Councillor, Capital Ward
New year at City Hall brings new opportunities
Happy February. This is my first councillor update of the new year, and I hope 2024 is off to a good start for all of you.
At City Hall, the final months of 2023 saw some big issues come before council, including the Lansdowne 2.0 proposal and the city budget; with the new year comes a time for a fresh look at what we want for our city.
The coming months (and years!) will see us dig into a number of important matters that have the potential to improve life in our community and across the city. My team and I have been preparing for many of the issues that will rise to council throughout the year. From transit planning to affordable housing to environmental stewardship, there is much work to be done in this city to improve quality of life for residents, which has been our number one goal.
Transportation planning in the Glebe and across the city
Over the next couple of years, there will be some important decisions made about transportation. The city will be embarking on updating Part 2 of Ottawa’s Transportation Master Plan (TMP). Last spring, council approved Part 1 of the new TMP which focused on active transportation and transit, as well as creating a framework for prioritizing road projects.
Part 2 will look at the road network for vehicles, the Capital Infrastructure Plan (where we spend our money) and the city’s origin-destination study (looking at where people start and finish their travel).
Part 1 of the new TMP was a significant step forward for the city, moving away from an antiquated transportation planning mentality that didn’t capture the importance of transit and active transportation, establishing a number of important projects for Capital Ward and for the city to help us move around better.
Part 2 will be equally important. We need to interrogate projects like the Alta Vista Transportation Corridor which would add a four-lane road through greenspace and parks, increase congestion and harm our environment. We need to prepare for upcoming consultations that are expected in the fall. In addition, we will be hosting public consultations on ward-specific transportation issues like the re-design of Bronson Avenue, to help inform Part 2 of the new TMP. To keep informed of these engagement opportunities, you can subscribe to our newsletter, The Capital Ward Bulletin. Please email us at CapitalWard@ottawa.ca.
Bank Street Study
The city is also undertaking a transportation study for the Glebe. The Bank Street Active Transportation and Transit Feasibility Study is starting and will look at how we can help people share the space that exists and move safely in and through the Glebe. I think we all know that the current situation on Bank is untenable, with the street getting clogged, slowing transit and traffic on many evenings and weekends. With the potential re-redevelopment of Lansdowne, things could get even worse, if the city doesn’t take a serious look at how we get around.
Work has already begun on this project. Stakeholder meetings are being held and public consultations are being planned for the spring and fall.
Our office began our own consultations on Bank Street transportation, focusing on people coming to the many shops and attractions and finding out what needs they have. This survey was completed recently, and we will be releasing a report in the coming months.
The intention of the city’s study is to come up with an active transportation pilot project for the Glebe. It is our hope that this pilot project can be implemented in summer 2025.
Sharing space for all modes of transportation has been shown over and over again in cities across Canada, North America and the world to enliven communities and bring more customers to local businesses. In Capital Ward, we have seen what a success the Bank Street Bridge and Main Street have been. Residents have benefited from the new safe infrastructure. Together, we can make Bank Street safer and better for everyone.
I am excited to see what we can do.
Shawn Menard is City Councillor for Capital Ward. He can be reached at CapitalWard@ottawa.ca.