Report on the Evered Traffic meeting

11 11 2009

by Deb Chapman, Evered resident

A meeting on November 2nd was organized by Mothercraft and the residents of Evered Ave in Westboro to present their concerns to Councillor Christine Leadman the problems with the volume of traffic and parking congestion on the street.   Three members from Mothercraft’s management and board and ten Evered Ave residents attended this meeting.   This meeting allowed the residents of Evered Ave and Mothercraft to identify problem areas and possible solutions.  Christine Leadman’s experience as Councillor for Kitchissippi Ward was invited to advise on how the City of Ottawa could help improve the traffic/parking problems on Evered Ave. 

Councillor Leadman was told that Evered Ave is the only street between Churchill and Kirkwood with direct access from Byron to Clare.  All the other north/south running streets either don’t connect to Clare or have traffic calming measures already in place.  Councillor Leadman explained that there was a traffic management study done in 2004 and that no traffic calming measures were identified for the street.  In 2008, the City also did a traffic count and speeding exercise for one day.  Two cars were recorded as going above the speed limit of the 650 that travelled down the street.

Residents who attended the meeting noted four main sources of vehicle-related problems on Evered Ave:

  1. Mothercraft has over 100 children enrolled in daycare, plus parents and children attending numerous other activities, e.g. drop-in, respite care, prenatal courses, etc.  As a result, this not-for-profit organization generates much traffic and parking congestion.  Parents that use Mothercraft services have often been seen: speeding on Evered Ave to pick-up or drop off children; parking illegally; idling for long periods of time while waiting for their children; blocking residents’ driveways; and parking in front of the fire hydrant.
  2. Our Lady of La Vang Parish church also generates similar problems during evenings and on weekends, especially on Sundays, feast days and other seasonal observances such as Lent.
  3. Drivers going West on Byron will turn on Evered Ave to avoid the long light at Churchill and Byron. There is no such problem at the traffic light on Clare from Byron.
  4. School buses drive quickly down Evered Ave.  It would be difficult for a bus to stop quickly if a child ran out.

The residents pointed out to Councillor Leadman and members of Mothercraft that there are over 25 children under the age of twelve that live on Evered Ave.  More children with their parents walk down Clare Gardens Park via the entrance on Evered Ave. There is only one sidewalk on the eastern side of the street. The children coming from the west side are obliged to cross the street to get to the sidewalk. With cars parked on both sides, it is difficult to cross the street. Most young children on Evered Ave at not allowed to play on their front lawns or in their driveways because of Mothercraft parents driving behaviour.

Residents have voiced their concerns at traffic planning meetings. This feedback was registered but did not make it into the preliminary McKellar Park/Highland Park/ Westboro Traffic Management Study of June 2008.

Councillor Leadman offered the following solutions to the traffic and parking problems on Evered Avenue:

  1. Work with Mothercraft to design a plan for dropping-off and picking-up children that is more organized and less dangerous for both Mothercraft’s parents and local children.  Councillor Leadman offered the drop-off program used by Churchill Alternative School as an example of how city traffic experts worked with the school to improve safety.  Mothercraft welcomed the City’s support to develop a plan.  Mothercraft will need to consult with their clients about how they would like to see improvements in the drop-off and pick-up of their children.
  2. In terms of parking on the street, Councillor Leadman stated that there are a number of no-parking options.  For instance, no-parking at certain times of the day or year, no parking on certain sides of the street, etc.  These options would have to be voted on by residents of Evered Ave.  Residents could request that the City pass a motion to restrict parking on the street.  A 75% consensus from residents would be needed to make any changes. Residents noted that parking on two sides of the street does act as a traffic calming device. Other residents are concerned that if parking is not allowed across the street from Mothercraft the parking problem could just move down the street. As a result, it was recommended that residents carefully consider the impact of possible changes to parking in their planning for the street.  This option will be discussed at the next meeting.
  3. Ms Leadman offered to request City by-law officials to make more frequent visits to Evered Ave to enforce by-laws on parking, speeding and idling. In addition, Ms. Leadman is requesting that a no idling sign be posted in front of Mothercraft. But residents were also encouraged to call the by-law enforcement office to report problems.  She also advised residents to call 311 to any traffic-related problems. This helps the City to become aware of traffic problems.  
  4. Councillor Leadman offered to contact someone from Our Lady of La Vang Parish church in order to convey the concerns of the Evered Ave residents, e.g. speeding, parking congestion, etc.
  5. Also discussed was a “Be Safe” public safety program.  The City could help Mothercraft design and launch a public awareness campaign for its clients regarding traffic safety.

There seemed to be few options for changing the length of time the traffic light changes at Byron and Churchill. This concerns Evered Ave residents because of the 2010 construction on the north end of Churchill.  More commuters will want to use Byron and inevitably cut down Evered Ave to avoid the long light at Churchill. Many residents see speed bumps as the only way to slow down traffic on Evered Ave.  Councillor Leadman noted that this option could take more than 12 years.

Next Steps

  1. Councillor Leadman will follow up with the items stated above and provide information as it becomes available.
  2. Councillor Leadman with contact the Our Lady of La Vang Parish church.
  3. Councillor Leadman will engage the services of a city planner to help look at traffic patterns and potential drop-off and pick-up solution to ease parking congestion and improve the safety of parents and children.
  4. Councillor Leadman will engage the services of the City to help Mothercraft develop and launch a safety campaign for Mothercraft clients.
  5. Mothercraft will continue to inform parents of the ongoing traffic and parking issues, e.g. slowing down on Evered Ave, abiding by by-laws, not blocking driveways, etc.

The next Evered Ave traffic meeting is to take place early in 2010.

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3 responses

11 11 2009
pile-Driver

Evered Ave traffic early in 2010?

12 11 2009
Deb Chapman

Paul you’re right, Tweedsmuir is also a through street between Byron and Clare. I should have said the Evered is the only through street without any traffic calming measures. I have both envied and obeyed the few traffic calming measures Tweedsmuir has: the local traffic only signs and the “bumpouts”. I’m really sorry to hear they aren’t working for the street. Perhaps the residents of Westboro need to pressure the City to have a moratorium on development until Westboro’s traffic problems are figured out.

Paul Lindsay wrote:

> Councillor Leadman was told that Evered Ave is the only street between
> Churchill and Kirkwood with direct access from Byron to Clare. All the
> other north/south running streets either don’t connect to Clare or have
> traffic calming measures already in place.

Tweedsmuir Ave. is directly connected between Byron and Clare with no traffic calming in that stretch.

I would agree with the residents of Evered that the only way to slow down traffic is to install speed bumps similar to those on Kirkwood which are perfectly manageable at the legal speed limit.

On my block of Tweedsmuir between Richmond Rd. and Byron we have a couple of “bumpouts” which were installed to calm traffic, however they are next to useless as they do not present an obstacle to a speeding motor vehicle and the sight line up the street is not altered by their presence. Furthermore, there are signs at each end of the block to the effect of local traffic only which are absolutely useless as the street is continually used by motorists seeking a quick access route to either Byron or Richmond.

by Paul Lindsay November 12, 2009 at 12:09 pm

17 11 2009
JZ

that speeding excerise was a load of crap. they put up a big orange digit speed reader for one day that showed the drivers how fast they were going. they also didn’t do it on a sunday (worst day for speeding imo).

I assume were probably measuring the speed against 50km/h. why evered isn’t a posted 40km/h steet is beyond me.

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