Transportation Master Plan, Cycling Plan and Pedestrian Plan at Transportation Committee, November 15, 2013

Erwin spoke at Committee and posted the following report to the GA List on 15 November; published on the web site, slightly revised, on 3 December:


In sharp contrast to the Planning Committee meeting of November 8, all but 6 of the 37 delegations that came forward represented community organizations or were private individuals.  Also, Committee followed an orderly and transparent process: a 15-minute staff presentation (reporting on the feedback received during the October Open Houses), delegations (with quite a few Councillors engaging the speaker), questions to staff, consideration of motions (which were read out and shown on screens), and voting.  (First check: “Does staff support the motion?”)  Just two motions were referred to the Council meeting of November 26 so staff could consider the implications and advise.

What a relief after the process on view last Friday at Planning Committee!

Two motions were of particular interest:

+ the Environmental Assessment Addendum required to extend the O-Train to Bowesville will include in its scope “a jointly funded analysis of potential future alignment options that would maximize ridership from the Airport and surrounding employment uses” as well as serve points south.  This deal was negotiated over the last few weeks with the Mayor, Councillor Deans, the Airport Authority and staff.  As one of the last public delegates, the AA’s President and CEO, Mark Laroche, spoke briefly, confirming agreement.

+ The City will make a formal request to the Province to do a joint feasibility study for a tunnel from the 417 to the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge.  As John Verbaas (City Centre Coalition) said in response to a question: We suggested this 4-5 years ago!  (The Alliance heard of this proposal in April 2010 (see <Minutes>), supported it and reported on it in its <2010 Annual Report>.)

Among other submissions:

+ David Jeanes (Transport Action Canada):  (.) The Plan predicts as many new car drivers as new transit users — not good.  (.) We need better links with Gatineau.

+ Trevor Haché (Ecology Ottawa): (.) Even if the TMP is fully implemented, Greenhouse Gas  emissions will increase.  (.) Deleting road tolls from the Plan was a mistake. (.) Stop raising transit fares.

+ Faith Blacquière: Focus intensification on the nodes in the affordable Transit network.  Here are her 5 slides.

+ The City Centre Coalition (John Verbaas) provided five lucid points but had time for only three. Here are his slides (755 KB) and text.

+ Joseph Potvin intrigued many with his exposition of Moose Inc’s proposal for a regional train network.

+ Several delegations expressed support for “Complete Streets” and decried the failure to come to grips with climate change.

Our own submission touched on several issues, but our oral intervention touched only on

(.) the apparent misalignment between expected demand (from Outer Suburb to Outer Suburb) and the road network, causing some of that traffic to have to go through the Greenbelt twice;

(.) widening Fallowfield Road to connect to the 416 as a better option than widening Hope Side Road and Old Richmond Road through Stony Swamp to connect to West Hunt Club Road and the 416.  This issue had been the subject of a Comment sent to staff last October, critiquing the comparison they had made between the two options.

My second and main point made Clr. Hubley very upset.  He claimed that his community strongly supported the staff proposal, as did the NCC, he accused me of not having attended any public meeting on this, demanded to know how many members we have and whether any of them lived in Stittsville or Kanata, etc.  He was repeatedly restrained by the Chair (Clr. Egli) and admonished to only ask questions, not engage in debate.  He concluded by saying that he’d make sure staff would give zero weight to our proposal.  Later in the afternoon, when it was his turn to ask questions of staff, he began by apologizing for his remarks, saying that he really did not want to discourage public participation but that he was so darn passionate about this road project.  I wrote to him the same evening, accepting his apology and remaking our point, with documentation.  (I received several expressions of outrage from attendees over his behaviour…)