Upcoming ramp closures and lane reductions on Highway 417

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City of Ottawa

Starting Monday, July 22 there will be additional lane closures on Highway 417 in both directions between Nicholas Street and the 174 split.

  • The week of July 22:
    • There will be nightly lane reductions in effect on Highway 417 eastbound in the vicinity of Hurdman Bridge, from the Nicholas Street on ramp to the Vanier Parkway off ramp.
    • There will be a lane reduction on Highway 417 westbound between Walkley Road and Innes Road daily from10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and nightly from10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • Monday, July 22 to Thursday, July 25 – The shoulder lane on Highway 417 eastbound will be closed overnight between Walkley Road and the Hwy417/174 split.
  • Tuesday, July 23 to Tuesday, August 27 – There will be lane reductions in effect along St. Laurent Boulevard in both directions between Lemieux Street and Tremblay Road.

Motorists driving westbound on Highway 417 and exiting northbound at the Nicholas-Mann off-ramp are reminded to keep to the right as they approach this ramp as there is only one exit lane available. This will be in effect until the end of August.

Signage will be in place to advise commuters of traffic and road changes and motorists are reminded to respect the reduced speed limits and use caution when travelling through construction zones. Many of these construction elements are weather dependant and may be implemented later than the dates given.

This work is being done as part of the Highway 417 expansion project, which began in May, and will add an additional lane in each direction, between Nicholas Street and the Split for rapid transit during the 2015 to 2018 phase of Confederation Line construction. With all of the construction-related activities underway, residents are encouraged to be flexible with commuting times, stagger work hours or use other alternative means for travel. The public is asked to consider options such as transit, walking, cycling or carpooling.

The City of Ottawa has tools on ottawa.ca to help motorists and transit users plan their routes and manage their commute including:

Information about additional construction activity will be shared with the public prior to work commencing. Further project details and other information concerning ongoing City roadwork are available on ottawa.ca.

Ottawa’s Main Street gets makeover

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By Alex Boutilier, Metro

Ottawa city council approved a "complete street" makeover for Main Street in Old Ottawa East Wednesday, albeit not without some dissent from suburban and rural councillors.

Main Street from Echo Drive to McIlraith Bridge will get a redesign as the city undertakes an integrated road, sewer and water renewal project. The arterial road will be reduced to two and three lanes along certain sections, providing cycling lanes and wider sidewalks.

"Main Street has degraded as a place to live, a place to walk, a place to own a business and a place to develop because it has become a fast-moving, noisy, scary corridor to be on any time other than when there's congestion," said area Coun. David Chernushenko Wednesday.

"This is a chance to renew Main Street in every way."

Unsurprisingly, not every councillor is on the same page with the city's move to "complete streets" — streets that accommodate all forms of transportation, not simply vehicles. Votes like this at Ottawa City Hall often break along the old urban/suburban/rural lines.

Wednesday's vote was no different, with councillors Alan Hubley, Stephen Blais, Steve Desroches, Jan Harder, Scott Moffatt, and Diane Deans voting against the renewal project.

"All of us folks, everything that we do, is driven by the growth that you all hate," said Harder, speaking directly to the urban councillors. "Isn't that something? Our growth is what builds our roads, builds our rec centres. But every single taxpayer in this city puts their hand in their pocket and pay for all of these complete streets and everything else."

In the end, the Main Street renewal project passed with a vote of 18-6. Construction is expected to start in late 2014 and be completed in 2016.

Bikeways and wider sidewalks on the way for Main Street after nasty vote split at council

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By David Reevely, Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA — Ottawa's urban and suburban city councillors get along better than they used to, but there's nothing to divide them like a vote that pits drivers against cyclists and pedestrians.

On Wednesday, the argument was over Main Street — specifically, 800 metres of the artery through Old Ottawa East that the city's transportation planners want to cut from four motor lanes to two, using the extra space for wider sidewalks and dedicated bike tracks in a project to turn it into a "complete street."

The planners say freely that the change, to be carried out in the next couple of years when century-old pipes under Main are replaced, will slow car commuters down at peak times, when 1,200 vehicles an hour try to squeeze through a new road designed to only fit 900 in that time. It'll extend trips through Main by three minutes, they say.

"I don't want an assumption, ever, that complete streets of this kind ... are going to be any time in the future in the suburban area," declared Barrhaven Coun. Jan Harder. Like it or not, she scolded urban councillors, many people's daily schedules depend on cars and it's folly to hold them back.

Coun. David Chernushenko, who represents the area, said nobody will lose more than local residents if the changes produce gridlock. Instead, they're supposed to make biking and walking a lot easier and more attractive than driving, cut the speeding that's rampant outside rush hour, and revitalize the neighbourhood.

"A whole lot of others will now see Main Street as a place to go," Chernushenko said. The truth is that everyone wants traffic in their own personal neighbourhood slowed down, and it's not fair to ask Old Ottawa East to suffer so residents of south Ottawa can zip in and out of downtown three minutes faster, he said.

Diane Deans, who represents many of those people in her Gloucester-Southgate Ward and previously accused city staff of lying about the number of cars on Main Street at peak times, said she worries that having buses on a narrower Main Street will slow drivers down even more. That's a possibility, said transportation planning consultant Ron Clarke, but whether and how to include areas for buses to pull out of traffic is a matter for a detailed design stage that's to begin next month.

It's premature to widen sidewalks and add bike lanes to Main before more Ottawans are walking and biking places, as the city hopes they will, Deans argued. When people notice the narrowing "that's when they're going to be engaged and that's when they're going to be surprised," she said. If nothing else, she hopes the Main Street decision will speed the construction of a parkway through Alta Vista, a project that's been on the books for decades but never completed, partly because of intense community opposition, but that would provide drivers an alternative to Main.

Deans was joined by suburban and rural councillors Harder, Scott Moffatt, Stephen Blais, Steve Desroches and Allan Hubley on the losing side of an 18-6 vote in favour of the plan. Main Street's reconstruction is supposed to be finished by 2016.

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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.