Category Archives: Transportation

West end councillors want faster arrival for light rail

(PHOTO: “Take the O” by Payton Chung. Used under a Creative Commons license.)

Councillor Shad Qadri says he fully supports a motion put forward by fellow councillor Allan Hubley to look at extending light rail transit past Bayshore before 2031.

Under the city’s current transportation master plan (TMP), light rail transit (LRT) for areas west of Bayshore like Kanata and Stittsville isn’t under consideration until after 2031.

Hubley’s motion, presented at Monday’s FEDCO (Finance and Economic Development Committee) meeting at City Hall, asks staff to at least study the cost and feasibility of extending LRT to the west end prior to 2031.

“We are in the fastest growing part of the City and it only makes sense to be included in the discussion,” wrote Qadri in an email to StittsvilleCentral.ca. “Especially when you consider that we house one of the largest tenants in the City, the Canadian Tire Center.  Having LRT sooner may encourage the CTC to stay where it is.”

“I think there could be significant savings found from what we’ve done to date that will help move this forward. As we heard today from the airport there’s partners out there that want to work with us on this,” said Hubley in an interview on CFRA.

(Ottawa airport officials indicated this week they may be able to help fund an LRT extension that would serve the facility.)

“Many of this around this council table have a vision of mass transit across the city, Orleans to Kanata,  all the way south,” said Hubley.

“In his remarks of thanks and closing to committee yesterday Councillor Hubley recognized and confirmed our focus and partnership as west end councillors in our joint efforts on both the Transit and Transportation committee to improve transportation for our communities going forward,” wrote Qadri.

Hubley’s motion was approved unanimously by FEDCO members, and will be considered by city council next week.


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OC Transpo makes major service adjustments June 28

(Photo: “A window on transit in Ottawa” by Jamie McCaffrey. Used under creative commons license.)

On Sunday, June 28, new OC Transpo summer schedules begin, along with route improvements and adjustments to routes travelling along a section of the Transitway, which will close between Blair and Hurdman Stations for construction of the O-Train Confederation Line. Continue reading


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Carp Road businesses on edge about roundabouts

(Above: Peter Kondruss, owner of Kondruss Galleries on Carp Road. Photo by Barry Gray.)

A public meeting on Wednesday night will give residents and businesses a chance to weigh in on plans to widen Carp Road between Hazeldean and the Queensway, including whether traffic lights or traffic circles are a better choice.

Continue reading


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LETTER: Bring light rail to Stittsville

Re: Ottawa infrastructure lags behind, says Stittsville transit commissioner

I hope now that Stittsville is fortunate enough to have one of our own on the city transit commission that this gent will demand the extension of light rail to the Stittsville /Kanata community, instead of having it end at Bayshore or Moodie Drive. How is it that Orleans gets light rail in the first round of rail expansion but the best we get is bussing to Bayshore?  This area  has been screwed!

This issue doesn’t seem to much concern area councillors Wilkinson, Hubley and Qadri, but I think we deserve much better!

Mike Bryan, Stittsville


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Bus shelters, better express routes among suggestions at OC Transpo meeting

OC Transpo representatives met with Stittsville residents at the Goulbourn Recreation Complex Wednesday night to update them on route changes as well as discuss concerns about current bus service.

Residents were presented with the latest service numbers concerning Stittsville such as capacity and on-time performance. They were then introduced to a new route, the 162, as well as the 96A’s transformation into the 92.

After the formal presentation, residents split up into groups to voice their concerns to OC Transpo staff. These ranged from adding more bus shelters to Stittsville, to frequency improvements, to inquiries about better express service.

OC Transpo staff says requests for increased frequency of service are difficult to meet based on current capacity. As it stands, route 96 leaves Stittsville with 34 per cent capacity at peak operating times in the morning.

***

Katie MacKenzie, a mother of three twenty-year-olds, said Stittsville bus service isn’t good enough.

“I’m constantly driving them because that’s the only way they can get anywhere on time,” the 49-year-old said.

MacKenzie also said the current service inhibits her daughters from getting student night jobs outside of Stittsville, such as serving in a bar where shifts can finish after midnight. Service from Kanata’s Terry Fox station via route 96 to Stittsville doesn’t run past 12 a.m. on a Saturday, for example.

“People have said ‘well, you live in Stittsville, you can afford to buy your kids a car,’” she said. “Really? Just because I live in Stittsville, I can afford to buy three children a car? No, I don’t think so.”

Residents shared feedback and ideas on Stittsville transit service with OC Transpo staff. Photo by Jordan Mady.
Residents shared feedback and ideas on Stittsville transit service with OC Transpo staff. Photo by Jordan Mady.

***

Councillor Shad Qadri said this type of issue is relatively new for Stittsville.

“I remember back in 2004 or 2005 when people in Stittsville didn’t even want OC Transpo service to be included as part of the community,” he said. “As the community expands, new requests come in and that’s what we’re working towards with this meeting going forward.”

Qadri acknowledged that Stittsville lacks local service. He said the transformation of the 96A into the 92 will help this as well as confusion associated with similar stop numbers.

“The 92 will serve not only parts of Stittsville, it will also serve parts of Kanata and enhance that service to Tanger mall and other parts of Kanata, also. That is due to the request by young people in terms of where they’re working and not being able to commute home when their shifts end.”

***

The status of Stittsville’s express service was also discussed, namely routes 261, 262 and 263.  Some residents would like to see more direct routes to downtown with fewer stops in between.

OC Transpo representatives took note of resident feedback and said they’ll consider it for any future action.

***

New route maps were on display for the 92 and 162. Photo by Jordan Mady.
New route maps were on display for the 92 and 162. Photo by Jordan Mady.

JUNE ROUTE CHANGES

  • Route 162 will operate between Terry Fox Station and Stittsville via Palladium drive, servicing Huntmar Drive, Maple Grove Road, Johnwoods Street, Hazeldean Road and West Ridge Drive.
  • The re-numbered 92 will travel on the same streets as the current 96A, with the exception of driving along Campeau Drive instead of Katimavik Road.
  • Both of these changes will take place in June 2015.

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Traffic lights coming to Huntmar and Maple Grove by end of June

UPDATE (June 12): Phil Landry, Manager of Traffic Services for the City of Ottawa, wrote in an email to StittsvilleCentral.ca that the traffic signal is expected to be installed by the middle of July.  In an update provided this week to the Stittsville Village Association, councillor Qadri indicated that design work for the intersection has been completed, and that traffic operations staff are in the process of tendering a standing offer contract for the work.

There’s also an update on the Fairwinds Community Association web page about future plans to extend Maple Grove all the way to Stittsville Main Street in Jackson Trails.


There will be far less cursing and road rage at the intersection of Huntmar and Maple Grove this summer.  City crews are expected to replace the four-way stop with traffic lights by the end of June.

Rush hour motorists heading south on Huntmar usually face a long line of cars at the intersection, sometimes backing up as far as the police station near Palladium. Continue reading


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Local engineer’s historic ride on the last train through Stittsville

EDITOR’S NOTE: In January, we published a photo of the last train that travelled through Stittsville. The photo shows a man waving at the train as it’s about to cross over Stittsville Main Street. The man waving was Phil Barton, and he was greeting his best friend Lorne Blackburn, the train’s engineer. Here’s a story about that final train trip.

Continue reading


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Interactive map shows car collisions with pedestrians and cyclists

While any number of collisions between cars and pedestrians or cyclists is too many, Stittsville has a relatively low number compared to other areas in Ottawa.

The map was created by Alex deVries, vice-president of Citizens for Safe Cycling. It’s an interactive heat map on their web site that shows car-pedestrian and car-cyclist collisions in Ottawa over ten years, from 2004 to 2013.  You can check it out here…

“Over time, the absolute number of reported collisions involving pedestrians or cyclists has remained relatively flat, even though both Ottawa’s population and the popularity of cycling have increased dramatically over these years,” they note. “The number of collisions for cyclists, relative to population and the growth in cycling, is actually down.”

StittsvilleCentral.ca asked deVries about why he created the map. Here’s his reply:

I created the site to provide some information people could use to understand patterns in collisions of cyclists and pedestrians. City staff are using this tool to understand where and when collisions occur.

There were several surprises in this to me:
– the location of pedestrian and cycling collisions are not the same; in Stittsville, there’s quite a few collisions on Stittsville Main St, but the cyclist collisions are more likely to be at intersections. Pedestrian collisions are where there aren’t cross-walks.
– cycling collisions tend to be near bridges and near strip malls, and where there are no bicycle lanes.
– there’s an impression that there are more cycling collisions now more than ever. This isn’t true; the number of reported collisions is roughly flat, despite a 40% increase in cycling and crowing population.
– the worst place in the city for cycling collisions is Bank St. near Billings Bridge. It is about twice as bad as the next locations (on Rideau St. and Montreal Rd).
Screen capture of a map showing pedestrian and cyclist collisions in Ottawa from 2004-2013.
Screen capture of a map showing pedestrian and cyclist collisions in Ottawa from 2004-2013, zoommed in to Stittsville Main Street.
Screen capture of a map showing pedestrian and cyclist collisions in Ottawa from 2004-2013, city-side.
Screen capture showing most of the city.

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Temporary road closed for good in Blackstone

(Update from City Councillor Shad Qadri.)

In the Blackstone subdivision a temporary road access has been closed and residents have been redirected to a new travel route. The road section closed was an extension of Westphalian Ave between Dressage Ave and Rouncey Road.

This section of road was always intended as temporary as the blocks are planned for walkway blocks in the subdivision. Temporary road connection was permitted along the blocks for construction traffic in Blackstone Phase 1, but has also been used public as well. The closing of the temporary road is required as the adjacent lots will be under construction soon; the close proximity between the construction site and travel traffic will make it unsafe for both the crew and vehicles.

The alternative route along Tapadero Ave, about 150 metres to the north, has been constructed with base course asphalt and this route will provide access for both public traffic and emergency services from Westphalian to Terry Fox. In the future, there will be another connection road along Groningen St. On-site signs will direct traffic flow to the right direction naturally.

There have been concerns that the new route on Tapadero is not currently lit and it is anticipated the lights (will be) energized in the near future. Monarch has also advised that some new stop signs have been installed, including making the Rouncey/Westphalian intersection a three-way stop, to encourage cars driving at a safer speed.

City staff have already been in contact with the developer regarding concerns with construction vehicles impeding traffic on the new road connection of Tapadero. If you encounter any difficulties please let me know.


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OC Transpo operates revised schedules for March Break

(Press release from the City of Ottawa.)

OC Transpo will operate a reduced weekday schedule during the March Break (March 16 to 20) when schools are closed.

Bus arrival times may be adjusted slightly compared to the usual weekday schedule, and during rush hour most routes will have one or two fewer trips. All school routes numbered in the 600s and special school trips on regular routes will not operate. The O-Train Trillium Line schedule will remain the same.

Holiday schedules are available at www.octranspo.com. Automated schedule information is also available 24 hours a day by calling 613-560-1000 or texting 560560 plus your four‑digit bus stop number.

For more information and travel planning assistance, call OC Transpo at 613-741-4390 or visitwww.octranspo.com.


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How to report a pothole

Pothole at Elm Crescent and Main Street. Photo by Greg Banning.
Pothole at Elm Crescent and Main Street. Photo by Greg Banning.

One of Ottawa’s great winter and spring traditions is avoiding all of the potholes on our streets and highways.

There are two ways that you can report a pothole to the City of Ottawa:

  1. Call 3-1-1, the city’s information line
  2. Log a pothole report on the city’s web site

(If you see any major potholes, snap a photo if it’s safe to do so and send it along to feedback@stittsvillecentral.ca)


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West Ridge mailbox location is dangerous for pedestrians, says resident

City of Ottawa staff acknowledge that a section of West Ridge Drive isn’t up to current pedestrian safety standards, but there are no plans to fix it.

Most of West Ridge has sidewalks on both sides of the road, but one section that doesn’t is a stretch of about 160 metres on the west side between Sable Run Drive and Steggall Crescent. That sidewalk-free stretch is also home neighbourhood’s community mailbox. Continue reading


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