Category Archives: Transportation

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.

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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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New school start times in 2015 for some Stittsville-area schools

The hours for several Stittsville schools will change in the fall of 2015. The Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA), the agency that manages school bus service for the english public and catholic boards released the new times earlier this week.

The time changes are due to the amalgamation of Public and Catholic school buses to save money by reducing the number of buses on the road. Continue reading


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City’s draft budget includes 2% tax increase and infrastructure upgrades for Stittsville

The City of Ottawa tabled a 2015 draft budget on Wednesday that includes a 2% property tax increase and several improvements to traffic infrastructure in the west end, including Stittsville.

Stittsville councillor Shad Qadri says he’s happy with what he’s seen in the budget so far. Continue reading


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Library display marks 25 years since Stittsville’s last VIA train

Time flies, but it in this case I guess you could say it goes down the track.

It’s been a quarter century since the last train passed through Stittsville, and the Goulbourn Township Historical society has set up a new display at the Stittsville Public Library to celebrate the event. Continue reading


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Snow expected to be cleared from roads by late afternoon, sidewalks are next

City councillor Shad Qadri provided the following update on snow clearing, from the City of Ottawa’s roads manager.

Heavy snow stopped at 5am with flurries continuing through until 11am this morning, we expect 2 cm this morning but the wind will make it look worse. We do expect fair skies with wind through the weekend with temperatures of -15 Celsius as a high. Continue reading


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UPDATE: Small step in the right direction for Eagleson overpass sidewalk

City officials and staff from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) think they have a solution to the sidewalk problem on the Eagleson overpass, but it won’t be safe for pedestrians until at least next fall.

The sidewalk is about five centimetres too narrow for city snowplows to safely clear, and there are issues with the design of the bridge and approaches to it that make it a hazard for pedestrians.

Wilkinson attended a meeting with city staff, along with a manager of highway engineering and senior project engineer from the MTO.

Wilkinson provided this update to StittsvilleCentral.ca:

“MTO is looking at how to make modifications to make the sidewalk accessible by a ramp, wide enough for a snow plow and without the drainage channel cutting across it. [We] will put together a design and discuss it with the City for implementation this year (before next winter),” says Wilkinson.

“Snow removal this year will not be to sidewalk standards but snow will be removed when the bridge is cleared leaving a packed snow area – we prefer pedestrians to not use it and may sign it that way as it will still not be safe due to the drainage cut and lack of adding grit or salt,” she says.

She also said the City is looking at fully connecting the sidewalk approach to the overpass sidewalk when it’s in place.

Brandy Duhaime, a spokesperson for the MTO, said action items coming out of the meeting include widening the paved approaches and changing the drainage on the bridge.

“We’ll work on getting this work added to another contract this summer,” said Duhaime.


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Progress on the egress: Sens say post-game traffic measures are helping

(Press release from the Ottawa Senators.)

Canadian Tire Centre (@CdnTireCtr) and the Ottawa Senators (@Senators) announced today that their traffic management efforts, made in partnership with the City of Ottawa and Vinci Park, have significantly improved the egress times for vehicles leaving the arena following hockey games.

Working with Senators’ parking provider Vinci Park, traffic monitoring statistics have reported that since the implementation of these traffic upgrades, which include traffic flow changes both northbound and southbound on Huntmar Drive and the expansion of Highway 417, egress of the entire network has improved by more than 14 per cent, with certain lots experiencing exit time improvements in excess of 30 per cent.

“We’re excited by the results of the measures we have put in place to increase the speed of egress from the building following hockey games,” said Senators president Cyril Leeder. “The feedback from our fans and season-seat members has been overwhelmingly positive and it is clear to us that faster egress has improved the entire Senators’ game experience. We are encouraged by the progress that these changes have created and we will continue to work hard to make the entire driving, parking and game experience better for our fans going forward.”

In addition to the traffic flow changes, the Senators continue to make a number of enhancements to the game experience as part of the #SensVision25 initiative. Last fall, the organization began a repaving program that will see all of the parking lots outside of Canadian Tire Centre resurfaced. The work began late in 2014 and will continue into the summer of 2015. In addition to the repaving, new digital payment technology has been installed in all parking lots, which has enabled fans the added convenience to pay by cash, debit or major credit card.

All Canadian Tire Centre infrastructure changes specific to parking and traffic flow are geared to help improve fan ingress and egress as well as the overall parking experience for patrons coming to Canadian Tire Centre for Senators games and other events.


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UPDATE: When is a sidewalk not a sidewalk?

Why can’t snow be cleared from the sidewalk on the Eagleson Road overpass?

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) and the City of Ottawa are both blaming each other for what’s become a very dangerous situation for pedestrians who use the bridge that connects Kanata North and Kanata South.

We asked city councillor Marianne Wilkinson and the MTO about a few of the issues. Their responses are collected below.

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EDITORIAL: City and MTO need to get in the same lane

The sidewalk on the Eagleson Queensway overpass in Kanata is closed for the rest of winter because it’s too narrow for sidewalks to plow the snow.

That’s right, the same bridge that just re-opened after months of repairs, the same bridge that is right next to the Eagleson OC Transpo Transitway stop, is now closed to pedestrians until the snow melts. Continue reading


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OC Transpo adds extra service to Stittsville for New Year’s Eve

OC Transpo will add extra buses from downtown to Stittsville on New Year’s Eve.

Five 96 buses will leave Hurdman Station after midnight, taking the regular route via Stittsville Main Street, ending at the GRC.  Buses depart Hurdman at:

  • Departs 12:03 a.m. – Arrives 01:14 a.m.
  • Departs 12:53 a.m. – Arrives 02:04 a.m.
  • Departs 01:19 a.m. – Arrives 02:30 a.m.
  • Departs 02:15 a.m. – Arrives 03:26 a.m.
  • Departs 02:44 a.m. – Arrives 03:52 a.m.

The City of Ottawa is pleased to announce that free transit service will again be available to residents on New Year’s Eve after 8 p.m. This city-wide service is provided through a partnership between MADD Ottawa, the City’s Safer Roads Ottawa program and OC Transpo.

“New Year’s Eve is one of the busiest social nights of the year and, thanks to OC Transpo and its generous partners, residents once again have a safe and worry-free option for travelling,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “If you plan on drinking, plan not to drive. Have a safe and happy holiday.”

Free service will be available on OC Transpo and Para Transpo after 8 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. OC Transpo routes will operate a reduced weekday service on December 31. Customers should check the holiday schedules before heading out.

The Safer Roads Ottawa program is a leading community partnership between Ottawa Fire Services, Ottawa Paramedic Service, Ottawa Police Service, Ottawa Public Health and the Public Works Department that is committed to preventing or eliminating road deaths and serious injuries for all people in the city of Ottawa, through culture change, community engagement and development of a sustainable safe transportation environment.

In addition to the free bus service, the City encourages Ottawa drivers to also consider the use of designated drivers, taxi services or Operation Red Nose to ensure a safe return home throughout the holidays.

For more information and travel planning assistance, contact OC Transpo at 613-741-4390 or visitoctranspo.com.


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