Ottawa family hopes mural will solve their vandalism problem

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By Kelly Hobson, Ottawa Citizen

After the seventh time Laurie Kingston’s fence was tagged with spray paint this summer, her family was fed up.

“It was a collective groan about the work we were going to have to do,” said Kingston.

“It’s exhausting.”

Each time a tag appeared on their fence at the corner of Bronson Avenue and Fourth Avenue, Kingston and her family received a notice from the city.

“The city sends you a note and gives you a deadline to paint over it,” Kingston said.

“If you don’t do it by that deadline, they come and do it. You have to pay for the labour and the paint, so of course you do it yourself.”

Kingston and her family spent several hours painting the fence each time. Often the spray paint needed to be scraped off, or required a second coat of paint. Kingston and her family would wait until the last day of the city’s deadline to paint, knowing the tags would reappear overnight.

Exhausted and running out of paint, Kingston turned to Capital ward Coun. David Chernushenko. His office helped Kingston submit a mural proposal to the city’s planning committee, asking to waive the bylaw that prohibits murals on residential properties.

The planning committee, including Chernushenko, approved the mural at a meeting Tuesday.

More businesses for Bronson Avenue concerns residents

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More businesses for Bronson Avenue concerns residents
Bronson Avenue was reconstructed in 2012 and 2013 as an arterial road, but now a south-end community association president is worried the road's function as a traffic thoroughfare is threatened by a city plan to allow more businesses along Bronson's north end.

Downtown and south-end residents bemoan zoning changes – for different reasons

Laura Mueller, Ottawa Community News

A south Ottawa community association president is worried about the traffic implications of the city’s move to allow “traditional main street” buildings along the north section of Bronson Avenue — a major artery for motorists coming from the south end.

Hunt Club Community Organization president John Sankey says he was surprised by one of the changes in the massive citywide zoning review project: a decision to make the land uses along Bronson north of Bronson Avenue north of Gladstone Avenue conform to a “traditional main street” style.

His concern is that the change will eventually lead the road, which was just rebuilt in 2012 and 2013, to become a main street like Bank Street with slower traffic. Many Hunt Club-area residents use Bronson as a main route to drive downtown.

“This means it can’t be an arterial (road) anymore,” Sankey said. “If the land use changes, the street has to follow.”

But a city planning manager says the move doesn’t change the transportation function of the street.

“There is no discrepancy in my mind at all,” said Alain Miguelez, the city’s program manager for zoning, intensification and neighbourhoods. “The zoning is not doing anything to the roadway.”

While the zoning previously allowed mostly residential land uses, the city’s Official Plan – the bible for land use – already dictates the street is to have mixed-use buildings.

Changing the zoning to allow “traditional main street” uses, including small businesses and residential buildings of up to 20 metres (six storeys) makes it match that Official Plan goal, Miguelez said.

Lane reductions on Main Street start Saturday November 22

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City of Ottawa

Beginning Saturday, November 22, Main Street from Clegg Street to Lees Avenue will be reduced to a single lane in each direction with left-turn lanes installed at certain intersections to facilitate traffic flow. 

These lane reductions are needed to allow Bell Canada to replace underground ducts in preparation for the Main Street Renewal Project. They will be in place over the winter and into spring 2015. 

Work between Lees Avenue and Hawthorne Avenue will be carried out over several weekends with temporary lane reductions. The second phase (south of Clegg Street) will start after the first phase is complete. This is scheduled for spring 2015, but completion dates are weather dependent.

It is expected that these lane reductions will have significant impacts on traffic, and motorists using Main Street should anticipate delays. 

The Main Street Renewal Project includes the rehabilitation and/or replacement of portions of the infrastructure on Main Street and a small section of Rideau River Drive. The underground work on Main Street includes the replacement of the watermain and sewers. The project also includes road and sidewalk reconstruction of Main Street from Echo Drive to Rideau River Drive, and the road reconstruction of adjacent sections of Rideau River Drive. 

The City of Ottawa has tools on ottawa.ca to help motorists and transit users plan their routes and manage their commute including: 

Further details and other information concerning City road works are available on ottawa.ca.

Main Street rebuild to cause major traffic disruptions

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Northbound traffic to be detoured during two-year reconstruction project

Laura Mueller, Ottawa Community News

Motorists can expect significant traffic impacts when Main Street is reconstructed over the next two years to replace century-old water and sewer infrastructure.

Plans revealed at an open house on Nov. 20 show the main artery in Old Ottawa East will be closed to northbound traffic between Greenfield and Riverdale avenues in the first phase of construction starting next spring. There will be one northbound lane available for local traffic only from Riverdale to Clegg Street.

In the second construction phase, no northbound traffic at all will be allowed on Main between Greenfield and Riverdale.

The open house on Nov. 20 was well-attended and people had a lot of questions, said John Dance, president of the Old Ottawa East Community Association.

“The construction will be very disruptive but it's the price we have to pay to have modern water and sewer lines and a safe, friendly street,” Dance said.

The construction will lead to a host of important and long-awaited improvements for the neighbourhood, Dance said. Main Street itself will get the addition of bicycle lanes in the form of raised cycle tracks – a useful addition as the community just outside the downtown swells with the development of 10 hectares of institutional land formerly occupied by the Oblate fathers, Dance said.