Tag Archives: traffic

NOTEBOOK: Congestion pricing, cell phone tower, patio season

CONGESTION PRICING BACK ON THE RADAR
Looks like the debate over “congestion pricing” might be coming to City Hall in the near future. That’s the idea of using financial incentives (or disincentives) to decrease car use and increase transit ridership, particularly from the suburbs of Ottawa into the downtown core.

The four downtown councillors – Chernushenko, Leiper, McKenney and Nussbaum – commissioned a study that was presented at a symposium last week.

The study looks at the potential effects of four pricing models: highway tolls, “cordon” charges (a toll to enter downtown), parking rate changes and a gas tax increase. The authors conclude that raising the cost of parking downtown would be the most cost-effective tool: “The report concludes that while a cordon charge to enter the Ottawa central area could be more effective at accomplishing the stated objectives, the implementation costs given today’s technology would make it impractical. Tolling the highways was evaluated to be less effective given the possibility of leakage onto parallel arterial roads and the inability to address north-south traffic. The study notes important jurisdictional and other challenges regarding the feasibility of raising the gas tax and concludes that focussing on parking charges would be more useful in addressing congestion and increasing transit ridership. Although high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes were not examined in detail, the report suggests their feasibility could increase in light of provincial highway expansion plans.

“Managing congestion using pricing tools is increasingly recognized by cities worldwide as a way to increase transit ridership, lower greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality and address commuting frustration” says Chernushenko. “Our goal in commissioning this research and analysis from CPCS is to contribute to an ongoing conversation about how to best to encourage sustainable transportation and support our significant investment in LRT. This is a very important discussion for Ottawa to have.”

There are no immediate plans to move forward on any recommendations in the study, but it’s a debate that Stittsville commuters will want to keep an eye on in the months to come.

You can read the report here…

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CELL TOWER PROPOSED FOR IBER
Via Councillor Qadri: “Shared Network Canada (SNC) is proposing a 50m tri-pole communication tower to be constructed at 145 Iber Rd. The tower will be used to offer space to multiple cellular carriers to enhance and support their networks. A small fenced area with a walk-in cabinet will be constructed at the base of the installation. A public meeting will be held at the Main Hall of the Goulbourn Recreational Complex (1500 Shea Rd) on Wednesday, April 12th to help answer resident questions and concerns regarding the project.” There’s more info about the meeting here…

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590 HAZELDEAN ROAD ZONING
On April 11, the City’s planning committee will be considering a zoning bylaw amendment for 590 Hazeldean Road.  Currently zoned as agricultural land, the proposed change would allow for a residential development with parks, a school and commercial areas.  The initial consultation for the zoning change happened way back in late 2013 / early 2014, but the item is only now coming in front of councillors.

The staff report prepared for the meeting describes the land as “vacant”, but that’s not really accurate. The word suggests empty, worthless land.  In this case it’s quite the opposite. Until a few years ago it was home to an active farm, and the Bradley-Craig heritage house and barn are still standing along Hazeldean Road.  (The barn is supposed to be relocated soon to Saunders Farm.)

You can read the background documents here…

SIGNS OF SPRING


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UPDATE: More about Stittsville sidewalks

Last week we published a list of ten spots in Stittsville in need of sidewalk or pedestrian upgrades. We asked readers for your suggestions and heard from a lot of you. Here’s a sampling:

“I live in Traditions area. Why is there not a sidewalk from Fernbank to Elm Street along Stittsville Main Street? Where the church is. Children who want to walk from Traditions to where the gas station is, have to cross at Fernbank, go across a busy street, then go past the library, and cross at the light there. We need a sidewalk on the west side of the road there.” -Lori Claringbold Continue reading


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MIS-STEP: A list of mysteriously missing sidewalks

(ABOVE: Walking down Stittsville Main Street during Jane’s Walk 2016. Photo by Barry Gray.)

The Ottawa Neighbourhood Study gives Stittsville a walkability score for of 54% for pedestrian infrastructure. That’s slightly above the city average of 50%, but it suggests there are a lot of places where we can do better. Here’s a list of 10 spots in need of an upgrade for pedestrians.

Stittsville walkability score
Ottawa Neighbourhood Study, 2016.

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NOTEBOOK: Live music at Quitters, Huntmar’s truck problem

MORE MUSIC AT QUITTERS

I was at Quitters on Saturday night for trivia and two notable things happened.

For one, my team won. That’s a first. Congrats to J, Lorrie and Greg, aka the smart people on my team.

Second, Quizmaster Rick announced that Quitters will be launching some new programming this fall, including a live music series featuring Kathleen Edwards and other musicians.  Watch for details soon.

Photo by Katie Shapiro
Photo by Katie Shapiro

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More about what the law says on street hockey

(via Councillor Shad Qadri)

In a motion for Council consideration at its meeting of May 23, 2007, Councillor Doucet recommended that ball hockey on residential streets be permissible, as long as the free flow of traffic is maintained, and that staff consult with the public concerning what other child-friendly, community-friendly activities could be considered as acceptable public uses of city sidewalks and streets. Continue reading


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FOR THE RECORD: Qadri on road hockey and traffic safety

A letter to residents from Councillor Shad Qadri.

Dear residents,

This week, the matter of street hockey and road safety has been hotly discussed via social media.

Please allow me to preface this week’s “Councillor’s View”: I love hockey. On quiet days in the office, you can often find me donning my Ottawa Senator’s jersey. I reflect quite warmly on my days as a youth growing up in Ottawa playing broomball and ball hockey on quiet residential streets. They were some of my best memories.
And as Chair of the Ottawa Public Board of Health, supporting healthy active lifestyles for youth is just as important to me as the policies aimed at ensuring the physical safety of children in the City of Ottawa. Continue reading


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Police warn that Garth Brooks will cause a traffic jam on Sunday

(via Ottawa Police)

The Ottawa Police Service is advising commuters to expect traffic delays in the afternoon and evening of Sunday April 3, 2016 in the area of Canadian Tire Centre (CTC) for two Garth Brooks concerts that day. Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Potter’s Key zoning; Photo radar; Hartsmere blasting

Minto's Potter's Key
Sign at Minto’s Potter’s Key development on Hazeldean Road.

POTTER’S KEY ZONING APPROVED
This week City Council approved a zoning change for 6111 and 6141 Hazeldean Road, site of Minto’s future Potter’s Key development. Attached to that zoning change was a condition that “only single detached units are to back onto existing single detached units in the Echowoods and Jackson Trails subdivisions”.  
Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Stittsville population tops 31,000; Petitions for photo radar & hydro rates

GROWING LIKE A WEED: Councillor Shad Qadri told the Fairwinds Community Association last week that the city’s latest population estimates put our ward at 31,841 people in 2015, up by 857 (or 2.77%) over the previous year.

Overall, the city’s population grew by just under 1% to 960,756 residents. The fastest-growing wards were Somerset (4.19%), Gloucester-South Nepean (3.53%), and Barrhaven (2.78%). Continue reading


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Planning Committee gives ok to Potter’s Key, with conditions

“What we have ultimately ended up with was two victories out of many requests… Councillor Qadri worked really hard, along with some of the other councillors, to negotiate the motion. It’s been a long battle. It was by far the best we were able to get Minto to agree to.” –Omar Sultan, Jackson Trails

The city’s Planning Committee gave their blessing Minto’s Potter’s Key development today, along with several conditions to address some of the concerns from neighbouring residents.

Those conditions include maintaining a gravel road for construction vehicles until at least 2019, and requiring that any homes backing onto existing residential areas must be single family homes. Continue reading


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City planners say Hazeldean link not needed for Potter’s Key

As expected, City staff say that a road link from Hazeldean to Minto’s proposed Potter’s Key neighbourhood isn’t necessary to handle traffic from the new subdivision.

Two staff reports were posted today as part of the minutes for a Planning Committee meeting on February 23, when councillors will decide on whether or not to allow the subdivision to proceed as planned.  They’ll be voting on a draft plan of subdivision and a zoning amendment.

The reports say that two existing streets, Kimpton and Echowoods, have more than enough capacity to safely handle traffic from the Potter’s Key subvidision:

“Kimpton Drive and Echowoods Avenue have been long designated as part of a collector roadway system in successive updates to the Transportation Master Plan. A collector road is considered in the City road classification system to link neighbourhoods together, and offers a wider right-of-way than a local street to accommodate a larger 5 road surface and sidewalks to allow more volume of traffic and transit movements, up to a maximum of 600 to 800 vehicles per hour. The forecasted traffic, developed in line with all City guidelines and requirements for traffic impact analyses, indicates that the Kimpton/Echowoods connection will be well within the capacity available for this road network at 200 vehicles per hour or three vehicles per minute.”

In recent weeks, Councillor Shad Qadri has said staff supported Minto’s plans.  He stated his opposition to the plan in the report:

“As Councillor for the Stittsville community, I do not support the recommendations in this report and do not support the development moving forward as currently proposed. This is a large subdivision development and there are outstanding items that the community and I feel have not been properly addressed. This large development does not have sufficient transportation connections to an arterial road which will be problematic for future and existing residents in the area. Traffic concerns are one of the largest issues that many communities face in the City of Ottawa and this development will increase pressures on the City’s Traffic and Police Department. The developer has also not fulfilled the request to have the same form of housing abutting all existing single detached homes. There are a number of additional issues that have not been addressed including pathway connectivity, a request for a landscape buffer and a appropriate plan for construction vehicle access.”

The Planning Committee will also receive a petition with 81 signatures from residents in Echowoods and Jackson Trails expressing their opposition to the traffic plan.

Councillor Qadri is asking residents to send in comments or attend next week’s meeting in person. His staff is dropping off notices to neighbouring homes this week.

“As the community has continued to raise concerns with this development, I will not be in support of the development when it comes forward to Planning Committee and Council. That said, it is also very important that my Committee/Council colleagues hear from the residents…. I strongly encourage residents to register in advance to speak and please advise me if you plan to attend to ensure that the venue will be large enough to comfortably accommodate members of the public,” he wrote on Facebook.

Click here for background about the Potter’s Key traffic issue….


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

“I can lobby my council colleagues to support me and the community in opposing this development… Based on my experience with developments going before the OMB and given that the City and Transportation experts support the current plan it would be very unlikely that the OMB would not allow the development to go forward…”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Councillor Shad Qadri responded on Facebook today to resident comments about Hazeldean Road access to the proposed Potter’s Key subdivision.

The temporary connection would be made through the site on Hazeldean Road and would connect into the road network of the development so this would be through an area of land that is shown to have residential development (the exact location has not been confirmed), after the timelines expires then they could develop those lots.

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Minto proposes gravel road access from Potter’s Key to Hazeldean

Councillor Shad Qadri provided an update today about the ongoing negotiations between Minto and city staff over the proposed Potter’s Key development.

The development would be located between Echowoods and Jackson Trails, and residents in those existing communities have voiced a number of concerns about the proposal.  One of the big beefs is about a lack of road access from Hazeldean Road.

Minto’s original plans for the subdivision included road access to Hazeldean, but that’s been dropped. Minto doesn’t own the land the road would go through, and hasn’t been able to negotiate a sale with the landowner. Continue reading


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Dedicated left turn lane coming soon to Huntmar-Maple Grove

The verdict is in for the new lane configuration for the lights at Huntmar and Maple Grove.

Councillor Shad Qadri wrote in his weekly newsletter that he’s asking City staff reconfigure the northbound lane markings to allow for a dedicated left-turn lane plus a shared straight/right-turn.  The bike lane will be removed.  (Lanes in the other direction stay the same.) Continue reading


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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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Traffic impacts on Eagleson Road and Highway 417 on-ramps start Tuesday

(Media advisory)

The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) will begin work on Tuesday, November 17 to widen sidewalks on the west side of the Eagleson Road Bridge over Highway 417 and its approaches. The construction is scheduled to be completed in mid-December.

As part of the construction activities, MTO will need to reduce southbound Eagleson Road to one lane in the work area. The eastbound and westbound on-ramps to Highway 417 from southbound Eagleson Road will also be closed overnight from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. for approximately five weeks.

Pedestrians will be redirected to the east sidewalk during construction.

The work will deliver a better walking environment for pedestrians crossing the Eagleson Bridge by widening the sidewalk on the west side of the bridge and its approaches and eliminating concrete drainage outlets on the approaches to provide a flat surface

Portable Variable Message Signs are already in place to advise motorists of the upcoming lane reduction and ramp closures so they can plan alternate routes.

With all of the construction-related activities underway, residents are encouraged to be flexible with commuting times, stagger work hours or use alternative means for travel. The public is asked to consider options such as transit, walking, cycling or carpooling.

The City of Ottawa has tools on ottawa.ca to help motorists and transit users plan their routes and manage their commute including:

 

For current information about traffic and construction around the city, visit ottawa.ca.


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