewed from buses should the transit station be located nearby.

As such, he suggested the proposal be reconsidered.

“The current plan, as it is, will have buses idling about two cinderblock widths away from the actual fence of the garden,” Mr. Whitcombe said.

Heavy vehicles that burn diesel tend to release particulates into the air, he said. Those noxious substances will end up on the fruits, vegetables, and nuts grown at the community garden.

“To me, that’s an issue for the food bank,” Mr. Whitcombe said. “It’s an issue for any members of the town who are welcome to … pick the fruit.”

And, he said, the plan requires at least half of the trees planted at the garden be removed. But moving the garden even 15 metres west would be putting it on ground too stony to accommodate it, he said.

Martina Rowley said compromising the much-used community garden would be a set-back to food security in Orangeville.

“It goes against all the action items for a healthy, liveable, and socially just town,” she said.

Trevor Lewis, the Orangeville Food Bank’s president, said more consultation is needed on the issue.

Mr. Whitcombe said he’s tapped out of suggestions.

“I realize that a central location (for the terminal) makes sense,” he said. “Just not that central location.”

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