Doubling The Border Plaza Hypocrisy
Where is the outcry? Why haven't the Mayor and Council denounced the proposed action? Where are the thundering Star Editorials? Why isn't a Henderson column fuming about the fumes?
They want to put a dagger into the heart of a major part of our community.
Oh and speaking about fumes and exhaust, Councillor Halberstadt tells us:
- "Citizens closely following the border file might be interested in a few facts about the upgraded ventilation tower recently completed by the city-owned Windsor side of the Detroit-Windsor tunnel. This six-to-eight storey tower, is across from the old Top Hat Supper Club on University Ave.
The tunnel commission considered adding scrubbers, but eschewed the idea due to an additional cost of $7-$8 million on top of the final $20-million pricetag. In the end, it was determined that the emissions released by the tower were acceptable since they equalled the emissions measured at ground level in the same vicinity...
City project research determined that even the ventilation towers connected to the Big Dig tunnel in Boston were not equipped with scrubbers. Boston accepted the same compromise -- that the emissions coming out the top were no greater than at the foot of the towers caused by street traffic.
A full-scale tunnel along the Huron Church corridor would require several ventilation towers to let the pollution escape. Those concerned with aesthetics and costs are not in favour of this solution, and it could be hard for the city to insist that the senior levels of government install towers and scrubbers when it dismissed such an enhancement on the tunnel it owns."
I never thought about it until recently and then I wondered why they had been so secretive for so long. They gave the public the barest of information about their plans. They run their business in a very secret manner. Oh sure, they talk about how important they are to the well being of the City but in the end, they are nothing more than an organization that is out to increase revenues so they can pay themselves a big dividend.
Of course I am talking about the City itself, the owner of half of the Windsor/Detroit Tunnel. Their Tunnel Plaza Improvements are designed to increase the size of the plaza by about 90%, from 5.89 acres to up to 10.96 acres depending on which alternative is picked. And do they move a car through the Tunnel more quickly for the $30M of taxpayer dollars required to be spent (or more now I hear). Nope, it just builds a giant parking lot right smack in the downtown.
I saw David Estrin in town yesterday along with Mark Galvin of the City who is in charge of the Tunnel Plaza Improvement project, the project that seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth when its last open house was pulled in the very last minute. I assumed that something may be going on with the Tunnel again but who knows in this City run on the basis of secret meetings and keeping information from taxpayers.
Can you imagine what would be said if the Bridge Co. tried to increase their plaza by 90%. My oh my there would be screaming. The West end activists and politicos would have a field day. Yet where has there been a sound about the downtown expansion? Nada, Zilch, Nothing.
The Bridge Co. spends pennies compared with the taxpayer dollars the City wants to spend, quadruples capacity, improves security and not a word of praise from the City. Why the Mayor and Council won't even meet with them to learn how to enhance a border crossing either except for the 10 minute Presentation at Council a few weeks ago. I guess they get all the news the need from Bloggers.
What a strange City we live in. Mind you, since the City is the Bridge Co.'s competitor for border traffic, a lot of things are starting to make more sense now.