Community Newspaper Columns

Councillor Chernushenko writes a regular columns for the local community newspapers OSCAR, the Glebe Report, The Mainstreeter, the Heron Park Herald and the Riverview Park Review.

Ottawa must step up action on climate protection

October 2015

Following a summer of drought, forest fires and watering bans in Western Canada, while the East experienced mild, wet weather interspersed with severe heat waves, it seems appropriate to explore the increasingly critical challenge of climate change and how that touches on the work of City Council.

The provincial Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Glen Murray, delivered a barnburner of a speech at the annual meeting of the Association of Ontario Municipalities (watch it at bit.ly/AMO-Murray). It was a remarkably cogent and compelling argument for why a city like Ottawa must assume its responsibilities for adapting to an increasingly unpredictable climate, for seriously curtailing the greenhouse gas emissions of its own operations, and for serving as the convening agent for similar action by institutions and individuals citywide.

Road projects making streets safer for everyone

September 2015

Various road projects in Old Ottawa South are making a positive difference in calming speeds and enhancing the overall streetscape. One of these projects was recently completed, and two others will be underway in September.

Sunnyside Ave.
Last year's major redesign of Sunnyside Ave. between Bronson Ave. and Bank St. created more and larger bulb-outs, narrowed some of the travel lanes and introduced a "chicane" — curves in the roadway created by parking and bulb-outs on alternating sides. These changes are having the desired effect of reducing vehicle speeds, which has been a serious issue as indicated by community consultations, and by multiple accidents over the past decade that provided tragic proof of the need.

Housing for seniors vs. housing for students

July 2015

Is it time to address student housing issues the same way we address seniors' housing? Can we improve the lives of students — and their neighbours — by ensuring an adequate supply of appropriately designed, affordable, safe and conveniently located units?"

What if we took steps to ensure that our students are part of a community that shares many of their interests and is invested in their wellbeing, and where their needs can be catered to in a thoughtful way by trained professionals?: Nutrition, hygiene, preventing isolation, access to transit and to active travel modes like walking and cycling, which can help prevent the diseases of a modern, sedentary lifestyle.

Main Street renewal: Two years of pain for long-term gain

June 2015

The full-scale reconstruction of Main Street from end to end is beginning in earnest, and the appearance of big shovels means major traffic detours along with other disruptions for the next two years.

Most local residents and regular users of Main Street, including residents in Old Ottawa South, knew this was coming — there have been three years of public meetings, a City Council debate, detailed design work, preparatory utility work and 20-plus meetings of a Public Working Group of residents as well as affected businesses and institutions.

Still, as with any project that will significantly affect so many people in Capital Ward, it's my job to ensure that good communication is established and maintained between the City and residents, businesses, educational institutions, churches and all other affected parties.