Tag Archives: letters

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.

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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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LETTER: Snowmobilers need to stay off my lawn

Earlier this winter I was sitting in my home office which looks North onto West Ridge Drive. I heard a snowmobile so glanced out the window to see the snowmobile (heading south) go through West Ridge Park and then cut across my lawn (as I live on the corner).

As I looked out the window to try to identify the snowmobile (plates) I saw a police car driving North on West Ridge.  So the police passed the snowmobile as the snowmobile was driving on my lawn.

The incidents of snowmobiles driving on our lawn was much greater when we moved in in 2014 but has seemed to drop.  This was the first incident this year.  Hopefully there isn’t another as I have a young son who often plays in the front yard.

Brad Waterman
West Ridge


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LETTERS: Todd and Sandra Brown make Stittsville a caring community

EDITOR’S NOTE: Last week, Todd and Sandra Brown (pictured above) from Brown’s Independent won a Celebration of People award, recognizing their work to promote accessibility, inclusion and full community participation by citizens with disabilities. They’ve hired individuals with disabilities to work at the grocery store and provided co-op placements to high school students with physical and development disabilities. We’ve received several congratulatory letters from the community. Here’s a sample.

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LETTER: Hold planning staff accountable for “epic fail”

Re: Qadri and planners get rough ride over Johnwoods “proposal”

As a former political staffer to Bob Chiarelli from 1987 – 1990 and again in 1999, I have seen some great work down by bureaucrats at the provincial level and at the former Region of Ottawa-Carleton (ROC). I went out of my way to thank staff when they were of assistance to the MPP and then Regional Chair as well as helping me in my role. Continue reading


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LETTER: Kids deserve to be safe from traffic on residential streets

I was hit crossing the street in Ottawa, at Richmond and Churchill in Westboro. I was between the white lines and I had the light. I made sure the car saw me (she looked at me and stopped so I began to cross). Sadly she did not register my presence, proceeded and hit the gas by accident when she realized she was going to hit me and the stroller I was pushing.
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LETTER: Councillor and residents must push back on Potter’s Key plans

Re: QADRI: OMB will likely side with Minto on Potter’s Key road access

“If prolonging the process is the best that can be done when developers exercise their influence over City Hall – than that’s what we need to do, and that’s what we need our elected representative to continue to do.”

It’s great for “traffic specialists” to say from their office towers downtown that the community can support a specific amount of traffic based on their “transportation modelling”, however they do not LIVE here, they don’t pay taxes on property here, and their lives certainly won’t be impacted by any changes to our community.
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LETTER: Agricultural roots have a place in urban design

I think the fight to retain the barn in place was worth the effort and forced serious consideration of agricultural heritage.  To me one of the most important lessons learned was that we must work to persuade councillors and the general public that agricultural landscapes are worthy recipients of heritage designations – not just an individual building but a landscape that expresses the history of our rural roots.

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LETTER: Thanking good Samaritans in Stittsville

On the night of December 1 my wife, while walking our dog,  slipped on the ice in the parking lot at A. Lorne Cassidy elementary school.    Two women who were either attending an event at the school or were out walking found my wife unconscious, lying on the ground in the freezing rain.

These two wonderful women provided care for my wife while she regained consciousness,  helped her to the portable, where the school custodian opened the classroom so they could get out of the rainy weather, and they called for an ambulance and paramedics.  These two women also were able to locate me at our home and then stayed with my wife and myself until the paramedics arrived, rendered assistance and took my wife to the hospital.

Unfortunately neither the paramedics or I took the names of these two good Samaritans and I’m hoping that they or someone who knows them can share this message of gratitude.

They say Christmas is the time of giving and these two women exemplify that message.  They gave up their own time, provided care and comforted my wife while standing outside on a cold rainy night.  They did this not for a friend or relative but for a complete stranger who was in need.

Our gratitude to these two women cannot be understated.

We would also like to thank the school custodian for his assistance and to the three paramedics who provided the onsite care and who stayed with us at the hospital until the emergency doctor took over.

Happy Holidays to all.

Steve Matjanec & Joanne Bree


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LETTER: Roundabouts are great for cyclists

Re: City staff rejects roundabouts for Carp Road

Reading the article, the comment about them being worse for cyclists is ridiculous. I am a cyclist and a motorist and roundabouts are fantastic for cyclists as they allow for quick, easy fluid travel and no worries about cars accelerating to run red lights. Roundabouts take up more room but that is the only drawback as they are great at solving all other problems.

Steve Drennan
Stittsville


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RESPONSE: Accusations of vandalism unfair to teens

EDITOR’S NOTE: This column comes from Connor Boudreau,  a Grade 12 student at Sacred Heart High School.  We invited him to submit it in  response to an article published last week, ‘Bored teenagers’ excuse is getting tired’

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One thing that I particularly like about Stittsville is the scenery. Whether it be the glorious water tower or the many serene parks, there is little doubt in my mind that Stittsville is one of the best places to live. I consider myself fortunate to live in Stittsville. The schools are first rate and my working relationship with my peers have often evolved into enduring friendships.

With that being said, I have noticed that teenagers have been blamed, sometimes rightly, for a recent increase in vandalism in the Stittsville area. Continue reading


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RESPONSE: City staff are reviewing Huntmar/Maple Grove intersection

(City councillor Shad Qadri responded to a resident’s letter about traffic at Huntmar & Maple Grove.)

I have had City Traffic staff review the intersection of Maple Grove and Huntmar Road.  Northbound vehicle movements were analyzed from turning volume counts completed in June and October 2014.  The counts showed that 10 percent of vehicles made a left turn, 60 percent of vehicles proceeded straight through and 30 percent of vehicles made a right turn. The northbound lanes for the temporary signal were designed as a share left/through and an exclusive right turn lane base on the results from the counts.

Working within the existing curb lines for the temporary signal, the alignment works better for northbound vehicles travelling through the intersection from the shared left/through lane.  Traffic staff have the same lane configurations at other intersections within the City of Ottawa.

The existing northbound lanes also helps to remove cyclists from the heavy right turning vehicles (cycling lane painted to the left of the right turn lane).

Specific turn and straight through arrows have now been painted on the roadway to help assist motorists traversing the intersection.  This should assist drivers.

I have also requested Traffic staff to continue to monitor this intersection for the next week to confirm if the intersection is working to its upmost efficiency. 

Sincerely,

Shad Qadri

 


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LETTER: A few ideas to improve traffic flow on Huntmar

(Here’s a letter that Andre Hallam wrote to councillor Shad Qadri, with some ideas for improvements to Huntmar Drive.  Pictured above is the intersection of Huntmar and Maple Grove, recently reconfigured with new traffic lights.)

I am writing to suggest changes to Huntmar Drive that could improve traffic flow drastically.

First, with the new lights at Maple Grove, they have now split the northbound lanes on Huntmar into two – one combining straight-through and left turns, and the other for right turns only. This results in people wanting to go straight being held up and waiting for people to turn left, which can be a long time. That’s just silly.

Swapping this to combine straight-through with the right-turn lane would make far more sense, since people turning right don’t have to wait on a green light, and that lane flows better. Straight-through traffic needs to keep flowing, and should not be held up – this is actually worse than the four-way stop sign, as you are there much longer than you should be… and often you never make it through the green light at all before it changes red again!

Second, going south on Huntmar at Hazeldean has issues. If you want to turn left/east onto Hazeldean, you are slowed by two things:

1) The left turn arrow only works on weekends, not on weekdays at all, never mind at rush hour, and not based on the number of cars waiting. I don’t get this logic of assisting our turns on weekends.

2) Cars coming northbound on Iber turning right (east) onto Hazeldean always have the right of way, thus making the people turning left wait even longer. This also causes some people turning left to “steal” the right of way, cutting off the people turning right. This is very dangerous, but it happens every day as people want to make their turn before the light changes. I’ve been tempted myself, but hold off.

Obviously the fix for #1 is to enable the left arrow on weekdays. I don’t think we really need it on weekends. It simply doesn’t make sense. Alternatively/additionally, install a loop/sensor in the road to detect when there’s people waiting in the turn lane. Or even better, make it like the Hazeldean lights, which are fully controlled, having turn cycles separate from the green cycle. That would make the intersection safer now that traffic levels are increasing on Iber.

The fix for #2 is to make a little right-turn ramp with a yield sign for cars turning right off Iber – like the one on the opposite corner on Huntmar.

I know that “engineers” have probably already looked at all these things, and made their best decisions, but I drive on Huntmar daily, and I can see that these decisions don’t work, and these simple changes would make things work a lot better.

Andre Hallam
Stittsville


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FOR THE RECORD: Not enough room for a roundabout at Huntmar & Maple Grove

EDITOR’S NOTE: Several readers have asked us why the City of Ottawa didn’t install a roundabout at the intersection of Huntmar and Maple Grove.  We asked councillor Shad Qadri to clarify, and here’s his response: Continue reading


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LETTER: Municipalities value development over environment

Re: Residents question health of Poole Creek Wetland

Thanks to Stittsville Central for the in-depth article on what happens when municipalities place more value on bad development than environmental sustainability.  And, for showing that local residents can make a difference in standing up for the community’s best interests.
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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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LETTER: Community involvement points way towards a better planning process

Re: City and developer agree on further study of 6279 Fernbank

The unusual and unexpected adjournment and the conditions show the advantages to communities of having a party status at the hearing. Without this, I doubt if we would have been included at this point.

As the designated party, I put a huge amount of time and effort into preparing for the hearing, as did every member of our committee — my husband Gerry Kroll, The McKims, Diana Trudeau, and Glen McDonald. Those who could were witnesses for us, as well as Bob White and researcher and retired librarian, Faith Blacquiere of Glen Cairn. Jillian McKim also cross-examined the witnesses for the other Parties, as did I on the first day, before my voice abandoned me in the dry atmosphere of the hearing room.

We are glad of the opportunity to take part in discussions and studies over the summer and into September. Our involvement gives us a chance to support the applicant’s studies into what really happens to the water that runs through the site — where it comes from, its route and ponding, and where it goes — and to influence the final decision on whether or not this development should go ahead, and what form it should take if it does. While we don’t have power of veto, we will still have the right to present our summations, and, if the City and applicant reach an agreement that we don’t like, we will be able to include our reasons for disagreement in our final summation, for consideration by the Ontario Municipal Board.

I hope this experience will lead to a better way of doing things than is now current in the City of Ottawa. In many jurisdictions, it is normal for the community to be consulted and for a feasibility and viability study to be done for both the site itself and the surrounding community and lands, before an application ever goes into the city or municipality, especially for a site that does not fit normal parameters for development, such as this piece of wetland. Such consultation here could have saved thousands of dollars and months of hard work.

I’m not sure if the activities during this adjournment will take us to the conclusion that the surrounding community believes it should come to, but I hope that at the end there will at least be better understanding of the site, and cooperation among all parties going into the future. I commend the City and the applicant for including community representatives, and I look forward to having the future of this site finally resolved.

The site does, after all, perform a natural water management function within the surrounding communities and adjacent UNF (Urban Natural Feature), and between Fernbank Wetland and the Poole Creek Watershed. It may or may not support housing on an artifical 3.5 meter-high plateau without causing harm to existing lower-level houses — in my mind, it probably won’t. But it could definitely be a lovely wetland and woodland park for wildlife, much of which has called it home for many years, and people wishing to walk around a trail and boardwalk and enjoy some peace away from the hustle of the road, absorbing the calm of nature among the trees of this very special area.

Keldine FitzGerald, Stittsville


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