COMMUNITY NOTES: from the desk of Councillor Gower

In this week’s update from Councillor Gower, he encourages residents who are public servants, and returning to work, to use OC Transpo as your mode of transportation. If you are experiencing respiratory symptoms to visit the West Ottawa Clinical Assessment Centre rather than visiting an Emergency Room. Traffic is being monitored during drop-off and pick-up times at the new Shingwàkons Public School with measures to be implemented. It is almost tax time and if you need assistance completing your forms, a community volunteer has come forward to help – just contact Councillor Gower at his email link provided below. He also thanks residents for the co-operation received during the parking ban for last week’s snowfall. There are a couple of development files shared below and a some community events you may be interested in.

Last Friday I spoke to CBC Ottawa about the return-to-office plan for public servants and its potential impact on OC Transpo. With trains and buses running at 60% capacity compared to pre-COVID, there’s plenty of room on buses and trains for new passengers. (Pre-pandemic, federal public servants made up about 20% of total OC Transpo ridership.)

If you are heading back to the office for the first time in a while, be sure to check OCTranspo.com to see the latest schedules. OC staff will be monitoring routes and will make adjustments where they’re seeing high demand. I’m also in touch with them regularly to follow up on questions and concerns raised by Stittsville residents. There continue to be issues with late buses on a few Stittsville runs, mostly in the afternoon coming from Tunney’s Pasture. We’re working on it.

Last Tuesday, the Queensway Carleton Hospital saw the busiest day in their 47-year history. They’re reminding west-end residents that if you are experiencing respiratory symptoms that don’t require urgent care, you can book an appointment at the West Ottawa Clinical Assessment Centre, located at 2625 Draper Avenue. It’s open Monday to Friday 8 am – 3 pm. Book yours: www.qch.on.ca/COVIDCareClinic.

The centre cares for patients with symptoms of any respiratory illnesses, including influenza and COVID – symptoms like fever, cough, sore throat, and chest congestion for patients 6 months and older. If you don’t need Emergency care, please consider this alternate option.

Great to see Shingwàkons Public School on Cope Drive opened to students last Tuesday. Our traffic safety team has been out to observe traffic during pick-up and drop-off times and will be implementing several measures in the coming days and weeks, including additional parking restrictions on Britannic. They’ll also be conducting a survey for crossing guards before the end of the month.

In the meantime, I want to encourage students and parents at Shingwàkons (and at all schools, really!) to try walking to school if you’re able to. If you absolutely have to drive, park a few blocks away and walk the last few blocks. The more we can keep vehicles away from schools during school pick-up and drop-off times, the safer for everyone.

Need help with taxes?  We have a community volunteer who has offered to help Stittsville residents who need assistance with federal income taxes. Depending on demand, we may offer a tax clinic in the next few weeks. If you need help or know somebody who does, please contact us at glen.gower@ottawa.ca.

Thanks for your co-operation during last Friday’s winter parking ban. Remember that you can sign up to get alerts at https://ottawa.ca/winterparking/. We have heard from a few residents who were unhappy with how long it took to plow roads and sidewalks. Last week’s storm delivered at least 24 centimetres of snow, which does take time to clear, but I know you want city staff to complete the work faster.

City staff are currently working on an update to the Winter Maintenance Quality Standards (more about that here), which is the policy that sets out how crews prioritize snow clearing. I’m hoping through the review that we’ll see a recommendation for more staff and equipment, especially for sidewalks and pathways.

Here are the current standards for snow clearing:

  • At the start of accumulation:
    • Highway 174, the Transitway, major roads and arterials such as Hazeldean Road, Stittsvile Main Street, Carp Road, Robert Grant Ave, etc.
    • After the last snowflake has fallen, these routes may take 2 to 4 hours to complete.   
  • 2.5 centimetres accumulation:
    • Sidewalks in the downtown core and the winter cycling network
    • After the last snowflake has fallen, these routes may take up to 4 hours to complete 
  • 5 centimetres accumulation:
    • Secondary roads and minor collectors such as Maple Grove Road, Springbrook Drive, Harstmere Drive, Rouncey Road, etc.
    • After the last snowflake has fallen, these routes may take up to 6 hours to complete 
  • 5 centimetres accumulation:
    • Residential sidewalks
    • After the last snowflake has fallen, these routes may take 12 to 16 hours to complete 
  • 7 or more centimetres of accumulation
    • Residential roads and lanes such as Warmstone, Bobolink, Renshaw, Turtleback, etc.
    • After the last snowflake has fallen, these routes may take 10 to 16 hours to complete.

Timelines will change when a Significant Weather Event is declared.

Planning & development
A reminder to  join us on Monday, January 16 for the public info meeting about the Westwood Phase 4 plan of subdivision (1555 Shea Road and 5500 Abbott Street East). You can register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/6216729511438/WN_MPpaH1jbROmVRu1nplsYrQ.

The City of Ottawa has received a revised Site Plan Control Application from Broadstreet Properties for their  property at 360 Bobolink Ridge. The proposal is for a mixed-use development called “Blackstone Village” with two mid-rise apartment buildings, two mixed-use buildings, one low-rise commercial/office building, underground and surface parking, an urban parkette, and three amenity areas. The revision now includes the addition of underground parking, additional commercial space, and the provision of a public park. Read more…

Upcoming events
In 2023, the Ottawa Transit Riders plans to hold online and in-person forums in various neighbourhoods asking locals what their transit needs are. After each event, they will draft a document detailing what they learn. This first forum will be held on Saturday, January 21st from 2pm-4pm at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, 20 Young Road in Kanata. You can register here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/kanata-transit-forum-tickets-511939132727.

The next Friendship Club luncheon is on Wednesday, January 25 at noon at the Stittsville Legion. It will also be their annual meeting and election for executive positions. The group is still looking for volunteers to resume in full our activities. Please contact Vivian Haley (613-513-5050) or Lynette Featherstone (613-831-0253) for reservations or more information.

The Ottawa West Arts Association presents Cold Snap from January 14 until March 10.  Visit the owaa gallery to see a variety of beautiful artworks/photographs that are inspired by the season.  Free admission and parking at the CARDELREC, 1500 Shea Road. Open 7 days a week, 7am-8pm.

Get in touch!
If we can help in any way, please email me at glen.gower@ottawa.ca or leave a voicemail at 613-580-2476. You can also message us on WhatsApp at 613-277-0193.  Please call 3-1-1 if you require immediate assistance. – Councillor Glen Gower


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