Western LRT- Open Letter to NCC & City of Ottawa

16 03 2015

The collaboration between the NCC and City to revise the Western LRT design is great news.  Unfortunately concerns raised by the community (and several other community groups in the area) have still not been addressed.  The revised plan calls for 300 meters of tracks (from Berkley to Rochester Field) to be either at grade or in a shallow trench with high fences, overhead electrical wires and 7/24 lighting.

Prior to the recent announcement several community groups in western Ottawa agreed that the following principles should be maintained in the Western LRT design:

  • If the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway route is ultimately chosen, the engineering design must be fully compatible with the NCC’s on-going efforts to develop and implement its long-term vision for an accessible and more animated water-front park adjacent to the Ottawa River.
  • In our view, the best, and likely the only way to respect these principles, is to fully tunnel the LRT to ensure that the entire line from Berkley Avenue to Skead and beyond would be fully underground and allow for mature trees to again grow in the park lands.

The Westboro Community Association is concerned that a trench potentially as long as 300 meters west of Dominion Station would obstruct access to the park lands and represent a major visual blight on them. Both impacts are inconsistent with the important NCC conditions.

The new proposal states:  “Cleary Station to be covered and designed to blend into the landscape”.  We ask that the NCC and city of Ottawa provide a response to the following questions:

  1. Why are the principles of “blending the Cleary LRT station in the landscape” not being applied to Dominion Station?
  2. Why has the NCC not been consistent in applying their conditions of managing the visual appearance and accessibility of the Ottawa River Parkway?
  3. If the intent of exposing the Dominion reach is to give LRT riders “a view of the river” (which we believe would be inadequate); how does that priority exceed the principle of the NCC’s original conditions of managing the visual appearance and accessibility of the Ottawa River Parkway?

The last two years have produced productive dialog within the community leading up to the recent agreement between the NCC and the City of Ottawa.  We are optimistic that continued dialog and consultations will lead to the best solution.





BOOKFEST 2015, Feb. 27-28.

8 02 2015

BookFest is Elmdale Public School’s annual celebration of BOOKS.

This year we combine this great second-hand book sale and its low, low prices, with SPECIAL APPEARANCES and READINGS by some of Ottawa’s best-known authors:

FRANCES ITANI:   Whose latest novel Tell was short-listed for a Giller Prize

MARK SUTCLIFF:  Editor of iRun magazine and author of Why I Run

BOB PLAMONDON:  Author of many political books, most recently The Truth about Trudeau

ROBERT MCMECHAN:  Author of Allison’s Brain

CHARLES GORDON:  Journalist and author of At the Cottage and The Canadian Trip

WHEN: Fri., Feb. 27, 9:00am to 9:00pm, and Sat., Feb. 28, 9:00am to 4:00pm

WHERE: Elmdale Public School, 49 Iona Street

FOR INFO RE: TIMES OF AUTHOR READINGS, VISIT http://elmdalecouncil.com

Books to donate? We’ll come and get them- Email: kathclaus@sympatico.ca.

Funds raised at Bookfest support Elmdale Public School.

Surplus books donated to worthy causes in the community.





The Western LRT (WLRT) and what it means for Westboro….

2 02 2015

The WLRt is great news for Westboro. But there may be a downside. The current plan calls for the first 500 meters of tracks (from Berkely to the western edge of Rochester Field at Skead Avenue) to be either at grade or in a shallow trench with high fences, overhead electrical wires and 7/24 lighting.

From the information currently available, the city proposes to take out 1.2 km of urban forest along the  the  Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway on National Capital owned lands to make room for the tracks and stations. This area contains hundreds of mature trees and is one of the few large wooded areas in Westboro enjoyed daily by many residents and contributing to Westboro’s reputation as one of Ottawa’s top liveabe residential communities

Currently, plans call for the park at the end of Berkley Avenue to be mostly replaced  by a large covered station and a 100m platform in a trench running from Roosevelt to Dominion Avenue, the length of a football field.   The LRT is not a city tram. Nor is it the smaller lighter trains running in some european cities.  City plans call for 600 passenger 310 ton trains, twice the weight of the O Train running every 3 minutes. The trains require overhead wires and high fences cutting-off access to the park except at the new stations themselves.

City proposal: 100 meter platform and a shallow 500 meter trench to Skead Avenue.

The urban forest will disappear.

 

The National Capital Commission (NCC) has posed two conditions to consider the project: continuously uninterrupted access to the parkland and minimal visual impact.  Likely the only way this can be achieved is if the trains, tracks and stations are underground so that the forest can be restored. Our councillor, Jeff Leiper supports the NCC conditions and made it a campaign promise.

The NCC and the City have been sparring in the media over this issue since meeting the NCC conditions will likely require more money.  In November 2013, the NCC officially rejected the proposed city route but apparently not the first 500 meters in Westboro which remain at grade or slightly trenched effectively leaving Westboro the only community along the western route with tracks at grade in a park!

Mayor Watson and John Baird agreed to engage in private discussions and promised a solution 100 days later (early March 2015).

 

Underground solution: Trains, tracks and stations are underground and the forest is restored.

 

Meanwhile our Councillor, Jeff Leiper is asking for support from all concerned Community Associations including Westboro to present a united community approach to the city. He is asking that we support the following statements which were originally put forward by the Champlain Park Community Association:

  1. The Byron linear park, Rochester Field and the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway should be maintained and preferably enhanced as attractive, user-friendly urban green spaces. All three provide much cherished core community benefits. They must not be compromised.
  2. If the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway route is ultimately chosen, the engineering design must be fully compatible with the NCC’s on-going efforts to develop and implement its long-term vision for an accessible and more animated water-front park adjacent to the Ottawa River.
  3. In our view, the best, and likely the only way to respect these principles, is to fully tunnel the LRT should the City and the NCC agree upon any of the above routes.

This would ensure that the entire line from Berkley Avenue to Skead and beyond would be fully underground and allow for mature trees to again grow in the park lands.

Let us know if you wish your community Association to support these statements by providing your comments below.

 





Flavours of Westboro (Dec. 13th – St.George’s Parish Hall)

7 12 2014

Dec. 2014 poster





3rd Annual Trim the Christmas Tree Party – Clare Gardens Park, Sunday Dec. 7th 3:30

1 12 2014

Claire Garden Park





Notice of Annual General Meeting – meet our Councillor Jeff Leiper

1 11 2014

WCA-web-logo

Notice of Annual General Meeting

December 4th 2014 at 7PM at  Churchill Seniors Centre

Come and meet our Councillor Jeff Leiper!

The Board is proposing a minor change to our By-laws as follows;

It is proposed that at the AGM to be held on December 4, 2014 to amend the By-laws of The Westboro Community Association. This amendment is to ensure that there are members of the BoD carried over when new members are elected. The proposed amendment is 6.2 which currently reads:

6.2       Directors shall be elected at an Annual General Meeting of the members for a term of not more than one year.

The proposed amendment would read as follows:

6.2       Directors shall be elected at an Annual General Meeting of the members for a term of not more than two years, so that the difference between directors elected to a term of two years and directors elected to a term of one year is no larger than one.

Gary Ludington, Vice-chair

On behalf of the Board of Directors

October 31, 2014





Clare Gardens Park Fall Clean-up

24 10 2014

2014 fall cleanup








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