The Main Street Renewal project is about to get started in earnest, and City staff has recommended some changes to the O'Connor Bikeway design. Also in this issue, a special lunch for seniors living in Capital Ward, upcoming waste diversion opportunities and more.
Councillor for Capital Ward
In this issue
The full-scale reconstruction of Main Street from end to end is about to begin in earnest. After three years of public meetings, a City Council debate, detailed design work, preparatory utility work and 20-plus meetings of a Public Working Group (involving more than a dozen residents, plus affected businesses and institutions) the big shovels come out and major traffic detours start at the end of May.
Most local residents and regular users of Main Street will be aware that this was coming. While few will have paid close attention to the intimate details, the spectre of a major construction project in the neighbourhood has surely gained everyone's attention. At the start of a project that will significantly affect an entire community, it's my job now to ensure that good communication is established and maintained between the City and residents, businesses, educational institutions, churches and all other affected parties. This project will be long, disruptive, noisy and dusty. It will significantly alter traffic patterns and create undesirable detour routes and sometimes closures. I want to ensure that everyone knows what is happening, why it is happening, how they can be kept informed and what to do if they have special needs or observe serious problems.
I know from the full reconstruction of Bank Street in the Glebe a few years ago that having open lines of communication is essential. On this front, I am working with City staff who have been involved in a dozen or more such projects over several decades. They have encountered just about every manner of community issue, and learned a lot from their experiences. They will apply this knowledge to Main Street, and to minimizing the project's impacts on Old Ottawa East and South.
As I do with most major projects in the ward, I have created a dedicated section on my website for Main Street Renewal. Here you can find a comprehensive description of the why, what, how, who and when. I'll do my best to keep it up to date, and to provide contact information for all manner of inquiries and concerns.
At a recent planning meeting, a local community association representative raised an important point. To paraphrase: We are all in this together. We are all going to suffer the impacts and we have done our best to share the burden of things like traffic detours. We can choose to get through this together, supporting one another, and making a special point of supporting local businesses who are typically hard hit when clients find access more challenging and the street environment harsh. But when this is done, we are going to have an entirely renewed street and the key piece of a complete community renewal.
We can and must work together. No need for any exiles on Main Street!
The City of Ottawa is hosting an open house from 6 to 9 p.m. tonight, May 11, to present the plans for the renewal of Main Street. This includes:
Staff will be on hand to provide information and receive comments. More information on the Main Street Renewal can be found here.
The open house is at Laframboise Hall, St. Paul University (Room 120).
Since the City of Ottawa announced changes to earlier plans for the O’Connor Street Bikeway, a number of people have contacted me over the past week to express support for a dedicated lane along the entire length of the proposed route from Parliament Hill to Lansdowne Park. City staff have prepared a detailed explanation of the recommended proposal and its attempt to balance the many views and needs of residents and right-of-way users.
As is typical of a major project affecting many people and organizations, the recommended outcome will not satisfy everyone. I hope that the many people who expected the entire recommended route to include a dedicated cycling lane will understand that the City made a concerted effort to achieve that result. In the end, though, there were enough significant obstacles to conclude that a shared lane was the better option in some sections. Where the impacts to residents and institutions with unique and very real needs could not be reconciled with a dedicated lane — from Strathcona Ave. to Fifth Ave — the City’s managers and I agreed to a “shared lane” approach combined with additional traffic calming measures.
Since this decision was first communicated, I have spent many hours reviewing the route and discussing possible improvements. The following are a series of measures that I will propose formally, by way of a Motion, when the O’Connor Bikeway is debated at the June 3 meeting of the Transportation Committee:
I hope these changes will be approved at Committee and the whole project sent on to City Council for final approval later that month.
I am hosting a free lunch on June 17 for seniors who live in Capital Ward (the Glebe, Glebe Annex, Dow's Lake, Old Ottawa South, Old Ottawa East, Heron Park, Riverside). Come to hear the special guest speaker, learn about seniors' services provided by the City of Ottawa, and of course enjoy a nice lunch at the Colonel By, 43 Aylmer Ave.
Residents looking to rid themselves of unwanted items or or hazardous household waste can take advantage of several upcoming waste diversion events:
The much-anticipated Great Glebe Garage Sale on Saturday, May 23 is a great opportunity to turn your spring cleaning into profit by selling your used household items.
And just in case no one buys your 20-year-old computer monitor, Glebe Collegiate Institute will host its second annual Electronics Recycling Collection immediately after the GGGS. Hours are noon – 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 23, and 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 24.
Any non-electronic items you are unable to sell could be hidden treasures for somebody else during the City’s spring Give-Away Weekend on June 6 and 7!
Finally, if your waste is corrosive, flammable or poisonous, check out the City of Ottawa’s schedule for the Household Hazardous Waste Depots. These depots are not hosted in Capital Ward, but there is one at Tunney's Pasture on Sunday May 31 and Sept. 13.
Please also note that there will be no curbside collection of green bin, recycling and garbage on Victoria Day, Monday, May 18. Instead, collection will take place on Tuesday, May 19, and the schedule for the remainder of the week will be delayed by one day as well, with Saturday making up for the missed day. For curbside collection enquiries, please refer to the City’s collection calendar tool.
Crews will be working tonight, Tuesday and Wednesday (May 11 – 13) from 4 p.m. until midnight to adjust the TD Place stadium lights. The work is necessary to meet to FIFA specifications in preparation for the Women's World Cup soccer tournament.