Road Wars

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Letter to the Editor, Ottawa Sun

Re: “Riding a double standard,” by Kevin Shea, Letter, Aug. 28

Kevin Shea sees a double standard at play if trucking companies are asked to pay for use of a tunnel, while cyclists are not assessed for the use of special lanes/paths/bridges. Quite the opposite.

Like most Ottawa cyclists, I bike and I drive. I pay property tax, gas tax and a host of other fees to maintain roads and cycling networks.

Since cycling infrastructure is cheaper to build and maintain than heavy vehicle roadways, and since it helps alleviate congestion and parking shortages on roads, you could conclude that most cyclists are, in a variety of ways, subsidizing driving. Not the other way around.

But that’s OK, because we can make a choice which mode we prefer on a given day. As can almost any citizen of Ottawa. As for a truck tunnel. Well, now we are talking about a dedicated route to help truckers avoid downtown congestion, saving them money and time.

On top of those obvious benefits, most trucking companies using such a tunnel would not be Ottawa taxpayers. Makes sense to me to have them chip on some of the cost.

David Chernushenko, Councillor, Capital Ward

(Less traffic congestion works for us)

More delays to Lansdowne children's play area

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Redblacks mascot Big Joe tried out the play structure, even posing for some pictures up there, at the community picnic and fair, hosted by the City at Lansdowne Park on Aug. 16, 2014. David Kawai / Ottawa Citize

Carys Mills, Ottawa Citizen

The children's play area at Lansdowne's urban park is facing further construction delays that will keep the site closed following its official opening less than two weeks ago.

The park officially opened on Aug. 15. Over that weekend, children played on the play structure and skateboard ramps. But days later, the playground and skateboard ramps were closed, which a city official said was due to wet weather having prevented some final touches the week before.

Early last week, the city said the work would take roughly a week. But both the children's play area and the skateboard ramps remained closed as of Wednesday morning.

Marco Manconi, the manager of design and construction at Lansdowne, said further bad weather last week pushed construction back again. "(It) requires at least a week for the installation and curing of the rubberized surface to provide a safer and more accessible play surface," he said in an email. "Crews are working to complete the project as soon as possible."

The rest of the park, including the great lawn and a basketball court, is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day. The city is warning residents that construction will continue into the fall because of the staged construction at Lansdowne, so heavy vehicles and equipment are still on site. A water garden, civic gardens and Horticulture Building are among the parts of Lansdowne still being worked on.

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Mayor calls for more murals

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Graffiti, etching art on two underpasses should just be the start: Watson

Artists and local officials gather to celebrate the unveiling of a new graffiti mural on the east side of the Metcalfe Street underpass below Highway 417. From left: Capital Coun. David Chernushenko, Somerset Coun. Diane Holmes, Cassandra Dickie of Ottawa Urban Arts, Ottawa Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi, artist Mike Davies, transportation committee chairman Keith Egli and Mayor Jim Watson. Laura Mueller/Metroland.

By Laura Mueller, Metroland

A new series of underpass murals is giving graffiti its first chance to be recognized as public art, according to one of the artists involved.

Nepean resident Cassandra Dickie and the Ottawa Urban Arts collective spent seven days spray painting a puzzle-piece mural on Highway 417 underpass at Metcalfe Street. She has painted many murals in Ottawa over her 15 years as a graffiti artist, but this is the first time such paintings are being sought out as public beautification projects.

"My collective and I, Ottawa Urban Arts, has been doing murals for quite a while now ... But this is the first time that public art has given an opportunity for graffiti artists to actually paint a mural like this," Dickie said. "We're just really happy that Ottawa is starting to evolve. That's what we're trying to push.

"I'm glad that we're starting to be able to open up the doors a bit and embrace the evolution of the newer generation of artists," she said.

Mayor Jim Watson had proposed the idea of adding murals to drab cement underpasses as part of his State of the City speech in January. At the Metcalfe Street mural's unveiling on Aug. 26, Watson said he'd like to see murals on all major underpasses by 2017.

Nominations now open for the 2014 Community Safety Awards

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Crime Prevention Ottawa

Crime Prevention Ottawa is calling for nominations for the 6th annual Community Safety Awards, which honour the people and groups helping to make Ottawa a safer, better place to live.

You can nominate any individual, group or program that you feel has made an outstanding contribution to crime prevention and community safety in Ottawa.

Here are the award categories:

  • Volunteer Award
  • Volunteer Program Award
  • Community Program Award
  • Leadership Award
  • Business Award
  • Youth Leadership Award
  • Enforcement Professional Award
  • City Employee Award

The criteria and nomination form can be found online at The deadline for submissions is October 1, 2014. Winners will be selected by a panel of community judges. To learn more about our 2013 winners, visit the CPO YouTube page at

The 6th annual Community Safety Awards will take place on Monday, November 3, 2014 at 5 p.m. at Ottawa City Hall.