Old Ottawa South Community Association

Traffic News December 2013

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Bank Street Bridge  There have been two recent public meetings on traffic: one November 27, 2013, in Old Ottawa South and the other December 9, 2013, in the Glebe.  The November meeting covered the results of the 2013 Riverdale and Area Traffic Study, while the December meeting focused on the Lansdowne Transportation Monitoring Plan, a key outcome of the Lansdowne Transportation Advisory Committee (LTAC). 

Riverdale & Area Traffic Study

The Riverdale Study includes the Riverdale Avenue corridor between Bank Street and Echo Drive (up to Avenue Road) and several adjacent side streets. Since the first Open House in May 2013, City staff assessed various traffic calming improvements recommended by residents verbally and in writing for potential application. Elements of the June OOS Traffic Study specific to the Riverdale Study were also submitted for the City’s consideration.  The purpose of the second Open House on November 27th was to present to residents the draft recommendations from the Riverdale Study.

Kyle Carson, City Manager for the Study, advised that presentation boards will be made public before Christmas at the following link: www.ottawa.ca/en/riverdale-avenue-area-traffic-management-study.

Essentially, the City’s preferred recommendation and that of two OSCA representatives working with the City included: one speed bump on Sunnyside Avenue (location to be determined), two speed bumps on Riverdale Avenue, one between Bank & Cameron, the other between Cameron & Belmont. There will be ladder crosswalks at Riverdale & Sunnyside and at Riverdale & Cameron. Also at Cameron there will be bulb-outs to improve pedestrian crossing and to emphasize the stop signs.  There will be new maximum 40 km/hr speed signs installed on Cameron & Belmont and new parking signs (with no changes as to parking duration) along Riverdale Avenue.

Remember, this is your traffic study. Comments to Kyle Carson, once the information is online, will be very much appreciated.

For more information, please contact:

Kyle Carson
Coordinator, Area Traffic Management
Planning and Growth Management
110 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 1J1
613-580-2424, ext. 16874
Fax: 613-580-2578
E-mail: kyle.carson@ottawa.ca 

Lansdowne Traffic and Parking Issues

On December 9th a public meeting, chaired by David Chernushenko, was held at St. Giles Presbyterian Church on Bank Street and First Avenue.  Over the past 18 months community representatives, invited experts, and City staff have been meeting as part of the Lansdowne Transportation Advisory Committee (LTAC) to discuss anticipated traffic and parking challenges that a redeveloped Lansdowne Park will bring.

One of the key outcomes of LTAC is a Lansdowne Transportation Monitoring Plan which provides a range of data from baseline parking & traffic counts, targets against which to measure changes in transportation behaviour and usage, and best practices for a data collection framework for both day-to-day activities and special events. 

December 9th was the public’s opportunity to comment on the plan itself and LTAC’s progress to date. A consultant from McCormick Rankin was scheduled to start the meeting by presenting the Transportation Monitoring Report, followed by comments from community representatives from the Glebe and Old Ottawa South.

It had snowed Monday, traffic was slow; it was hard to walk and a large crowd was not expected.  Residents started to arrive around 6:55pm.  At first it was just 5 or 6 at a time, then maybe 10 or a dozen. Shortly after 7:00pm a continuous stream of an estimated 200 people flowed into the hall, all in various stages of pulling off gloves, hats, scarves, opening coats, folding them over chairs or railings, claiming the few remaining seats, shuffling to the sides of the hall, standing in rows at the back, looking for related material to read and exchanging greetings as everyone positioned themselves in an already over-crowded basement hall. 

Some residents arrived with placards reading "Keep buses on arterial routes only”, others stood shoulder-to-shoulder on a side balcony, leaning over the railing, some waving to neighbours and friends from the Glebe, Dow's Lake, Old Ottawa East, and Old Ottawa South.  As it turned out residents were eager to find out the status of their traffic recommendations and how they were being integrated into the Monitoring Report.

The McCormick Rankin consultant made a valiant effort to see her presentation to the end, but it became clear that the Monitoring Report was not addressing the traffic concerns that the audience came to hear.  A particularly vocal group of residents were from Lakeside Avenue between Bronson & the Queen Elizabeth Driveway.  What was once a relatively quiet residential Avenue, Lakeside is now identified as a preferred conduit for shuttle buses headed to main events at Lansdowne.

A 3-year pilot agreement with the NCC to use the QED also calls for a 2-way suttle service for concerts or other large events (not CFL games) on Sunnyside, Fifth Avenue, Bronson and Bank.  Event ticket prices will include transit service.

Brian Mitchell from the Glebe Community Association outlined the efforts of residents to propose minimum traffic-calming measures and how these measures were attempts to mitigate an anticipated 50% increase in the volume of vehicles once Lansdowne opens.  As a result of a settlement with the Ontario Municipal Board over 2 years ago, the City must consult with residents about traffic issues related to Lansdowne. Unfortunately very few of the recommendations made by the affected communities have found their way into action plans for 2014.

Of the 20 priority measures that the GCA developed, only two have been accepted; of the 45 regarding day-to-day traffic issues only 7 have been accepted; and of the 17 regarding special events and traffic monitoring only 2 have been accepted.

A key concern reflected in the OOS recommendations is pedestrian safety at high-volume intersections such as Sunnyside and Aylmer at Bank.  Although six suggestions are under consideration, no commitment has been made.

Winnie Pietrykowski, speaking on behalf of Old Ottawa South and Old Ottawa East, reinforced Brian Mitchell’s comments that most of the measures recommended by residents can be implemented in the next six months, but it is going to take political leadership on the part of the Mayor and City Council to give City officials the authority to consult in good faith with community representatives. It’s time to prepare for success and design an action plan that will mitigate the impacts of increased traffic on our already congested streets & intersections.

The meeting came to a close at 9:30pm, allowing half an hour extra for the numerous residents who wanted to pose questions or comment on the Transportation Monitoring Plan itself.  David Chernushenko closed the meeting advising residents that he will be following up on the evening’s proceedings and to stay in touch by visiting his website at www.capitalward.ca.

View the documents related to the Lansdowne Transportation Monitoring Plan here.

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