There will be a number of roads- and cycling-related changes around Sandy Hill this summer. These are all initiatives that have been previously committed, and so this may not be new information to many, but I found it to be a useful exercise to gather them all into this short summary.
1. Continuation of the sewer and water infrastructure replacement on Mann Avenue and Range Road. Work will begin again soon on this renewal project, a continuation of what was started on Templeton Street last year. This work also includes one block of Russell Avenue between Somerset and Osgoode. When the roadway is rebuilt, sidewalks will be widened to the new standard which is about 30 cm, a foot wider than existing. Also, a sidewalk will be added on the east side of Range, where none exists now. Extensive efforts have been made for a redesign of the Mann/Range intersection, with an eye to improving compliance with the stop signs. Also Mann Avenue will be narrowed somewhat, intersections will be narrowed, “traffic calming” measures introduced, and parking reduced to one side of the street.
2. Implementation of redesigned Laurier/Nicholas and Laurier/Waller intersections, with segregated bike lanes added to Laurier between Nicholas and Waller. This work is part of the restoration of the area, now that the bus detours for LRT construction are no longer needed. These will be redesigned as what has come to be known as “protected intersections,” which provide better separation between pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles. We have also been told the City will repair much of the damage done to Laurier Avenue by the huge volume of diverted buses during the five years of LRT construction.
3. Implementation of redesigned Rideau Street, between Dalhousie and Sussex. The road will be narrowed to two lanes; sidewalks renewed and widened; bidirectional segregated bike lanes added on the north side; and the whole area equipped with new street furniture and greening. This is also a post-LRT project.
4. Re-opening of Cumberland Street between Wilbrod and Stewart. Cumberland has been closed for much of the last two years, to enable the construction of the Combined Sewage Storage Tunnel (CSST). Bike lanes will be added on both sides of the street.
In addition to these physical projects, there are a couple of planning studies relevant to Sandy Hill. These are in their early stages, but you can expect to hear more over the next year or two. The first of these is the NCC’s interprovincial transportation study. We have been waiting ever since this was announced in the last federal budget for some indication that this is underway. The mayors of both cities have often referred to the importance of this planning exercise. So far multiple attempts at finding out when public consultations can be expected have gone unanswered by the NCC. This will be the forum where our community can press decision makers to come up with a solution to the problem of rerouting 2500 interprovincial trucks a day on Waller, Rideau, and King Edward. Stay tuned for more articles on this topic.
The second planning study is the City’s Transportation Master Plan Update. The City has begun consultations on the plan for how we are to move around until 2046. These consultations will continue until mid-2022; the first of three stages of this project is currently in process. Further details can be found on the City’s engagement page www.engage.ottawa.ca then typing “New Transportation Master Plan” into the search box at the top of the page. Look for more reports on this ongoing initiative in future issues.
Coming this summer: the post-LRT project redesign of Rideau St, between Dalhousie and Sussex.
City of Ottawa