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.

O'Connor Bike Lane promises much better conditions, but it's not perfect

June 2015

A recommendation to proceed with a North-South bike lane on O'Connor St., from Parliament Hill to Lansdowne, will come to Council for approval in late June. The proposed design would see dedicated/segregated lanes for the entire Centretown section and some of the Glebe section, but not all — the report recommends shared lanes between Strathcona and Fifth Aves.

As is typical of a major project affecting many people and organizations, the recommended outcome will not satisfy everyone. To the many people who advocated for a dedicated cycling lane along the entire recommended route, with no exceptions, I hope you will understand that the City made a concerted effort to achieve that result.

Women’s World Cup an opportunity to look beyond gender in sports

May 2015

The 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup is coming to Canada, to Ottawa and to Capital Ward this June! I am excited. Very excited. I’ve purchased two passports to all the Ottawa games and I’ll be watching as many as I can get away with (maybe checking a few scores during the slow moments of some meetings) because I love soccer. I love women’s soccer.

In my final year at Queen’s University, when it became painfully obvious that my own competitive days were numbered, a friend recruited me as co-coach of the women’s soccer team. They — we — went on to win the Ontario championship in 1984.

It’s instructive to take that little nostalgic trip back in time because, back in the 1980s, there was no national tournament for women’s soccer. This was as far as you could go, so who knows what our Queen’s squad was capable of that year.