West Side Transportation Cornucopia, part vi – Bayview Station overpass

Let’s look at that confusing stretch of road between Bayview Avenue and City Centre Avenue. Legally known as Albert Street, many folks persist in calling it Scott Street (which only runs west of Bayview). It’s a bleak and uninviting bit … Continue reading West Side Transportation Cornucopia, part vi – Bayview Station overpass

West Side Transportation Cornucopia, part iv – Scott Street at Holland

Scott Street, between Holland Avenue/Tunney’s Pasture, and Merton, is currently  configured as four lanes. In addition, there is an on-road painted east-bound cycle lane: There is also a bi-directional MUP on the north side of Scott, that handles all westbound … Continue reading West Side Transportation Cornucopia, part iv – Scott Street at Holland

Yes you can, Mr Mayor

John Turner and Jim Watson have lots in common. In a crisis, both  claim they can’t do something. It didn’t work out well for Mr Turner. So people get killed moving about in Ottawa. Anyone looking at the traffic fatalities knows … Continue reading Yes you can, Mr Mayor

1871 Railway turntable uncovered on LeBreton Flats

In addition to a 1871 roundhouse turntable, parts of a 1883 roundhouse have also been uncovered on LeBreton Flats near Bayview Station. The archaeological dig covers some city land where the Trillium OTrain line and Trillium multi-user pathway is located, and … Continue reading 1871 Railway turntable uncovered on LeBreton Flats

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

Navigating Scott-Albert (east bound)

Alas, for those people walking or cycling east towards the downtown, there won’t be a separated multi-user path, nor as direct a path as along the north side of Scott and Albert. Starting near Tunney’s, there is a south-side east-bound painted bike lane, which I suppose it a wee tad better than cycling with sharrows in the “50KMH” lanes: The cycling lane is “buffered” from cars, trucks, and buses by a 2′ painted median, but the cycling lane is also the right turn lane and driveway access lane. And boy, are there ever a lot of those: There are many … Continue reading Navigating Scott-Albert (east bound)

Navigating Albert-Scott (westbound)

People who drive westwards from the downtown using Albert and then Scott have big flashing traffic signs, painted arrows, and scrupulously scraped bare pavement. While the lane markings are new, the learning curve should be short. My only bugbear on this so far is the sudden merge of the two westbound traffic lanes around Brickhill Street (just before Good Companions). People who cycle and people who walk face some more challenges. To RTG’s credit a few small ped directional signs have appeared near Bayview Station. So maybe it is worthwhile to follow the route for people who walk or cycle … Continue reading Navigating Albert-Scott (westbound)

Tunney’s Pasture new Master Plan (Concept Plan)

Here are some illustrations of what the Feds are proposing to do to Ottawa’s third largest employment centre, Tunney’s Pasture. Here’s the current view, looking south towards Scott, from Brooke Claxton tower. The centre boulevard space remains. Disappointingly, there were no sketches of anything to enliven that strip that Greber insisted on so we can all admire the International Style architecture of the Claxton Building. In my mind, that strip desperately needs Landscaping and People.   Most employees in the new mixed Government and private sector office buildings will arrive on the LRT. In addition to the current 10,000 employees, … Continue reading Tunney’s Pasture new Master Plan (Concept Plan)

Yet another Scott Street > transitway option

Recall that the current transitway, running in an open cut through the west side, will be replaced by rail tracks for the new Confederation Line LRT. There is a construction lead time to construct the tracks and the new stations at Tunney’s and Bayview and LeBreton, so the buses now on the transitway will have to be detoured during the construction period. Others are busy working on detours that do not involve Scott and Albert Streets. This is the second exploration  of how the detour could occur on Scott-Albert. (for the first option, see:       http:/www.westsideaction.ca/putting-the-buses-onto-scott-albert/ ; the comments … Continue reading Yet another Scott Street > transitway option

Better thinking about complete streets

There are a number of “complete street” initiatives on the west side. Over the next week, let’s look at three of them. First, Scott Street CDP. This plan is in progress, and the details may evolve. Scott Street had a first, econo-version of complete street-ing two years ago when the section west of Island Park was put on a road diet. Four traffic lanes were reduced to two, with left turn lanes, and bike lanes were added to the street. Some bits of sidewalk also appeared.  It was a big improvement, despite my previous criticisms that too many of the … Continue reading Better thinking about complete streets

Slow progress, but progress nonetheless

The wheels of local government grind slowly. Very slowly. Very very slowly. But they do grind along, and in the spirit of better late than never, both the NCC and City are currently engaged in pedestrian improvement actions that I heartily approve of. First, consider Lincoln Fields transit station. [I note the City wants to drop the word Pasture from the Tunney’s moniker; can Fields be next?].  When the transitway was built thirty-odd years ago, pedestrian access was out to Carling Avenue. Pedestrians, after all, are only accessories to vehicular design. In the City’s and NCC fantasy world, peds were … Continue reading Slow progress, but progress nonetheless

Sim-City model: Bayview-carling CDP

The City has been sporadically doing up a CDP (Community Design Plan) (which is a plan of dubious effectiveness under the Official Plan) for the O-Train corridor running from Bayview Station to Carling Avenue. Residents frequently ascribe its tardiness to a desire on the part of the City to see all the developable land purchased and rezoned before the plan is drawn up. In that way, the city won’t have to continually amend it. The City is committed to having CDPs done for all the stations along the OLRT. Having seen some of the in-progress ones I’d have to say they are better than nothing.  At least they … Continue reading Sim-City model: Bayview-carling CDP

Planning the O-Train bike path

Okay, so it’s not really a “bike path”, the City doesn’t have any of those. We have MUPs, or Multi User Paths, which are shared by cyclists, dog walkers, parents with wailers, grannies with yappers, kids alone,  etc. (It makes an interesting contrast: on roads, cyclists are told to play nicely with cars, buses, and tractor-trailers going 70km; off road, cyclists are sent to play with various pedestrian folks). I’m on the PAC (public advisory committee) for the O-Train path that will eventually run from the Ottawa River pathways south to Dow’s Lake. The City will construct the section from Bayview Station to Somerset (or maybe … Continue reading Planning the O-Train bike path

Air rights over the transitway/LRT

Councilor Katherine Hobbs is in the news for asking the City to examine developing the air rights over the west side part of the transitway/LRT line. I have a bunch of mutually contradictory thoughts on this. 1. The City should sell air rights to help pay for the transitway. Taxpayers are forking out a bundle of money for a transit line, we can recoup some of that expenditure by selling prime access to the most-accessible locations in the city. Otherwise, many of the development benefits go to the builders on adjacent lands. In some cases, these are private developers; in the case … Continue reading Air rights over the transitway/LRT

March of the High Rises

The City has recently seen a spate of high rise applications and project announcements. Claridge has a number of downtown high rises in the high 20- storey range: beside Bell Canada, on Nepean and Gloucester, and on Queen at Lyon (currently Barbarella’s and a parking lot). There are taller applications too. The first out of the gate* was Soho Italia, proposed for 500 Preston Street near Dow’s Lake. The Soho Italia structure is notable for several features: most of the parking garage is above grade (about 7 stories of it) clad in a perforated black metal screen; the building rises straight up occupying all of … Continue reading March of the High Rises

Parking trouble

Motorists are endlessly optimistic they will find free parking right at the front door of where they want to go. Who do they think they are, Hollywood actors in a movie? Consider these optimists at Tunney’s Pasture: Those cars are parked on the bridge that goes over the transitway. They probably feel themselves pretty lucky and clever, having found on-street parking, sans meters, sans time restrictions, right close to the office. Of course, once someone finds the space, copy cat parkers arrive. Alas, the reason there aren’t any “no parking” signs is because the city doesn’t need to post them, because … Continue reading Parking trouble


Last Saturday, readers who also listen to the CBC awoke to a real nightmare. My dulcet tones were on the morning news, talking to Laurie Fagin about the lack of markings on the multi-user path (MUP) that runs along the north side of Scott Street and Albert Street.” Is it a bike path?” was the theme of the story. (It’s OK, you can listen to the radio today, it is Eric-free). Long time readers may recall that last May or June I reported that the City decided to paint a yellow line down the path to clearly indicate that it is … Continue reading BikeWest

LRT Stations Revealled (part ii) Tunney’s Pasture

Tunney’s Pasture is the interm western end of the initial LRT system. At Tunney’s, riders will transfer from bus rapid transit on the transitway to LRT to go through the downtown and then on to Blair Road in the East. Tunney’s is the second largest employment node in the City, and will triple in size over the next few decades. At some point the LRT service will extend west of Tunney’s to Lincoln Fields and then out to College Square. The new LRT station will replace the existing bus station at Tunney’s, down in the cut. The train track will extend a few meters west … Continue reading LRT Stations Revealled (part ii) Tunney’s Pasture