The OSCA Traffic and Safety Committee has been representing Old Ottawa South at the Lansdowne Transportation Monitoring and Operations Committee (LTMOC) for a little over two years. Each spring LTMOC presents its Annual Report to the Transportation Committee at City Hall. The community groups and associations participating at LTMOC meetings also develop community reports and these are included with LTMOC’s Annual Report.
When LTMOC’s Annual Report is presented to the City’s Transportation Committee, the communities also have an opportunity to present in person their summations of the year’s activities and to respond to questions from the Transportation Committee.
Early in March, OSCA’s 2016 Community Report was submitted to LTMOC and can be read in its entirety here at www.oldottawasouth.ca.
Community Traffic Surveys
In early 2014 when LTMOC was initiated, OSCA’s Traffic & Safety Committee presented recommendations derived from a 2013 traffic survey to which 626 residents responded, 283 of which provided written comments. The recommendations were broad and covered a variety of neighbourhood traffic concerns in response to the anticipated development of Lansdowne.
More recently, in October 2015, Old Ottawa South and the Glebe initiated a survey that focused on the impact of Lansdowne on residents in the Glebe, Old Ottawa South, and Old Ottawa East. Recommendations distilled from over 1000 respondents and summaries of over 6000 narratives were presented to LTMOC under three broad themes: on-going safety concerns on the Bank Street Bridge and intersections between Holmwood and Aylmer, the promotion of transit on a day-to-day basis, and proposed improvements to the pedestrian and cyclist experience within Lansdowne itself.
On-going Traffic Concerns
Some of the same problem areas highlighted in last year’s annual report continue to beg on-going interventions. Of particular concern is the Bank Street Bridge. We support the latest safety measures for cyclists and will continue to press for future improvements. Pedestrian safety at Aylmer & Bank is a serious concern as are the walking routes, especially for children and the elderly and after-school programs at peak traffic periods along Sunnyside Avenue, east and west of Bank. The automatic east-west pedestrian signals along Bank Street agreed to by City officials in early March 2015 from Glebe Avenue to Riverdale at Billings Bridge have not been implemented; volume at Aylmer Avenue, where the necessary east-west “count” that would warrant such an automatic activation, has not been observed.
Nevertheless, the Bank Street intersection at Aylmer remains dangerous by its very configuration. It is the first intersection after a blind rise (the Bank Street Bridge) and occurs almost immediately for descending southbound traffic. To the right there is a one-way ramp from Colonel By that merges into Bank about 18 meters before the Aylmer intersection. Illegal left turns from this ramp are an increasing problem as are left turns from the library parking lot across from the ramp on the east side of Bank. It is an intersection that needs more detailed study with perhaps more dramatic adjustments.
It is our hope that by endorsing the three broader recommendations resulting from the recent 2015 Lansdowne Impact Survey, the outstanding recommendations from last year’s report card will also be addressed. Of the following three recommendations, the first is an immediate priority:
- In response to on-going safety concerns on the Bank Street Bridge and intersections along Bank between Holmwood and Aylmer, we urge the City to take action in a comprehensive manner to explore and implement measures that will reduce vehicle speeds and improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers.
- In order to encourage the reduction of vehicle traffic, the City strive to pursue practical options with OC Transpo and local business to improve the use of public transit as a preferred choice to travel to Lansdowne on a day-to-day basis (not only major events), including pilots such as a no-fare zone for transit between Wellington and Billings Bridge.
- In response to survey results and accompanying narratives (over 1000 in all) OSEG and the City continue to work on improving the pedestrian and cyclist experience within Lansdowne itself.