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2013-03-27 Meeting Minutes

7:00 p.m.,  Wed Mar 27th , 2013.  
Dalhousie Community Centre
755 Somerset Street West, Ottawa
room 34 (3rd floor rear, exit left from elevator)

Present:  J. Verbaas (Action Sandy Hill),  Gaby Schaeffer (Old Ottawa East CA),  Jordan Charbonneau (Centretown Citizens CA), Roland Dorsay (Island Park CA), John Woodhouse (Walk Ottawa)


1) Administrative
  - Agenda review, Meeting Secretary
  - Approval of Minutes: Jan 27, 2013

2) Report on the release of 2011 Origin-Destination survey results
  • this document will serve as key input to the next stage of the 2013 Transportation Master Plan (TMP) update.  The origin-destination information is extrapolated up to the full population and for projected future population and employment growth to estimate the demand on the road network over the next 20 yrs.  This will be used to identify capacity deficiencies and set the list of road expansions that are planned for the next 20 yrs.  That list of road expansions is to be published for public comment in the April to Jun 2013 timeframe.
  • the absolute  number  of trips in the NCR went up by 3.7% in the 6 years since 2005 (.6%/yr), slower than the rate of growth of the population which increased by 7.2% and the number of employed persons which went up by 8.2%
  • as a result, daily trip rates per person and per household (counting all types of trips by all modes) are continuing to decline, as does the rate of increase of daily total trips in the region
  •  40% increase in daily cycling trips since 2005 (up to 1.8% of total daily trips)
  •  decline in peak period trips across the Ottawa River (this decline appears to be more isolated to the east end of the region than the west end)
  • peak period driving trips from the AltaVista, Hunt Club, and Riverside south areas towards the downtown also appear to have declined.  This should be follow-up up to determine what implications this could have for the so called need to build the AltaVista Corridor

3) Transportation Master Plan Update
  • report on CCC's submission by Mar 1 deadline
  • a review of both the 2008 TMP and the preliminary policy proposals for the 2013 update show that there are many positive proposals for supporting active transportation, instituting a more rigourous process for deciding when new road expansions should go ahead, and pursuing other options for raising revenue for covering the costs of operating and expanding the road network.  Few of these were followed up on over the intervening 2008-2013 period.  CCC's main input is to emphasize the importance of following through on the commitments made in the TMP.
  • City preliminary proposals (including public comments) for the Official Plan update was tabled at Mar 26th planning committee (with very little mention of transportation topics)
  • next steps: April release expected by City of list of future transportation (road expansion) needs
  • CCC will focus on mentions of AVTC in this doc
  • public input to be completed by Jun when these needs are grouped into phases

4) Update on Interprovincial Crossings Study
  • report on discussion with Jim Watson's office re. potential truck routings with a new bridge in place. The mayor's office understands from the study documents that have been released that a new bridge is projected to lead to a 30% reduction in the number of trucks passing through downtown (Macdonald Cartier + Chaudiere's bridges).  Downtown communities are expecting a much better result than this.
  • many new study reports have been released  on www.ncrcrossings.ca (Impacts on Boating/Sailing,  Community Impacts, etc)
  • announcement of preferred corridor expected this spring
  • next steps for CCC?  We will try to arrange a meeting with Ottawa-Centre MPP Yasr Naqvi to inform his office that the current plans may result in a significant displacement of trucks from the M-C bridge to his riding (Chaudiere's bridge).  We will seek his assistance in setting up a meeting to discuss these issues further with the MTO

5) Preston-Carling District Plan
  •   the city is initiating a study to understand the cumulative impact of all the highrises planned for the Preston-Carling area.  This includes a proposal to build a new road parallel to the east side of the O-Train line to connect the short 1-way streets on the west side of Preston.  
  • There is much community opposition to this idea.
6) Status update on Main St re-design
  •  efforts are focused at the moment on getting the power lines 'undergrounded'.  City policy does not support financing this kind of expenses, however the City currently plans to underground new power lines to feed the LRT on a street parallel to Main and the community is advocating to change the plan to send the LRT power down Main St and underground the existing Main St power lines at the same time.  
  • undergrounding of the power lines would make it possible to add more space along the street for walking and cycling
  • the proposal to change the road profile to 3-lanes also  in order to make more space available for walking and cycling is taking a back seat to the power lines discussions at the moment.  This will be a big test of the City's commitment to a "complete streets" philosophy.

7) Walk Ottawa/Ecology Ottawa efforts promoting 'Complete Streets'
  • about 60 people attended the Mar 26th event at UofO promoting Complete Streets
  • break out sessions were held to discuss strategies for promoting the on-line petition and on how to better educate the public on the concept and it's importance.

8) Intensification and Parking Provision / Cash-in-lieu of parking
  • often intensification projects seek relief from the bylaw requirements from the level of required parking
  • Cash-in-lieu of parking is the means by which  this is achieved allowing reduced parking to be compensated for by a charge of approx 3,000$ per space.  Lately this charge is usually reduced, often to as low as 100$/space and we are told the City is considering eliminating this charge entirely.
  • The City would like to encourage the development of new dwellings which could be attractive to tenants who do not own cars, seeing this as a fulfillment of their intentions to be produce less car dependent neighbourhoods.  The City also believes this helps to lower the cost of these new dwellings helping to make urban developments more affordable to more people
  • In contrast, many adjacent homeowners are concerned that by waiving the parking requirements that this makes it possible for the developer to add more units to a project than the community is comfortable with or that the bylaws would otherwise allow.  Communities often also believe this will result in more competition for on-street parking in the community, and/or that it will result in units being built that cater only to certain demographics of the population resulting in a loss of diversity in the community.
Some comments...requiring further discussion by CCC:
  • In general, it is probably the case that dwellings that do not have accompanying parking are much less likely to attract tenants/owners who own cars resulting in communities with more people relative to the volume of cars.
  • However there will likely still be some units that do attract tenants with cars and there undoubtedly will be more competition for street parking.  The City ought to recognize this and it should be taken into account in the approvals process for new developments which are given permission for reduced parking requirements
  • If the new development also raises issues related to the appropriateness of the mix/density of different dwelling types within a particular community's context, then those issues should be considered directly in the approvals processes as issues of their own right not using the parking requirements as the proxy for discussing these issues of unit type/mix.
  • further discussion 
Next Meeting:  May 29th, 7pm

Active Files waiting for next steps:

- E-W LRT Route Selection Tunneys to Baseline
- Interprovincial Crossings Study (announcement of preferred corridor)
 

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