City warns against selling driveway parking for RedBlacks games

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Team encouraging fans to take public transit to games and avoid driving

CBC News

Glebe residents and Ottawa's bylaw department are warning homeowners living near Lansdowne Park not to rent out their driveways during Ottawa RedBlacks games.

The team makes their home debut at TD Place at Lansdowne Park on Friday in a 7 p.m. game against the Toronto Argonauts.

With an eye to easing expected traffic congestion, the city and team owner Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group have introduced a number of measures to discourage driving to the games.

​OSEG is encouraging fans to make use of free public transit and park-and-ride shuttle services and is also offering secure on-site parking for bicycles. But a recent survey suggested only four in 10 fans planned to take advantage of the free services.

Driving still preferable says fan

Football fan Kyle Stevenson is not one of them. He said getting his group of 16 from Renfrew, Ont., in a few vehicles is more convenient.

"It just really doesn't suit us perfectly, it's tough to run the shuttles and get everyone together," he said.

But street parking is expected to be difficult.

Residents concerned about fans taking up parking spots successfully petitioned the city to change free parking limits on some nearby roads from three hours to one hour.

So Stevenson is one of a number of Canadian Football League fans putting out online want ads for parking spots to rent. At least one ad is offering a spot for sale.

Selling spot punishable by fines of up to $5,000

Stevenson said he's willing to pay up to $250 for parking at the nine Redblacks home games this year.

What Stevenson's doing is legal, but the city's bylaw department says selling a parking spot is against zoning bylaws and punishable with a fine of up to $5,000.

Brian Mitchell, the chair of the traffic committee of the Glebe Community Association, said fans should avoid driving to the games. He said those looking for driveways or street parking on game day will likely be out of luck.

"No matter what you think there will not be the parking you need to meet your needs, there is not a big parking lot at Lansdowne anymore," said Mitchell.

"Even if there are a handful of spots, there will be a hundreds of people circling the neighbourhood and eventually realizing they need to go to a shuttle lot or else they will miss the kickoff," he said.

City fixes Landsdowne parking signs after error

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Resident says mistake doesn't inspire confidence in city's plans to deal with parking in area

CBC News

The City of Ottawa has fixed what it called an unfortunate error after workers added new one-hour parking signs without removing the old signs with conflicting information.

Residents living on Holmwood, O'Connor and Adelaide had petitioned the city to change parking on their streets to a one hour maximum from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., according to traffic services manager Phil Landry.

"Unfortunately, when the signage was changed for the new regulation, a couple of the old three hour parking signs were not removed. City Staff have now investigated and corrected this error," Landry said in an email to CBC News.

The city became aware of the issue after CBC News contacted them for comment after residents complained about the conflicting signs.

O'Connor Street resident Tim McCarthy said the mistake doesn't inspire confidence the city will be able to manage ongoing parking issues near Lansdowne Park.

"The city doesn't care about us," said McCarthy.

He predicts that kind of mistake will cause big problems on Friday when fans are scrambling to find parking near Lansdowne.

There are also additional special restrictions along Holmwood due to the construction on the south side of the street. Parking is only permitted on Holmwood between 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Hard part comes later for Lansdowne

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Redblacks and parkland are exciting, but retail and residential may not thrill

Joanne Chianello, Ottawa Citizen

The slight panic on Roger Greenberg's face during a media tour of the Lansdowne stadium under construction last fall was unmistakable.

Faced with reporters' questions about TD Place and Lansdowne's massive retail centre opening this summer, the frontman for the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group seemed a little stunned that some didn't realize that the new shops and restaurants won't be ready to open for business until the end of 2014 at the earliest — and some not until January.

"You don't just open 360,000 square feet all at once," Greenberg said.

It's a message he's repeated many times since that October 2013 news conference. Greenberg doesn't want football fans looking to grab a beer or a postgame bite to be disappointed to discover that none of the retail section of the development will be open until weeks after the Redblacks' first season ends.

(But that doesn't mean the inaugural season of our latest CFL franchise isn't the perfect opportunity to showcase some of the area's culinary offerings, so this Thursday Citizen food writer Laura Robin will share her picks for eating in the stands, on the site and in the neighbourhood.)

Greenberg's emphasis on what will and won't be ready by this Friday's Redblacks home-opener highlights the under-discussed reality that this major redevelopment isn't so much a unified project as four distinct ones:

The $129-million rebuilt and re-imagined football (and soccer) stadium;

The $37-million urban park on the west bank of the Rideau Canal;

A 360,000-square-foot retail complex;

A residential development that includes two condos towers and mostly sold-out town homes on Holmwood Avenue.

And the four Lansdownes are not all created equal.

More work to do to ensure Lansdowne is ready for thousands of fans

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Alison Sandor, CFRA News

There's still work to be done ahead of July 18th to ensure the first home game of the Ottawa Redblacks goes smoothly.

That's the message from the Lansdowne Transportation Monitoring and Operations Committee following Wednesday's open house at the stadium for ticket holders.

Capital Ward Councillor David Chernushenko told CFRA even though they've been promoting bus service and cycling to Lansdowne, not everyone was getting the message during the official opening Wednesday.

"We've been trying to get the message out for weeks, if not months now," he said. "If you don't already have a VIP box-holding parking pass underground, there is no parking at the site. You still had people coming in saying 'where do I park?' We know we've got to keep spreading that message."

He did say, however, there were a fair number of people who did test out alternate means of transportation to the site.

"The percentage of people was 35 to 40 per cent of attendees came using some form of OC Transpo, STO from Gatineau, shuttles, park and rides," he said. "If that percentage holds true for the 24,000 event on July 18th, that's great. That is the target."

He said by-law officers will strictly be enforcing parking on side streets during events at TD Place.

Crews will also put out better signage to indicate where people should be locking up their bicycles and will complete the sidewalk in front of Lansdowne before next Friday, in the hopes that fewer pedestrians will be jay-walking across the street from the Bank Street Bridge.