Transportation plan charts Stage 2 for rail to the east, west and south

Ottawa – Ottawa’s future development will be driven by an affordable, balanced transportation plan that includes a second stage of rail projects extending to the east, west and south. This plan, dubbed Stage 2, would add 35 kilometres of new rail and 19 new stations that would reduce travel times, improve productivity, attract new riders and contain costs.

“This is a realistic, affordable, effective plan that would move up light rail projects an entire generation and create a true rallying point for our Council, our residents and other levels of government,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “By using light rail as a smart growth tool, the City, businesses and communities can better plan for the future together.”

In an address to City Councillors and residents this morning, Mayor Watson outlined his vision of Ottawa’s transportation future. The City’s Draft Transportation Master Plan (TMP) is being tabled at a joint meeting of the Transportation Committee and Transit Commission this afternoon where details of the research, analysis and strategy for the transportation plan, and list of proposed policies and projects, will be provided.

The draft TMP proposes transit, road, cycling and pedestrian projects that are affordable; leverage previous investments, and build better connections between the growing transit system, schools, employment centres, community centres, recreation facilities and existing pathways across Ottawa.

“Our Transportation Master Plan will transform how people get around the city and how people live. This isn’t just about improving transportation, it’s about how we build a more sustainable, liveable city,” said Councillor Keith Egli, Chair of Transportation Committee.

“We’re building a national capital where the transit system not only gets commuters to and from work, it also moves residents and visitors around the city more comfortably and reliably at any time of the day, with faster, more convenient service,” said Councillor Diane Deans, Chair of the Transit Commission.

The plan is designed to support economic growth, balance the needs of all users, including addressing automobile congestion as well as missing links in our cycling and pedestrian networks. In addition to improving overall mobility and accessibility to meet the city's aging demographic growth, the proposed TMP envisions greater transit, cycling and pedestrian shares in trips, but also acknowledges the growth of automobile trips, which remain the biggest transportation mode.

Ottawa is among the first municipalities to link the concept of affordability to long-term transportation planning. Traditionally, there is a long list of projects and only some get done. This year, staff identified how much the City could invest and prioritized projects based on this funding envelope, making sure we leveraged existing assets and overall value to the best of our ability.

The plan is designed to build an affordable transportation network that will decrease commute times, increase reliability, and improve connectivity for urban and rural areas in the east, west and south.

Among the projects:

  • In the east: A rail line that extends Confederation Line from Blair to Place d’Orleans, with four new stations at St. Joseph, Jeanne D’Arc, Orleans Drive, and Place d’ Orleans. East-end residents would also benefit from investments in important links in the road network such as the Blackburn Hamlet Bypass Extension and the Brian Coburn Boulevard Extension.

  • In the west: A rail line that extends the Confederation Line from Tunney’s Pasture west to Bayshore Shopping Centre and south to Baseline Station. From Bayshore, there would be a new Transitway to Moodie and a new March-to-Terry Fox busway. West-end residents would also see substantial road investments, including a new four-lane road on Campeau Drive, and widening of both Carp and Old Richmond/West Hunt Club Road. The City’s road investments come in addition to and complement significant investments in the provincial highway system.

  • In the south: An expanded O-Train service with five additional rail stations at Gladstone, Walkley, South Keys, Leitrim and Bowesville, would greatly enhance north-south connectivity in conjunction with road investments including intersection modifications along Prince of Wales, a widening of the Airport Parkway from Brookfield to Hunt Club, the widening of Strandherd Drive to support the creation of the city’s newest business park, and the Greenbank Road extension between Cambrian and Jockvale as a priority.

There is a greater emphasis on bike-transit integration in the suburban area through new priority cycling connections to rapid transit stations, Park and Rides, and the major employment and educational campuses.

Downtown neighbourhoods and inner suburbs would benefit from significant enhancements in transit, pedestrian and cycling connectivity and enhance overall accessibility, including:

  • Construction of the Council-approved alignment for the Richmond Underground western light rail corridor, removing 450,000 bus trips annually from the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway

  • Transit priority measures along key routes including Montreal Road, Hunt Club, Innes, Carling and Bank.

  • A bridge from Donald Street in Vanier to Somerset in Sandy Hill, as well as the opening of the Prince of Wales bridge to Gatineau for cyclists and pedestrians.

  • Continued improvements to the East-West Bikeway from Vanier to Westboro, with the addition of other Cross-town Bikeway to build upon.

  • Construction of the Nepean Trail and other local cycling routes to connect neighbourhoods from Greenboro to Fisher Heights and Billings Bridge.

  • Identification of additional winter maintenance of downtown cycling pathways to encourage more seasonal cycling.

As part of Building a Liveable Ottawa 2031, the City took an integrated approach to review land-use, transportation and infrastructure policies and projects in the Official Plan (OP), the Infrastructure Master Plan (IMP), as well as in the TMP, including the Ottawa Cycling Plan and the Ottawa Pedestrian Plan. All of the City’s major planning documents – including the OP, TMP and IMP – are reviewed every five years; as such, transportation projects and policies will be revised again in 2018.

The TMP (including the Ottawa Cycling Plan and Ottawa Pedestrian Plan) will go out for a final round of public consultation together with the Infrastructure Master Plan, as well as the Official Plan, which was tabled earlier this summer. Building on previous consultation with the public, which was incorporated into the plans, this final phase of outreach for the Building a Liveable Ottawa 2031 initiative will include an online information resource, feedback form, as well as a number of Public Information Sessions (between 4 and 8 p.m.) across the city, including:

  • Tuesday, October 15                 Ottawa City Hall (110 Laurier Ave. West)

  • Thursday, October 17                Kanata Recreation Centre (100 Walter Baker Place)

  • Tuesday, October 22                 Walter Baker Sports Centre (100 Malvern Drive)

  • Thursday, October 24                Bob MacQuarrie Recreation Complex, 1490 Youville Drive

Discussion and debate on the transit portion of the TMP will take place at a Transit Commission meeting on Wednesday, October 16. Transportation Committee will consider the draft plan on Friday, November 15. The reports are scheduled for City Council consideration on Tuesday, November 26, 2013.

Comments and questions can be sent to [email protected]. Survey and questionnaire results from previous consultations can be found on ottawa.ca/liveableottawa.