The Ottawa Sun is reporting today that Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson likes the idea of a toll tunnel designed for trucks to get them out of the downtown core, where they have been extremely disruptive and dangerous to the people of Lowertown and Sandy Hill for decades.
Mayor Jim Watson is touting the idea of a truck-only toll tunnel connecting Hwy. 417 with the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge as a solution to keeping big rigs out of Ottawa’s core.
“I’ve always looked at the concept of a tunnel that would be a public-private partnership that would be paid in part by tolls,” Watson told the Sun Monday.
Watson said he has been working with the province in recent weeks to see if it would help fund a $750,000 study.
“We’ve been pitching to them the fact that we appreciate they said no to the Kettle Island bridge because that would have taken traffic from one area and thrown it into another community,” Watson said.
via Toll tunnel answer to downtown truck problem: Watson | Ottawa & Region | News | Ottawa Sun. As long as the city's construction costs are recovered by setting the price of the toll sufficiently high, Ecology Ottawa thinks this is a great idea.
We recently encouraged the City of Ottawa to conduct preliminary research on different 'user pay' options for roads designed for the users of private automobiles. Read about that recommendation here.
Congratulations to Mayor Jim Watson for showing some initial leadership on this important subject.