An Open Letter to Councillor Gondek from a Constituent: Please Support the Green Line North to Ward 3


Dear Councillor Gondek,


As a resident of Ward 3 for several years, I would like to thank you for championing the north, when others were not. You have ensured the needs of our communities were not overlooked. You have fought for a city-funded expansion of Vivo, an integral part of the day-to-day life of Ward 3 families. You have advanced innovative funding mechanisms to increase access to education for underserved Ward 3 communities.


 Source: Vivo


For years, I have enjoyed meeting up with friends at Vivo for a rock-climbing session. In high school, I split my time between classes and walking over to Vivo, to spend hours at the Country Hills Public Library.


Source: City of Calgary


Now you know the north is tired of waiting. Thanks to your efforts, BRT improvements are part of the Stage One LRT plan across the Bow. North Calgary has proven ridership that for years has relied on bus service. You recognize that a change must be had.


The North Needs LRT



For years, I relied on Calgary Transit to get me places. To school, work, birthday parties, and my place of worship. And when I turned 16 and was legally capable of driving, I still relied on transit to save myself the parking fees and fuel costs. In almost all my commutes, I took the familiar 301 route to downtown.


But the commute was difficult, especially in the winter. Busses were stuck on Centre Street traffic, and I learned to be strategic about when I arrived at the bus stop: either bracing the cold to wait for the earlier 301, or sprinting miles an hour from the warmth of Vivo to cross the street (admittedly, dangerously) to catch the bus before it took off. Being late to special events became the norm for me. Over time, the number of busses stopping at North Pointe increased. And the looming problem of delayed bus routes was put aside in lieu of a temporary, and inefficient, solution.


With your support, you are demonstrating that you are a city-builder. You are not just interested in Ward 3 interests, but you seek to establish Ward 3 to a level playing field. Calgary should be seeking to meet the interests of young people, because its young people are its future. In my short time in Toronto, I have seen how much a city’s transit system can impact its youth’s ability to access services and gain opportunities. Now a recently-returned professional, I will face the same problems of my youth if nothing changes. And I know of many in our constituency, in my same shoes.



Councillor Gondek: Support the Green Line North to Ward 3 

We look forward to an articulate, well-informed advocate like yourself continuing to ensure the train gets done right in the north. Stage One is crucial for this to ever happen. On Tuesday, City Council will be presented with an opportunity to develop a sustainable, efficient and forward-thinking critical infrastructure. Please show your support by voting in favour of the updated Stage One alignment.




Iyarusalem Biftu




About the author

Iyarusalem Biftu is a recent law graduate but forever student of all things sustainability and urban development. You can find her asking more questions than giving answers on her Twitter @IyarusalemB.



For more info on the Green Line visit the City of Calgary's Green Line engagement page>>.