Revived Main Street to move ahead after Council approval

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City of Ottawa

A complete street design aimed at helping transform Main Street from a busy arterial road to a real main street by improving the cycling, pedestrian and community experience in the area was approved by Council today.

The design will feature one lane of traffic in each direction with left-turning lanes between Riverdale Avenue and Evelyn Street and a four-lane configuration further north to Colonel By Drive, with raised cycling tracks in both directions and improved sidewalk facilities.

"This is an example of how the City of Ottawa is creating a more liveable, healthy and vibrant city for residents," said Mayor Jim Watson. "We are committed to improving all modes of transportation and this contributes to these goals."

Transportation Committee Chair Keith Egli said the approval of a complete street design on Main Street is another example of how the City of Ottawa is showing leadership on improving roads for all users..

"We are moving forward on transit projects, cycling projects, pedestrian projects and other transportation projects across the City that help give people options to driving," Councillor Egli said. "These options are good for people, and they are good for taxpayers because they make for a more efficient and more balanced use of City infrastructure."

This road reconstruction project is expected to drive redevelopment in the area surrounding Main Street in accordance with the Old Ottawa East Community Design Plan. This plan calls for the creation of a vibrant neighbourhood with shops and other commercial venues lining Main Street.

The Community Design Plan calls for 1,000 residential units and commercial space to be created on lands currently owned by the Oblate Fathers and Sisters of the Sacred Heart. To support the plan, Council passed a motion stating it will not move to curb development potential on these lands due to possible transportation constraints caused by the complete-street design.

"The design takes into account future development on the Oblate Fathers' and Sisters of the Sacred Heart lands, which will play a big part in the recreation of the area and I look forward to working with our partners to make sure development called for in the CDP comes to fruition," said Capital Ward Councillor David Chernushenko.

Main Street reconstruction facing possible delay

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By Joanne Chianello, Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA — City council may be asked to approve a delay in the contentious reconstruction of Main Street, pushing most of the project's work from 2014 into 2015.

Coun. David Chernushenko, who represents the area, said he can probably live with "a few months' delay," but is adamant that the "complete street" design for Main must move ahead.

The Capital Ward councillor, who's a huge advocate for walking and cycling, characterizes the vote on the project as "my most important of this term of council." He spent the last week or so talking to councillors about the issue and believes he has the support 15 of his council colleagues.

The complete street concept gives equal consideration to walking, cycling and driving. Among other things, the proposed street design calls for four lanes of traffic to be reduced to two along an 800-metre stretch of Main.

While local residents love the idea, some fear the commute for Ottawa South residents who travel through Main to get downtown during rush hour will be backed up due to to lane reductions. City staff estimate cars may have to wait three extra minutes during peak periods.

The issue resulted in one of the most contentious committee meetings in recent memory.

Now it appears that council will be asked Wednesday to approve the project, but instead of building it next year, most of the construction would be completed in 2015.

The reason remains unclear.

Chernushenko said he was told that 2014 "was always going to be tight when we realized we had to do an environmental assessment." If the project has to be completed the following year, he's prepared to consider that, he said.

However, in a memo to councillors early Tuesday, city deputy manager Nancy Schepers provided information on costs of the various options for reconstructing Main Street that had been requested at the committee level. (Interestingly, building a "complete street" with sidewalks and bike lanes was cheaper than a conventional street, but could require more money for ongong maintenance.)

Nowhere in her memo did Schepers allude to the fact the project could be delayed.

Pushing the project into 2015 does carry a political risk: there will be a new term of council by then, and those future representatives could potentially delay, make changes to or cancel the project.

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Design of future park at Lansdowne unveiled at groundbreaking

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City of Ottawa on Monday displayed renderings of what the future park at Lansdowne will look like

CBC News

Renderings of the future park at Lansdowne were unveiled during a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday.

Mayor Jim Watson said it's ironic that the current park mostly consists of concrete and very little green space.

The new park will include a large lawn, courtyards, a heritage orchard, an outdoor skating rink and a children's play area.

In total there will be about seven hectares of green space, and the park will have four times the amount of trees it currently has.

There will be parking underground at the site, but Coun. David Chernushenko, who was on hand today, said he hopes people will use other ways to get to the park than personal vehicles.

The park should be ready for use in the spring, the city said.

Lansdowne Park 'almost ready' for CFL kickoff in 2014

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By Jon Willing, Ottawa Sun

Most of the $42-million urban park at the redeveloped Lansdowne Park will be ready for public use when the CFL kicks off in 2014, the construction manager of the historic project said Monday.

Marco Manconi said workers will begin installing the underground utilities this summer and building Aberdeen Square, the future home of the farmers market.

A bus shuttle loop, courtyards, a children's playground and the refrigerated ice rink will follow.

Planting work will continue into 2015, but the city is expecting people will be enjoying most of the amenities by this time next year.