Homeowners have a right to be peeved

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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.

No flashlight protest on Lakeside, woman says

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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.

Addressing shuttle bus concerns

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Many local residents have expressed concerns regarding the shuttle bus routes for Lansdowne events. As presented at the June 17 public meeting on this subject, it has always been the City’s intent to test a variety of routes for the Lansdowne Park shuttles, some using the Queen Elizabeth and Lakeside, some using Bank Street in combination with Fifth and Sunnyside. A commitment was also made to the various affected communities to test a longer route that uses only arterial streets: Queen Elizabeth followed by Preston, Carling and Bronson.
 
Ultimately, the 2010 Council decision to redevelop Lansdowne and the subsequent emphasis on replacing many thousands of private vehicles through the use of hundreds of shuttle buses meant that those shuttle buses would have to take a route that was efficient enough so as to be attractive to those event-goers who might otherwise have chosen to drive to and park in the adjacent communities.

By the end of the month, the Lansdowne Transportation Monitoring and Operations Committee (on which I sit) will be in a position to make recommendations regarding shuttle routes for the remainder of this season and for the future. I hope to find a compromise that gets ticketholders to the game as quickly as possible with minimal disruption to residents.

I do not support simply shifting shuttle buses from one residential street to another. I anticipate that some residential streets will still need to take some of the shuttle traffic for larger events, but that overall we will be able to agree to a plan that imposes as little additional traffic as possible on any one residential street, and only under strict speed limits. I also expect we will find ways to minimize the number of shuttle trips on any one street by rerouting empty returning buses onto arterial roads.

Lansdowne transportation management is still a work in progress. Please rest assured that I am committed to finding a solution that does not impose a heavy burden on any one groups of residents.
 
– David Chernushenko

Shuttles facing flashlight protests

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Residents angry over heavy traffic

Michael Woods, Ottawa Citizen

Opposition to the city's contentious plan to send shuttle buses to football games down a quiet residential street might have been expressed in a new way last weekend: with a flashlight beam.

Phil Landry, the city's traffic services manager, said some shuttle drivers reported having lights shone into their eyes while driving on Lakeside Avenue after Saturday night's Redblacks game, the second at TD Place.

"That's a very serious issue," Landry told the Citizen. "It's a very dangerous thing to do."

The city and Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group's plan to send up to 90 shuttle buses on game nights rumbling down the short residential street, which connects Queen Elizabeth Driveway with Bronson Avenue, has residents on the street up in arms.

Some residents protested before the second Redblacks home game on Saturday by crossing the street slowly in front of the shuttle buses. But somebody shining a flashlight at drivers is another matter entirely, said Capital Ward Coun. David Chernushenko.

"I can condone civil disobedience in people walking slowly across the road to make a point," he said. "But anything that crosses over the line and actually puts the driver, passengers and people on the street at risk by distracting or impeding a driver is unacceptable."

City considers redirecting shuttle buses off Lakeside Ave.

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Potential route along Sunnyside and Fifth avenues to be tested in coming months, city says

CBC News

The city says it's considering redirecting shuttle buses for Redblacks football games off of Lakeside Avenue, where residents say the volume of buses is unsafe.

The city said there was always a plan to try out other routes.

The game-day shuttle buses for Redblacks games will continue to take Lakeside Avenue for the next three games, and then the city will test a different route that uses busier arterial roads: Sunnyside Avenue, Bank Street and Fifth Avenue.

"Obviously, you're putting buses onto very busy city streets ... and we'll have to see whether they can handle the shuttles," said David Chernushenko, the city councillor for Capital Ward.

Garbage control coming to TD Place

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Jon Willing, Ottawa Sun

Football fans have been calling their own plays when it comes to tossing their trash at TD Place.

The Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group says a "supply chain delay" prevented the company from deploying the right garbage and recycling containers in time for the start of the RedBlacks' season.

OSEG spokesman Barre Campbell said the size of the Lansdowne Park redevelopment means each delivery is "tightly timed to mesh together."

"As a temporary measure, we deployed large bins clearly labelled for trash, paper products and cans around facility but unfortunately those labels were not fully respected and we were unable to completely sort all recyclable materials from those bins," Campbell wrote in an e-mail Tuesday.

If cans and paper were in with the rest of the garbage, then that's where they stayed when the bags were tied up at the end of night.

TD Place shuttle routes still not finalized

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Alison Sandor, CFRA News

Capital Ward Councillor David Chernushenko says the routes shuttle buses take to TD Place on game days are not necessarily finalized.

His comments come after residents on Lakeside Avenue near Dows Lake blocked buses en route to the REDBLACKS game on Saturday.

Councillor David Chernushenko said residents have reason to worry about the number of buses driving up Lakeside, but it is the quickest route to and from TD Place.

He does say the city is testing other routes like Bronson and Preston to see if they can avoid Lakeside.

"You know, if it's only an additional couple of minutes to run on a route that doesn't impose this sort of traffic on a residential street, then I would hope we could move to that Bronson - Carling - Preston type route rather than using Lakeside," he said.

He said it will take them another few games to figure out traffic flow and finalize the shuttle route.

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.

 

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."

If you don’t find the information you need on these pages, please visit ottawa.ca/newlansdowne, or to contact the City directly by email at newlansdowne@ottawa.caor by calling 3-1-1 (press 1 for English, then 5 for the Lansdowne line). If necessary, you may also contact the project manager, Marco Manconi, at 613-580-2424 ext. 43229, or by email.