Tag Archives: kanata south

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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Portable fire at Montessori School in Kanata

(Ottawa Fire Services reported a fire early Monday morning at the Kanata Montessori School in Kanata South. It’s on Michael Cowpland Drive near the Trans Canada Trail, just east of Terry Fox.)


UPDATE: Police have opened an arson investigation. 

Ottawa Fire Services received a 911 call reporting trees on fire near Terrence Matthews Drive on April 24, 2017 at 00:17 hours.Upon arrival fire fighters confirmed fire in a  portable building with exposures at 355 Michael Cowpland Drive, Kanata Montessori School. A working fire was declared at 00:23 hours and fire fighters immediately began suppression operations.

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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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Police looking for missing man last seen near Hazeldean, possibly armed

UPDATE, MARCH 8: The Ottawa Citizen has a more details about the events on Friday from a bank hold-up on Hazeldean Road to the police incident in Toronto that evening.

UPDATE, SATURDAY, 11:00pm: Via the Ottawa Citizen: “A 30-year-old Ottawa man shot dead by Toronto police late Friday had struggled with bipolar disorder for most of his life and thought of himself as a ‘lost boy.'” (See also CBC Ottawa.)

UPDATE, SATURDAY 9:30am: We were just told by police that they are no longer searching for Devon Lafleur, and there is no danger to the public.
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Here’s why they increased the speed limit on Eagleson to 80 km/h

We noticed a few tweets recently — both critical and celebratory — about a speed limit increase on Eagleson Road.  The stretch between Katimavik and Hazeldean has been increased from 60 to 80km/h.

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Zoning bylaw amendment proposal for east side Terry Fox near Fernbank

The city has posted a new zoning bylaw amendment application for 1039 Terry Fox Drive / 5331 Fernbank Road.  Part of that land is the farmland where you always see cows grazing on the east side of Terry Fox.

Here’s a summary from the planning documents:

The subject lands are approximately 25.5 hectares in size and consist of vacant lands currently being used for agricultural purposes. The lands are bound by Fernbank Road to the south, the Trans-Canada Trail to the north, Terry Fox Drive to the west and a pedestrian pathway to the east. A hydro corridor runs east-west along the northern portion of subject lands and a branch of the Monahan Drain runs through the center, just north of Cope Drive.

Surrounding the property, to the north is the Castleglen residential subdivision consisting of single detached, semi detached and townhouse dwellings. To the south is the future Bridlewood Trails residential subdivision and to the southwest is a commercial centre. To the west is the future Blackstone residential subdivision, which is within the Fernbank Community Design Plan. To the southeast is the existing Trail West community consisting of single detached and townhouse dwellings and to the northeast is the South Kanata Business Park.

The purpose of this application is to rezone the subject lands to accommodate a mix of employment, residential, retail and commercial uses. The plan proposes employment lands for the northern portion of the subject lands, north of the Monahan Drain and south of the Trans-Canada Trail. Residential uses are proposed north of Cope Drive and south of the Monahan Drain. The residential zone would consist of medium density residential uses in the form of approximately 225 units. Retail commercial uses are proposed north of Fernbank Road and south of Cope Drive. In the concept plan, the retail commercial uses are outlined as neighbourhood-orientated retail stores.

The subject lands are currently zoned Industrial Business Park Industrial Subzone 4 (IP4). The applicant is purposing to rezone the lands to Industrial Business Park Zone (IP), Industrial Business Park Zone with exceptions (IP [xxxx]) and Residential Fourth Density Zone (R4). The proposed IP Zone for the northern portion of the lands will permit a wider range of employment uses and performance standards. The proposed IP Zone with exceptions for the portions of the lands south of Cope Drive will permit retail store and retail food store as secondary uses and increase the maximum individual and cumulative gross floor area. The proposed R4 Zone for the portions of the lands north of Cope Drive and south of the Monahan Drain will permit a wide range of residential building forms ranging from detached to low-rise apartment dwellings.

 


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