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2016-03-17 Minutes

 7:00 p.m., Transport Action Canada's Office
Location: 211 Bronson (at Lisgar) Rm 308

Minutes: 

CA's Represented:  Francois (Glebe),  Kate (Old Ottawa East), Ida (Dalhousie),  David (Transport Action), John (Sandy Hill)

Regrets: Roland (Island Park/Champlain)

1) Administrative

  • Agenda review,  
  • Previous Minutes: http://www.ccc-ottawa.ca/meetings/  
 2) Review of recent CA activities
  • Final stages of public consultations on O'Connor St Bikeway were held
    • construction to begin summer 2016
    • in the Glebe section, ambitions have been scaled back to an on-street bike lane in 1 direction and sharrows in the other
  • Centretown Parking Study
    • no update
  • Update on Lansdowne Transportation Monitoring
    • the Glebe CA is finalizing a report/updated requests to the City which include
    • extending parking garage validation program to more of the smaller businesses
    • considering a fare-free zone for bus routes along Bank St on the weekends
    • use of rapid shuttles from the Lees LRT station once LRT is ready
    • extension of guest on-street parking pass program for residents to a wider area (expansion to include 5th Ave)
    • request for a comprehensive traffic and safety study
  • Bronson Ave Reconstruction
    • planned for 2018
    • off peak, on-street parking zone to be extended further south beyond current Carling Ave limit as far as 2nd Ave
  • Canal Pedestrian Bridge
    • design simplified to reduce costs (straight vs curved)
    • means ramps up to bridge level along side of canal
    • unclear whether space permits stairs as well, communities are asking for stairs
    • some concerns about how peds, cars, bikes, will operate smoothly together at Clegg on the east side
    • desire to add 'lookout' area at middle of the bridge
    • efforts underway to find funding sources from upper levels of gov't to facilitate earlier implementation (prior to current plan of ~2021)
  • Main Street Complete Street Reconstruction
    • work ongoing this summer
    • 1 direction of travel only (north of Riverdale) during construction
    • For 2016 to be operating with northbound traffic only
  • Oblates lands re-development
    • construction is ongoing on this major new area of residential construction
    • will result in closure of Rideau R. western pathway, which will be upgraded as part of the residential construction
  • Somerset St bridge "curtains"
    • City staff want to install 'curtains' along this bridge to protect the O-train underneath against potential disruptions from mischief above
    • concerns about loss of views/esthetics from the bridge and the community is attempting to find alternate less 'invasive' options
  • Scott street changes and start of Bus Detours...status report
    • so far no issue but the majority of buses won't be detoured to Scott until later 2016
  • Upcoming (end-April) Transitway closure and bus route changes alongside UofO
    • most buses to be shifted to using Nicholas St from the transitway
    • northbound Nicholas, 1 lane will become transit only lane (no changes to southbound Nicholas)
    • except 20-30 buses/hr to be re-directed to Laurier and King Edward to serve the UofO campus since the Campus station will be shutdown
    • to reduce delay for these buses, modifications will be made to King Edward/Laurier intersection
  • Rideau St re-development plans at the Rideau Ctr
    • roadway reduced from 4 lanes to 2 lanes, buses to operate in mixed lane with cars
    • significantly wider sidewalks, mixed with some limited on-street parking
    • construction in fall 2016
  • Somerset St E. cycling improvements: Adawe Crossing to UofO
    • Summer 2016 will see sharrows, signage added along this route
  • Downtown LRT Transit Station Designs
    • the initial descent from street level now planned to be via staircases (vs escalator)
    • may only be single direction escalators which switch direction to accommodate peak direction traffic flows!
    • public consultations expected soon but mostly to inform.  There is unlikely much opportunity for public input to affect design

3) Road Pricing Study/Next (2018) Transportation Master Plan Update
  • on Apr 6th, David C. plans to introduce a motion committing the City to include a study of best practices for road pricing during the next TMP update
  • CCC will draft an example letter of endorsement to distribute to CA's for their consideration for forwarding on to Transportation Committee Members
  • we should prepare for upcoming participation in the TMP 2018 update. 
    • we could expect some activities to begin by early 2017

4) Hwy 174/17 Widening Environmental Assessment
  • on Mar 2nd the Transportation Committee accepted the EA for this 343m$ project
  • currently listed in the TMP as a post-2031 project
  • there are calls for the Ontario gov't to fund this project leading to a potential risk that it could be implemented sooner
  • there a risk that could displace senior level government funding away funding from other Ottawa transportation related projects  (most notably a potential downtown truck tunnel)
  • there is a risk of limited public transparency in the prioritization senior City officials might negotiate with partner governments  (eg. 174 Widening,  Trillium line Airport Spur, LRT extension  to Trim, LRT extension to Barrhaven, LRT to Kanata)
5) Airport Parkway Widening/O-Train (Trillium line) extension to South Keys
  • To be debated at council in late spring 2016
  • final public consultations were held 1st half of March
  • recent changes: shifting of roadway 5m eastwards in some locations
    • proposal of roundabout at Walkley southbound off ramp
    • roundabouts can be relatively 'hostile' to pedestrians and cyclists
  • news articles in Jan 2016 reported that Phase 1 project timing had been delayed from 2018 to post 2020
  • CCC will encourage it's member CA's to lobby for further delays until Trillium line expansion is completed (2023)? 
  • the delay to post 2020 offers the opportunity to argue for this re-prioritization as part of the 2018 Transportation Master Plan update.
  • Trillium line expansion EA is proceeding.  Some aspects of the design such as overpass structures and a 3rd track to accommodate very infrequent freight movements are making the project more expensive than what some groups would prefer....same for proposed design for Airport Spur.
6) Downtown Interprovincial Truck Tunnel Study
  • the results of the study are expected in April/May timeframe
  • to be brought to committee/council for discussion of next steps
  • meetings have been held with councilors, MPPs, MPs during past Jan-Mar 
    • letter of support written by MP Mauril Belanger to the Prime Minister
    • Andrew Leslie - MP Orleans, has indicated support
    • looking for leadership from City of Ottawa to move initiative to next stage (potentially Environmental Assessment)

7) Ottawa highway projects announced in 2016 Ontario Budget
  • The province listed a number of projects in the Ottawa area in the recently released budget including:
  • Widening Highway 417 in Ottawa between Maitland and Island Park Drive starting in 2016, then from Highway 416 to Maitland Avenue starting in 2019.
  • Adding noise barriers to Highway 417 in Ottawa and "improvements at the Bronson Avenue interchange" starting in 2018.
  • Widening nine unspecified kilometres of County Road 17 in Prescott and Russell counties starting in 2019.
  • it was noted that shortly upon opening of the LRT line that the parallel 417 roadway will have a 33% expansion of capacity in both easterly and westerly directions from downtown!
  • and that many current suburban transit riders used to an end-end/door-door service with a seat on double decker buses in the future will need to transfer to LRT with many having to stand for the LRT portion of the journey (since LRT seating is only 40% of total capacity)

8) Proposal to lower minimum parking requirements in the zoning bylaw
  • parking requirements for new non-residential developments are being reduced in most of the area inside the greenbelt to 50% of the current requirements  (for residential developments no changes are contemplated)
  • and along traditional and arterial mainstreets no parking will be required for low rise apartment buildings, for food stores up to 1500m2 in size, for restaurants up to 350m2 in size, and for all other businesses up to 500m2 in size
  • most CA's seem OK with these proposed changes
  • some are asking why we aren't also setting maximum amounts of parking that can be provided and the City response is that this will be considered later.
 
 
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