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It’s wonderful that work has finally begun on planning a much needed footbridge in the two kilometer stretch of the canal between the Pretoria and Bank Street bridges.
The new bridge will make an enormous difference to “midtown” communities and for many Ottawans living far beyond the Glebe / Old Ottawa South / Old Ottawa East area because finally they’ll have a safe way of cycling across the city in the middle part of the City.
And we’ll have a new (and I hope beautiful) focal point in what is essentially the central point of the Rideau “skateway.”
One little quibble- I think the picture on the site is of the canal between Bank and Bronson – the bridge won’t be there!
Thanks John – You found the site in beta mode and you’re right the photo was a different part of the canal. This has been corrected.
I am a strong supporter of any infrastructure which encourages walking and cycling. The proposed footbridge would be a tremendous asset to our inner city communities and, having seen the level of usage at the Corktown Bridge, I am sure we would see similar frequencies of crossing on a footbridge between Pretoria and Bank. This has been wanted by many residents of Old Ottawa East for many years, and I am grateful that the the City has finally acknowledged the wisdom of such a crossing.
http://www.rideaucanalbridge.ca doesn’t resolve to this blog, as per a recent flyer, it is an unauthorised-access message. I had to use google to find this wordpress link. Let me know if you want any help resolving this issue.
Thanks for your feedback. We hadn’t finished the French version of the blog so access to both was stopped. The blog should now be fully accessible.
The bridge will be a welcome addition. It is a missing link. A short drive is a long walk.
My dad and his brothers used to run across the ice from their home on 5th Ave. to School at St. Pats (now Immaculata) the 1950′s until the ice gave way and one of them fell in. This signaled the start of the longer walk over Pretoria Bridge until the canal froze the next year.
Good to see the site is again running … perhaps the “media” section could include a number of recent footbridge articles in the Glebe Report, OSCAR and the Mainstreeter . Also, a link to the Rideau River footbridge work (and maybe the other recent footbridge approvals / completions (e.g., Airport Parkway, Woodroffe)) would be interesting. Finally, I was wondering how this site will be related to the FTP site where project documentation / pictures etc. will be available …
Thanks John – can you provide links to these articles or perhaps PDF copies? With respect to the FTP site containing the documentation, I would direct you to the City’s website as we are not intending to duplicate the posting of the study documents on the blog.
he “did you know”: section you may wish to refer to the following fact:
The promise of a bridge was even part of the terms of amalgamation of the Village of Ottawa East with the City of Ottawa in 1907: “The Municipal Council of the said City of Ottawa shall use its influence with the Dominion government to secure a bridge over the Rideau canal connecting Mutchmor Street in the said City of Ottawa [now Fifth Avenue] with Clegg Street in the said Village of Ottawa East, or at such other location as may be decided on a later date.” The equivalent promise with Ottawa South to have the Street Railway Service extended was accomplished via the replacement of the swing-bridge at Bank Street with a high-level bridge in 1912. So, just playing catch up now…
I’m going to be away on business for next Thursday’s meeting at St Paul’s for the First Open House on the Footbridge. I truly support the project, it is such an important link that we need to draw. Even for the safety reasons alone, pedestrians need a safe way to get across CB Drive and QE Drive, at present, it is very frightening watching all the cyclists, kids, skateboarders, walkers, skaters, and runners playing Frogger across them … someone will be killed, it is so dangerous. Good luck! For people in town that night, make a special point of going to show your support, wish I was going to be here. Paul
Thanks for your comment and support. We appreciate you taking the time to add your thoughts and to encouragecommunity participation in the public open house on June 2nd at St. Paul’s University.
In regards of June 2nd meeting at St.Paul University. It seem this project is driven by small group of people from Old Ottawa East whom seem indolent to use the existing crossing (Pretoria is less then 1km north & Bank street is 1.25km south from Clegg St). ,and wish to create another crossing that will to server their own benefit and waste tax payers money. I see this as a “nice to have” instead of a necessary or required crossing. If Pretoria and/or Bank street crossings didn’t exists or greater then 2 km then I would support such a crossing. Also there is no significant space for a decent footing on the east side (Colonel By) of the canal. Construction of such a footing of the bridges that were purpose at the June 2nd meeting will touch the Rideau Canal and could affect the UNESCO status that Park Canada & NCC try for such a long time to obtain. I believe they will not go for such a structure if this will affect this status. I didn’t see much (hardly) residents from Old Ottawa South and the Glebe participated at June 2nd meeting. Either they don’t think much about this project, or the impacts will not affect them as it would affect Old Ottawa East. The impacts in my opinion with be negative as there will be increase park on the streets near the canal from events held at Lansdownes park, existing business will struggle or go out of business, as majority of people I’ve spoken to, will most likely go over to the Glebe more often to purchase items & services if such a crossing exists at one of the purpose locations. When I have relatives & friends visiting from out town, I usually bring them to the Canal Ritz to dine. I hear comments how awesome or amazing the view is. So to put another hunk of cement and steel across one of the locations mention, it will definitely ruin this view.The city should take the estimate cost of building this crossing, and put it towards improving the safety of existing crossing at Pretoria & Bank.
Thank you for your comments and for taking the time to attend the public open house yesterday. Your comments have been provided directly to the study team.
I and others strongly support the comments of Anthony regarding the footbridge. We thank him for taking the time to express his concerns.
The strongest feeling I and others took away from the Public Meeting was that it was all just window dressing. It was clear supporters of the footbridge had enjoyed direct private access to the study committee prior to the first Public Meeting. We can only hope such an opportunity will be extended to those residents who do not support the project at this time. On this point I ask the study committee for a DIRECT response (you have my email address).
I think it fair to say that significfant concerns were expressed by many people at the meeting. However the impression left was that these concerns were not really going to be addressed. At the next Public Meeting will there be detailed responses?
By way of example concerns regarding parking and traffic congestion arising from the footbridge were not addressed in any detailed or meaningful way. I don’t believe this concern could have come as any surprise to the study committee. One of the engineers suggested they had looked at some sort of study done for Landsdowne redevelopment which was done without regard to the existence of the footbridge. There was no intention expressed to undertake concrete study of the impact of the footbridge on parking and traffic – almost “oh well”. This in the face of direct identification of this issue by the city documentation for purposes of this Environmental Study concerning the footbridge.
There is some validity to that old saying “justice must be seen to be done” and if the socalled public consultation continues in this manner it may come back to “bite’ the study committee in a big way.
Please note – A Public Advisory Committee is not intended to be a Public Advocacy Committee.
I was at the open house on June 2nd. Below is the main content of a letter I emailed to Colin Simpson today.
I have lived on McGillivray Street in Old Ottawa East since 1994 and, like many of my neighbours, I believe that this historic and unique area is one of the hidden gems in the city. Naturally I don’t want the desirable features of this neighbourhood to be destroyed by an environment assessment that is based on the status quo and does not take into consideration the impact of future events such as the re-development of Lansdowne Park and the Oblate lands. As mentioned at the meeting, this planning approach resulted in inaccurate estimates of traffic on the Corktown Bridge. The presentation on Thursday was lacking in that it did not take into consideration best case and worst-case scenarios in terms of the potential impact of these two significant events and a pedestrian crossing over the Rideau Canal on our neighbourhood. The area between Colonel By and Main Street has the most to lose in the building of the bridge, as Lansdowne Park will no longer be an event destination; it will also become a tourist destination and a major employment centre with people seeking alternative parking on this side of the canal all day, every day.
I also anticipate even more traffic in this area if the corner of Clegg and Colonel By are addressed as part of this project. Currently cars cannot make a left turn on to Clegg from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm. If there is any change to this our neighbourhood has the potential to become a short cut for significantly more cars than is presently the case.
I would like to suggest that announcements of future open houses be more widely communicated within Old Ottawa East. If I had not read the Mainstreeter I would not have known about the open house. Given the potential impact of this initiative on our neighbourhood, I would like to suggest that residents of Old Ottawa East receive a letter at least two weeks in advance notifying them of the next open house.
I strongly support this footbridge. I look at how useful and attractive the footbridge is between U of Ottawa and Somerset and its heavy use – this kind of infrastructure can only build a larger sense of community while encourage walking and biking. Despite initial fears about noise and increased parking in adjoining neighbourhoods, the Corktown Bridge has not had these negative consequences. People who drive cars often want to arrive directly at their destination and parking in Ottawa East will not be a preferred option for those driving to Landsdowne. I find it hard to believe that people in the Glebe would not like to have direct access to the Rideau River and the lovely parks and walking/biking trails that border it, or stroll over the bridge for dinner at the Green Door or to buy organic groceries at the Wheat Berry. I only see positives with such a bridge for both our communities and am sad to hear people treat our communities as us vs them. This city and its parks and walk ways belong to and benefit all of us. Nonetheless further discussion can lead to compromises that serve those concerned best. For instance, in light of the view at the Canal Ritz, the bridge could be moved slightly north of Clegg. This would also have the advantage of being situated in a narrower section of the canal which would reduce costs. That being said, the cost of this footbridge is minimal compared to the constant improvement of our streets to facilitate cars or even to the current work on Bank St in the Glebe.
It has been clear since the beginning of this project that the goal is to build a footbridge at Clegg and Fifth. The Environmental Assessment tries unsuccessfully to establish a need for such a bridge.
The first two steps of the Environmental Assessment Process seem to have been skipped.
· Define the Problem or Opportunity
It is apparent that no formal methodology was followed to do a needs assessment but rather an attempt was made to develop needs to support a decision already taken.
1. Problem: The length of the Rideau Canal between Pretoria Bridge and Bank Street Bridge is one of the largest linear east-west barriers in the city’s pedestrian and cycling network in urban Ottawa. There are many “linear barriers” The Rideau and Ottawa rivers, the Queensway, Highway 416 etc.. The fact that barriers exist is not in itself a problem. If there is a problem being caused by a barrier identify it, quantify it etc.
2. Problem: The two existing crossings at each end of the study area have minimum / substandard pedestrian and cycling facilities and limited opportunity for improvement. Has the city declared these to be unsafe ?? No, of course not. This is someone’s opinion and even if true it hardly justifies building a bridge. Both of the existing bridges have segregated sidewalks and Pretoria has separate bike lanes. If this truly is the problem why not upgrade the existing bridges. Easy enough to add a pedestrian bridge on the side(s) of either/both of the existing bridges.
3. Problem: More people use motorized modes for trips across the Canal than between other nearby neighbourhoods.This is truly baffling. How was this vague “more” arrived at ?? What does it mean ?? People in Bell’s Corner use motorized modes for trips across Moodie Drive than between other nearby neighbourhoods. Is the problem that people are taking their cars ?? Is the purpose of this footbridge to reduce traffic volume on the Pretoria and Bank St bridges ?? If so maybe you should specify by how much, when, what type etc..
4. It is projected that a new crossing could be used by 1,500 – 2,500 people per day. I guess the emphasis is on “could”. I don’t doubt that a new crossing will divert people from other crossings, just as the UofO bridge provided a short cut for some UofO students.
5. Who are these 1500 people who are having trouble walking/riding to the nearest crossing?? If you put in a user pay shuttle service it would not only immediately alleviate this perceived demand but would also provide quantitative data on how many people might actually use a footbridge.
· Consider Alternative Solutions
I would comment on the specifics of the analysis of the alternative solutions but there are none. Where is the cost benefit analysis of upgrading existing crossings, status quo, shuttle service etc…
It is impossible to assess the characteristics of various solutions against a problem that can’t be defined.
· Develop Alternative Design Concepts & Identify Net Effects
· Document the Recommended Plan in an Environmental Study Report / CEAA Screening
Based on the information presented thus far the impact will be:
1. The traffic lights to be installed on both sides of the bridge will slow the daily commute to a crawl resulting in increased driving/idling times thus creating even more greenhouse gas emissions, not less.
2. A bridge will turn Ottawa East into overflow parking for Landsdowne and the Glebe. I suspect the city’s way of mitigating this would be lots of signage and lots of parking meters. Hardly beneficial to Ottawa East.
3. A bridge will not provide more business for the Ottawa East commercial establishments but will in fact provide better access to the Glebe establishments. A case in point is the two Italian specialty shops. Nicastro’s will get more business and Babbo’s will go under. Some people might walk across a bridge from Ottawa east to the Glebe Apothecary but hard to see why anyone would walk to Watson’s from the Glebe.
4. The view of a 3 story concrete and steel structure will replace the existing vista of the canal. Somewhat surprising that the NCC and/or UNESCO haven’t moved to stop this project.
5. The cost will likely be $15 – 20 million depending on the actual site and materials used. This will impact all taxpayers with minimal benefit to a very few.
In the past 7 years our taxes have increased 35%. We cut back on core services like garbage collection, bus routes etc… because we spend the money on frivolous capital projects with ongoing maintenance and operational costs. I don’t know how much has been spent/committed to this project in bureaucratic salaries and consultant fees but I hope at some point the project will be stopped.
Very well put Joe. I completely agree with all your points.
I don’t understand why so little attention has been paid to improving cycling and pedestrian access over the existing bridges at Bank and Pretoria Streets. It would cost a fraction of the cost of a new bridge.
As a resident of Old Ottawa East, I am in favour of a footbridge connecting the neighbourhoods of Old Ottawa East and the Glebe.
Before we moved into the neighbourhood, we lived on Somerset street while the Corkstown bridge was being constructed. I was not in favour of that bridge at the time, afraid that there would be more noise, that the neighbourhood would be overcome with noise students now that there was access to the University from Somerset. In the end,we experienced none of the downsides, and I became a big fan of the corkstown bridge. We were able to walk to the market and rideau mall faster, and used our car much less often. Plus it made for a great bridge to bridge shopping route.
A new bridge will allow Old ottwa east residents to access the Glebe and Glebe residents to access Old Ottawa East. My family and I will certainly use the new footbridge should it be built.
My letter to Colin Simpson:
I wanted to add my support to the concept of a bridge at 4th or 5th Ave to Clegg. I know there is some opposition to the idea, but as I see it, it would be a boon to the community. It would allow access to the other side of the canal from both directions. We are hoping for and working for a more vibrant community in Old Ottawa East, and this will be an important fixture. The more people who have easy access to our businesses, the better they will do, and the more businesses we can support on this side of the canal.
Kids would have easier access to the schools, less hazardous routes to and from, especially with a pedestrian light at Colonel By and Clegg.
I like the idea of having the ramps to gain the necessary height placed in the water. It is a wide spot in the canal, and there is not much room on the Colonel By side, and this would solve that problem. It is important that the bridge hook up with the bike path along the Canal on both sides. I would hope that a light could be placed on QE Drive as well. There is already a need for one at 5th Ave, and with the bridge there, it would be even more necessary.
I do not like the idea of having the bridge cross Colonel By, because people on the bike path would not be able to access the bridge easily.
Hazel is too close to Pretoria.
The most southern proposal is too close to Bank, and it would have to pass over Colonel By and the existing bike path.
The Corktown Bridge is a fabulous addition to Ottawa. People then said that you could use Laurier, but the new bridge is so beautiful and pleasant to cross I can’t imagine Ottawa without it. Sure there is some additional noise along Somerset, but we do live pretty close to the downtown to be too prickly about a bit of noise. Ottawa is not a small town now as it was 35 years ago.
I was unable to attend the open house, but read the info online.
Since we moved to Ottawa East, my wife and I have longed for a footbridge at Clegg to the Glebe to make crossing easier and safer. For 25 years, Sharon took the long walk (25-30 minute) around to the Glebe day care, where she worked. In the winter, when the ice was hard, it was a ten minute commute. Add it up. That is a good chunk of her life.
If the current bridges were safe and easy to use for cyclists, this would not be as much of an issue in good bicycling weather. However, the Bank Street bridge is downright dangerous for bikes. Doing two left turns across Pretoria is not for the faint-hearted either. Both bridges have been rebulit in the last decade or so and neither was optimized for cyclists. If it was easy to do, I am sure that safe cycling lanes would have been integrated.
I realise that there is the great unknown about parking for Lansdowne events in Ottawa East, and that this is a major concern for some Ottawa East residents. I doubt that you have those fears with current Lansdowne usage. That begs the question: if it is the expansion of Lansdowne facilities that might cause a footbridge to be risky, should you not be campaigning for a more reasonable Lansdowne development plan rather than trying to squash an improved pedestrian and cycling link?
I am strongly in favour of the footbridge. I have been hoping for a footbridge since I moved onto McNaughton Avenue 32 years ago. It will ease the stress on Pretoria Bridge, where pedestrians and cyclists are vying for a safe crossing with motor vehicle drivers who are trying to make the light and turning off or onto the bridge without regard for pedestrians who are in the intersection. It will also be a safer crossing than Bank Street for cyclists–that’s very dangerous too. This footbridge has been endorsed by community associations, businesses and school councils. It will improve our downtown enormously, particularly if it connects up to the Colonel By pathway. It is time Ottawa made concerted efforts like this one to make our downtown more walkable–many European cities have pedestrian bridges along downtown waterways every 500 metres or so, and that is what makes them attractive to tourists and gives them vibrant streetscapes. There are many different designs for footbridges where a small landing area can be accommodated. If Ottawa East turning into a parking lot is the real concern for people, what about a lift or swing bridge where the bridge was lifted or disconnected in some way so that crossing/access was prohibited at certain times–on Friday and Saturday nights after 11 p.m., for example, or during any massive events at Lansdowne? There would be signs posted to this effect on the bridge. Perhaps this would be a possible compromise for those who do not want cars from elsewhere parking en masse on their street.
I should have made it clear in my post I just sent that I myself do not think parking in the neighbourhood of Old Ottawa East due to activities at Lansdowne Park will result from a footbridge being built. But for those who are worried about this, some sort of controlled access built into the design might be worth considering as an appropriate compromise if it would not be too expensive. Thank you.
I would like to see the The City & MRC perform a detailed study on the feasibility and cost of upgrading the existing bridges at Bank and Pretoria for safer pedestrian and cycle traffic. During the open house on June 2nd, this option was dismissed out of hand without any factual data being presented.
Rideau Canal Crossing
Environmental Assessment Study
Public Open House, June 2 2011
We are writing regarding the Public Open House held on June 2, 2011 dealing with the Midtown footbridge. There was much anger at that meeting. This happened because the building of a footbridge was presented as already approved and this meeting was just to get on with the Location, Length, Landing and Looks of a footbridge that was going to be built between Pretoria and Bank St bridges.
In the literature from the City of Ottawa regarding a Municipal Class Environmental Assessment the steps needed are:
Phase 1 Problem or Opportunity
Does the canal represent a barrier?
Phase 2 Alternative Solutions
Do nothing, improve existing conditions, or build a new crossing?
Phase 3 Location, Length, Landing, Looks
This Open House skipped Phase 1 and 2 and went right into Phase 3 without input and consultation from the concerned residents of Old Ottawa East. This has caused much animosity.
Concerned residents of Old Ottawa East have grave concerns that a Needs and Environmental Assessment have not been adequately done. Many questions linger.
We would like to take this opportunity to provide input from concerned residents with the expectation that our questions will be addressed, with evidence of research, data and consultation of all stakeholders which to this point has not been the case.
Old Ottawa East and Alta Vista are served by the cycle and pedestrian accessible bridges of Corktown and Pretoria bridge to downtown. Bank St and Bronson Avenue bridges are inhospitable to cyclists and pedestrians alike. The need for a footbridge is in the Bank St/Bronson Avenue section of the canal or by simply improving existing bridges.
Some residents may “want” a footbridge but concerned OOE residents believe we do not “need” a footbridge due to the many negative environmental impacts of such a footbridge and the alternative solutions available which to this point have not been properly addressed.
It is the position of concerned OOE residents that there is no demonstrated “need” for a Midtown footbridge other than to provide parking for the Lansdowne Park development.
Suggestions were made at the meeting regarding improving Pretoria Bridge for cycle/pedestrians. More attention needs to be devoted to the options of improving existing bridges.
The presenters gave a vague statement about the number of cars going over Pretoria Bridge and how a footbridge connecting Old Ottawa East and the Glebe would reduce the number of cars. No data was given to support how a footbridge connection from OOE to the Glebe would reduce the number of cars.
As a long time residents of OOE, we drive over Pretoria Bridge to:
• Get to the Queensway
• Purchase groceries at the Loblaws Pretoria store situated at the foot of Pretoria.
For both, we need to use a car. A footbridge will not change these uses. How many more cars are on Pretoria doing the exact same thing? We don’t know. It is all assumptions made by the presenters.
Many residents live at the midpoint of the canal section between Pretoria and Bank. This is the farthest location in OOE from an existing crossing. When we go to the Glebe or Elgin St., it is for recreational purposes and entertainment on occasion and we walk. It takes approximately 10 minutes to walk the 1 km distance to a bridge and another 5-10 minutes to get to a destination. Residents in suburban areas, including seniors, are being asked to walk 1 km to get a bus to go to work. It is hard to justify a costly footbridge just so residents of OOE can go to the Glebe for a cup of coffee. We should be supporting our own local coffee shops.
Students going to school were also cited as a reason for building a footbridge. The public elementary schools for OOE are Hopewell, Lady Evelyn, and Viscount Alexander, none of which require a crossing of the canal from OOE. Corpus Christi in the Glebe is the Catholic elementary school serving grades kindergarten to grade six. We find it hard to believe that parents will send their primary age children off to school walking over a large body of water and then crossing the very busy O’Connor and Bank Streets. Yes, some parents will walk their children (still no data available) but that necessitates a caregiver at home and/or the time and organization to do so.
There are many more barriers to attending a school in the Glebe other than a footbridge. Perhaps it is time for parents in OOE to advocate for our own schools, providing a full range of programs, that our children can easily walk to. Perhaps with the development of the Oblate land, we will have the school population to do just that.
As for high schools, our OOE students go to Glebe, Lisgar, Canterbury and Immaculata. Only a small number of Glebe students would benefit from a footbridge and for a limited period of time. Once again there is no data as to the number of students going to Glebe from OOE.
2) Environmental Impact
There are a considerable number of environmental impacts resulting from building the Midtown footbridge. These were not considered at the Open House and dismissed when brought to the attention of the presenters. Their objectives did not appear to be looking at need and environmental impact but to get on with building the bridge.
The Midtown footbridge will be built on the front lawns of our neighbors. There isn’t enough room on the eastern side of the canal to build the ramps necessary for construction.
This footbridge needs to be a large, concrete construction, with a price tag of $15-20 million dollars, to allow for boat traffic and the ramps necessary to access the footbridge. Every proposed design is a large, concrete structure in many ways similar to the existing bridges. Many of designs show large guywires supporting the structure.
The study area is a 2 km stretch of the canal which represents a maximum 1km distance to access existing bridges. As one concerned resident put it, “If we build yet another bridge in this location, we might as well just the pave the canal”.
This bridge will destroy this beautiful section of the canal. With no trees and green space to camouflage the structure and with the addition of lights, this large structure will be a negative.
Residents of OOE and the citizens of Ottawa need only to see the drawings and photos presented at the Open House to understand our concern of the impact of this construction. We have to ask the question, “All this concrete and lights just to reduce walking time by10 minutes?” It is impossible to see the environmental benefits to such a structure.
This footbridge will bring traffic, constant parking problems due to the over 100 events each year at Lansdowne, congestion on Main St., and unsafe playing conditions for our children. Event goers to Lansdowne will soon discover the advantages of parking in OOE and walking to Lansdowne. This will mean constant traffic and parking issues. We do not want to become a parking lot for Lansdowne. Our community association should be fighting this footbridge.
We appreciate the time and effort that the proponents of the Midtown footbridge have put into this project. We believe that they are proposing this footbridge for sincere, altruistic reasons based on “want” rather than “need”.
Concerned residents of Old Ottawa East believe that little consideration has been given to “need” and “environmental impact” of this footbridge as well to exploring alternatives.
Concerned residents see the only real “need” for a Midtown footbridge is to provide parking for Lansdowne Park. Old Ottawa East needs to stand up and take notice before it is too late.
Concerned Residents of Old Ottawa East
There is no need for a footbridge… there is a “want”, but a “want” is not a need. Some OOE residents may want a short-cut to the Glebe, but most of these residents live far enough away from the proposed locations that they will not be affected by the traffic, parking issues and loss of a beautiful view that their neighbours will. I, like them, will likely not be too badly affected where I’m located, but our neighbours will. It seems very un-neighbourly to me to be pushing for something that will negatively affect those around me, just so that I might have a little more convenience (I say more convenience because there are already two very convenient crossings at Bank and Pretoria to the Glebe from OOE). Shouldn’t we be looking out for all our neighbours? It doesn’t seem right.
It also seems unfair for taxpayers in the other areas of Ottawa to have to pay for ANOTHER bridge in that section of the canal, and as a taxpayer, I don’t want to pay for it either.
I have lived in OOE since the day I was born. I went to school in the Glebe, worked at the Canal Ritz and now I bike to work downtown every day. I have never seen any need for a footbridge other than when I was feeling lazy and didn’t want to walk the extra 10 minutes. I thought the goal was to encourage walking??
Putting in a footbridge is not going to encourage anyone who was previously inactive to become active. My sister is an active lifestyle counsellor on a family health team and she and any other kinesiologist will tell you that in order for someone who is inactive to become active, it takes a much bigger internal shift in that person than just adding convenience. The city should take this money and put it into educational programs for children and families to teach them how to live an active lifestyle and the many benefits of doing so. The people who will use the footbridge are those of us who already walk and bike, and we will continue to walk and bike even if there is no footbridge because that’s our lifestyle and it’s important to us.
The only two schools in the Glebe that would be accessed by a footbridge, out of the eight schools that are zoned for the OOE community, are Glebe High School and Corpus Christie elementary school. Surely high school students can walk the maximum 1 km it takes to get to one of the existing bridges. If they can’t, we really do have a major inactivity problem that needs to be addressed by more educational programs for families as I mentioned above. As for the elementary school, if safety is such a huge concern, are parents really going to let their children under the age of 10 walk to school over the footbridge and across busy streets alone? If they felt that activity was so important for their children, wouldn’t they already be walking with them? If parents aren’t walking with their children because the 1 km seems too far, then once again, we have a major problem to address.
Some people mentioned at the meeting that they feel unsafe on their bikes on Pretoria and Bank Street bridges. You know what I do if I’m feeling a little unsure on my bike? I get off and walk a few steps on the sidewalk. I just don’t think it’s necessary to spend millions and millions of dollars to save a few people those 50 steps to the other side of the bridge.
The city planner mentioned several times that the bike lane on Pretoria is unsafe. Well, I ride over that bridge every day and I will still need to ride over that bridge even if there is a footbridge at Clegg. So what is the city planning to do to improve that bridge for those of us who will need to keep using it? Since it’s so “unsafe” they must have a plan. Surely they wouldn’t allow us to ride over an “unsafe” bridge…. But wait… at the meeting they said they need to build a footbridge because it’s impossible to improve existing bridges… hmmm… I’m confused. I would appreciate some clarification from the city on this point.
We, the Concerned Residents of Old Ottawa East, are writing to express our support for the so-called mid-town footbridge. We are concerned that opposition to the bridge may result in its cancellation and would leave us with a barrier between Glebe and OOE communities which share a common heritage within the heart of the city. We are concerned that no true alternatives have been presented by opposition voices. We are concerned that failure to procede with installation of a footbridge will result in alternative means of addressing cycling and pedestrian modes of transportation accross Colonel By or Queen Elisabeth and ultimately lead to increased traffic problems in OOE and the southern end of the Glebe.
Having attended both the recent open house on the so-called mid-town foot bridge and a community advisory meeting, I am dismayed at how this whole process got into “3rd gear” so quickly. Obviously tax payer moneys are no object! Why has there been no study done on the Bank Street Bridge? This is the major north/south commuter hub and it is dangerous for both pedestrians and cyclists. This existing piece of infrastructure could easily be adjusted to 3 lanes of vehicular trasffic, two lanes of cycling and one side dedicated to pedestrians. The motor traffic could be alternated according to morning and evening rush hours. Improving this bridge would save the tax payer a fortune and protect our community from becoming a parking lot for Lansdowne Park.
I wish to voice my strong support for a pedestrian and cyclist footbridge across the Rideau Canal between Pretoria and Bank Street bridges. I am a homeowner and resident of Old Ottawa East (OOE) and appreciate the opportunity to comment on the proposed footbridge. I have been a resident of OOE for a total of 12 years in three different sections of the community (Lees, OOE north and OOE south) and very early on recognised the negative limitations imposed on OOE by the lack of connectivity with neighbouring reasons.
The concerns of opponents to the bridge should be thoroughly acknowledged and addressed directly either by providing information which clearly rebuts unfounded positions or by providing practical solutions to those concerns which hold some merit. However, the opposition view should not prevent the implementation of this valuable project.
First, regarding the potential for loss of business by the small number of proprietors in OOE, it is a truism that businesses survive on their own merits. The success or failure of the businesses of OOE rests on the ability of the owners to provide services or wares which are desired by their customers or which attract new customers. The alleged threat of competition from Glebe businesses is not a negative in this regard; any loss of business would be attributable to more attractive goods or services available in those areas and OOE business owners would be responsible for identifying deficiencies in their offerings and adjust to market demand. Free market private enterprise is good for the residents of OOE and the Glebe and would be facilitated by the construction of a bridge therebetween. Similarly, the Ritz Canal should not be protected from the alleged deleterious effects a footbridge would have on the view from the restaurant. I have never been to the Ritz as it is in a rather inconvenient location for one who prefers to walk or cycle to places to dine out. A footbridge in the proposed location may provide the necessary enticement and I would be happy to fill the seats emptied by those who oppose the bridge and would abandon it in such a way.
It should be noted that several coffee shops have taken residence in 97 Main Street and turnover has been frequent. Perhaps footbridge opponents would suggest the removal of Pretoria Bridge to protect the present incarnation by further restricting access to choice.
Second, the existing Pretoria and Bank Street bridges are indeed limiting on pedestrian and cycling travel between neighbourhoods. In an example raised by opponents to the bridge, said opponents have indicated they drive to the Loblaws on Isabella from their homes near the proposed site of the footbridge. This is not an option to many residents of OOE whom either do not own cars or whom elect to (or wish to via a footbridge) walk or cycle to nearby neighbourhoods. Importantly, and in line with the above statements on business, the Isabella Loblaws does not offer a large range of product and has been noted as being extremely high priced relative to competing businesses elsewhere in the city. The specialty bakery, meat and cheese shops of the Glebe offer greater variety and often at better prices. The Isabella Loblaws is unfairly advantaged by restricted access and, as I’ve intimated above, OOE would benefit from greater choice.
As an aside, it seems rather ironic that footbridge supporters are told by Concerned Residents of Old Ottawa East (CROOE) “It takes approximately 10 minutes to walk the 1 km distance to a bridge and another 5-10 minutes to get to a destination.”
They then state they drive to the Loblaws across the Pretoria Bridge from near the proposed bridge site to get groceries. If the destination quoted above is the Glebe Metro, the wheat-free bakery, or Nicastros why can the CROOE not walk the 10 minute 1 km to Loblaws?
Third, the CROOE suggests the bridge will – owing to the use of concrete – will be unattractive. This is an unfortunate condemnation of concrete as a building material and highly inaccurate. However, this concern may be easily addressed by means of final architectural details and landscaping.
Fourth, it is suggested that one additional bridge will lead to ‘paving of the Canal’. This also is inaccurate and does not reflect the realities of other great cities which have important canals running through the heart of the respective cities. Chicago, USA; Utrecht & Amsterdam, NL; Paris, France; Bern, CH; Copenhagen, DK; London, UK; Edinburgh, UK and many other great world class cities have an abundance of foot bridges connecting boroughs and communities throughout their core. These cities are some of the most beautiful in the world and have far shorter distances between bridges as proposed here and with full water traffic capability. Certainly the Rideau Canal through the heart of Ottawa is unique in its abundance of green ‘shores’ in an urban setting, and so a limit to connectivity certainly exists. Notwithstanding such a limit, the proposed footbridge would solve a longstanding lack of connectivity between two of Ottawa’s most unique neighbourhoods without a loss of character to either.
Fifth, and finally, the CROOE and other like-minded opponents have raised the legitimate concern that the Lansdowne Live project will result in increased parking issues in OOE. Incorrectly, however, is their assertion that the footbridge is inextricably linked to the redevelopment of Lansdowne. While there certainly is some benefit to Lansdowne for the bridge, the need for (and desire for) the bridge long precedes the redevelopment of the park. CROOE and other opponents may be surprised to note that many of the same persons who have driven the footbridge proposal are the same who strongly and openly oppose the Lansdowne development (similarly, some supporters of the footbridge also support the Alta Vista corridor and some oppose segregated bike lanes on major streets). Refocusing on the issue of parking, I have noted over several years that the presence of a CFL team, the annual Winterlude festival, National Capital Race Weekend, the Ottawa 67s and numerous other activities do affect parking in OOE despite the lack of a footbridge. It is widely suggested that a footbridge will increase parking problems in OOE associated with these events (this assumes Lansdowne development proceeds). While parking volume may increase, the focus of the footbridge may prevent revellers or event attendees from walking throughout OOE (along, for example, Echo Drive properties). In short, the footbridge may mitigate the concerns of CROOE and other opponents by reducing the dispersion time of parked traffic. Failing this, street closures and parking fines are an area where the City demonstrates much expertise!
I look forward to regular use of the proposed footbridge and pledge my continuing support of the ‘midtown’ footbridge.
I have deep concerns with the proposed Midtown Ottawa footbridge. I have lived in my Mutchmor Road home for over thirty years and feel that the proposed footbridge would have a very detrimental impact on the underlying character and qualities of our neighborhood.
Our residential neighborhood is very quiet and tranquil as there is limited access to our streets and really no reason for significant numbers of non-resident vehicles or people to be in the neighborhood other than visitors or tradespeople supplying services. The peace and quiet of the neighborhood is one of its intrinsic attractions and this fundamental neighborhood characteristic would be threatened should the Midtown Ottawa footbridge proceed.
I am concerned that the proposed footbridge would attract substantially more vehicles as people seek to park on neighborhood streets and use the proposed footbridge to access the new shopping and entertainment offerings on the Lansdowne Park site. This would result not only in increased traffic as these people enter and exit the neighborhood, but also increased parking congestion on our otherwise quiet streets. This traffic and parking problem would be further exacerbated by people who would park in the neighborhood and use the proposed footbridge to commute to downtown jobs. I will not discuss the negative consequences of increased traffic and parking congestion as I assume they are well known and understood.
In addition to my concerns over the detrimental effect of the proposed footbridge on our neighborhood, I am also concerned with the high cost of he footbridge. The city should be allocating scarce financial resources to the many other critical city priorities such as replacing and maintaining existing infrastructure and on enhancing public transit. The proposed footbridge is a “nice to have” at best, and even at that, has yet to be substantiated by a rigorous and comprehensive demonstration that its benefits outweigh its costs.
I attended the Open House on June 2, 2011 and was troubled that the decision to go ahead with the proposed footbridge appeared to have already been taken, with public consultations and the environmental assessment merely to work out details related to location of the footbridge. This by itself is very disturbing, especially in view of the lack of public consultation prior to the Open House. However, I was further troubled by the lack of financial and other analyses supported by quantitative data that would normally be undertaken during the capital project development process involving a significant expenditure of public funds. The arguments in the city’s presentation at the Open House as well as residents’ comments in favour of the footbridge were based on generalities, anecdotal information and unsubstantiated assertions, not on rigorous, evidence based analysis.
The next step must be the conduct of a needs and options analysis addressing the concerns raised by both the anti-footbridge and pro-footbridge residents in a rigorous, professional, comprehensive and evidence based manner. The results of this study must then be presented for public discussion.
I strongly support infrastructure that will provide easier access across the canal. I can’t image why we would discourage easier access to services on both sides of the canal? A foot bridge would also service residents who walk/bike to work..
For myself, it would provide easier access to the daycare centres that are located in the Glebe. The foot bridge would be a great assest for parents who would like to walk/stroller their kids to one of the many daycare centres in the Glebe.
Thank you for providing the opportunity to learn more about the proposed bridge at the meeting June 2. I do not support this bridge for the following reasons.
1)The information provided at the meeting leads one to believe the footbridge will be built providing the environmental assessment is positive. My biggest concern is that there is no reliable evidence of any need for this bridge. As a stake holder I was never surveyed about use and this is true of my neighbours.
2) The cost of the bridge must be made public. This cost will be born by all tax payers who may never use the bridge. Cannot the existing bridges be made more pedestrian and cycling friendly? It is difficult to justify another bridge between Pretoria and Bank Streets when there is only 1.9 km between the two bridges. What about walking and cycling a little longer distance?
3) Comparing the areas of OOE, Glebe, Centretown, and Sandy Hill(U of O) is misleading. OOE is not similar to any of the other three areas so comparing the Corktown bridge to the proposed midtown bridge is not an accurate comparison. Many people who live in OOE do so because they recognise the positive aspects of living in OOE, few cars except residents or trades people, quiet, uncongested area.
4)My very greatest hope and suggestion is that an evidence based needs survey be done by a group with research experience. It is unlikely that the evidence will provide any reason to go ahead with the proposed bridge.However, the survey would provide the hard evidence required to proceed or not proceed with the bridge. Clearly the proposed bridge is a “want” not a “need” but evidence based information would decide this issue.
5) The traffic patterns will increase in OOE if the bridge goes forward and these must be researched. I have grave concerns that people from Orleans to Bells Corners will park in OOE and go over to events in the Glebe as parking in the Glebe is at a premium and OOE will become a place to park for people going to the Glebe.
There are some residents in OOE who will not be negatively influenced by the proposed bridge but these people recognise the residents who will be so affected and their support is appreciated.
I live near Brantwood park and am a big supporter of the footbridge. I think it will make it safer for children on both sides of the canal to get to schools on the other side. Kids need to get across the canal to get to Lady Evelyn, Immaculata, Elgin, Corpus Christi and Glebe at least. My kids go to Elgin and crossing the canal at Pretoria is dangerous.
While having a footbridge will no doubt increase traffic on days when there is special events at Lansdowne, it will reduce cars on the road on other days since people can walk and take their bikes more safely.
I deal with lots of cars parked on our street every night in the summer when there is a soccer game in the park and it does not bother me. I think the footbridge parking will be like skating days in the winter now. We need more people in our neighbourhood so we have enough people to turn Main street into a shopping street and the footbridge will help.
As a resident of Old Ottawa East, I strongly support the proposed mid-town footbridge. I support the footbridge for many of the same reasons that have already been listed, but I would like to highlight one particular point.
I live on Mutchmor Road and every day I see countless cyclists using Mutchmor Road to commute to and from work. They use McIlraith Bridge to Main Street, then access Mutchmor Road and continue either north or west to their destination. Clearly this is an important route for cyclists and a midtown footbridge would greatly benefit them.
As a representative of the Ottawa East Community Association and a longtime supporter of a footbridge over the canal between the Bank Street and Pretoria bridges, I had the pleasure of attending the first open house and the preceding public consultation group meeting.
In terms of the “proposed guiding principles,” I think a critical element of “linkages, location, length and landings” is the consideration of what will be the shortest distance for the greatest number of cyclists and pedestrians. Thus the location should be about midway between Pretoria and Bank, connecting to the east – west Fifth and Clegg cycling routes and the length of the ramps should be minimized so that people don’t have to unduly walk to get across. Also, the “linkages” principle is not just for the neighbouring communities – it’s for communities well beyond. I think all Ottawans need to know that the proposed bridge will be of use to many, not just, as some allege, “Glebites.”
Even though it doesn’t begin with an “L,”I would also suggest that “functionality” should be a key principle in the location and design of the bridge. Specifically, the bridge should be seen a critical part of the skateway (it will be the central point) and, for instance, it might even have skating amenities – at least change benches – as part of the piers (should piers be used). Similarly I would recommend that the landing and piers be designed to consider how paddle-craft can tie-up / land: it’s an ideal spot for coming ashore. Despite Parks Canada’s recent installation of docks at lock sites there is nothing for kayaks/canoes between the NAC and Hartwells except the Dow’s Lake docks.
As for the evaluation process, I think it’s well thought out but I would again return to the idea of what’s most beneficial – time and linkage wise – for cyclists and pedestrians: this factor is far more important than most of the other factors combined. By saving users time more people will cross the bridge and fewer will drive.
The location alternatives are all interesting but it seems to me the Fifth/Fourth – Clegg nexus is by far superior. The southern options would primarily benefit Lansdowne Park attendees. Furthermore, there would be a certain redundancy in a bridge that is relatively close to Bank Street or Pretoria. A “central” location best links existing active transportation routes and would be of benefit to the greatest number. Also, visually, I think it would best fit because ramps could more readily be accommodated than if the bridge were farther north.
I am delighted that the City is conducting the environmental assessment. However, I do think it’s necessary to look further at the combined impact (parking, traffic) of the proposed Lansdowne development and the footbridge. At the open house I heard one person speak of a “100” events at Lansdowne that would result in people parking in OOE and walking to Lansdowne. What are the facts in this regard? That said, I live at 68 McNaughton, relatively near the Clegg-Echo intersection, and I am not concerned should there be occasional additional parking of those going to Lansdowne. I really expect that more people will be able to bike and walk to Lansdowne, thus reducing the total amount of motorized traffic – something that really should be encouraged. I also suggest that the proposed footbridge be looked at in comparison with other Ottawa footbridges. I feel that the new canal footbridge would have usage and advantages at least as significant as the footbridge over the airport parkway, at Donald-Somerset, the Coventry-train Station and in other already built/approved locations.
In work that some of us footbridge advocates did before the EA study began we received the endorsement for the idea of a footbridge from a large number of groups, including six school councils and Saint Paul University. The schools (excluding SPU) reported that there were a total of 292 students who lived on the opposite side of the canal from their school. Although I’m sure not all of these would take advantage of a new footbridge, I know many would thus saving each student 20 minutes or so a day, 200 days a year (that’s the equivalent of essentially a full week of “awake” time per student per year). It seems to me that just this fact far outweighs the concern of some people who are worried about additional and occasional parking that might result from the, pardon me, God-awful Lansdowne redevelopment proposal. As I recollect, the enormous expenditure for the proposed underground rapid transit downtown was justified in part by its saving riders 5-10 minutes each way. A similar logic applies to the justification of a new canal footbridge.
The need for a connection between the east and west side of the canal has been around for a very long time. It’s not an historical curiosity that the village of Ottawa East sought a bridge at Clegg-Fifth when it was amalgamated with Ottawa in 1907!
In terms of design, I do believe that a utilitarian bridge could be built for considerably less than one that satisfies heritage and aesthetic considerations. That said, I really hope that the design team can come up with options that represent good value for the money and that the majority of people take pride in.
That said, my most important issue is that a footbridge be built be sooner rather than later. The 3,000 new residents of the Oblate development and the extra 1,500 or so from the other intensification of the OOE community design plan will require that there be an active transportation route across the canal. Let’s not wait another century.
In a very recent conversation with a colleauge it dawned on me that there is a highly analogous transportation project being undertaken by the City which would fail the ‘need’ requirment as apparently defined by the persons opposed to the footbridge.
The Strandherd-Armstrong Bridge will soon join the communities of Barrhaven and Riverside South (see link at the bottom of this posting for the project).
~In OOE, footbridge opponents suggest 10 minutes walking to Pretoria or 15 to Bank Street from Clegg is minimal and residents of OOE should merely walk.
Presently, residents of Riverside South wishing to attend the Cineplex Odeon theatres, Walmart, restaurants or pet-stores of Barrhaven at Greenbank/Strandherd must drive approximately 15 minutes southward to the Bridge St. bridge, enter Manotick and drive an additional 5-10 minutes to the destination. Optionally, they may drive approximately 9 minutes north to the Hunt Club bridge and then an additional 5-10 to their destination (noted above, Pretoria bridge is approximately 10 minutes by foot from Clegg according to footbridge opponents). A question apparently raised in the Open House was this: “All this concrete and lights just to reduce walking time by10 minutes?”. I must thus ask in regards to the Strandherd-Armstrong bridge: “All this concrete and lights just to reduce driving time by10 minutes?”.
~In OOE, footbridge opponents are concerned the footbridge will negatively impact businesses of OOE, specifically the Green Door and the café at 97 Main.
There exists in Riverside South an isolated Broadway Bar and Grill proximal to the location of the Strandherd-Armstrong bridge. Can we assume that, as residents of Riverside South will have greater access to restaurants in Barrhaven that the Broadway will fail? Should the bridge have been cancelled to protect the Broadway? Or will it be advantaged by the access to customers from Barrhaven?
~in OOE, footbridge opponents fear a bridge will be aesthetically unpleasing as well as environmentally damaging and that, as the Rideau Canal is a UNESCO world heritage site, there will be problems complying with UNESCO regulations on these matters.
In the planning notes for the Strandherd-Armstrong bridge, the following text appears: “Given that the Rideau River has recently been designated a world heritage site by UNESCO, the design of the bridge will be completed in partnership with Parks Canada and the National Capital Commission in compliance with the Federal Government design interests on heritage designated sites and all federal and provincial Environmental Assessment requirements.”
~In OOE, footbridge opponents allege that a bridge will encourage residents to be lazy by walking shorter distances.
In Riverside South, the bridge will encourage residents to drive shorter distances. No effect will be had on the laziness of a substantial portion of said residents. However, much like the proposed footbridge, the Stranherd-Armstrong bridge may encourage residents to bike the shorter distance, rather than drive the longer distance. The net effect may be such that there will be an overall *increase* in active persons(i.e., persons choosing alternative transportation to vehicles). This is most certainly true for the footbridge.
~In OOE, footbridge opponents suggest the cost of the bridge should not be bourne by taxpayers. Opponents outside of the focus area do not want their tax funds going to projects they will not use.
The Strandherd-Armstrong bridge is costed at $48 million dollars, bourne in part by the taxpayers of OOE and the Glebe. Residents of these areas are highly unlikely to ever use the Strandherd-Armstrong bridge yet a portion of the tax dollars paid by these residents ultimately funds said bridge. Footbridge opponents who object to the cost of the footbridge should therefore have strongly voiced opposition to the Strandherd-Armstrong bridge as something not beneficial to them in any way.
~in OOE, footbridge opponents suggest that the neighbourhoods of the Glebe and OOE are not comparable to other neighbourhoods within the City because OOE is isolated, quiet and has few cars except residents ro trades people. On the other hand, the Glebe is vibrant, full of activity and fully services by various merchants with a higher traffic volume.
In Riverside South, may residents have chosen this area of residence as it is quiet, isolated from traffic except for residents or trades people, and is uncongested. Barrhaven has more services, much higher congestion and is relatively more lively. Yet there appeared to be little opposition to the Strandherd-Armstrong bridge by residents of either Riverside South or Barrhaven and certainly no opposition by residents of OOE or the Glebe to its construction.
In summary, the Strandherd-Armstrong bridge is noted as being of substantial need to the connectivity of two different but interrelated communities, for aiding in the sustainable intensification – rather than sprawl – of the subject neighbourhoods. A footbridge between the Glebe and OOE will serve to enhance and benefit these communities in the same way.
Strandherd-Armstrong project website:
I wanted to follow-up on a comment made at the first open house for the proposed footbridge. The comment was basically that “a new footbridge would jeopardize the Rideau Canal’s status as a world heritage site (WHS).” Aside from the fact that Parks Canada and the NCC are participating with the proposed footbridge project to, amongst other things, ensure that any new structure does not adversely affect the canal’s WHS status, I think it’s interesting to look at other WHS to see how bridges can be treated.
In the examination of UNESCO’s “World Heritage Sites,” (ISBN-13 978-1-55407-463-1), an intriguing book that describes the approximately 800 WHS around the world, you see that bridges play a significant role in many of the “cultural” sites (the other type of WHS is “natural”). Indeed there are several sites that are centred around particular bridges (e.g., UK’s Ironbridge Gorge, Spain’s Vizcaya Bridge) and there are many other sites where bridges are prominent features (e.g., Mostar, Verona, Summer Palace Beijing, Prague, Cesky Krumlov, Bamberg, Luxembourg, Bath, etc.) Also, there are a number of sites that are for specialized types of bridges (aqueducts, viaducts, trains).
My point is that bridges can be very compatible with a WHS, contrary to the perspective of some.
It’s important to note that the Rideau Canal became a WHS on the basis of two (of a maximum of 10) criteria, i.e., “human creative genius” and “significance in human history.” Let’s have the new bridge also reflect “human creative genius.”
I wish those concerned about the footbridge detracting from the canal as a WHS would help towards ensuring it is a good design. Perhaps they could work against the electronic billboard by the conference centre and one proposed for Lansdowne – these electronic displays will, in my estimation, really detract from the canal. A well-designed bridge will add.
Greetings from the Study Team
First let us thank you for taking the time to add your thoughts to the site and for providing responses to our survey on the frequency people have informally crossed the ice during the winter. We’d never wish winter on anyone year round but it would clearly making crossing a lot simpler if it was frozen all the time!
While the site (and Ottawa in general) is quiet at this time of year, there has been a spirited debate and some good questions posted from all over the study area. Clearly the public open house in June sparked some discussion and we plan to be back with some answers soon so stay tuned for the next session in the fall.
In creating this site, it has been our goal to provide as many ways as possible for people to get involved and express ideas and opinions throughout the study. We have not actively solicited your comments nor have we engaged in the dialogue that has slowly begun to emerge but we are listening in. From our vantage point there appears to be a few things that have come up that need some clarification or additional information to assist in moving the discussion along. These are as follows:
• There are continuing questions regarding the ability to improve the existing bridges at Pretoria and Bank to make them safer for pedestrians and cyclists. The ability to improve cycling and pedestrian use on these bridges has been looked at in other projects and this information can be made available to those interested. However, it should be noted that improvements to the bridges, if such were determined to be feasible and cost effective, would not rule out the benefits of a new footbridge crossing. The need for a new crossing is not based solely on safety issues on the existing crossing points. The travel desire lines for using Bank versus Pretoria versus a new footbridge are all different.
• Has the question of need been defined? The question of need and demand has been examined in a number of studies relating to pedestrian and cycling networks by both the City of Ottawa and the National Capital Commission. It is a requirement of an environmental assessment that this need be confirmed as part of the assessment. For additional information on this matter, we would encourage you to review the material that is available on the City of Ottawa website which can be accessed at the following link: http://www.ottawa.ca/residents/public_consult/rideau_canal_bridge/oh1/project_need_en.html
• Will a new crossing increase the potential for on street parking in Old Ottawa East during major events in Lansdowne Park? If so can we estimate the impact? In response to questions and concerns raised at the POH and through comments on this site, the team is reviewing the potential effect of each crossing alternative on neighbourhood parking usage east of the Canal. This review will be based on a comparative review of observed utilization rates under several different situations. This analysis will form part of the overall assessment and evaluation of crossing location alternatives.
Thank you again for participating and contributing to our blog on this very important study.
So I sort of think your blog sucks as it does not link to any of the environment study documents from the Fall 2011. I own the building that will be most affected by this project (1 Clegg St.) and have signed up to your contact list but have never received one notice yet. I happen to live overseas at the moment and would like to stay involved in the process but I actually do not see much evidence of a public process been done. A friend sent a link to this weekend’s Citizen’s article which seems to say the site is all decided (again where are the links to the documents?).
As you might imagine my concerns are visual impact, noise, parking, garbage and increased traffic – both vehicle and pedestrian.
Finally I would ask if any consideration of using some of the canal space for some part of the approaches? Please reply to me directly if possible. I will be in Ottawa for May and June and would either like to attend the next meeting or have a direct meeting with the planning staff involved in the project. Thanks Gordon Taylor, M.Eng. (Env), P.Eng.
We regret that you could not find what you were looking for on this blog. The reports that you note are linked to the site through the City of Ottawa website and the article which you mention is also posted on the site. There have been two public open houses which have been advertised and information from these events is on the blog. I am not sure which contact list you are referring to but I will bring this to the attention of the project manager Colin Simpson. There will be another public open house in early summer. If we can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us or Mr. Simpson at the City of Ottawa. Thank you for taking the time to submit your comments.
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