Archive for April, 2012

A Pause

- April 23rd, 2012

Hello dear readers, I’ll be away for the next little bit and won’t be updating the blog. Keep an eye on City Hall for me while I’m gone and we’ll catch up on all the fun when I return.

Train Watching From Above

- April 19th, 2012

I thought this was a nice design touch on the Somerset St. bridge.

There aren’t many benches in this stretch but the city decided to install some on each side of the bridge, right above the O-Train tracks. There isn’t a bus stop or any reason, really, to put benches there, other than to have somewhere for people to watch the train.

For many, watching trains roll by is just as fascinating as parking outside the airport fence and watching the planes land.

I’ve always found train travel particularly sublime — the thought of tracks cutting the landscape, away from congested roads, over and through all sorts of terrain.

The good news for observers on this perch is there will be trains passing by more frequently in a couple years.

More On Bridges, Smoking And Fares

- April 17th, 2012

A few nuts and bolts on this cool Tuesday morning…

Further to this story on the planned Rideau Canal pedestrian bridge, the city posted more concepts yesterday (like the one above) and they can be found here. The complete April 2012 update has more information about the thought process going into the designs, but unfortunately the project blog has gone stale.

Beacon Hill-Cyrville Coun. Tim Tierney has been very concerned that the city’s expanded smoking bylaw covering parks could apply to the Pine View municipal golf course, if the board chooses. He checked with the public health unit, which confirmed yesterday any board decision would require council approval. This would also apply to the municipal campground, which appears to be considering the city’s smoking rules.

Finally, if you’re curious to know what the complete 2012-2013 OC Transpo fare schedule could look like, you just have to scroll down to the bottom of this report to the transit commission. Talking with Dianne Breton for my story on the proposed fares, she noted her Ottawa seniors’ transportation committee voted in favour of supporting the changes. She said it will be up to Transpo to have a good education campaign for the new Presto smart card, especially since seniors can save even more money each trip by using the prepaid card.

Memories Made By Transit

- April 16th, 2012

I quite enjoy following the iKEN photo blog. The young author, Ken Jung, has a great eye.

His latest post documents some of the things in his dorm room in Toronto and there’s one curious decoration: Two OC Transpo fare tickets in a frame.

Says Jung: “Although they are useless in Toronto, the tickets mean a lot to me and it is worth keeping them displayed. Looking at them always makes me think about all the bus ride I had and the the related memories: shopping mall at St. Laurent, night walking at Tunney’s Pasture, running home from Metcalfe, saturday school at Merivale, playing baseball at Bayshore, library at Centrepointe, beach barbecue at Mooney’s Bay, fairwell at the Airport, friend’s home in Orleans, buying an iPhone at Vanier, watching movies at Gloucester. There are just so much memories condensed into this one symbolic piece of paper- the bus tickets.”

He’s right, isn’t he?

I don’t take transit much anymore, but I remember a time during university when I rode Transpo every day. It was (I think) the 97 with a transfer to the 118 that brought by to my co-op job in Bells Corners. I can remember the CDs I listened to on my Discman and some of the conversations I had with fellow passengers. All pleasant experiences for me on Transpo during that time.

Same thing for the TTC in Toronto. I have plenty of memories taking the trains to work, or visiting friends, or just looking out the window as the train rolled through Bloor West Village.

It makes you remember how ingrained transit is in people’s lives.

We hear plenty of complaints about Transpo, and yes, public transit can be a legitimate source of frustration on a daily basis.

But Jung is right about how a TTC Metropass, a piece of Transpo photo ID or a couple bus tickets bring back so many great memories.

Airport Pkwy. Bridge Tower Coming Down

- April 13th, 2012

An update to the story we’ve been following on the $5-million pedestrian bridge over the Airport Pkwy. Construction had to stop and an assessment done because there was clearly something wrong with the cement.

The contractor, Bray Construction, was to have a report in the city’s hands today assessing the work. Apparently the city never received the report, but officials have learned the tower must be demolished and the whole project started over again.

The city has said in the past it’s insulated from added costs because of the muck-up. Looks like residents in this area will have to wait even longer for a safe passage to rapid transit.