On Friday, November 13, 2015, Brian Mitchell, Chair of the Glebe Community Association Traffic Committee, presented the results of the Lansdowne Impact Survey to the Lansdowne Transportation Management Committee (LTMOC). What follows is a summary of his presentation.
Response to the survey during the month of October was steady and strong. By the closing date there were:
representing approximately 10% of all households
with a completion rate over 90%
and responses from at least one household on 87% of streets in Glebe and Old Ottawa South
Of the 1049 responses, 411 were from OOS representing over 39% of the total number of respondents, 51% were from the Glebe and Dow’s Lake, 5% from Old Ottawa East and 5% from elsewhere — mostly Centretown, Alta Vista and Glebe Annex. Over 20% of survey respondents were from new homes on Holmwood and 80% of streets within Lansdowne sector (east of Ralph, south of Fifth to Wilton Crescent) had five or more households participating.
Over two-thirds of respondents use Lansdowne at least 2-3 times per month and most have positive feedback concerning the development (54%). Close to 60% of the respondents from Glebe, OOS, and the Lansdowne sector, however, feel that there is room for improvement.
The two most frequent improvements suggested were clearer delineation of pedestrian and vehicle zones and removing cars altogether (apart from accessibility needs and deliveries). Many respondents expressed safety concerns with Bank Street Bridge, everything from speeding, cycling, width of sidewalks plus the Bank Street intersections of Aylmer Avenue and Wilton Crescent.
With respect to large events at Lansdowne, most respondents believe the transportation arrangements for RedBlacks games and other events are working well. Outside of the Lansdowne sector most respondents describe the traffic and parking impact of large events at Lansdowne as “manageable.” Over 40% find the traffic/parking impact “worse than last year” and would like to see better promotion of and incentives to use transit (the price of which is included in the purchase of the ticket).
When it comes to transit issues, 46% of riders believe it should be improved with more frequent service, larger buses and priority treatment on Bank. There is considerable support for piloting a no-fare zone on Bank Street (80%) although many believe this should be funded in part by businesses. Most respondents have not used the enhanced services on OC Transpo routes 1 & 7. Another two-thirds agree that there should be some connection between Lansdowne and the new Light Rail System come 2018.
Day-to-Day Traffic and Parking
Approximately 40% of respondents in all neighbourhoods find Lansdowne’s traffic impact on Bank Street a major inconvenience; many acknowledge that some of this increase is also due to Main Street Construction and related detours.
Outside of the Lansdowne sector, most respondents cite the traffic and parking impact of Lansdowne on their streets as “none” (34%) or a minor inconvenience (48%).
Within the Lansdowne sector however most (54%) find the traffic impact on their street a major inconvenience. A substantial majority (73%) identify the parking impact on their street a major inconvenience.
Parking Challenges and Suggested Measures in the Lansdowne Sector
On every street segment (except Fifth east of Bank) a significant majority of respondents (60-100%) indicated parking was a major inconvenience at nearly all times of the day. Glebe Centre employees, visitors, volunteers were cited as an additional challenge since most of their parking spots have been lost.
Most respondents on streets that currently have restricted hours and guest permit parking believe it is helping. On streets where this does not exist, residents want it. Other measures proposed include: restrict parking to residents/guests only; better enforcement, towing and higher fines; lower parking cost at Lansdowne.
Summary & Preliminary Recommendations
Overall, Lansdowne has managed to engage residents in nearby communities who feel positive about Lansdowne and who are among its primary customers. And although the traffic and parking impact of Lansdowne is manageable for most residents in the wider community, the following recommendations need to be explored to increase the level of satisfaction and increased use of Lansdowne:
- The pedestrian environment within Lansdowne needs improvement
- The Bank Street Bridge and the intersections on either side of it remain a safety concern for pedestrians and cyclists travelling north and south
- The City (with BIA/OSEG) should pilot a no-fare zone for transit on Bank Street (from Wellington to Billings Bridge) during 2016
- The City needs to study and recommend how Lansdowne will be connected to Light Rail in 2018
- The City must present significant measures/options now to residents living near Lansdowne on how to resolve the serious loss of on-street parking created by Lansdowne
Embedded in the thousands of written comments provided by residents there is a wealth of valuable information and suggestions on how to ensure Lansdowne’s success. In the coming months community representatives will be meeting with the City, OSEG, and our City Councillor David Chernushenko to analyze and share this feedback and to determine how best to address the immediate concerns facing residents living in the Lansdowne sector. The OSCA Traffic and Safety Committee will also analyze responses from residents in OOS to assist in establishing traffic and safety priorities for 2016-2017.