For our August working group meeting, we discussed bus stops/shelters and landscaping. Mario started us off by giving us a brief summary of the recent events that happened over the summer. Mario and the project team met with the Vanier Community Association (VCA) and the VCA organized safety walk-a-bouts with the group WISE.

Mario informed us that the preliminary design/landscaping plans are complete, but they are still working on traffic signal configurations.

Dan and Andre from OC Transpo then gave us a presentation regarding proposed bus changes during the Montreal Rd Revitalization project.

Their goal was to answer questions raised previously at other consultations. From previous projects, OC Transpo knows that eliminating one bus stop can save transit riders 30–45 seconds of bus travel time, and having a bus stop on the far side of an intersection is also an advantage to reliability. The problem of bus overcrowding will be partially resolved by improving reliability because passengers will be more evenly spread out.

OC Transpo has taken into account the new bus routes that are starting in September and they’ve listened to the feedback from the Rideau Transit Forum. The feedback from the forum was to provide additional north-south bus routes and improve overall access.

Due to our advocacy, the Montreal Rd Revitalization Project will be getting provincial dollars to install seven GPS displays at different bus shelters. These displays will inform residents of when the next bus will be arriving.

We are in favour of maximizing the number of bus shelters on Montreal Rd. The city is in talks with three private owners for new bus shelters due to easement requirements. It was suggested that staff provide alternative style shelters (such as umbrellas) where traditional ones won’t fit. There was some discussion of how the transit users/ pedestrians would interact with the cyclists. More green paint and creative planning was suggested.

During our landscaping discussion, we went over the corridor section by section. The northern section of North River Road will be receiving a widened multi-use pathway, more trees, and the section of sidewalk that is currently asphalt will become concrete.

Eighty pedestrian lights are likely to be spread throughout the corridor and they can be alternating with street lights or used in public spaces. Staff will work to make bus stops well-lit.

We discussed coloured pavers on the sidewalks and removing the old brick walls and pillars. There was a cautiously warm reception to a proposed gateway feature, which features two metal stems crossing each other to form a “V”, depending on your angle. This proposed gateway feature could be used at several locations along the corridor to show the connectivity of the community.

As discussed previously, many public spaces will be improved to become more inviting/ interactive spaces. For instance, Olmstead and Lallemand could be receiving a permanent chess table for community use.

Place Dupuis could be the Franco-Ontarian Plaza. To celebrate Vanier’s French heritage, this plaza could have the old city of Vanier’s flag as well as the Frano-Ontarian flag.

We considered a water feature at Place Dupuis, but city staff said this would be hard to accomplish due to the placement of underground utilities. This is easier to accomplish within a park.

There were suggestions for water fountains and the closing off Bell’s vehicular access to Montreal Rd.

It was felt that the Alfred to De L’Eglise section of Montreal Rd is the best landscaped at the current time due to its high number of mature trees. Residents requested a gateway feature at De L’Eglise since it is the boundary of Vanier; however, it is rather narrow at that location. We may add an additional flag pole at this location instead.

Thanks to all the members of our working group for your dedication and continued productive deliberations.

Until next time.