I concur with Dr Firestone that Ottawa took its eye off the ball regarding the transitway. It always has money for road widenings and intersection “improvements” and new roads, and new bridges, but not enough for transitway extensions. Ask a city politician, and you get a dirge back about it’s the provinces or fed’s fault because they aren’t funding the transitway. Funny, the feds don’t fund a lot of stuff, but that doesn’t prevent the city from spending its own money. The City, IMO, has spending problems more than it has funding problems.
I must say at this point that Prof Bruce is on a roll here, a hit parade of the bigger errors. Fortunately, Ottawa as a City actually does very little (almost everything nice or significant in Ottawa is from the NCC or the Feds) or else it would screw up more.
One of my pet peeves regarding street trees is the ridiculously high standards the city demands before planting trees. It has never planted trees along Albert (through the Flats) or City Centre Avenue or some other places the community has continually asked for, because “those sites are only temporary, and will be redeveloped [someday] so trees would be a waste of money”. We’ve been asking since 1982; most city trees would have grown, matured, and died of old age before any such redevelopment occurs. Better a lifetime in a barren city than plant one more tree.
As for the Flats, what a fiasco. The city road department was ruling the roost when the Flats agreement was signed with the NCC, and the roads folks wanted sidewalks adjacent the curb to be snow-clearable by road equipment, so — no curbside trees permitted. The NCC fought for tree lined streets. The City refused. Shortly after signing the Flats agreement, the city changed it policy to permit side boulevard trees. Everywhere — except the Flats. There, the NCC is still stuck with the outdated policy. When the City decided to have CDP’s or update old CDP’s all along the new LRT line, they decided in their wisdom that they would not reopen the Flats one. I pointed out we were condemning the entire Flats to a substandard urban environment due to the ill-founded tree policy. The CDP stays closed, the City isn’t interested in the NCC project lookin’ good.
On Booth Street a few years back, the City chopped down a dozen front yard trees (to replace water lines) planted as part of the neighborhood improvement program in 1982. They refused to replant them, claiming that there wasn’t enough room for a 20′ diameter ground space around the tree trunk and therefore insufficient room for them to thrive. Only in Ottawa.
My thanks to Dr Firestone for letting me post his slides, and for his speech at the recent AGM of the Dalhousie Community Assoc.