How we move through a city is integral to its growth. Whether by bicy- cle, car, or transit – it is at the core of how we develop or expand.
And as Ottawa grows beyond one million residents, we must consider how people and goods and services will move through the City.
This is laid out in the Transportation Master Plan (TMP), which the City is currently reviewing and updating. The Transportation Masterplan sets an essential vision for transportation in our City, influencing future network improvements and investments. To achieve this goal pro- ductively and adequately, important decisions and discussions must occur, including meaningful feedback and input from the public. The City is currently in Phase 3 of the TMP review and is seeking the pub- lic’s opinion on proposed policies and prioritizing active transportation projects. Residents are encouraged to visit engage.ottawa.ca to learn more about how you can provide feedback on the proposed draft TMP policies and the pedestrian and cycling projects presented.
The City will host a Public Open House in early 2022, and in addition to that, my colleague Rawlson King and I will host a community-specific TMP discussion this winter.
UPDATE ON INTERPROVINCIAL CROSSING
Large logging and transport trucks have no place barreling through our city’s main roads and residential communities.
They’re a safety risk whose noise and pollution harm our environment, quality of life and economy.
In January 2022, the National Capital Commission (NCC) Board of Directors met to review the Long-Term Integrated Interprovincial Crossings Plan. While this is of concern, the more significant issue for Lowertown and Sandy Hill is to remove heavy trucks from the down- town streets. This study needs to prioritize this, and it is why – I formally wrote to the NCC Board of Directors requesting their attention on three specific issues:
Remove interprovincial trucks from our downtown streets. Currently, the objective is to evaluate potential solutions. But our communities have been waiting long enough. We need action, not more endless study.
Ensure Ottawa’s needs, priorities and ambitions are respected. To do this, staff, governments, and community stakeholders from the cities, provinces, and the feds must thoroughly assess risks, opportunities, needs, and challenges for any decisionmaking.
Measure any new solution against Ottawa’s climate ambitions and the impact of the pandemic.
SAFETY AND QUALITY OF LIFE IMPACTED
The other is to ensure that this corridor allows the City and the Province to finally remove King Edward as the interprovincial cross- ing to get efficiently to the 400 Highway series without impacting us locally.
The current truck traffic impedes the safety and quality of life for Lowertown and Sandy Hill communities (downtown core) and needs to be resolved once and for all. If a sixth option exists, the studies and plans must consider banning truck movement on existing corridors.
There is a deficit on accurate data, concerns with existing bridges’ lifecycle work, opportunities for an STO tram and the City’s Transportation Master Plan updates and Climate Change Master plan to consider to assess corridor options properly.
Alternatively, an additional crossing may not be required if the trucks coming across the Macdonald-Cartier bridge can access the 417 via a tunnel.
Beyond the NCC’s study, I also feel it is crucial that the TMP captures this particular Ottawa challenge and consider it when it reviews and updates how Ottawans will move through our City.
Let’s find a way forward that removes trucks in Ottawa’s downtown, supports interprovincial commerce, better connects residents, and makes us proud of living in Canada’s Capital City.