Recall that last week the Preston extension (running north from Albert to a legal crosswalk over the transitway to NCC paths along the River) was suddenly gated and locked. We still don’t know for sure who did it, but the NCC seems willing to take the hit.
Then, the next day the gate was open. I am told that the chain/lock were cut rather than unlocked.
On Tuesday evening, the path received heavy use for patrons heading out to Bluesfest, where they could catch The Long Waits and The NeverEnding Lineups. About dusk I headed out to check out the route.
Upon first seeing the route, the wife announced that a 747 must be making an emergency landing there. Our second thought was that Kate and her Willy were back to catch a few concerts. Indeed, the were was an enormous bright light illuminating the crossing of the transitway. The extension itself was lined with barricades on either side to prevent people from wandering off into the dangerous deep grasses of LeBreton Flats. OC Transpo was out in force with security guards and a large overhead light to make the crossing safer!
OC Transpo pulled out all the stops for the event. Three cars and four officers were requried to
man person the crosswalk. Looking east and west, there was an enormous platoon of buses awaiting the rush minutes at the end of the show. Drivers start appearing at the end of regular work day rush hour, socializing until the last concert. I do wonder why OC cannnot have at least some of them cruising the 95 route all evening, offering a bit of extra service to the patrons of the transitway.
Despite the location of Bluesfest adjacent the transitway and O-Train service, thousands of people drove to the event*. What puzzles me is the common hope amongst motorists that they can arrive late and find convenient on-street parking in the first residential block off the site. Hint: try crusin’ the streets starting about a kilometer away.
Meanwhile, word continues to spread amongst neighbors that the Preston extension is to be closed to public use, and if it happens, we can expect a loud chorus of disapproval from many.
*The optimists in the Glebe continually point to the Flats as an “ideal” stadium site, conveniently ignoring the one they have, its partial replacement, or the next best recommended site(s) which were also in the same Glebe/Ottawa South areas. That proximity to rapid transit will result in no traffic problems, or neighborhood noise or parking problems, can be disproven by a simple walk around our neighborhood on Noisefest evenings. Every street, corner, and bulbout has cars appended, the main streets are closed for crowd control, etc etc. Honestly, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to thinking we live in the Glebe.