Category Archives: Transportation

Stittsville company’s invention deployed in downtown bike safety pilot

(An invention from Stittsville’s SmartCone Technologies is being deployed as part of a pilot project on O’Connor street in downtown Ottawa. Here’s a press release from Ottawa Police Services about the project.)

Safer Roads Ottawa and the Ottawa Police Service have launched a new cyclist detection system on the O’Connor bike lanes at the corner of Waverley.

Safer Roads Ottawa engaged with SmartCone Technologies Incorporated, a local start-up company in Stittsville, to implement their innovative prototype sensor technology on O’Connor Street.  Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Carp-Hazeldean collision stats, 2011-2015

(ABOVE: Collision at Carp and Hazeldean on September 25, 2017. Photo via Wendy Wright / @wrightofwayCFRA)

Stittsville Councillor Shad Qadri says he’s asked the city’s traffic department to review resident concerns about the Carp-Hazeldean intersection.  But if you read between the lines, it doesn’t look like this intersection is dangerous enough to warrant any immediate changes.

In his weekly newsletter published on Thursday, Qadri shared the most recent collision data available from 2015.  The Carp-Hazeldean intersection had 10 reported collisions, ranking it 167th on the list of intersections with the most reported incidents. (By comparison, the intersection of Hunt Club and Riverside was the worst in the city with 60 collisions.) Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Sidewalk coming to West Ridge from Adamson to Birchland

It’s great to read that city staff will be installing a sidewalk along West Ridge Drive between Adamson and Birchland.  It’s a one-block stretch of road adjacent to a park that happens to be the only segment of that part of West Ridge without a sidewalk.  Not sure planners missed that one, but good see it’s being fixed.

The new sidewalk will run along the west side of West Ridge from Adamson to the Westridge-Birchland park. Via Google Maps.
The new sidewalk will run along the west side of West Ridge from Adamson to the Westridge-Birchland park. Via Google Maps.

Continue reading


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COMMENT: Fix the Carp-Hazeldean intersection

(ABOVE: Photo via Wendy Wright / @wrightofwayCFRA)

Yet another collision at the intersection of Carp Road and Hazeldean Road, and residents are again calling for safety fixes at the intersection.

Is there any reason to believe the City will respond any differently this time?

Continue reading


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Updated list of road closures for 9RunRun on October 14

(via 9RunRun organizers)

We invite everyone to become part of our community’s 9RUNRUN. Cheer on runners as they run/walk by your home or place of business, sign up to volunteer at various stations or participate in one of the run/walk distances.

Now in its 8th year, having raised over $140, 000 in support of mental health programs in our community, the 9RunRun brings together runners, walkers, volunteers and spectators, through its partnership with the Ottawa Police, Paramedics and Fire Departments. Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Transportation Committee approves increase to parking time limit

It’s looking more likely that starting next June, you’ll be able to park on residential streets in Ottawa for more than three hours without worrying about getting a ticket.

Earlier today, the City of Ottawa’s Transportation Committee approved an increase to the maximum time for street parking on the weekends to six hours. Continue reading


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LINKED: Moodie LRT station won’t have park and ride because there’s no room

From the Ottawa Citizen:

West-end commuters won’t be able to ditch their cars at the future Moodie LRT station and ride the rails to downtown Ottawa.

There simply isn’t enough room near the station to build a park-and-ride facility, according to a report on the Stage 2 transit expansion.

Council had asked staff to see if a park and ride could be built at Moodie station, which will become one of the western terminuses of the Confederation Line LRT in 2023.

The report says a parking deck would likely be required because of the space constraints. The structure could become obsolete when the city extends LRT to Kanata in a future Stage 3. Plus, a parking facility would inappropriately encourage car traffic across the Greenbelt, the report says.


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OC Transpo fall service starts September 3, including Tanger Outlet changes

(via City of Ottawa)

Starting Sunday, September 3, OC Transpo will introduce new route numbers for several routes as part of getting Ready for Rail and the opening of the O-Train Confederation Line in 2018. Other fall service changes include adjusted schedules to reflect the higher demand for service as customers return to work and school.

Customers should visit octranspo.com and use the travel planner to see if their regular trips are affected. Continue reading


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LETTER: Cyclists belong on the road, not sidewalks

Re: NOTEBOOK: New bike repair station at Village Square Park

Further to your article regarding bicycle infrastructure safety.  I was travelling south on Stittsville Main the other day and a teenager was riding his bike on the sidewalk going in the same direction facing the traffic on the opposite side of the road.

An SUV was exiting Bradley’s Insurance and I guess she wasn`t expecting a bike coming from her right while she was looking at traffic coming from her left. The bicyclist did a quick turn out onto the roadway to avoid being hit.

Every day you see people riding their bikes on the sidewalk which I believe is illegal. I can see young children riding on the sidewalk on Stittsville Main, but not adults.

Someone is going to get killed or very badly injured. Perhaps we can be pro-active in telling people to obey the rules rather than spending a lot to time following up on something that is preventable. As an elder bike rider, I’ll take my chances on the road. At least drivers know they can expect a cyclist on the road.

Bob Johnson, Stittsville


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COMMENT: Safety before shortsighted politics

I just read “Sidewalk scuttled in south Kanata, an article by Jessica Cunha in the Kanata Kourier-Standard and I am incredulous.

The article is about how a sidewalk project for Chimo Drive in Kanata South has been cancelled because some homeowners complained to their councillor Allan Hubley about it.

I am absolutely appalled that politics is getting in the way of pedestrian safety. There are residents on several streets in Stittsville that are clamouring for sidewalks, and I really can’t understand the mindset of these Kanata residents who complained. The councillor’s justifications for cancelling the project just don’t make sense.

Let’s break down the article and arguments:
(Text in italics is from the original Kanata Kourier-Standard article.)

Of the 28 affected homes that would see a sidewalk take up a portion of the city’s right-of-way at the foot of their front yards, 18 homeowners contacted Kanata South Coun. Allan Hubley’s office to oppose it. Only three said they were in favour.

“I’m not going to build something to satisfy three people,” said the councillor in a phone interview. “I was not pro or against the sidewalk. I was going to do what the majority of them wanted.”

I appreciate a councillor wanting to appear like he’s listening and reacting to residents.  A better response might have been: “Politicians need to do the right thing, which may not always be the most popular thing. Let’s talk about why we need this sidewalk on your street.”

(Also: Opposition from 18 of 28 homes is a slim majority of just 64%. Not exactly a strong consensus.)

Moore’s eldest child Annaka, 12, walks to Katimavik Elementary School and delivers the Kourier-Standard to her neighbours. “

In summer it’s not really that bad because you can go onto the grass a few neighbours down. But in winter, the snow piles up and you can either walk in the snow … (or) walk beside it,” on the road, she said.

Moore said she’s seen plenty of fender-benders and near misses on Chimo, which has a bend on a hill and a stop sign that some drivers ignore. Flex stakes in the middle of the road, used to reduce speeds, cause drivers to crowd the side of the road.

“I think, at some point, a child is going to get hit and killed,” she said.

Pedestrian safety, she said, should trump losing a portion of driveway.

Jen Moore is absolutely right. I wonder how many of the dissenting homeowners have kids, or are seniors, or have mobility issues?  The City should be prioritizing equitable options for everyone, whether they have a car or not.

Another thing: The portion of driveway that homeowners are losing is part of a municipal right-of-way.  The City has every right to build a sidewalk, even if a few homeowners object.

Chimo Drive is classified by the city as a collector road, yet has no sidewalk on either side.

According to the city’s website, “Collector roads require a sidewalk on both sides of the roadway. The requirement becomes increasingly important when the corridor is a public transit route, leads directly to public transit, fronts onto schools, parks, community facilities and/or leads directly to these amenities.”

The Katimavik transit corridor, Katimavik elementary school, as well as at least five parks, are all accessed from Chimo. The road also leads directly to a number of other parks and the Kanata Leisure Centre.

Not every street needs a sidewalk, but clearly sidewalks on Chimo would benefit residents who live on the road and the surrounding streets. It should have had sidewalks when it was built in the 80’s. This project is a chance to fix that blunder.

Hubley acknowledged in his letter that pedestrian safety is an issue and people should instead be using the pathway system that runs near Cattail Creek Park.

“Safety concerns are still very real for pedestrians along Chimo Drive,” he wrote. “Please continue to encourage others to use the pathway network and we will work with you to try to address the speeding along Chimo with you.”

The pathway is a big reason many residents opposed the sidewalk.

“The feedback from the majority of residents was that they did not want that sidewalk there because they have a pathway,” said Hubley. “They saw this as a waste of tax dollars, duplicating the pathway. You can actually see the pathway from the street. It’s very close.”

The councillor’s argument really falls apart when he suggests that the recreation pathways are a good alternative to sidewalks. The walking distance is longer, the lighting is poor, and people still have to walk on the road to reach the paths!

The paths also offer safer walking conditions, particularly in inclement weather, said the councillor.

“When the roads are slippery, for example, cars can slide up on the sidewalks,” he said. “It’s not the safest place to have people walk, certainly not like the pathway. The pathway is as safe as it gets.”

Yes, you read that correctly. Sidewalks are not safe for pedestrians. I guess it’s best if we all stay inside, unless we’re safely enclosed by a car.


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Part of Fernbank Road closed from August 14-28

(via Councillor Shad Qadri’s office)

Please note that Fernbank Road will be closed from Shea to Robert Grant between August 14th and August 28th.

The contractor, Taggart Construction, will be installing a box culvert across the roadway for future storm water management.

Notification signs will be posted in advance of the closure with additional signs posted during the affected period. Local and emergency vehicle access will be maintained. A detour will be signed from Shea>Abbott>Robert Grant.


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COMMENT: Traffic calming needs a little creativity

(FILE PHOTO: Speed sign on Hobin Street, near A. Lorne Cassidy school. Photo by Barry Gray.)

Eric Darwin writes a must-read local blog called West Side Action.  It’s focused on urban issues near his home in central Ottawa, but a lot of what he writes about can be applied to neighbourhoods all over the city.

Case in point: A recent post about some creative ideas for traffic calming.  A lot of Stittsville streets  have a problem with vehicles drivers travelling too fast, especially West Ridge, Fringewood, Kittiwake, Alon, Maple Grove, Rosehill, Hobin, Liard, Stittsville Main, Iber, Amberwood… I could go on and on.

We’ve seen some limited attempts at traffic calming in Stittsville, mostly those flex posts in the centre of the street, or “SLOW DOWN” painted in white on the roadway.  There’s a $40,000 yearly budget in each ward for this kind of thing, but that doesn’t go very far at all.

Darwin says we need to get creative: “If our city traffic committee had any guts, instead of just ‘considering’ stuff that filters up from the bureaucrats, they’d pre-approve a menu of simple paint and portable measures to be supplied and  installed anywhere the community can convince the councillor to authorize them. If they don’t calm the traffic, nothing ventured nothing gained. Try something else.”

A few of his ideas:

  1. Paint the road narrower. City policy requires a 10-foot minimum lane width, but a lot of our neighbourhood roads are much wider than that. A simple line of paint creates the impression of a narrower road, and does slow traffic.
  2. Temporary “bulb-outs”. That’s where the road gets narrower at the intersection, giving pedestrians a shorter width to cross, and forcing cars to slow down. Permanent bulb-outs can be expensive, but Darwin suggests temporary cones or planters in the meantime.
  3. Add a median. Those ubiquitous flex posts are ok, but you could do even better with something less flexible!  Maybe a row of planters with trees down the middle, or again, just some simple paint.  “Nothing like the fear of denting some sheet metal to encourage compliance,” he writes.

For decades, cities and developers built neighbourhood roads with the goal of moving cars as fast as possible in and out of the subdivision. We need to shift the balance to focus on pedestrian safety first. Implementing a few simple ideas like these ones will start accellerate that shift.

You can read his full post here:

Non-stop traffic calming


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Carp Road Park & Ride upgrades include 35 new spaces

(press release from the City of Ottawa, photo via Google Maps)

Sections of Carp Road Park and Ride will be will be closed intermittently from August 2 to early September 2017, due to upgrade work being done at the facility. The work will take place in stages during the daytime, and the facility will remain operational at reduced capacity throughout. The upgrades include surface paving, additional lighting, concrete repairs, a new bus pad and bike racks. Directional signage will guide pedestrians during sidewalk repairs. Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: City staff want your feedback on parking time limits

In some Stittsville neighbourhoods (especially the newer subdivisions), parking is a massive bone of contention.  There were 268 parking bylaw complaints in Stittsville during the first half of the year, the most of any bylaw category.

City of Ottawa traffic services staff are in the process of updating the parking bylaw, and are looking for feedback on a specific part of the rulebook on parking time limits. Continue reading


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WINTER IS COMING: City consults on snowplow driveway markers

(Photo: Snowed in, February 2017. Photo by Barry Gray.)

It’s the middle of July, so of course the top thing on your mind right now must be snowplow driveway markers.

The City of Ottawa is running a consultation on “formalizing guidelines for snowplow driveway markers”.  Most people have probably never given much thought to this issue and it’s kind of amazing how specific the rules get.  Take a look at all the rules  being proposed:

Continue reading


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Maple Grove closed from July 10-21 for construction

A section of Maple Grove, between Huntmar Drive and Terry Fox Drive, will be closed for construction work from Monday, July 10 at 9 a.m. until Friday, July 14. After that, Maple Grove Road will reopen between Terry Fox Drive and Silver Seven Road, but will remain closed between Silver Seven Road and Huntmar Drive until Friday, July 21. Access to businesses in this stretch of road will be maintained and detours will be in place.


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OC Transpo summer service starts Sunday, June 25

(via OC Transpo)

Starting Sunday, June 25, OC Transpo will introduce new route numbers for many routes in the south and east areas of the city in preparation for the opening of the O-Train Confederation Line in 2018. Other summer service changes include adjusted schedules and seasonal reductions to reflect the lower demand for service.

Customers should visit octranspo.com and use the travel planner to see if their regular trips are affected.

New route numbers, same route

Fifteen bus routes will be renumbered as part of the transition to the 2018 transit network. These routes will have new numbers, but the routes will remain the same.

Bus routes being renumbered this summer are in the south and east areas of the city:

  • Route 1 will be renumbered as Frequent Route 6
  • Route 41 will be renumbered as Connexion Route 291
  • Routes 121, 123, 124, 126, and 128 will be renumbered as Local Routes 42, 23, 24, 26, and 28 respectively
  • Routes 144, 146, 147, 148, and 149 will be renumbered as Local Routes 93, 92, 197, 48, and 49 respectively
  • Routes 192, 193, and 194 will be renumbered as Local Routes 47, 31, and 21 respectively

 

Hurdman Station bus platform opens
Bus service at Hurdman Station will move to the new bus platform, adjacent to the future O-Train Confederation Line platforms. Customers will continue to pay their fares onboard buses until the fare-paid zone at Hurdman is established in 2018.

 

New service in Barrhaven
New Route 179 will provide peak-period service for the new office and retail locations at CitiGate, west of Strandherd. Current Route 170 will be extended to serve the CitiGate development and to better serve residential areas along Maravista Drive and Kennevale Drive between Cedarview Road and Strandherd Drive. The rush hour trips to/from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency location on Fallowfield Road will be provided by new Route 179 instead of Route 170.

 

Special service to recreational destinations
Summer weekend service returns on Route 129 to the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum, on Route 185 to the Experimental Farm and Canada Agricultural Museum, and on Route 198 to Petrie Island. Buses run every 30 minutes during the day on weekends, including on holidays.

 

Free service on Canada Day
Transit is the best option for travelling to Canada Day festivities downtown and across the city with free service all day on OC Transpo and Para Transpo. A special schedule will operate on July 1, with additional service during the day and after the fireworks.

Paper passes are being discontinued
June is the last month for Adult paper passes. Starting in July, adult passes must be purchased on Presto. July will be the last month for senior and community paper passes. Customers can visit an OC Transpo Customer Service Centre or City of Ottawa Client Service Centre to purchase their Presto card. Customers can also go online at prestocard.ca or call 1-877-378-6123 to order their Presto card. Visit octranspo.com for more information.

Real-time schedule information is available 24 hours a day by calling 613-560-1000 or texting 560560 plus the four-digit bus stop number. Register for alerts at octranspo.com to receive news or route specific changes or detours by e-mail or text. Standard rates apply to SMS messages. New printed timetables are now available. For more details and travel planning assistance, customers should call OC Transpo at 613-741-4390 or visit octranspo.com.


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NOTEBOOK: Kanata-Stittsville LRT study will look at three route options

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

It occurred to me on the drive home from Monday night’s LRT open house that we just spent a lot of time and money on consultants to tell us that the best route for LRT is along the Queensway, like we’ve been planning all along.

Still, consultants and planners will spend the next few months evaluating three options (down from 13 shortlisted routes) for the potential future Kanata-Stittsville LRT extension, from Moodie Drive to Palladium. Continue reading


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