Councillors opt instead to study causes of congestion, potential solutions
Coun. David Chernushenko said he's pleased Ottawa's Transportation Committee has voted to ask for a study of what causes congestion in the city and possible solutions. (Giacomo Panico)
By Giacomo Panico, CBC News
A proposed traffic study that originally included consideration of tolls and other forms of "road pricing" in its scope will focus instead on the broader causes of — and potential solutions to — congestion on Ottawa's roads.
The city's transportation committee made the decision on Wednesday.
Capital Ward Coun. David Chernushenko had floated the idea of studying road pricing options in anticipation of the city's need to review and update its transportation master plan in 2018.
Chernushenko's motion called for staff to study "different user-pay approaches" as part of an effort to discourage private vehicle use and generate revenue to maintain roads.
But in an attempt to gain the support of his fellow councillors during a committee meeting Wednesday morning, Chernushenko removed the reference to road pricing, choosing instead to ask staff to study the causes of congestion in Ottawa, as well as possible solutions to reduce congestion.
"I guess by pulling that out it wasn't prejudging that that's what we would be doing," said Chernushenko. "I hope we can take a more neutral approach to understanding the issue and the possible solutions, without having that right there as a red flag for people who are just looking for red flags."
The tactic worked as the revised motion passed by a margin of 7 to 3, though it must still be approved by city council.
Despite backing down from a specific call for a road pricing study, Chernushenko said he's pleased with the result.
"Ottawa will for the first time be taking a serious look at congestion pricing tools, among the other solutions to congestion."