Community group formed to ensure transit does not get overlooked during Official Plan review.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  May 9, 2012  If the team overseeing the review of the city’s Official Plan thought they were going to be able to give transit a once over – they learned Monday that Walter Mulkewich, a former Mayor, was not going to let that happen.

The city may have a Transit Advisory Committee and Ward 2 Councillor Meed Ward might have a group in her community taking a close look at transit as well, but  Mulkewich and his crowd are going to be sure that the city fully understands the link between transit and the social welfare of the city.

Walter Mulkewich will bring years of experience and a committement to social justice will be brought to bear on how transit is treated in the Official Plan Review. Being a former Mayor won't hurt either.

Mulkewich delegated to the Special Council meeting held to hear delegations on the Official Plan Review

The committee has some of the best citizen transit thinkers in the city and they fully intend to ensure the Official Plan review gets a full ear on transit matters

Mulkewich was there to speak for an Interim Steering Committee, which is a group of citizens who are in the process of organizing a broad based coalition to advocate for better transit as a apart of the Burlington transportation system.

This is a group that is citizen based, that has people with a solid background in transit and the ability to not only lay their hands on the data that tells what is happening with the transit system but also the ability as well to do the analysis and draw conclusions from which evidence based decisions can be made.

Transit is more than just busses - some people would be delighted if bus transit got the attention and the funding it needs.

Mulkewich set out the premise the group is working  from when he said “we support the significant point in the staff report that a long-term view of the city’s transportation system is a necessary part of the Official Plan. Our hope and expectation” he added, “ would be that the parallel Transportation Plan would include all modes of transportation, including transit, walking and cycling as well as automobile and truck transportation.

Mulkewich noted with interest that all six major topic areas that staff has identified to date will require a consideration of a significant role of transit.

The six major topics Mulkewich refers to are those that the team leading the Official Plan review think need attention.  The six Neighbourhoods; Downtown; Nodes and Corridors; Metrolinx and Mobility Hubs; Movement and Connectivity and Community Infrastructure.  We will expand on each of these in some detail later in the process and follow each for the two years (mercy) the city expects to require for the full review of the Official Plan.

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