Long-sufferings readers here may recall the unfortunate initial design and build of the portion of Booth going from Albert Street, over the new OTrain Confederation Line, to the Macdonald Parkway. It was justifiable to call this a freeway design. It was as inhospitable as possible for pedestrians and cyclists, despite the location of Pimisi Station at the midpoint. A “fix” has been in the works for a long time, and the most urgently needed portion is now in place. And more improvements are in the works (read on !) Lets review the new design, which is substantially complete. Here is … Continue reading Booth Freeway Fix continues
The City is planning to expand the OTrain Line 2 (Trillium Line) south as part of light rail, phase 2. Due to the length of the line, and the expense, and that it may have less passenger traffic at the … Continue reading OTrain Line 2, new options
So is the Sens-trinity et all plan for LeBreton Flats — called IllumiNation — really dead this time? Naah. There’s lots of opportunity to raise it from the mat one more time. There’s a high profile spat going on between … Continue reading Levisoa IlumiNation !
Mega-projects like the Clichy-Batignolles are fraught with risk. The costs are enormous, as may be the returns. Large sums in turn attract various interest groups anxious to get some of the money or spend other people’s money. The former St … Continue reading Clichy-Batignolles, the future carbon-neutral city?
Yes, it is somewhat exhausting to take in all the new buildings in Clichy-Batignolles. So many seemed to yell “look at ME !” Most everybuilding had something that attracted my interest, be it balcony design, shutters, landscaping, mixed use, or … Continue reading Clichy-Batignolles, Paris, the occupied zone, walk 2
Did you enjoy your visit to Paris’s new large park? The pathways, the greenery, the pleasant space to relax or recreate. Before that we saw the Cardinet sector in its last stages of construction. Now its time to wander through … Continue reading Clichy-Batignolles, Paris, the occupied zone
The urban redevelopment scheme in the Clichy neighbourhood of central Paris is centre around Martin Luther King Park. It is 10ha. and has 14 access points from the surrounding ring of developments. The park is divided into two major portions … Continue reading Clichy-Batignolles, Paris, MLK Park
The Clichy-Batignolles plan is highly dependent on the stacking of different uses along its western edge, facing the St Lazare railway tracks, where a track level podium base holds locomotive workshops, with parking above, with offices and apartments above that. … Continue reading Clichy-Batignolles, Paris, rue Cardinet
The City of Paris decided some time ago it could not meet its climate change objectives by staying with the Haussman plan for six storey buildings. More and more mid and high rise buildings are appearing in Paris, not just … Continue reading Clichy-Batignolles, Paris, the plan
How do other western cities reconstruct major areas of their inner urban core? I set off to visit 7 such major urban renewal projects in Europe. I added a few more neighbourhoods on the way, bringing the total to over … Continue reading A Walk in Paris
Not every urban core urban renewal project turns out well. A number get stuck in times of a slow economy, changing tastes, etc. In general this is to the good, as cities built all at once tend to age and decay all at once. So hitting the pause button may make subsequent plan modifications and build-outs better reflect what works. Here’s the area around Amalie Arena, in Tampa. The public facilities all share those beloved-of-architects and -planners and -politicans grand plazas of huge open spaces. The public clamors for them too. But all too often they turn out to be … Continue reading Amalie Arena, big beautiful empty spaces
This is another of a series of older stories revisited. I think it is still relevant to planning in Ottawa today. This story is from 2015, on Portland’s South Waterfront community. With the recent planning permissions for Claridge’s Flats to go taller — look way way up — and the Sens Illumination LeBreton project west of Booth, and Zibi’s buildings on the Islands, we can expect the new neighbourhoods around Pimisi and Bayview Stations to look more like this. Height, if well handled, is not antithetical to an urban neighbourhood. Let’s look more closely at Portland. And if you haven’t … Continue reading Portland South Waterfront residential buildings
Here’s part 2 of the Portland series, from 2015. They did an excellent job of creating lively streets. We haven’t done nearly as well here in Ottawa. Yet the formulas for success are out there. Do note that since this story was first written, Claridge’s Flats project has greatly improved, with benches and gardens and resident participation and involvement growing. (We might look at that in a future story). Alas, the city continues to shun the area, except to collect fees and taxes, but not providing so much as a tot lot for the scads of kids that live there. … Continue reading Walking Portland’s SouthWaterfront streets
As part of a retrospective of previous stories on new urban neighbourhoods, lets revisit Portland’s South waterfront new urban neighbourhood. While the details of what gets built and how, may vary, new urban neighbourhoods are tending to look more and more the same. After all, architects and planners read the same world-circulation magazines and journals, attend conferences, and share ideas (sometimes better, sometimes worse). It’s part of that world homogenization that sometimes makes it hard to tell just where one is. Yes, there is a loss of sense of place. Portland is interesting because it was a strong influence on … Continue reading The view from Portland
Coming soon to WestSideAction will be some explorations of new urban neighbourhoods built from scratch. Like we have LeBreton Flats, Zibi … other cities are facing the same challenges of building entire new neighbourhoods within the established urban footprint. … Continue reading New neighbourhood: Milan
Having complained previously about the ugly oversized jersey barriers used at city hall plaza to prevent errant white vans from harming people … it is proper to bear witness to the installation of better looking large boulders around the plaza … Continue reading Stowing stones at city hall
OC Transpo has put up schematics for all the stations. These illustrations are like sandwiches and somewhat difficult for the non-geek to interpret. You can find them all here: http://www.octranspo.com/ready4rail/my_station http://www.octranspo.com/ready4rail/my_station I recommend you not to try to read … Continue reading Wayfinding for the Bayview and Pimisi stations
For the past several years OC Transpo has been reorganizing the city’s bus routes into a more rigorous grid pattern. The grid pattern is in accord with the standard international practice of replacing meandering every-point-to-every-point bus routes common to smaller … Continue reading New Confederation-era bus routes
West side residents may already be familiar with Farmer Doug and his red pickup truck selling fruit and vegetables at the shanghai parking lot on Saturday mornings. Best come exactly at 10am as he is often sold out by 10.15 or 10.30. Starting today, he will also be offering just-picked fruits and veggies on Tuesdays, from 4 to 6. This second opportunity arises because of the abundance of produce at this harvest season, and because a number of Centretowners seem to own second homes and are out of town on the weekends. Produce offerings include: Fruit and veggies at the … Continue reading See more of Farmer Doug
Rumours can be fun to hear. Even when they are highly unlikely. Sometimes the most improbable ones become accepted wisdom or folklore, especially when they tap into partisan or subliminal emotions or confirm existing biases. When I first went to … Continue reading Wet Feet in the LRT tunnel?
In an earlier story, I bitched about the heavy, clumsy use of full-size jersey barriers as safety barriers for public gatherings. As opposed to using shorter, more pedestrian friendly, but still effective half-length jersey barriers: At Westboro Fuse event this … Continue reading Building Better Barricades
Claridge continues to construct the ICON condo tower at Preston / Carling. This will be the tallest residential tower in Ottawa. Some taller ones have been approved, but are a long way from construction, so for the foreseeable future, the … Continue reading Halfway Icon
Longfields Station is on the transitway. In Barrhaven. Someday, probably not in my lifetime, it may be a LRT station. But it works just fine now as a transitway station for buses. It is not a major hub. I dont … Continue reading Is this the best we can do at a transit station?
The City recently announced some more OC Transpo route changes. Most significantly to readers here at WestSideAction, “local” bus services from the west side will no longer travel right through the downtown; nor will east side bus services travel through … Continue reading Short Cuts at OCTranspo
Since early spring (April?) there has been the single lonely trainset, mostly unmoving, parked near Tunney’s and under 24-hour babysitting/guard by a security firm car lingering on the bike path. This week, though, there have been two trainsets on the west … Continue reading At the Bayview LRT platform