The city has gone to great pains to assure the neighbourhoods around the Flats that the reconstructed Albert Street and Booth Street won’t be urban freeways. Instead they’ll be typical downtown streets.
You know. Short blocks. Frequent intersections. Signalized intersections. Low speeds. Pedestrian-centric environments that encourage walking and transit, and not speeding cars. Max of two lanes in each direction.
Mind, the first iteration, in the form of the “temporary” Albert Street and “temporary” Preston Extension didn’t actually get anywhere near those goals. They are reincarnations of King Edward Expressway sans the pretense of landscaping.
I do wonder, looking at the Booth Street overpass, just how pedestrian friendly it will be. Not yet finished, it already has signs warning there is no bike track or bike lane.
At one of the planning meetings before construction I pointed out to the engineers that the official approved plan for Booth shows the curb lanes north of the LRT station as being for off-peak parking lanes for the shops and apartments to be located along side the curb when Claridge gets around to building. They looked shocked.
Somehow, the evolving project looks like a freeway to me. Maybe it will look better when the combo bike track / sidewalks are added. And the bus stops for the No 85 and 95’s that come from Gatineau.
Here’s the view from back at the War Museum. Looks like a lot of bridge and road.
And from the Wellington – Booth intersection:
Does it look better from Booth Street south of Albert, ie in the existing residential community built as phase 1 of redeveloping the Flats back in the 1980’s, when the philosophy was low rise (under 5 stories) and high density? Oops, looks like a get-ready-to-speed-up zone …
On the other hand, there is the view from the sides. Here’s the view from the current-but-nothing-building-now Claridge side:
It was always known that Booth would be elevated a bit from its old roadbed to pass over the transitway or LRT, which is one reason Claridge put the subsidized low income rentals portion of apartments against Booth Street, since in order for him to build those units the City had to build the road first … which the city has been reluctant to do …
Alas, there is much mumbling now that the Claridge site zoning is too low when it is so close to the Pimisi Station. So, goodbye to the rest of the planned 7 and 14 story mid-rise apartments, and probably to the “brownstones” too. How tall will the new buildings be? Well, we can estimate how high the garages have to be to bring the ground floors up to street level …
and here is the view of Booth from the west, by the temporary Preston Extension:
Why does building transit always turn into more and more road facilities for car commuters?