Michael Woods, Ottawa Citizen
A Lakeside Avenue resident is disputing claims that shuttle drivers had light shone in their eyes on the residential street after Saturday night's Redblacks game.
Claire Gardam, who lives on the street connecting Queen Elizabeth Driveway with Bronson Avenue, said she was outside on the sidewalk from 9:30 p.m. to 11:15 p.m. Saturday and "no one was shining flashlights in the eyes of the bus drivers."
"I can guarantee there were no flashlights out or any lights being shone around post-game," she said.
Gardam said she and some fans were the only people on the sidewalk post-game. Some neighbours were on a porch counting the buses, she said, but the only lighting was from porch and street lights.
Residents of Lakeside Avenue are upset with the city's plan to send up to 90 shuttle buses down their street on Redblacks game nights.
According to Phil Landry, the city's traffic services manager, some shuttle drivers reported having lights shone into their eyes while driving on the street after Saturday night's game.
Gardam said the street's incline and speed bumps can cause car headlights to shine a bit higher, which could be the source of the complaint.
She said Lakeside residents wouldn't do anything to jeopardize safety, and in no way want to interfere with fans using the shuttle buses.
Some residents crossed the street slowly in front of the shuttle buses before Saturday's game. But Gardam said that wasn't a protest; neighbours merely invited people down to see the impact of the shuttle buses on the street.
"We did not lead anyone to believe it was a protest," she said.
The city and the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group maintain that the most efficient route from the four park-and-ride lots — the RA Centre, Canada Post, Vincent Massey Park and Carleton University — involves taking Lakeside Avenue.
On Saturday, the Redblacks' second-ever home game, residents were out on both side of the streets counting the buses in halfhour intervals. She said residents counted 549 buses in a 4 ½-hour period, including 92 between 10:30 and 11 p.m.
Because residents were allowed to park on the street on Saturday, unlike for the first home game last month, the buses had to slow down and were quieter, Gardam said.
But she maintains other routes are faster and less disruptive. And while there are only nine Redblacks home games per season, Lansdowne will soon have concerts and other events.
"It's going to be one thing after another, and the buses will continue to come," she said.
The transportation plan to Lansdowne calls for sending shuttles on Lakeside Avenue for the first four home games.