No new bridges til we use the old ones first

Are existing Ottawa River bridges really at capacity? We traditionally measure capacity in vehicles carried, and by this measure some bridges are very busy. But if we measure capacity by people carried, the story changes. Typically, in North America, bridges … Continue reading No new bridges til we use the old ones first

OC Transpo bus routes in the downtown, 2018 version

This is part iii   of a series on downtown bus routes once the Confederation Line opens in 2018. Part i was on STO routes. Part ii was aimed at understanding what OC Transpo is trying to achieve with the new bus … Continue reading OC Transpo bus routes in the downtown, 2018 version

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

Traffic splitting in the Glebe

Rescue Bronson was born a few years ago when the City decided to “improve” [for through motor traffic] Bronson north of the Queensway. Their plans did not include landscaping, traffic calming, fixing the jack rabbit stop-and-start flow or the frequent rapid lane changes. Pedestrians? Never heard of ’em. Cyclists — run ’em over til they go somewhere else. Rescue Bronson had limited success in correcting the City’s mania to facilitate commuting to Pointe Gatineau. We got better landscaping. A signalized intersection at Arlington where the unmarked crossing was heavily used by cyclists and pedestrians. Cost of relocating the utility poles … Continue reading Traffic splitting in the Glebe

Down from the Summit

Yes, I attended the Mayor’s Summit. Nothing totally earth-shaking. Everyone — including developers — singing the same tune of vibrant street level facades. Even Diane Deans, of Gloucester Ward, emphasizing how much she opposes road widenings (in her ward) (beyond four lanes). The afternoon speaker, Jeffrey Tumlin, was on transportation. He maintains that transportation planning is urban planning, since one shapes the other, twins locked in an embrace (to the death?). He explained the futility of road widening to fix congestion. The widened road fixes the problem for a short time, then traffic volumes grow. Some of the growth is because … Continue reading Down from the Summit

Islands in the … asphalt

It’s easy when in one’s home city to fall into the trap of the local mindset. For example, our traffic engineers seem to get really excited, in a negative way, whenever the local natives lobby for features in the middle of the street. “Can’t be done” they chime, “it’s unsafe”. Or we won’t be able to plow the streets. Or some such excuse. Because they really are just excuses. After all, are the streets there to serve the adjacent businesses and residents or are they there for the convenience of through traffic? Uh, no, you don’t have to answer that question. Every engineer … Continue reading Islands in the … asphalt

The Dog Shelter Condos – Is Ashcroft Serious?

The Champagne Avenue area — immediately west of the O-Train near Carling Avenue — has been a hotbed for developers recently. Domicile built two red brick mid-rise condo towers and some townhouses at the southwest corner near Carling Avenue.  He has another one – Hom – starting at the corner of Hickory and Champagne. Starwood Mastercraft has the vacant lot at the NE corner of Hickory and Champagne, where they are building two towers, about 16 floors high, the Soho Champagne. Here is an aerial view of the neighborhood, taken from somewhere above the soon-to-be-demolished Sir John Carling Building (which should instead … Continue reading The Dog Shelter Condos – Is Ashcroft Serious?

Road to nowhere

Booth Street … what did our neighbourhood do to deserve such an abused street? Legally a local collector, it is of course abused by thousands of motorists daily who use it as a shortcut between the Queensway and Chaudiere Bridge. Every year on Nov 11th we notice it is deserted, which establishes that it is used by civil servants (who don’t work that day) and not by private sector, teachers, or university profs (who do work that day). But who the motorists is, is of less import than the fact that the street shouldn’t be carrying the volume of traffic it does. And … Continue reading Road to nowhere

Ontario Bike Summit, Day 1

The Ontario Bike Summit started Monday at the Museum of Nature, and continues on Tuesday. Bug Me, says Watson: What’s a public meeting without politicians to speak? This meeting opened with an abundance of them. Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson spoke of the increased volume of cyclists (155,000 in May) and their increased visibility. Speaking of the Laurier Separated Bike Lane (SBL) he made it clear that he understood some cyclists did not like the project, but “they don’t have to use it”. It is designed to offer a safer route for cyclists, to encourage more cycling, and to facilitate tourists who cycle … Continue reading Ontario Bike Summit, Day 1

Declines in Interprovincial traffic on bridges

This is a guest post by John Verbaas, continuing on the theme of declining traffic counts even while we build more roads: “Here’s  one that is dear to my heart.  The information is from a graph taken from the Dillon Consulting Study in 2009-2010 done for studying the impact of reducing King Edward from 6 lanes to 4 lanes.   It shows the 10 yr  trend analysis of daytime traffic volumes on all of the Ottawa River Crossing bridges.  The traffic is flat to declining on all of these bridges except the westernmost one (Champlain).   Amazingly somehow the NCC decided in their … Continue reading Declines in Interprovincial traffic on bridges

Traffic counts

 Here is a city data set on streets and traffic volumes. AADT means average annual daily traffic (ie, daily traffic averaged over a year to account for seasonal and daily fluctuations). If you find a four lane urban road with under 18,000-21,000 aadt then it is a candidate for a road diet. The diet might recover the outside lanes for landscaping and streetscaping, protected parking lanes, bike lanes, or some combination. But maybe it isn’t needed for through traffic. Get out your red pencils! Roadway Classifications & Volumes     Roadway Classification Street Location AADT Survey Date Ward   Local    … Continue reading Traffic counts

Traffic in decline? some examples

In response to the previous post, a reader JV sent me data showing that some traffic predictions for 2021 (predictions made in 2003 TMP) are wildly too high, and that in fact measured traffic is actually declining on the Main Street and Bank Street bridge screenlines. (Bridges make nice places to count traffic as they are funnels, with limited by-pass options). Nonetheless, these old predictions continue to carry weight in justifying more road expenditures. Hmm. Anecdotal evidence, or some sample points, does not yet make a trend. But I am reminded that when our neighborhood fought the Bronson widening (see, suggesting … Continue reading Traffic in decline? some examples