Category Archives: Transportation

COMMENT: Let’s start saying light rail to Stittsville

(ABOVE: Artist’s rendering of the Rideau LRT station downtown. Via City of Ottawa.)

It was great to see City Council approve plans for Phase 2 of light rail transit (LRT) today. The $3-billion project includes an extension of the rail line west from Bayshore to Moodie Drive by 2023. That’s good for all west end commuters.

But there’s one thing that’s bugging me: I keep hearing councillors and other officials use the phase “bringing light rail closer to Kanata”. Continue reading


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LETTER: Time to fix Terry Fox-Cope intersection

(Peter Vukovic and his family were on their way to church on Sunday morning, when they were involved in a serious collision at the intersection of Terry Fox Drive and Cope Drive near the Walmart. He posted this photo and open letter to Stittsville councillor Shad Qadri on Facebook. We’re republishing it with his permission. He says his family is shaken, but were not seriously injured. “Thankfully, my daughter asked my wife to sit in the back seat with her for some reason. And everyone was belted. Guardian Angels at work.”)

Councillor Shad Qadri I am begging you to please petition the city to make the intersection of Terry Fox and Cope Drive a fully controlled intersection.

After seeing many near misses and having a few of my own at that intersection over the years, my luck ran out this morning on the way to church. My whole family was transported to hospital by ambulance and the driver of the other car was transported as well.

Continue reading


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New route numbers and bigger buses for OC Transpo this spring

OC Transpo will have a bit more room for Stittsville riders starting April 23, along with new numbers for two of the routes.

According to Councillor Shad Qadri’s web site, bus route 92 will become the 62, and route 96 will become route 61. Times for route 62 (currently 92) and on route 262 will be adjusted to improve convenience and better match the travel needs of customers in Stittsville. The capacity on Route 261 will be increased with the use of a higher capacity double-decker bus in the afternoon.

Here’s a chart showing other route number changes across the city.

OC Transpo route number changes
New route numbers come into effect April 23. (via Councillor Qadri)

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UPDATE: Qadri responds to bus service complaints

Councillor Shad Qadri posted some comments about OC Transpo service in his weekly newsletter today. Highlights:

  • A double-decker bus will be added to the 4:00 p.m. trip on Route 261 starting in April.
  • Overall, most morning trips are taking three minutes longer to reach downtown than they did before Christmas.
  • Scheduled times for all routes are being adjusted based on up-to-date actual observations.
  • Qadri is encouraging residents to keep emailing and calling his office with concerns.

Continue reading


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Your letters and feedback on OC Transpo’s service changes

At the start of this year, OC Transpo replaced express busses – and the premium express fare – with new “connexion” routes.  The connexion buses ferry passengers between suburbs like Stittsville and downtown bus stations, as part of a transition to light rail.  Here’s what we’re hearing from our readers about the changes.

Shirley Butler wrote to us about the pros and cons of the new system:

I have used the peak hour 261 route in both directions for the last ten years.  First, the positives:

1. Bus pass fares are uniform for all riders other than seniors.

2. Regular pass holders are now able to ride the more direct (old “express”) routes and are not forced to ride buses that take anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes longer than the regular routes.

3. Stittsville old “express” routes no longer stop at any stops between Tunney’s Pasture and Bayshore making the trip a few minutes faster.

The negatives:

1. Express buses between the hour of 6:45 and 7:25 are very full.  Most days by the time the bus gets to Canadian Tire Centre there is barely standing room.

2. Express buses between 4:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. are very full.  The bus starts at Rideau and by the time it arrives at Kent there is standing room only – that is three stops away.

In the ten years that I have lived in Stittsville (and while rush hour express riders were paying a premium for a bus pass) only one additional trip to routes 261 and 263 was added to the route (in the morning and in the afternoon) in spite of the exponential growth that Stittsville has experienced during the last ten years.   I know that a number of trips were added to the 262 route.  That said, if OC Transpo were to change the timing of the 263 so that it hits Fairwinds at around 7:20 a.m. that would alleviate some of the congestion.  Additionally if there was a 263 trip that started at Rideau at 3:55 p.m. that would spread the 4:00 p.m Fairwinds/Stittsville crowd between the 261 and 263.  As well sending a short 261 at 4:00 p.m is most ludicrous.

All to say OC Transpo charges some of the highest fares when compared to other cities and provides less than adequate services to its users.  I have changed my evening commute to catch the 4:40 261 as it is not as full.  However it is not as convenient.  If that bus does not show up I have to wait for a full 40 minutes before another 261 shows up. 

Although these are not unsurmountable problems I see that OC Transpo will lose ridership, causing fares to go up and service standards to go down. Is anyone looking into the problems and is anything going to be done?

Yes, OC Transpo and Councillor Shad Qadri say they are listening following up on feedback.  “I just wanted to let you all know that I am fully aware of your concerns. I am working with OC Transpo and will get back to you with a follow up within the next two weeks,” Qadri posted to Facebook on January 16.

Meanwhile in Kanata North, OC Transpo officials and Councillor Marianne Wilkinson will be attending a public meeting on Thursday, February 2 to discuss concerns about bus service to that community.  (The meeting is from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Richcraft Recreation Complex Kanata, 4101 Innovation Dr., in the Minto Room.)


What do you think of the new OC Transpo services changes? How can service be improved for Stittsville? Add a comment below or email feedback@stittsvillecentral.ca


Not everybody sees the changes as a negative. Here’s a note we received from resident Linda Norton:

I take the 263 bus and in the morning see no change in the bus schedule or number of people taking the bus ( there are always too many people that have to stand for the entire trip downtown). With the removal of 4 stops on the downtown to Stittsville afternoon route the 263 has become a bus for those heading to Bayshore and west, not a bus for people who can take any bus for a short trip. This means that more Stittsville residents get a seat for the trip home. In my observation the changes to the 263 route are not material.

Positive comments were few and far between. Greg Stapledon’s review of the service was one of many we received in the same vein:

261 is atrocious. It’s a milk run in the morning and a cattle car in the evening. The last 2 days, the 4 PM bus left people at the bus stop after Lebreton. Before Christmas, there was rarely anyone getting on the bus after it left Stittsville in the morning. Now there are people getting on and off all along the route before Tunney’s. It’s added about 10 minutes to my normal commute. Coming home I have to walk up to an earlier stop just in hopes of getting a seat. Lately there seems to be an issue having a long bus on the 4pm run.


What do you think of the new OC Transpo services changes? How can service be improved for Stittsville? Add a comment below or email feedback@stittsvillecentral.ca


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UPDATE: More about Stittsville sidewalks

Last week we published a list of ten spots in Stittsville in need of sidewalk or pedestrian upgrades. We asked readers for your suggestions and heard from a lot of you. Here’s a sampling:

“I live in Traditions area. Why is there not a sidewalk from Fernbank to Elm Street along Stittsville Main Street? Where the church is. Children who want to walk from Traditions to where the gas station is, have to cross at Fernbank, go across a busy street, then go past the library, and cross at the light there. We need a sidewalk on the west side of the road there.” -Lori Claringbold Continue reading


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MIS-STEP: A list of mysteriously missing sidewalks

(ABOVE: Walking down Stittsville Main Street during Jane’s Walk 2016. Photo by Barry Gray.)

The Ottawa Neighbourhood Study gives Stittsville a walkability score for of 54% for pedestrian infrastructure. That’s slightly above the city average of 50%, but it suggests there are a lot of places where we can do better. Here’s a list of 10 spots in need of an upgrade for pedestrians.

Stittsville walkability score
Ottawa Neighbourhood Study, 2016.

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Everything you need to know about OC Transpo changes in the new year

(PHOTO: “New Flyer”. Photo by Justin S. Campbell, via Flickr. Used under a Creative Commons License.)

OC Transpo fares will go up in 2017, along with some route changes and a major overhaul to the express bus system.

NEW FARE TABLE

  • The adult monthly pass will cost $113.75, from $105.75.
  • The per-semester U-pass will increase to $202.46 from $197.52
  • The base cash fare will decrease from $3.65 to $3.40.
  • Paper tickets will now be on par with the cash price, with two tickets equal to $3.40.
  • Presto e-purse increases from $3 to $3.35.
  • A full 2017 fare table is on OC Transpo’s website.

If you still use paper passes, those will be discontinued so you’ll have to get a Presto card for $6 soon. Continue reading


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Maple Grove closed from Huntmar to Terry Fox starting Sept 8

(via City of Ottawa)

The City of Ottawa is in the process of constructing the new Kanata West Pump Station and Forcemains to provide servicing to new development in the region.  Work will involve the construction of a sanitary pump station at 1540 Maple Grove Road, a trunk sewer extension along Maple Grove Road, and twin forcemains along Maple Grove, Terry Fox and Katimavik. This notice serves as an update to the progress of work onsite in particular on Maple Grove Road.

Please be advised that Maple Grove Road will be closed from Huntmar Drive to Terry Fox Drive from September 8th until October 28th, 2016 to complete a sewer crossing and reinstate the road surface.  Access to all properties will be maintained throughout the work.


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Maple Grove Road to close until early September for sewer work

(press release via City of Ottawa)

Maple Grove Road will be closed to traffic between Terry Fox Drive and Silver Seven Road beginning Wednesday, July 20. The closure will allow for the installation of sewer pipes related to construction of the Kanata West Pump Station on Maple Grove Road. The closure will remain in effect until early September.

Work will take place between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., extending to 10 p.m. as required. No overnight work is planned. A signed detour will be in place throughout the construction period. Motorists and cyclists are advised to follow all signage directed at them. Pedestrian access will be maintained throughout the construction period.

There are no anticipated effects to OC Transpo routes.

Walter Baker Park and nearby businesses will remain open as usual and access will be maintained.

For current information about traffic and construction around the city, visit ottawa.ca.

 


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OC Transpo fall service changes will include service to Blackstone

Highlights:  30-minute service from Blackstone to Terry Fox; Tweaks to 92 evening schedules to match shifts at Tanger Outlets; New service to DND Carling Campus.

(Memo via OC Transpo General Manager John Manconi)

This memo provides an overview of the Fall 2016 transit service changes that will be starting on Sunday, September 4. These changes are part of OC Transpo’s regular schedule adjustments, which take place four times a year – April, June, September and December. Transit Commission and City Council members are provided with a summary of the service changes in advance of each new schedule period. Continue reading


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COMMENT: Ice those plans for changes to minimum snowplow standards

(Snow removal in Fairwinds. Photo by Hien Hoang.)

Forgive me for being cynical, but when you schedule a presentation about snowplow service during the first week of July, and only tell the public about it two days before the long weekend, my first thought is that you’re trying to bury some bad news.

That’s exactly what it looks like the City has done with a KPMG report scheduled to be tabled at a Transportation Committee meeting on Wednesday.   Continue reading


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Part of Katimavik Road closed until July 17

(press release from the City of Ottawa)

Starting Monday July 4, Katimavik Road will be closed from Terry Fox Drive to Davis Avenue until July 17 to accommodate installation of sanitary sewer forcemains.

To keep the duration of the road closure as short as possible, work will proceed during peak and off-peak hours, and if necessary hours of work will be extended to ensure the work is completed within the allotted two weeks. Continue reading


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Hartin Street closed for construction July 4-5

(via Councillor Shad Qadri)

Hartin Street will be closed from Hazeldean Road to Loreka Court because of construction from Monday, July 4 to Tuesday July 5.
The contractor will be providing written notice to all residents and business 72 hours prior to the closure. Access to adjacent dwellings as well as pedestrian access will be maintained at all times in order to account for emergency vehicle access.

The contractor, Primrose Cartage & Excavating Ltd. will be connecting new services at 5943 Hazeldean Road. The predicted impact to traffic will be low.

If you live in the area, please remember to plan your route on these days. If you require any additional information, please contact me at Shad.Qadri@ottawa.ca.


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OC Transpo summer service adjustments take effect Sunday, June 19

(press release via OC Transpo)

On Sunday, June 19, new summer schedules begin along with several routing changes for improved service in the community of Greenboro East. 

Summer service improvements

  • In Greenboro East, Route 143 will be cancelled and replaced by a modified Route 114, which will serve Johnston Road and provide hourly service on Tapiola. Route 43 will be modified to travel from Cahill, south on Bank Street to Hunt Club, then north along the Transitway to Hurdman Station.
  • Route 72 will be extended along Cobble Hill to start and end at Hélène Campbell.
  • On Sundays, several southbound trips on Route 98 in the morning and evening will be extended to start at Mackenzie King Station for improved service along King Edward and at Lees Station.

Special summer weekend service

Service to local museums and beaches will operate on weekends and holidays throughout the summer until September 5. Route 129 will serve the Canada Aviation and Space Museum and Route 185 will operate to the Agriculture Museum and Experimental Farm. Route 198, which starts June 18, will serve Petrie Island.

Summer schedules

New schedules will reflect the lower demand for service during the summer vacation period. School routes will be suspended until the fall, and there will be minor schedule reductions on mainline and peak period routes. New schedules are available at OC Transpo Customer Service Centres, by calling 613-741-4390, and at octranspo.com.

Starting June 24, adjustments will be made at Tunney’s Pasture Station for Confederation Line O-Train construction. Further details are available online at ontrack2018.ca and will be posted at the station.

The next service change will occur on Sunday, September 4.

For automated real-time bus arrival information, customers can call 613-560-1000 or text 560560 plus their four-digit bus stop number. For more information and travel planning, visit octranspo.comor call 613-741-4390.

 


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Section of Maple Grove closed on Saturday for more hydro pole relocation work

(via Hydro Ottawa)

In May, Hydro Ottawa began conducting a pole relocation project to improve the reliability of the electrical service in the Stittsville and Kanata West area. Pole relocation involves excavating and moving existing poles located on your street and/or in your backyard. Continue reading


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City begins planning for light rail extension to Kanata

A large group of politicians showed up at the Terry Fox transit station today for what was billed as “an important announcement regarding Ottawa’s future transit options”.  The announcement turned out to be about launching a study to look at extending light rail from Bayshore to Kanata sooner than planned.

The City and federal government will split a tab of at least $2-million for the Environmental Assessment (EA) study, which will take a couple years to complete. Continue reading


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