Was your household selected this fall to participate in the City’s Origin-Destination survey? Are you wondering what this is all about and what happens next? This survey forms an integral part of the next phase of the development of the City’s Transportation Master Plan. This Plan sets the vision and direction for transportation infrastructure capital investments for the next 25 years.
To start this process the city wants to get a picture using this survey as a baseline of how residents are moving about today. The sample size for the survey is about 30 thousand households, including Gatineau, and is carefully selected to ensure all areas of the city and all types of households are properly represented.
This information is then combined with two additional sources of information. First, projections are added of where new residential and employment growth will occur during the next 25 years, based on the recently approved Official Plan. Second, some assumptions are made regarding targets for how many trips will happen by car, transit, or active modes, and how these will change over the next 25 years. This results in a new forecast for trip patterns and volumes in 2046 by car, bike, walking, and transit. Based on those forecasted volumes, deficiencies in the transportation network will be identified and a list will be proposed of new road, cycling, and transit projects over the next 25 years.
The last time an origin-destination survey was conducted was in 2011. When the new results are published in mid-2023, it will be interesting to see how travel patterns have changed due to population growth, work-from-home changes, and the rise of new technologies such as ride-hailing apps, food delivery apps, and online shopping.
In Sandy Hill, our greatest challenge remains the volume of cars and trucks through our neighbourhood connecting to interprovincial bridges. We will be especially interested to see what the survey will reveal about changes in demand for interprovincial travel, and how this may impact future plans for long-awaited interprovincial transportation infrastructure, whether it be an LRT from Gatineau to downtown Ottawa, a new bridge across the Ottawa River or a tunnel better linking the existing Macdonald-Cartier Bridge to Highway 417.
Sandy Hill will also be watching for what the City’s views will be on the future of the proposed Alta Vista Corridor. This is a road expansion project that has been on the City’s books for more than 20 years. It proposes to build a new four-lane arterial road across the Rideau River linking to Nicholas Street at the 417 interchange. In the 2013 version of the master plan, this project was lowered in priority and pushed off to sometime beyond 2031. In this update, will it be pushed yet further back in time, or perhaps finally dropped altogether? ASH will be monitoring this closely.