Stowing stones at city hall

Having complained previously about the ugly oversized jersey barriers used at city hall plaza to prevent errant white vans from harming people … it is proper to bear witness to the installation of better looking large boulders around the plaza perimeter. Coupled with the trees and lamp posts, they will prevent unauthorized intrusion by large vehicles.

In the pic below, you can see the fairly large excavated pit, filled and compacted with gravel, into which the boulders are set. And the pile of tree roots displaced. Looks like it will be only a few days before the topsoil is replaced and vegetation restored.

Also note that the city went with economical natural boulders rather than formal granite or limestone blocks that probably would have been an architect’s choice. Once more, one more somewhat safer place …

5 thoughts on “Stowing stones at city hall

  1. These boulders are a more attractive, likely less expensive, solution than permanent bollards. Add in the opportunity to temporarily move them to allow large equipment to access the protected area.

  2. Plus, they provide seating; but are not as susceptible to damage from snow plows as decorative benches are. And they can provide lots of entertainment/exercise for children (although the City’s lawyers might get “NO CLIMBING” signs added). I’m a big fan of large rocks and think that they should be used more often. A very welcome alternative from ‘Jersey Barriers’.

    (Now, what can be done around the British High Commission? Last time I was down in that area, they still had huge ‘Jersey Barriers’ along Albert Street.)

  3. Shhh, dont give the lawyers more ideas !

    as for the British HC, they have huge permanent planters in front of the building. Large precast planters should have been put on the sides of the building, in the curb lane, long time ago. I suspect they haven’t been because of a bureaucratic turf war between the city, NCC, Feds, Global etc.

  4. I love these types of big rocks! But I am worried about the tree that lost so much of its roots. We have to stop sacrificing one benefit, or should I say right?!, against another. Recent examples where the trees lost: ped/bike crossing on Wellington Street near the future site of the central library (can’t recall whether they cut 1 or maybe even 2 trees), ped crossing on Preston at Anderson (I am pretty convinced that this tree died because of the construction as it was one of the few that had thrived along the street).

    I want BOTH safe pedestrian areas and trees. If safety is an afterthought or we must add new safety because motorists’ new risky habits, I would prefer above ground solutions, like planters. With maintenance of course, or an “Adopt a planter” program.

    Let’s ask in the municipal election debates: when are we in Ottawa going to adopt Vision Zero for both peds and cyclists?! We need both the philosophy (consistently represented in planning) and commitment (annual budget allocations).

Thank you for reading. So what do you think?