Let’s complete Ottawa

Ecology Ottawa is celebrating the news that the City of Ottawa’s updated Transportation Master Plan is to include a Complete Streets policy, and proposes light rail transit extensions to the east, west, and south corners of the city.

During a breakfast speech on October 9th, the Mayor unveiled the details for the “Stage 2” light rail project, which is to include 35 kilometres of new track and 19 new stations. The plan calls for simultaneous extensions west to Bayshore Shopping Centre and Baseline Station, south to Riverside South at Bowesville Road, and east to Place d’Orléans, and is projected to cost less than $2.5 billion.

This is a progressive vision for the City of Ottawa that will allow the city to continue to grow in a smarter, more sustainable manner, the idea being that more people choose to leave their car at home. As Mayor Watson outlined in his speech, ‘The more quickly we move forward with strength and certainty on transit, the more attractive and reliable the system becomes. And as options increase, more families will choose transit over the expenses of buying a second car. Excellent public transit opens more possibilities for more people than you might think.’

You can view the full speech by the Mayor here.

Later that same day, at a joint meeting of the Transportation Committee and the Transit Commission, the draft Transportation Master Plan (TMP) was tabled for consideration. Ecology Ottawa is happy that within the TMP is a Complete Streets policy, designed to ensure that safe and comfortable access to streets for pedestrians, cyclists and public transit users of all ages and abilities is not an afterthought, but an integral part of the planning process for the construction, retrofitting, and maintenance of all roadways. Whilst Ecology Ottawa is pleased about this commitment, we need to ensure that this Complete Streets policy will be comprehensive. Thus, Ecology Ottawa recommends that Council incorporates the 10 Key Elements of a Comprehensive Complete Streets Policy, as outlined by Complete Streets for Canada. We need safer streets for Ottawa!

You can contact your City Councillor and let them know that you support a comprehensive Complete Streets policy in the Transportation Master Plan.

For more information, please read the letter we sent to City Council and the related press release. We are close to victory, so let’s all work together to ensure the Complete Streets policy is as comprehensive and effective as possible.

Further Information:

Ottawa Citizen: Rail extensions in all directions part of Mayor Jim Watson’s new transportation vision

Ottawa Citizen: Complete Streets policy entrenched in Master Plan

Ottawa Sun: Mayor Jim Watson unveils Ottawa’s Transportation Master Plan

Metro News: Mayor Jim Watson gives speech on Transportation Master Plan

CBC News: LRT from Bayshore to Orleans part of City’s transit plan


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