Lansdowne should be car-free, Chernushenko says

on .

CBC News

Ottawa councillor David Chernushenko said he opposes the inclusion of three roads open to cars that are included in the latest plans of a redeveloped Lansdowne Park.

On Monday, the city and its partner, Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, unveiled updated drawings for building a park, retail stores and a refurbished Frank Clair stadium on the site.

Roger Greenberg of OSEG said the planned streets are needed for shoppers, deliveries, and on-street parking, but said for major events, the roads will be closed to cars.

"We've taken great pains to try to make sure that pedestrians and cyclists have predominance," said Greenberg.

But Chernushenko said instead of the perceived convenience and street parking, the city should consider the less tangible benefits.

"This would be a better site if it's a car-free site," said Chernushenko. "There's a freedom, a liberty, to feeling like 'phewww'...I can stroll here without looking over my shoulder all the time," he said.

Chernushenko said he'll keep pushing for alterations to make Lansdowne car-free on all days.

"We can do something bold and special here and actually make it more socially and commercially successful, if we dare to do it," he said. "I'm sure we won't regret it."