As Old Ottawa South (OOS) grows and changes, traffic patterns also change. This is certainly true in the southwest section of OOS, home of the Ottawa Tennis and Lawn Bowling Club (OTLBC). The Club has been a fixture of OOS since 1923 and has had to adapt with the times. Many regretted the demise of the lawn bowling component of the Club’s activities but no one can deny the success of the beach volleyball program which has replaced the lawn bowls.
The beach volleyball league is one of many co-ed sports leagues that the Ottawa Sport and Social Club (OSSC) offers under their multi-sport umbrella and this particular league is hosted by the OTLBC on the grounds formerly occupied by the lawn bowls. Since its inception in 2010, the program has grown from four courts to twelve courts, a definite success in programmatic terms! Along with this success, the program has unquestionably brought increased traffic to the neighbourhood along with increased parking issues and traffic violations.
However, beach volleyball is essential to the financial well being of the OTLBC and a very popular sport among young adults, both male and female, children and youth.
In an effort to address some of the parking and traffic issues, a meeting was held in September 2017 in which residents, representatives of the OSSC, the OTLBC, the Councillor’s office and the OSCA Traffic and Safety Committee met to lay the issues on the table and to generate collaborative solutions for the upcoming spring beach volleyball season. A report of this meeting was included in a published article by Sylvia Manning. It was felt that community values should be emphasized while at the same time recognizing that serious traffic and parking violations must be penalized.
In early April 2018, a follow-up meeting of representatives of the OTLBC, the OSSC and the Traffic and Safety Committee was held to check in on progress just before the opening of the spring/summer beach volleyball season. The following initiatives were either in progress or soon to be undertaken:
1. The OSSC will issue a note to all registrants in the spring/summer beach volleyball program including:
- A reminder that participants are entering a neighbourhood heavily populated by pedestrians—families, children, students, and seniors—and that driving cautiously and respectfully is essential to everyone’s well-being
- A map of the neighbourhood indicating speed limits, one way streets, construction (e.g. Seneca project), and other parking choices other than the immediate vicinity of the OTLBC (where parking and its accompanying infractions have become a problem for residents)
- Encouragement of other forms of transport including bus, cycling, and walking
- Provision of a link to the OC Transpo Travel Planner
- Encouragement to park at Brewer Park with the entry off of Bronson and explore options at Carleton University.
2. The OSSC will issue reminders through email and social media to beach volleyball participants reminding them to drive cautiously and respectfully.
3. The OSCA Traffic and Safety Committee will prepare a regular feature entitled “Did You Know” which will feature traffic bylaw and safety questions and answers.
4. The OTLBC has increased its space for bicycle parking and will endeavour to obtain another bicycle rack.
5. The OTLBC will encourage its own local members, where possible to walk or cycle to the Club to reduce member parking congestion.
6. The OTLBC will host a community appreciation night and Beer Garden Party in which members of the community, the Club, the OSSC and OSCA can mix and get to know each other (May 25, 2018).
The OTLBC will open its doors for the season on May 5, 2018 and the beach volleyball season will begin shortly thereafter. With an ongoing collaborative approach and a combination of education, enforcement, understanding and good will, traffic and safety issues in this corner of OOS may well be on the way to resolution. We’ll check back to see how its going later in the spring.
Whether signs have been erected or not, it is illegal to park:
- within 9 metres of an intersection (approx. 29.5 feet)
- within 3 metres opposite a fire hydrant (approx. 10 feet)
- in front of or within 1.5 metres of a laneway or driveway (approx. 5 feet)
Fines for these infractions range from $50-$70.