I was standing on the Booth Street Freeway overpass at Pimisi Station looking east towards the downtown. The Rideau Transportation Group — RTG — is constructing the western portal to the downtown tunnel.
This spot is right behind the new Ottawa Public Library site, and roughly aligns with Lett Street in front of the yellow and brown apartments to the left, and the Good Companions / Empress St to the south (those two streets will be sorta connected with a MUP that goes over the top of the portal entrance and completes a much longer north-south walking and cycling network).
It’s a pretty simple tunnel portal, but nonetheless exciting to most mortals to transition from daylight to a tunnel. Or from a dark tunnel into daylight …
And I found myself wondering, that if the city could have a very shallow cut-and-cover segment of tunnel here …
Wouldn’t it have been useful to have covered the tracks in at least some blocks of the Scott Street transitway trench, to keep the tracks and the crossovers out of the weather … and cover it with a few feet of dirt to make a linear park?
Of course, I don’t think RTG nor transit users should pay for the “extra park” detailing, but the money could have come out of the downtown park funds which seem to be accumulating surpluses.
And, of course, that is cut and cover operation is exactly what is being done along the JAMacdonald Parkway and Byron linear park. Why couldn’t it have been done here?
Oh, of course, look who lives adjacent. The Scott folks are rich(er) and have abundant parks and attractive dog walk zones, while the folks further west live in (more) modest houses with family crisis shelters scattered throughout.
No wait! I think I got that backwards.