Archive for the ‘Roads’ Category

Do Not Screw With The Segregated Bike Lane

- March 21st, 2014

Do not screw with the city’s segregated bike lane on Laurier Ave. People will get city management on you, STAT.

(By the way, I find it fascinating this driver either backed into the bike lane or drove forward on it and parked. Is it possible the bike lanes are confusing to motorists? Do some people think this is segregated car parking? I don’t really mean this sarcastically. Do they?)

I didn’t include all the tweets from people who participated in this lengthy conversation. There were many. And, there were pictures of more offenders.

Follow City Hall reporter Jon Willing on Twitter at @JonathanWilling and at

Did A Busted Pipe Contribute To Sinkhole?

- February 27th, 2014

Repairs being made to the sinkhole on Waller Street in downtown Ottawa. Feb. 22, 2014. Errol McGihon/Ottawa Sun/QMI Agency

So far I haven’t been able to get the city to comment on this article posted on TunnelTalk, which is sort of an Internet trade magazine for the tunnelling industry.

The article dissects the case of the sinkhole that appeared a week ago on Waller St. as LRT crews were below the surface carving out the tunnel. There’s plenty of technical details about Ottawa’s LRT project and specifically the work at the east tunnel portal, including information the writers say they gathered from project managers.

Part of the reason the sinkhole happened, the article suggests, is because of an existing leak underground from pipes:

When the start of a ground run began, it forced out a pocket of virgin clay and sandy clay deposits and what followed was break in of evident rubble material indicating a trench or surface excavation backfill operation. It was accompanied with an inrush of water and “a distinct sanitary smell”.

The sewer utility buried pipeline had broken and further evidence indicated that this pipeline or the accompanying water supply pipes in the same utility corridor or both had been leaking for some time. The concrete backfill of the sinkhole took more than the collapse material in the tunnel, indicating a pre-existing void under the street.

We have already been told there was a sewer break in the area, but information provided during a press conference indicated the sinkhole caused the damage.

There should be an update soon on the investigation by the Rideau Transit Group. For now, we have two versions of the events.

Follow City Hall reporter Jon Willing on Twitter at @JonathanWilling and at

Downtown Truck Traffic Finger-Pointing

- November 21st, 2013

Lots of chatter recently about truck traffic in Ottawa’s core.

In case you missed it, there was a letter-to-the-editor war on the Sun op-ed pages between National Capital Commission chairman Russell Mills and Ottawa-Vanier MP Mauril Belanger.

Mills’ letter is in this group and he refers to the Belanger newsletter found here.

Belanger fires back with his own letter.

Mayor Jim Watson has been talking recently about the possibility of a truck-only toll tunnel between Hwy. 417 and the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge, essentially somewhere under Lowertown and Sandy Hill.

All the hubbub of discussion has prompted the Downtown Rideau BIA to get in on the action:

In response to Russell Mill’s recent letter and Jon Willing’s Tunnel article
November 20, 2013

Protect Kettle Island Corridor in TMP as future crossing option
We echo the concerns raised in letters from Russell Mills and Sandra Martin in the last two days regarding truck traffic on Rideau Street downtown.  We are still awaiting a response from the Ontario Minister of Transportation, Glen Murray, to our letter sent to him on September 5, 2013 regarding the province’s decision to no longer support a new interprovincial crossing at Kettle Island.  The Minister’s decision came as quite a shock since the province spent $2.3 million tax dollars to select the “preferred corridor”, only to reject the study’s outcome so lightly.
Any concerns regarding the “livability of communities” along the Kettle Island Corridor is not supported by facts.  There is simply no possible rational comparison between issues of livability in the Kettle Island Corridor with setbacks between 80-300 meters from trucks, to the existing situation on Rideau Street in Downtown Rideau with setbacks of less than 1 meter between long-haul heavy trucks and tens of thousands of pedestrians, tourists residents, businesses and local heritage, tourism and cultural landmarks such as the University of Ottawa, Ottawa Art Gallery, Arts Court, Ottawa Convention Centre, Rideau Centre and the Westin, Novotel, Les Suites and Quality hotels.
Recent suggestions of a toll tunnel for truck traffic is an unworkable solution and only serves to delay. Tunnels in most jurisdictions have restrictions prohibiting trucks carrying hazardous materials and dangerous goods.  Where do these trucks go?   Remain on the surface of the existing route?  How does this solve the existing problem?  Can the government even impose a toll on interprovincial goods movement?  Government policies throughout North America require alternative non-toll routes whenever a toll is implemented.  Where will the non-toll route be?
Clearly this subject is complex and requires strong leadership committed to implementing and building a solution to remove truck traffic from downtown now!  Until then, the City of Ottawa should remove the truck route from the downtown’s main street, Rideau Street, to provide immediate relief to the community impacted by the interprovincial truck route and protect the 15,000 employees, 400 businesses, 700 hotel rooms, 40,000 students and 6,000 residents who have suffered far too long.
Most importantly, the City of Ottawa should be including the Kettle Island Corridor, and all other available crossing corridors, in its Transportation Master Plan (TMP) going before City Council November 26, 2013, to protect options for future interprovincial crossings to resolve this 45+ year-old problem, once and for all.
Peggy DuCharme
Executive Director
Downtown Rideau Business Improvement Area

Fleury Tells Province To Help With Truck Problem

- June 27th, 2013

The province’s stance on a new interprovincial bridge has knocked several groups off-kilter, including the National Capital Commission, as the Sun’s Doug Hempstead reports today.

Rideau-Vanier Coun. Mathieu Fleury and his constituents are left with the problem of heavy-duty trucks rumbling through his ward.

That has prompted Fleury to write to Transportation Minister Glen Murray…

Fleury Letter to Murray – June 27, 2013

A New Outlet Mall, Scotiabank Place And More Traffic

- February 27th, 2013

Council made two decisions today relating to travelling around Kanata.

One: Staff were directed to sign an agreement with the province to build a ramp between Scotiabank Place and the eastbound lanes of Hwy. 417. It will help buses access the highway after Sens games and other major events at the arena.

The other: Council signed off on the zoning changes necessary to build a massive outlet mall on Huntmar Dr., near Scotiabank Place.

(The details on both are in this synopsis from the council meeting.)

That outlet mall is going to be a shopping destination, so you can imagine what Hwy. 417 is going to be like in December when it opens. We’ll have Sens games combined with the Christmas shopping traffic.

It’s already brutal trying to get out of the SBP parking lot on game nights and the highway is often jammed going east.

I asked Mayor Jim Watson if the city can do anything more to relieve the traffic congestion in the area, here’s what he had to say…