And Lakeside Avenue residents should not be called NIMBYs over bus issue
Joanne Chianello, Ottawa Citizen
Sometimes NIMBYism gets a bad rap.
Apparently, to avoid being tagged as indulging in Not-In-My-Backyard hypocrisy, we're supposed to be thrilled when, say, a 15-storey condo goes up at the end of our leafy residential street. Density is great! We are likewise expected to jump for joy when the city reroutes hundreds of transit buses down our quiet blocks.
That is, of course, ridiculous. We don't as a rule feign delight when our environs are disrupted. Yet we tend to shrug our collective shoulders at the annoyances other parts of the city might experience — the indifference that's the flip side of the Not-In-My-Back-Yard mentality.
It's a natural instinct. That's not to say that NIMBYism is desirable — if we want the city to grow and improve, we all need to embrace change and, sometimes, inconvenience — but it's understandable.
There isn't a person in Ottawa who wouldn't be furious if this happened on his or her own street, even if it was only a dozen times a year.
Not every complaint about new development can be reduced to mere NIMBYism, though. Case in point: the Lakeside Avenue residents' protest against hundreds of football-game shuttles trundling down their normally serene residential street.
In an effort to get thousands of fans to Redblacks games, CFL-franchise owner Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group is running shuttles from four off-site parking lots to Lansdowne Park. The shuttles are a great idea. Lansdowne isn't on any major transportation or rapid-transit routes, and there isn't room for most fans to drive — or park — at (or even near) the TD Place stadium.
There's only one catch, at least for the 20 or so homeowners who live on Lakeside: Their tiny street is being used by these shuttles to connect from Bronson Avenue to Queen Elizabeth Driveway. While OSEG employs 90 shuttles for each game, each vehicle makes multiple runs. That means more than 500 bus trips down the street for hours on game nights.