Community Newspaper Columns

Progress on Bronson safety review

March 2013

Over the last few months, I have been working closely with the Bronson Operational and Safety Review Group to make Bronson Avenue between Brewer Way and Holmwood Ave. safer for everyone. Members include motorists, cyclists and pedestrians representing Carleton University (students and staff), Old Ottawa South, the Glebe and neighbouring residential communities, as well as City staff.

In addition, more than 600 residents provided comments and filled out a survey, and we organized an open house at Carleton University on Feb. 27 to review the complete list of recommendations before City staff delivers the report to the Transportation Committee in late April.

For residents unable to attend the open house to view and comment on the proposed recommendations, City staff has agreed to display the design plans at the Old Fire Hall (260 Sunnyside Ave.) and the Glebe Community Centre (175 Third Ave.). I’m also making plans and recommendations available on my website at www.capitalward.ca, and I welcome your feedback as we continue working together to improve safety on Bronson.

Among the options on the table are a new traffic signal on the south side of the Rideau Canal, bigger signage, better paint markings at the Brewer Way intersection, and creating a buffer zone between cyclists and motorists.

In the meantime, cyclists are allowed to ride on the sidewalk on the bridge. Some pedestrians were concerned about this change, but most feedback has been positive and cyclists appreciate being able to navigate the bridge without first crossing Bronson, at least until there's a safer way to do it.

Speed board for Capital Ward
Speaking of safer roads, my office has purchased a "speed board" for the City to rotate through different problem areas in Capital Ward. It was recently installed in Heron Park and will move to a spot every three or four weeks.

The board shows drivers their actual speed, thus serving as a reminder to respect the limit. It also collects anonymous data that can be used to support measures to calm traffic.

If you have suggestions for where the speed board might be most useful, please contact my office so we can bring it to the attention of traffic safety staff.

What’s happening with LEED?
There has been some confusion lately about my stance on Ottawa's commitment to building "green" city facilities, and whether we should seek certification by the Canadian Green Building Council using the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) system. Just to clarify: I absolutely think the City should strive for the highest standards in green design for every building. The question is whether we should seek formal certification for every building.

Currently, Ottawa's green building policy states that all buildings above a certain size must achieve the minimum LEED Certified level, and should aim for the next highest Silver level. This commitment is more than just a feel-good, look-good exercise. When architects, engineers, builders and building owners work to build greener buildings, they can reduce operating costs while improving performance and occupant satisfaction. The long-term financial savings far outweigh the relatively modest additional capital costs.

Some Environment Committee members—myself included—feel we should update our policy to aim for the next highest LEED level, Gold. But we’d also like to know what the costs—as well as the anticipated savings—would be if we were to take this bolder step.

I also asked our staff if the City could save money on consulting and documentation by not pursuing formal certification of each building, while still maintaining the same strong commitment to green design standards. This does not mean we would dilute the current design standards. We would actually raise the bar without seeking the official LEED stamp of approval.

The subject will receive a more thorough airing and discussion sometime this spring.

Beautiful community, safer community
Preventing crime starts with residents, businesses and local groups taking pride in their neighbourhoods, because cleaner, greener communities are safer communities.

Join Crime Prevention Ottawa for a half-day conference on Community Solutions: Beautification Today, Safer Tomorrow, on Saturday, April 6, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Immaculata High School, 140 Main St. Registration starts at 8 a.m.

Neighbor Power author Jim Diers will talk about engaging people in community-based projects to help prevent crime and enhance safety. You will then be able to participate in breakout sessions and learn about successful projects we may be able to implement in Old Ottawa South.

Visit tinyurl.com/cpoconference or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Councillor David Chernushenko