2 July 2013

This edition of Capital Ward News features updates on the preferred design option for the reconstruction of Main Street in Old Ottawa East, the Mutchmor playing field in the Glebe, the O-Train in Heron Park, and traffic disruptions due to the Hwy. 417 expansion and LRT construction. I also want to let everyone know about a special screening of Bike City, Great City, my new film on urban cycling.

David Chernushenko
Councillor for Capital Ward
613-580-2487 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Main Street update

Progress on the Main Street Renewal Project continues. The City recently hosted two open houses to present five alternative design plans that range from simply reconstructing the street as it is to completely redesigning it as a "Complete Street":

  1. Retain the current configuration with four narrow vehicle lanes and off-peak curb-lane parking on both sides
  2. Four vehicle lanes, including two wide, shared vehicle/cycling lanes, with off-peak curb-lane parking on both sides
  3. Four lanes plus bike lanes, with no parking
  4. Two lanes plus turning lanes, bike lanes, and all-day parking in bays in some locations
  5. Two lanes plus turning lanes at key intersections, segregated bike lanes, with all-day parking in bays in some locations

The project's Working Group, including City staff, community representatives, businesses and landowners, recommended Alternative Design 5 as the Preliminary Preferred Design. The decision was based on the technical evaluation as well as input from various City departments, which determined that the Complete Street option best supports the City's pursuit of a sustainable transportation system under the Official Plan and Transportation Master Plan.

Alternative Design 5 includes a combination of two- and three-lane sections, and features wider sidewalks as well as a cycle track through much of the corridor. The cycle track, together with dedicated bike lanes planned over the McIlraith Bridge and shared lanes north of Lees Ave., will provide a high-quality cycling route along the entire corridor.

This design requires a reduction in roadway capacity for vehicles in some sections of the corridor, but on balance the City considers this an appropriate street design choice that will encourage active modes of transportation.

Lane reductions are being considered only in the section between Evelyn Ave. and the McIlraith Bridge. Turning lanes will help with traffic flow, and four lanes will be maintained across the McIlraith Bridge and in the north section through Lees Ave. and Hawthorne Ave., where turning cars currently create much of the congestion during peak periods.

The design will be considered at Transportation Committee on July 5 and, if endorsed, will then go to City Council for final approval, possibly on July 17.


Mutchmor playing field

Many of you have written to my office to express your concerns over the potential paving of the Mutchmor Public School playing field to provide parking for teachers. I share your concerns and for the past few months I have been working with the school trustees, the Glebe Community Association and our MPP, Yasir Naqvi, to find an alternative that would preserve scarce recreational space in this community.

To everyone's great relief, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) announced recently that this possibility is no longer being considered. While this is comforting news, we will still have to be vigilant to ensure that this option does not end up back on the table.

It is important to note that the City is not imposing these parking requirements on the school board, and has no responsibility to provide parking for schools. The decision to provide parking rests entirely with the OCDSB.

I have nonetheless worked with City staff to find a way to meet the teachers' needs. Although planning for a parking garage between Second and Third Avenues is still in the early stages, this is one of the potential options being considered.

It is the City's formal policy to discourage private vehicle commuting, and to encourage active transportation and use of public transit. One manifestation of that policy is that the City does not generally offer long-term parking spaces at its lots. While wary of undermining this City objective, I have convinced senior staff to agree to an extraordinary exception by offering to lease spaces to the OCDSB during school hours and only during the school year.

Thank you to everyone who has worked hard to ensure that the field remains available to our children.


O-Train update

There is good news for residents of Heron Park who live near the O-Train tracks. The new passing track is now being constructed on the west side of the existing track, further away from homes than originally planned. City of Ottawa staff are also refining the location and design of a barrier to mitigate the additional noise and vibrations from expanded O-Train service. Community input was received and a preferred location chosen at a June 24 open house.

There's also good news for everyone who uses the Brookfield multiuse pathway. The City's Rail Implementation Office has found a way to eliminate the level crossing — and the loud bell! — at Brookfield Rd. and Junction Ave. They are building a passage under the tracks a bit to the north, which will make it easier to access not only the Brookfield pathway, but also the Sawmill Creek pathway once it is extended north of Walkley.


New sidewalk for Heron Park

The 2013 budget included funding for a new sidewalk on the south side of Brookfield Ave. in Heron Park. The project was approved by City Council, following community consultation, before I was elected in 2010. Still, I have heard from some residents who question the need for this "new" sidewalk, and who have concerns over loss of trees and parking. Although very sensitive to these concerns, I support the sidewalk's construction for a couple of reasons. One is that it will make the community more walkable. The other is that it provides an excellent opportunity to improve the local cycling infrastructure.

The local community currently lacks proper pedestrian access to a number of key destinations south of Brookfield, including Kaladar Park, École élémentaire catholique Lamoureux and recreational facilities. The new sidewalk will make it easier and safer to walk not only to these destinations, but also to transit, retail and other services on Bank St.

The existing, substandard sidewalk on the north side of Brookfield is of limited use to pedestrians. When the time comes to replace the substandard north sidewalk, it can be transformed into a multiuse pathway to connect the existing Brookfield pathway with Bank St.

I will hold an on-site meeting at 824 Brookfield Road on Thursday, July 4, from 5 to 6 p.m., to give residents an opportunity to discuss the proposal and present their concerns to City staff and to me.


LRT construction causing disruptions on Hwy. 417

Highway 417 is being expanded with an additional lane in each direction between Nicholas St. and the 417/174 Split. The new lanes will be used by buses during construction of the Confederation light rail line from 2015 to 2018.

The work will cause lane reductions on Hwy, 417 eastbound and westbound between Nicholas and the Split until next summer. However, three lanes will be maintained in both directions during peak periods, with some short-term exceptions.

The eastbound Hwy. 417 off-ramp to St. Laurent Blvd. is down to a single lane until fall 2015. The on-ramp from St. Laurent northbound to Hwy. 417 eastbound has been closed permanently.

The City is encouraging residents to be flexible with commuting times, stagger work hours or use other alternative means for travel, such as transit, walking, cycling or carpooling.


Bike City, Great City

There will be a special screening of my new film Bike City, Great City at the Mayfair Theatre on July 10 at 7 p.m. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion on Going for Gold — Sharing the Road in Ottawa, featuring Citizens for Safe Cycling, the Canadian Automobile Association and the Enviro Centre.

I know this is a subject of interest to many residents of Capital Ward who regularly remind me of their desire to take more of their daily trips by bicycle, but want better cycling infrastructure and safer conditions.

See the trailer and find more information at bikecitythemovie.ca.

30 April 2013

This edition of Capital Ward News includes invitations to open houses for the Riverdale Area Traffic Management Study and the Colonel By Zoning Review, plus a request for feedback for the City's Second Infill Study, information on the O-Train expansion, and on the upcoming Rural Expo.

David Chernushenko
Councillor for Capital Ward
613-580-2487 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Open House: Riverdale Avenue Area Traffic Management Study

Wednesday, May 1, 6 to 8 p.m.
Sunnyside Library, meeting rooms 1A/1B, 1049 Bank St.

The City of Ottawa has initiated a study to examine traffic concerns in the neighbourhood of Rideau Gardens. The study includes the Riverdale Avenue corridor between Bank Street and Echo Drive, including several adjacent side streets. The purpose of this Open House is to introduce the project and solicit input on community traffic from neighbourhood residents as well as all interested parties. The input will form the basis of the technical evaluation and recommendations for area traffic management measures.

Please join City staff and Councillor David Chernushenko to provide your input and learn more. Your comments are welcome and encouraged at any point during this study. For more information, please contact:

Kyle Carson
Co-ordinator, Area Traffic Management
Planning and Growth Management
613-580-2424, ext. 16874 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

riverdale-atm


Open House: Colonel By Zoning Review

Wednesday, May 8, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Sunnyside Library, 1049 Bank St.

Councillor David Chernushenko and Meloshe and Associates invite you to a public Open House to discuss the recommendations in the Colonel By Zoning Review.

Residents in the Colonel By Drive neighbourhood have expressed general concerns about the nature of infill in Old Ottawa South. In response to this concern, the Planning and Growth Management Department contracted Meloshe and Associates Ltd. in mid-2012 to undertake a zoning review of the properties along Colonel By Drive.

The draft report for the Colonel By Zoning Review provides a detailed review of the existing built context of the study area, the zoning framework, zoning options, and preliminary recommendations and conclusions. View a PDF of the draft report here.

If you can't attend the open house, you may send questions and comments to:

Nancy Meloshe, MCIP RPP
613-726-8028
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Click here to download a PDF map of affected properties.


Feedback Requested: Phase 2 of Infill Study

In May 2012, City Council approved the Low-Rise Infill Housing in Mature Neighbourhoods Report and directed staff to undertake follow-up studies to ensure infill developments make a positive contribution to the character and quality of these neighbourhoods.

The first phase of the study dealt with location of parking, permitted projections, front yards and grade. Phase 2 will address height, massing and rear/side setbacks.

The Zoning Consistency Team needs your help to understand the nature of your concerns related to new low-rise infill construction. If low-rise infill housing has generated concern in your community, please provide feedback by filling out the online form by Friday, May 17, 2013.

Once this feedback has been received, the Zoning Consistency Team will organize site visits to conduct individual analysis. Workshops will then be organized with the different communities and the architectural community. The Team intends to prepare recommendations for Planning Committee and City Council for December 2013.


O-Train Closure and Expansion

O-Train service is currently suspended for major upgrades in preparation for expanded service in 2014. Regular service will resume on Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013.

The project includes two additional passing tracks, signal upgrades and station improvements. OCTranspo will also use this opportunity to perform general lifecycle maintenance work on bridges, the Dow's Lake tunnel, retaining walls and the Carleton University pedestrian underpass. The work is being performed when ridership levels are lower to minimize the impact on customers.

A temporary bus service will replace the O-Train during the closure. Route 107 will travel parallel to the O-Train routing between LeBreton and South Keys stations, and will make limited stops along the route.

I have been working to address the concerns of Heron Park residents about the impact of a new passing track in their neighbourhood. As a result, this second track will be constructed on the west side of the existing track, further away from nearby homes. In addition, Novus Environmental is undertaking noise and vibration assessments to determine whether any sound attenuation will be required to protect residences from excessive noise and vibration.

The Rail Implementation Office is also looking at the feasibility of relocating the multi-use pathway at Brookfield to eliminate the need for the pedestrian crossing at the O-Train tracks by passing underneath the tracks.


Rural Expo

Friday, May 31, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave. W.

Mayor Jim Watson is hosting the first-ever Rural Expo, a showcase for Ottawa's rural residents to promote fairs, museums, agriculture and crafts to the urban population. The event will take place in conjunction with Food Aid Day.

The day will start off with a Pancake Breakfast hosted by CTV Ottawa Morning Live from 7 to 9 a.m., with proceeds donated to the Ottawa Food Bank's Food Aid program. CTV Morning will also broadcast live from City Hall from 6 to 10 a.m., and the Food Aid BBQ begins at 11 a.m. Rural businesses will set up booths inside Jean Pigott Hall and outside in Marion Dewar Plaza from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Drop by City Hall throughout the day on May 31 to visit some of the great attractions and businesses from rural Ottawa.

11 February 2013

In this issue of the Capital Ward newsletter, you'll find invitations to an open house concerning proposed safety measures on Bronson, and to a forum on Building a Liveable Ottawa, among other news. I also explain the rationale behind the Glebe parking garage and clear up some confusion over LEED standards in the City of Ottawa.

David Chernushenko
Councillor for Capital Ward
613-580-2487 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Open House: Bronson Operational and Safety Review

Wednesday, February 27, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Atrium (4th floor), University Centre, Carleton University

Over the last few months, I have been working closely with the Bronson Operational and Safety Review Group to make Bronson Avenue between Holmwood Avenue and Brewer Way safer for everyone. Members include motorists, cyclists and pedestrians representing Carleton University (students and staff), Old Ottawa South, the Glebe and neighbouring residential communities, as well as City staff. In addition, more than 600 residents have provided comments and filled out a survey on changes they would like see.

On February 27, we are holding an open house at Carleton University so residents can review the complete list of recommendations produced through these efforts. The open house is a good opportunity to provide your final input on the recommendations before staff delivers the report to the Transportation Committee in late April.

Among the options being considered are a new traffic signal at the canal, bigger signage, better paint markings at the Brewer intersection, and creating a buffer zone between cyclists and motorists.

One suggestion—to allow cyclists to share the sidewalk when crossing the bridge over the canal—has already been implemented as a stopgap measure. While some pedestrians were concerned about this change, early reviews are positive and cyclists appreciate being able to navigate the bridge without first crossing Bronson, at least until there's a safer way to cross.


Speed board for Capital Ward

Speaking of safer roads, my office has purchased a "speed board" for the City to rotate through four locations in Capital Ward. It will be installed in Heron Park, on Clementine near Secord, within the next couple of weeks and remain there for three to four weeks. After that, it will move to another problem location.

The board will show drivers their actual speed, thus serving as a reminder to respect the limit. It will also collect anonymous data that can be used to support measures to calm traffic.

I'm open to suggestions for where the board should go next. In consultation with traffic safety staff, we will evaluate different locations over the next few weeks and decide which ones should be priorities.


Building a Liveable Ottawa 2031: Community Forum

Wednesday February 13, 7 – 9 p.m.
Andrew Haydon Hall and Jean Pigott Place
Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave. West

In January, the City of Ottawa launched Building a Liveable Ottawa 2031, a city-wide review of policies and projects that will influence how our neighbourhoods grow and how we will travel around the City in the years to come.

You're invited to attend a public forum at 7 p.m. on February 13 to discuss the City's policy proposals to update the Official Plan, Transportation Master Plan, Infrastructure Master Plan and Cycling and Pedestrian Plans.

Seating is limited, so please RSVP before Tuesday, February 12 by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Prepare yourself for this event by reading the Preliminary Proposals available on the City's website. Answer our survey before March 1, and follow the conversation on Twitter @ottawacity #liveableottawa.


Glebe Parking Garage Explained

As long as there are cars and roads, some people will want to or need to drive, and they are going to need to a place to park. Parking spaces in much of the Glebe are already hard to come by. The Lansdowne redevelopment, combined with a surge in residential infill development, will only put more pressure on the limited supply.

We can respond as a city by encouraging active and public modes of transportation, and we do. Still, judging by the calls and emails to my office, residents, visitors and merchants anticipate a major parking shortfall once Lansdowne reopens in late 2014, and they want the City to do something about it.

So, although I have voted for a major investment in light rail and O-Train expansion, and although I press for better sidewalks and cycling facilities, I must nonetheless also push forward with a 2010 City Council decision to build a new parking garage on Second Ave., behind the Glebe Metro.

The site is far enough away from Lansdowne that it won't be very attractive to visitors headed to events or new businesses there. That will benefit existing members of the Glebe BIA, who will face increased competition and congestion thanks to Lansdowne and want to ensure there's parking to accommodate clients who need to drive. It will benefit residents by taking some pressure off street parking, reducing the potential that shoppers and other visitors to the Glebe will cruise the side streets looking for a parking spot.

The lot on Second Ave. is the only appropriate municipal property within the affected business/residential area, so the site is not really up for debate. What we can discuss is what to build, how the community can provide design/function input, and how to maximize the community benefit of such a facility. For example, I want to find a way to make it available to residents outside of business hours to provide relief during special events or when there are winter parking restrictions in effect.

Residents have made it abundantly clear that any development must conform to existing height limits. They do not want a six-story building at this location, even if some of it is residential or commercial. They are telling me that, if we must build a parking garage, it should be as low as possible and as attractive as possible, and it must accommodate bicycles, car sharing and electric vehicle charging.

Including residential or commercial uses in a low-rise garage is pointless because it would limit the number of parking spaces and create more demand for those same spaces. So, while I recognize that this lot could be used for all sorts of interesting projects, and could even generate more revenue, my mandate here is clear: Build a simple parking facility, make it as attractive as possible, and get it done by the time Lansdowne reopens.


Green Buildings and LEED Certification

In the past few weeks, there has been some confusion about my stance on Ottawa's commitment to building "green" city facilities, and whether we should seek certification by the Canadian Green Building Council using the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) system. Just to clarify: I absolutely think the City should strive for the highest standards in green design for every building. The question is whether we should seek formal certification for every building.

Currently, Ottawa's green building policy states that all buildings above a certain size must achieve the minimum LEED Certified level, and should aim for the next highest Silver level. This commitment is more than just a feel-good, look-good exercise. Experience in Ottawa and elsewhere has shown that when architects, engineers, builders and building owners work to build greener buildings, they can reduce operating costs while improving performance and occupant satisfaction. The long-term financial savings far outweigh the relatively modest additional capital costs.

For this reason, some Environment Committee members—myself included—felt we should update our policy to aim for the next highest LEED level, Gold. However, we wanted to know what the incremental costs, as well as the anticipated savings, would be if we were to take this bolder step.

In addition, I asked our staff if the City could save money on consulting and documentation by not pursuing formal certification of each building, while still maintaining the same strong commitment to green design standards. This does not mean we would dilute the current design standards. We would actually raise the bar without seeking the official LEED stamp of approval.

The Environment Committee passed a motion to this effect, but the ensuing public response indicated there was confusion about the intent as well as the decision that had been taken. As a result, Council opted to refer the motion back to the Environment Committee, where the subject will receive a more thorough airing and discussion sometime this spring.


 

"Why I love Ottawa / Gatineau" Photo Contest:
Exhibition and Silent Auction

Saturday, February 23, noon – 8:30pm.
Ottawa Studio Works, 160 Preston St. (between Gladstone and Somerset)

As one of the "celebrity" participants in the "Why I love Ottawa / Gatineau" photo contest in support of the Ottawa Food Bank, I hope you have a chance to see the results and bid on your favourites at the exhibition and silent auction on Feb. 23. The auction and People's Choice ballot run until 7 p.m., with a presentation at 8 p.m.

For more information, visit the contest website.

18 December 2012

At this busy time of year, I wish all residents of Capital Ward and Ottawa some moments of calm to share, to reflect and to rest. May we all find ways to reconnect with what matters in our lives, to offer caring and gentleness to others, and especially to ourselves. Best wishes for this holiday season and a Merry Christmas to all.

David Chernushenko
Councillor for Capital Ward
613-580-2487 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Holiday Schedule Changes

Garbage and recycling: There will be no curbside or multi-residential green bin, recycling or garbage collection on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day. Unless your normal pick-up day is Monday, garbage, green bins, recycling and yard waste will be picked up a day later than normal for the weeks of Dec. 24 and 31. Christmas trees will be collected on the same day as the green bin — please remove all decorations. For curbside collection enquiries, refer to the collection calendar tool at ottawa.ca.

Transit: OC Transpo will operate a reduced schedule from Dec. 23 to Jan. 5. For details, visit octranspo.com. You can also call 613-560-1000 or text 560560 plus your four-digit bus stop number for automated schedule information.

Recreation: City recreation facilities and programs will operate on modified schedules during the holidays. Most recreation facilities are closed and public swimming, public skating, aqua fitness and fitness classes are cancelled on Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Please check with ottawa.ca or the facility for details, as some exceptions will apply.

Library: All branches and services of the Ottawa Public Library will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Branches and services will operate normally from December 27 to 30. On December 24 and 31, urban Library locations will close at 3 p.m.

Client Services: Ottawa City Hall and all Client Service Centres will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. The 3-1-1 Contact Centre will be open for urgent matters requiring the City’s immediate attention.

For a full list of City of Ottawa holiday season schedule changes, visit ottawa.ca.


Brewer Pool Re-opens Jan. 2

After a long period of closure for maintenance and repairs, the Brewer Pool in Old Ottawa South is re-opening on Jan. 2, just in time for the winter session of swimming and aquatic classes and activities.

Registration for aquatic programs starting in January is currently underway online at ottawa.ca, by phone at 613-580-2588 or in person at the front counter of any recreation facility.

Contact the Brewer Complex for further information.


Ottawa Sustainability Fund 2013 ‘Green’ Grants

The Ottawa Sustainability Fund (OSF) is accepting applications for grants of up to $5,000 each to improve environmental sustainability in the city.

Up to five grants are available to registered charitable organizations. While the applicant must be a registered charitable organization, proposed projects can be under a partnership, limited partnership, business trust or specific project contract.

The Ottawa Sustainability Fund supports innovative, measurable projects that advance environmental sustainability. Proposals can address energy conservation, renewable energy, greenhouse gas emissions, land and water use.

Full instructions and the application form are available at www.osfund.ca. The deadline for applications is midnight on Monday, January 14, 2013. OSF expects to make its funding decisions by January 24.


Ontario Cycling Strategy Consultation

Ontario is looking for public input on how to encourage and improve cycling safety across the province. The Ontario Ministry of Transportation has released its draft cycling strategy for public feedback until Jan. 29, 2013. It outlines potential improvements to cycling infrastructure, public education and legislation, including:

  • Creating a provincial cycling network to connect destinations and establish recreational cycling and tourism routes.
  • Supporting municipalities in the development of local cycling networks, including making cycling infrastructure eligible for funding under the Municipal Infrastructure Strategy.
  • Running public education campaigns with cycling safety partners such as Share the Road, the Canadian Automobile Association and EnviroCentre.
  • Updating the Driver's Handbook to include better guidelines for cycling and sharing the road with other vehicles.
  • Providing cycling safety and bike maintenance information with any new bike sold.
  • Consulting with the public, cycling groups and municipalities on possible amendments to the Highway Traffic Act to support cycling.

Click HERE for more information on the Cycling Strategy and to submit comments.

This is an important initiative, since 630,000 or so Ontarians cycle on a daily basis, and about two million ride a bike at least once a week.


Urban Design Review Panel Applications

The City is seeking three urban design professionals to serve as members of the Ottawa Urban Design Review Panel, which provides peer review of large- and medium-scale projects within designated Design Priority Areas.

The 10-member Panel includes design professionals with expertise in architecture, landscape architecture,urban planning, green building engineering and heritage conservation.

All applicants should:

  • Be able to evaluate projects of varying complexities and contexts related to their profession
  • Be able to communicate effectively within a multidisciplinary panel
  • Have an understanding of the municipal planning system and the development approval process
  • Have practical work experience
  • Be registered members in good standing of their respective professional associations.

These three-year volunteer terms begin in March 2013 and involve up to 12 meetings annually. The City will reimburse convening panel members for any travel, accommodation and incidental expenses.

The deadline for applications is January 28, 2013. Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and curriculum vitae in PDF or Word format to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Visit ottawa.ca/reviewpanel for more information.