Lakeside Ave. residents slow Redblacks shuttle buses in protest

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Say more than 500 buses take their residential street every home game

CBC News

People living on a residential street near Lansdowne Park say they want to meet with the city to find another route for shuttles to Ottawa Redblacks games.

Lakeside Avenue connects Queen Elizabeth Driveway to Bronson Avenue, near Dow's Lake, and is used as a route for free shuttle buses taking fans from Ottawa and Gatineau to TD Place.

Before Saturday's game against the Saskatchewan Roughriders, residents slowly walked back and forth across the road in protest, slowing down the buses.

"They're taking a small street like Lakeside and, for lack of a better word, bullying us," said resident Claire Gardam.

City planners and the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, which owns the Redblacks, say taking this route saves their buses 15 minutes driving time. For many fans, it's an incentive to take the shuttles over driving themselves.

But the residents who spoke to CBC News said their street turns into a freeway every home game, with 500 buses taking the route.

"There have been over 150 buses in an hour and a half on this quiet residential street with elderly people on it. [That] to me is just unacceptable," said Kusum Menon, another Lakeside Avenue resident. He added they counted a bus passing by every 45 seconds for four hours.

Residents fear 'serious incident'

Some fans on the buses got off to talk to protesters, saying the park and events it hosts brings tens of thousands of jobs to the city for nine home games worth of inconvenience.

One of the bus drivers told CBC News the protests were "very dangerous."

"Sure, nine games a year. But it only takes one serious incident to put the whole thing at risk," said Jason Vallis, traffic co-chair of the Dow's Lake Residents Association.

Residents said they want the buses moved to another route, such as Carling Avenue, by the next Redblacks home game. That game takes place on Aug. 15.


Rétrécissement d'une voie de la promenade du Colonel-By

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Commission de la capitale nationale

Des travaux de maçonnerie de finition seront réalisés aux murs de soutènement situés le long de la promenade du Colonel-By, entre la promenade Echo près de la rue Bank et la rue Clegg. Ces travaux débuteront le lundi 4 août et se poursuivront jusqu'en septembre 2014.

Pendant la période des travaux, la voie en direction nord de la promenade du Colonel-By, sera rétrécie en tout temps. Des cônes de signalisation et des panneaux indicateurs seront installés pour diriger la circulation et pour assurer la sécurité des travailleurs.

La Commission de la capitale nationale (CCN) demande aux automobilistes de faire preuve de prudence et de respecter la signalisation en place afin d'assurer leur sécurité. Les piétons et les cyclistes pourront continuer d'emprunter le sentier récréatif du canal Rideau lors des travaux.

Lansdowne opening night plan gets kudos

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Gridlock was a non-issue for residents as fans took transit, bicycles to first CFL game

By Laura Mueller, Ottawa Community News

While opening weekend may be too early to claim the Lansdowne Park revitalization is a success, receiving kudos from a Friends of Lansdowne member isn't a bad way to start.

By all accounts, the experience in the Glebe on opening night for the RedBlacks on July 18 was a positive one. Accolades even poured in from Ian Lee, a prominent member and spokesman for the Friends group that bitterly opposed the business plan and contractual aspects of the redevelopment.

"I am not trying to give (the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group) gratuitous kudos ... but I've got to give them credit because they must have run it very smoothly," he said. "I'll be frank, I was pleasantly surprised."

After almost four years of construction, more than 24,000 fans flooded Landowne and TD Place stadium for the sold out RedBlacks Canadian Football League home opener on July 18. Another 14,593 fans fl ocked to the stadium two days later for an Ottawa Fury soccer game that set an attendance record for North American Soccer League.

Lee said he stayed home, about two blocks away from Lansdowne, and didn't check out the stadium, but he said the process of getting fans to and from the football game ran smoothly, from what he could see. There was no traffic congestion, Lee said, and his friends and neighbours agreed. "There was no gridlock, panic, crisis of any kind," Lee said. "It doesn't mean that it can't be fine tuned."

Appeal filed over Salus site parking

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Matthew Pearson, Ottawa Citizen

A man who owns property next to the site of a proposed home for people with mental illnesses has filed an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board.

John Khouri argues the city's committee of adjustment erred when it granted three minor variances to Salus Corp., a non-profit organization that hopes to construct a 42-unit apartment building at 1486-1494 Clementine Blvd.

Salus has secured $5 million in government funding to build a four-storey building, with the ground floor for common spaces and a community workers' office.

The OMB appeal means that site plan approval is delayed. Salus says construction cannot begin after Sept. 30 as the costs related to winter construction are prohibitive for the organization, so the earliest it could begin is next spring.

The Salus proposal meets zoning rules, but the organization asked the city for a minor variance to reduce the number of required parking spaces for vehicles. It says its residents will not own cars. It sought one space for workers, and a reduction in the number of bicycle parking spaces.

Some area residents have expressed concerns that the proposal would create onstreet parking problems.

Salus and the committee of adjustment later accepted a parking study's recommendation of three spaces.

But in his appeal to the OMB, Khouri says each of the three approved variances fails the test set out in the Planning Act. The test stipulates that the variance be minor, be desirable for the appropriate development or use of the property and maintain the general intent and purpose of the bylaw and the city's official plan.

Although a city bylaw would require developments of that size to include 21 parking spaces for tenants, one of the approved variances will allow Salus to reduce that number to zero. Salus has said its prospective tenants cannot afford to own vehicles and will use public transit.

An OMB hearing date has not yet been scheduled.