Re: City of Ottawa 2008 Transportation Master Plan

25 11 2008

November 23, 2008

Mayor Larry O’Brien and Members of Council
City of Ottawa
111 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa K1P 1J1

Re: City of Ottawa 2008 Transportation Master Plan

Dear Mayor & Councillors,

The Westboro Community Association wishes to make the following comments regarding the City’s draft 2008 Transportation Master Plan:

  • The current plan invests too heavily in further expansion of the existing Transitway at the expense of moving more quickly to implement the proposed light rail network. This continued short-term focus on bus-based rapid transit will only drive up the city’s already high transit operating costs, flies in the face of residents’ strong preference for light rail solutions expressed throughout the public consultation process, and will divert scarce resources away from much-needed improvements to OC Transpo’s existing core network. We believe that a large portion of the +$600 million currently allocated for completing the Transitway should be re-directed to building more light rail during Phase 1 of the TMP’s implementation.
  • We urge you to consider Carling Avenue as an alternative to the Ottawa River Parkway (ORP)and Byron Avenue corridors for light rail rapid transit service. Compared to ORP and Byron, Carling offers many potential advantages:
    o City-owned.
    o Delivers rapid transit closer to many more residents as well as large employment and commercial centres including the Civic and Royal Ottawa hospitals as well as Carlingwood and Westgate shopping centres.
    o It avoids protracted negotiations with the NCC the outcome and cost implications of which are unknown.
    o A straight east-west alignment.
    o Protects existing greenspace and environmentally-sensitive areas along the Ottawa River.
    o Adjacent properties along Carling offer significant redevelopment/intensification opportunities that would generate future revenue for the City through development charges and property taxes. The ORP corridor offers none.
    o Greater consistency with the City’s official plan which seeks to concentrate development near existing transportation corridors and infrastructure.

Therefore we urge Council to undertake a full cost/benefit analysis as well as authorize completion of the environmental assessment of the Carling corridor on the basis of using it for rapid light rail service during the first phase of TMP implementation.

Sincerely,

Wallace Beaton
Chair

Gary Ludington
Vice-Chair
Westboro Community Association

cc.
Marie Lemay, CEO National Capital Commission
Paul Dewar, MP, Ottawa-Centre
Yasir Naqvi, MPP Ottawa-Centre
John Baird, MP, Ottawa West-Nepean
Jim Watson, MPP, Ottawa West-Nepean
City Clerk, City of Ottawa

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5 responses

26 11 2008
David

I’m… immensely disappointed in the NIMBYism and lack of thought shown in the Westboro Community Association’s letter above. Have you thought this one through fully? The Transitway trench isn’t going away and yet a position is drafted to support having light rail go somewhere else? If light rail doesn’t go in the trench, SOMETHING ELSE WILL! If it remains buses, then how do you square that with a concern for high operating costs and a lack of appeal? And if it’s cars… well that’s just great. Don’t get any silly ideas that the trench will be filled in or hold some kind of short spur line. If we want real rapid transit service in Westboro then the mainline has to go through here. Yet the Westboro Community Association has apparently taken it on itself to oppose improving rapid transit service in Westboro.

And fwiw, the Byron corridor is City-owned as well. Oh, and guess what? The City wants to widen Richmond Rd west of Westboro to four-lanes, so the Byron corridor is going to be compromised anyway. At least if it’s by light rail, it won’t result in more traffic in Westboro itself.

Again, an immensely disappointing lack of thought…

26 11 2008
Lynn

Carling makes a lot more sense to me. If train stops are along Carling Avenue then people can approach them from all directions. Train stops along the river would have half the number of approaches at most. Whether the riders are walking, transferring from another bus, or being dropped off, there will be a lot more of them to benefit from the trains if the trains are travelling along Carling Ave.

27 11 2008
tz

i don’t understand why people are freaked out about trains on the parkway, but seem fine with 4 lanes of traffic. in my opinion, it would be better to have no cars and the occasional train go by. it would probably lead to better use of the space that is there. in 30 years in westboro, i haven’t seen any protest to the 4 lanes…why not?

in response to david’s post above. the city will never expand richmond rd between golden and woodroffe to 4 lanes. maybe from woodroffe west. think of the bottle neck that would occur at golden, plus too much neighbourhood pull….

27 11 2008
David

It would create a bottleneck, to be sure (could be lessened somewhat if on-street parking in Westboro is banned at peak periods), but that doesn’t mean they aren’t planning on doing it:

http://ottawa.ca/residents/public_consult/beyond_2020/tmp/final_draft_plan/images/map10c.pdf

There it is, from Carling to Golden. Instead of trying to stop clean, rapid transit service to Westboro we’d be better off turning our attention to the plan to try to flood Westboro with west-end car traffic. I think they should just 3-lane Richmond west of Broadview all the way to Carling so that there is a continuous left-turn lane, and leave it at that.

28 11 2008
Wallace B. (WCA Chair)

Always good to see some lively postings to the blog –anyone is free to agree or disagree with statements made by the WCA board as we’re by no means experts. However I do wish to respond to two suggestions. The boundaries of the WCA extend to Carling Avenue so it can hardly be described as NIMBYism for us to propose that Carling at least be considered as an alternative to the Parkway. Westboro does not begin or end a few blocks either side of Richmond Road so light rail on Carling Avenue would also serve Westboro. And our supporting arguments certainly reflect a “what may be better for everyone” approach. In addition, far from opposing transit improvements the WCA has been active in pushing for OC Transpo to undertake a long over-due review of all its service levels & routes in Westboro (and beyond!) as well as for the City to begin the “transportation demand management” (or TDM) exercise which was identified in the Community Design Plan as critical to tackling increased traffic by boosting walking, cycling and transit use in the area. We have indications that both of these initiatives could get underway in 2009.

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