Can you improve Centretown without changing its streets?

October 7, 2010 at 9:16 am Leave a comment

Over the next few weeks, we will be posting a new discussion topic, ranging from Community facilities to defining the Character of Centretown, to generate dialogue about the future of Mid Centretown. We look forward to hearing your ideas in the comments.

Streets are the veins of our cities, moving people from one place to another using many different modes of transportation – cars, buses, bikes, skateboards, on foot, rollerblades, streetcars. Streets also help shape the physical form the city, giving it its structure and creating the addresses for different types of development.

Downtown streets are very different to suburban or rural streets. Unlike rural and suburban streets, which are focused mainly on moving traffic, a downtown street must perform multiple functions – it acts as a public meeting place, it creates an address for businesses, it beautifies the city and provides an it with an identity, all while moving many different types of users across the downtown (not just those in cars!).

Due to Centretown’s location at the gateway to downtown and its support of long feeder roads for the 417, the community has easy access to major transportation facilities, such as proximity to Highway 417 (The Queensway), the Transitway, major arterial roads, local transit and City / NCC multi-use pathways. However, this easy access comes at a price.

A major traffic issue is caused by the location of the community between the downtown and the Queensway. This proximity creates significant vehicular travel demand during the weekday peak periods on the north-south arterial roadways running right through the neighbourhood (Kent, O’Connor, Metcalfe, Bronson). The level of traffic on these streets at peak times generally contributes to a negative urban environment with respect to the volume, speed of traffic, use of road space, landscaping and viability of commercial retail along the one-way arterial roadways.

Delcan are currently exploring options for how we can improve the quality of streets across Centretown and begin to repair some of the damage done through ‘highway’ infrastructure. Click here to read their (593 KB) draft Mobility Position Paper which includes considerations around traffic, parking, cycling and public transit. The paper offers:

• a summary of the transportation context within the framework of the City of Ottawa’s Official Plan and other strategic planning documents;
• a qualitative overview of existing land use and transportation conditions;
• an overview of current and emerging transportation trends;
• an overview of transportation issues within the study area to be addressed by the CDP, and;
• an outline of future directions and next steps to be undertaken in further developing a transportation vision and framework as part of the CDP study.

Also provided is a Municipal Infrastructure Position Paper (2.5 MB), also by Delcan, that discusses some of the challenges of Centretown’s century old infrastructure – much of which is hidden underground and out of site (sewers, waste water, electrical, etc.).

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Is Centretown Being Shaped by the Ontario Municipal Board? Midcentretown Tomorrow is Going Multimedia!

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Welcome!

Welcome to Mid-Centretown Tomorrow, the official project blog for the Mid-Centretown Community Design Plan, commissioned by the City of Ottawa! This is the place to learn about and participate in discussions regarding the future of Mid-Centretown.

Bienvenue sur Mi-centreville de demain, le blogue officiel du projet de Plan de conception communautaire pour le secteur médian du Centre-ville, commandé par la Ville d’Ottawa!

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