Bus load on Lakeside Avenue cut by at least half for Friday game
Carys Mills, Ottawa Citizen
There will be fewer shuttle buses taking Lakeside Avenue for Friday's Redblacks game, following concerns from some residents of the quiet street.
Capital Ward Coun. David Chernushenko said Monday that changes to the shuttle route for this week's game will result in at least a 50-per-cent reduction in the number of shuttle buses taking Lakeside Avenue, which is close to Dow's Lake.
"Nothing is permanent, in that this going to be tested. We'll be crunching the numbers," Chernushenko said, adding assessment of the "pilot project" will include how long new routes take and whether they cause changes to shuttle usage.
Instead of taking Lakeside Avenue, buses picking people up at the Canada Post and Vincent Massey Park parking lots will use Heron Road and Prince of Wales Drive to get to Queen Elizabeth Driveway and ultimately TD Place.
Also being assessed in the pilot project will be the diversion of out-of-service buses to and from Carleton University and the R.A. Centre.
Some deadheaded pre-game buses on those routes will be diverted on to Preston Street and Carling Avenue and timed to judge the effectiveness of the trial route.
That diversion could reduce bus volumes on Lakeside Avenue by an extra 15 per cent.
"For sure, it's a response to community concerns," Chernushenko said, adding the decision to try new routes for the third home game was made at a Lansdowne transportation management meeting last Friday.
He said it's possible the shuttle routes could change again soon, depending on how the next few games go. He acknowledged that community concerns about shuttle bus traffic on Lakeside Avenue aren't new.
"In a way, efficiency and attractiveness of the shuttle for the first couple of games won out — if I could put it so crassly — over the concerns of people on that street," he said. "Now there's a shift to try to reduce that impact."
Lakeside Avenue resident Claire Gardam said she was disappointed it has taken the city so long to act.
"Certainly we're happy we've seen some action, there's no doubt about it.
"We're disappointed we had to get to this point to see some action, considering we've been trying to have changes made for the last 18 months," she said.
Residents counted more than 549 buses travelling on their street before and after the last game, she added.
"Ideally we'd like to see no buses on residential streets," she said.