As I told CBC Radio, the Overbrook Community Association is continually advocating for better transit and transportation links in our neighbourhood.
At a Board meeting in July we passed motions to emphasize to the Councillor and the City that the OCA supports investment in Donald Street cycling infrastructure. The street is a natural connection to downtown and other points east by way of the Adàwe crossing which links Somerset and Donald streets. In July, the City released record-breaking statistics that showed that nearly 120,000 people crossed the bridge that month. With this unprecedented amount of bridge traffic, it makes logical sense to extend safer biking pathways through Overbrook. We are therefore pleased that the City is undertaking public consultations concerning the addition of dedicated cycling infrastructure along Donald between North River Road and Vanier Parkway. Taking advantage of resurfacing work scheduled for later this year, the City is considering the addition of painted bike lanes in that corridor, along with flexible posts, to delineate the bike lanes in warmer months.
The City is also planning to reconstruct St. Laurent Boulevard and Donald Street to convert it into a “protected intersection”, in order to improve both pedestrian and cyclist safety. The transportation department is currently working on this project and plans to provide the Association with an update at our September public meeting.
The City has also indicated that it will consider the installation of cycling lanes along Donald between St. Laurent and Cummings Avenue, when resurfacing work is scheduled for that section of the street. OCA supports smart connections that expand the cycling network from Donald and Cummings to the Aviation Parkway corridor.
We are also working with our partners at the Riverview Park Community Association to encourage the development of a pedestrian and cycling overpass to connect the Trainyards retail district with the new Tremblay LRT station over the rail corridor near Terminal Avenue. A new cycling and pedestrian connection there would improve access to the Max Keeping bridge, which connects the Ottawa Baseball Stadium, along with the Coventry Road cycling pathways. We are pleased to be working with several community associations on both sides of the Queensway, including Eastway Gardens and Alta Vista, to advocate for federal and provincial infrastructure funding to make this proposed connection a reality.
In terms of improved ground connections to the St. Laurent LRT station, we have been pleased to be working with Ward 13 Councillor Tobi Nussbaum and Morguard Corporation on suggesting options to improve access. Based upon a community consultation, we suggested that the City examine the feasibility of installing a new pedestrian crossover on Coventry Road at the Hardy Avenue multi-use path entrance. We also endorsed the idea of painted bike lanes, continuous sidewalks, additional bike parking and enhanced lighting through the St. Laurent shopping centre parking lots to safely interconnect with Coventry Road biking and pedestrian infrastructure. Due to the lack of people-friendly pathways at the mall, we are also enthused that the City and mall property manager are willing to have a discussion about extended access to the mall after closing hours to allow safe walking access to the LRT station.
“If they’re [the City] is going to increase the number of passengers and the capacity, it obviously makes sense to have better ground connections to the station,” King told the Ottawa Citizen in July.
In an additional bid to improve ground transport to the LRT, the OCA also passed a motion in July to request enhanced and restored bus service in Overbrook. As President of the Overbrook Community Association, I told the Ottawa Citizen in June "that I hope some of the local service that previously saw buses loop through the neighbourhood instead of sticking to the main roads — which was cut as part of the 2011 cost-saving optimization exercise — will be restored."
“That’s a challenge we’ve been talking about forever, that’s something we would hope be addressed,” Rawlson King said. I also told the Citizen that obstacles to access St. Laurent station when the adjacent shopping mall is closed, such as lack of sidewalks and sprawling parking lots, also need some attention.
OCA is committed to more sidewalks, timely road repairs, better snow clearing, and addressing speed concerns in our neighbourhood.