City moving ahead with Lansdowne Park plans

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Committee approves small steps toward completion of community, including plans for retail development and programming

Jessica Smith, Metro Ottawa

The "traffic challenges" brought on by developing Lansdowne Park will cause some people to change how they get around the Glebe, Mayor Jim Watson said Thursday.

At the finance and economic development meeting, councillors discussed a plan that would see shuttle services to the city's park-and-ride facilities set up for special events. However, a handful of residents spoke up to say it will be hard for the already-busy Glebe to absorb the added traffic brought in by the new development.

Watson agreed. "I've never underestimated the traffic challenges we're going to face in that community," he said. "It forces some people to take transit, it forces other people to walk or to carpool or to park farther away."

David Chernushenko argued that Lansdowne Park should be a car-free zone, saying the 40 surface parking spaces in the plans will lead in reality to about 100 people circling around looking for a space.

"On a day-to-day basis, not just at major event time when we all know a car couldn't get in there anyway, Lansdowne park should be a car-free area. (Being) a people place would make it that much more special," he said.

George Dark, a member of the Lansdowne Park design panel, said a mix of some well-designed parking with ample space for pedestrians would work better than making Lansdowne car-free.

"Sparks Street without the cars hasn't worked out particularly well in the long run," he said.