Trillium MUP Phase 3, aka OTrain path extension

The recently constructed paved Trillium Pathway currently terminates as it crosses Carling Avenue, in the top left corner of the above aerial view. Those who persevere can follow the worn out remainders of the NCC’s 1963 stonedust pathway along the … Continue reading Trillium MUP Phase 3, aka OTrain path extension

Some real ped improvements, and some not

It is good to be (still) living, in a time when transportation is finally focusing on people who walk, people who cycle, and not just people who drive. Yet to come, of course, is any concern for the people living … Continue reading Some real ped improvements, and some not

Contempt for Pedestrians at Transit Station and some Unworthy thoughts as to how it came to be that way

The temporary LeBreton transit station requires many transferring people and station walk-ins to cross one or more intersections. Some of the crossings, or repeated crossings, are because the city was too cheap to provide sidewalks  even paved shoulders on both … Continue reading Contempt for Pedestrians at Transit Station and some Unworthy thoughts as to how it came to be that way

Trillium Path Extended to Carling Avenue

As promised by the City, the extension of the Trillium (OTrain) pathway from Young to Carling Avenue is essentially complete. I think it is wonderful. Multi-user pathways (MUP’s) get better with every new build. The most significant new feature for a MUP is a physical separation of people who cycle from people who walk, or animals who walk their humans. The bike path portion remains full width; the pedestrian portion is additional, bonus width. There is a very low curb between the two paths to separate them. The lowness of the curb prevents a pedal from getting caught. The separated … Continue reading Trillium Path Extended to Carling Avenue

Fences Fences Everywhere a Fence

Fences, fences, everywhere a fence ! IF it’s not a song yet, it should be ! But I’m not sitting on one, there is no doubt in my mind that these fences are trouble. It is truly amazing the City (or is it RTG) spending so heavily on fences along Albert and Scott. These ones, along Scott, are wooden … … to keep the salt and slush from splashing on the houses when the 2500 buses a day go crusin’ by. They will also block some of the residential views of the bus lanes, albeit at the price of a … Continue reading Fences Fences Everywhere a Fence

New Preston Separated Bike track

Preston Street and West Wellington were reconstructed several years ago with much improved pedestrian facilities and nice landscaping [every street should be similar]. However, neither included bike lanes or bike tracks (tracks were recently constructed on most of Churchill Avenue south of Byron).  Instead, people who cycle were viewed as “recreational” , able to be diverted off the main street onto side streets (eg Armstrong) or the Trillium Pathway. That people who cycle might want to shop or eat was underrated, and still is by some BIA’s. I was surprised, therefore, to see this separated bike track appear just days … Continue reading New Preston Separated Bike track

Rare unplanned-for-event at the transit station …

Readers of yesterday’s story might get the impression I was unenthused about the design of the Preston extension and LeBreton temporary transit station. You’d be right. Now we all know it snows in Ottawa. Sometimes a lot. So I am sure the planning boffins ran their fingers over the paved road shoulder “sidewalks” and the platforms at LeBreton Station and the walking required to get from platform to platform, or neighbourhood to platform. And then imagined how they  could be plowed. And then coordinated with the snow plow folks to ensure the stations and their access were plowed early, plowed … Continue reading Rare unplanned-for-event at the transit station …

Temporary transit station puts cars first, part 2

Yesterday, we looked at the car-first infrastructure at the Lyon LRT station entrance. Money appears to be available to spend on cars, but not pedestrians, even when building transit infrastructure. This save-a-penny attitude, when it comes to pedestrians, prevails in the city’s rail implementation office. Down on the Flats, Preston was recently extended out to the War Museum. The extension is temporary. It is wise to be frugal when building throw-away infrastructure, as this road will be rolled up and trashed in two years. But the penny pinching didn’t include narrower car lanes. No siree, they are full width, and the … Continue reading Temporary transit station puts cars first, part 2

Sidney – we barely knew ya ! Now it’s time to go.

    There are a lot of condos proposed for the corner of Sidney and Preston (and to think this used to be a city-owned site, sold in the 1970’s. I hope we got lots of use out of that money. ),  Of course, there are a few more condos proposed around these ones, condos being such friendly sociable things. In the drawing above, Sidney Street is the horizontal short street running from left to right, debouching onto Preston. Alas, it does so quite close to the Preston-Carling intersection, which might cause queueing at rush hours, so the  traffic study … Continue reading Sidney – we barely knew ya ! Now it’s time to go.

Streets are for cars, dummy !

Drop into the sales offices of the various developers active in the south end of Preston Street and you’ll notice a common theme. Their site is close (-er, or -est) to Preston, its lively cafe culture, the restaurants, the cute ethnics parading on the street.   A big part of Preston’s charm is that it is the traditional anchor of the Italian community. Most of them may have pulled up home anchors and sailed to greener suburban pastures, but the pull of church, banquets, “card games” at the cafe, weddings … the heart returns to Little Italy. Every year the … Continue reading Streets are for cars, dummy !

Who’s paving paradise ?

Well, OK, Preston Street ain’t exactly the paradise of the song. But it is a pretty damn nice street. The City spent  eleven (?) million tax dollars about 5 years ago to put the street on a road diet, to widen the sidewalks, install greened side boulevards with trees and shrubs. The front yards of residential properties were landscaped too. And the BIA contributed bike posts, tree lighting, and other features. I think most people would find it a very pleasant street to walk and shop on. It’s even better in the evenings when the lighting effects shine. The city … Continue reading Who’s paving paradise ?

The Bambini arrive on Preston

  The Preston BIA is sponsoring a gateway feature at Preston-Gladstone, designed to frame the view up Gladstone towards St Anthony Church. A series of large (7m high) concrete and metal stelae are being installed on the northeast and southeast corners, in a semi-circle. Various interpretations of the figures are possible: family, community, soccer team … If you are familiar with the intersection, you may have noticed the paver pattern in sidewalk initiates the circle theme. Originally, the pavers were to extend over the street surface, but hey, that might “confuse” and slow down rush hour commuter traffic, so that … Continue reading The Bambini arrive on Preston

The case of the missing bike posts

  When Preston Street was rebuilt just a few short years ago, there were two bike posts installed on the brick pavers shown above. They were installed at the expense of the Preston BIA, since this predates the city program of installing parking-meter-post-conversions. One disappeared, then the other. I have brought this to the attention of our cycling advocates at city hall, suggesting the sturdier ring posts the city now uses would be very appropriate here. No dice. And I know others have made the same suggestion too, including Councillor’s staff and the (now defunct) RCAC. But those bike posts … Continue reading The case of the missing bike posts

Preston “extension” bike path going, going … gone

  The Preston Extension (shown above),  the leftover bit of pavement that runs north from the Preston-Albert intersection, that takes cyclists out to the Aqueduct bike path (now remediated into a pit) and eventually the  Sir John A Mcdonald (JAM?)  Path, is due to be closed this spring. It won’t reopen in a hurry. The surrounding brownfields will be remediated. For a clue as to what that will look like, examine the Damascas-like terrain out by the War Museum. Then the Confederation Line LRT track will replace the transitway. It will be bordered on both sides with six-foot chain link … Continue reading Preston “extension” bike path going, going … gone

Preston CDP report available for your reading pleasure

Here is the official public version of the city planning dept draft CDP for the Carling end of the Bayview-Carling CDP. You can read it at the same time as the developers ! Lots of good words. It remains to be seen what good deeds remain once everyone has a kick at making changes. For a start, I’m not fan of the mews proposed along the east side of the OTRAIN cut and bike path, or the proposed nine storey height limit. All of the little side streets of preston should remain at 4 stories, with maybe a bonus … Continue reading Preston CDP report available for your reading pleasure

Bayview Carling report, better maps

Being computer illiterate, I do have some problems sometimes getting maps or illustrations  out of reports to paste into these stories. So, here are some larger, hopefully clearer and more detailed illustrations of what George Dark and our planning dept (and developers) want to see in the west side Preston-Carling Little Italy neighbourhood. Alas, I cannot make “live” links to outside websites or previous posts (somehow, the blue letters that make links live don’t work for me…) and for these maps the key is a separate picture from the actual map. Here goes:   __________________________________________________________________       _______________________________________________________________     … Continue reading Bayview Carling report, better maps

One small victory

Dealing with the City, or property owners, can be tiresome. Sometimes there seems to be so little progress. Or progress gets undone by strange decisions, like the City’s push to rezone most of the low rise residential areas south of the Queensway on both sides of Preston, to high rise, now that the neighborhood has been stabilized… But there are victories. Little bits of progress that make one come back and try again. Do you recognize this? Its on Somerset Street, opposite the Plant Rec Centre. It’s the back wall of Luciano’s and May’s Chinese Garden restaurant, beside their parking … Continue reading One small victory