Rain behaving as planned

One of my acquaintances at City Hall absolutely hates when I show a certain picture of the new raised brick intersection for Queen at Bank. “It’s the fault of the snowbank !” he insists. And he is right, assuming we should plan and build our infrastructure according to California highway manuals instead of Canada. Winter is so short.

So I took some summer pics. After all, the rain in Ottawa lies mainly on the crosswalk:

So the new picture is Queen at … Kent. Same problem. The lowest point of the new raised intersections is the crosswalk. There is no mid-August snowbank to block drainage, it is simply that water does not flow uphill. Note that the opposite corner of the intersection also has a puddle. Sigh. This is three hours after the rain stopped.

However, this is nothing to my experience earlier at the Rideau Centre. Right in front of the bus shelters is … you guessed it … the lowest point on the street:

The driver of a bus at 9.35 took the advertising injunction to heart, and cruised through the puddle at high speed, sending a wave of water that soaked everyone in two bus shelters from the knees down. [I’ll just add that the No 7 bus driver that I caught here was very careful and courteous and crept thru puddles that appear with alarming frequency at bus stops along Beechwood].

The puddle on Rideau was augmented by water flowing down the new pedestrian mall that runs south along the side of the shopping centre. That flow of water overwhelmed the ped mall catch basin and flowed over the sidewalk to the bus lane. A welcome pedestrian environment.

I realize Rideau hasn’t got its final topcoat of asphalt yet. But that won’t change the direction of water flow, the lowest point, and the location of the bus stop. Let’s get all our key features into one place, eh.

Back uptown, it hadn’t rained for a few hours, and my walk took me along the Queen sidewalk detour between Lyon and Bay. It maintained City standards with aplomb, no doubt gleeful that it was the only ped walking space, there was no other sidewalk, and the car lane, should one choose to emulate silly old men, was very narrow to share:

If nothing, our road and sidewalk engineers are consistent.

3 thoughts on “Rain behaving as planned

  1. If the oh so wise employees down at City Hall think that changing human behaviour learned over many decades is difficult, wait until they try to retrain the falling rain. Having failed, to date, at the former, no doubt they will redouble their efforts to accomplish the latter. On the other hand, that would still be a higher probability outcome than expecting the inhabitants of the myriad of silos that populate 110 Laurier Avenue and 100 Constellation to collaborate on solving recurring design failures.

  2. Raised crosswalks and intersections are great. It’s just they are somewhat new thing and are poorly built in some places. The city must not accept jobs like that and force contractors rebuild them properly. That seems like the only way they can learn.

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