Cleary Station and New Orchard Station are both walk-in local-area stations. They will also offer the wider public access to the river front. The stations are very different: one is sunlit, the other is unlit.
The Cleary Station will be located at the western end of the very expensive shallow tunnel being constructed by the City starting behind The Keg Manor and Coolican Building. The new station is primarily a local (minor) station to serve adjacent neighbourhoods.
To meet NCC requirements, the platforms will be underground in the tunnel section (only people who drive motor cars shall be permitted to see the River, people who use transit must be hidden underground without even a skylight to let in some wan sunlight). Only the access building to the stairs and elevators are above ground. (For earlier commentary on the merits of this, see https://www.westsideaction.ca/westward-ho-part-iii-curse-stations-transit-users/ , part of an earlier multi part series on the LRT and the parkway ).
Access for people who walk and people who cycle, will be from Cleary Avenue and from pathways on either side of the Ottawa River Commuter Expressway. A new wider sidewalk will run from Richmond Road (where there will be bus stops for the No 2 and maybe 87 bus). Planners expect minimal kiss and ride function on Cleary, like on Dominion/Berkley Avenues. Nonetheless, residents should be lobbying for streetscaping and traffic calming now, along with generous topsoil zones for large-growing trees.
Here is the plan view:
You will note is is a bit skimpy on the details alongside the Unitarian properties (to the left), probably because that is still in negotiation. Immediately south of the station is a high rise condo site currently occupied by a mini-mall-pending-intensification.
Normally we wouldn’t get much more preview than the plan, but to their credit City planners have provided a series of sketchups that are more useful. Here is the view from the Unitarian site:
And from the condo at the corner of Cleary / Richmond:
Cleary Station looks remarkably discrete and won’t be an obvious noise generator nor marr the view. For those people walking or cycling in from the neighbourhood to the south, here’s the view from the corner of Richmond:
The new station at New Orchard is on the south edge of Richmond Road, offering excellent access from and into the popular linear park that separates Richmond and Byron. Like Dominion and Cleary, this is primarily a local station for walkin and cycle access. Whatever buses (No 2, maybe 87?) use Richmond will have a stop adjacent. The platforms will be in an open cut (not in the tunnel), ie the trains will approach from either side in the tunnel but the station itself will be in daylight.
New Orchard has nice access to the river front parklands via an underpass, which dramatically expands easy access to the river for more Ottawa residents.
Because construction of the tunnel and associated infrastructure works will majorly tear up Richmond Road, there is the opportunity to rebuild it as a complete street with dedicated cycling lanes and pedestrian amenities. I think the local community association will have to watch this like a hawk to make sure it really is a friendly complete street and not some traffic sewer / arterial (choose your vocabulary) with some Amenity flavoured lipstick.
On either side of the Station — as well as the Station building itself – there will be a total dig up of the linear park in order to cut and cover the tunnel. This is an opportunity to make major improvements to the linear park which has a dated look and reflects the low budget when it was built. I think the local community association should also be lobbying for a review of the function of Byron and a total redesign of that street to make the travel lanes narrower (slowing thru traffic) and adding walkways and not incidentally enlarging the linear park by about 15%.
It shall be interesting to see how traffic will be handled during construction. Using Byron for eastbound and Richmond for westbound for two years of construction seems logical, but whatever the detour arrangements they are temporary and should not determine whether or not the WLRT is built or a station located at Cleary.
Here’s a view of Richmond at New Orchard Avenue, with the station to eventually replace the bus stop on the left.
And here is the plan view. The lack of details and conceptual nature of the plan clearly tells us this Station hasn’t got very far in the design process, just enough to show that at station fits:
The Number 87 bus that runs north-south on Woodroffe Avenue will need to be terminated at Richmond (ie, it will no longer go downtown via the Parkway). From Richmond / Woodroffe, it could go either east or west to stop on Richmond at either the Cleary or New Orchard Stations, and loop back via Byron.
Next: the new Lincoln Fields and points west