Transportation Committee - STO Transit Study for Gatineau's West End - November 16, 2020
The City of Ottawa's Transportation Committee received a presentation on the Gatineau LRT west-end project, specifically its entry into Ottawa. The Ottawa-Gatineau Loop was also debated.
Committee approves two options for proposed STO tramway in Ottawa
The City's Transportation Committee today approved two options to integrate the Société de transport de l'Outaouais' proposed tramway in Ottawa. The optimal corridor would be a tunnel under Sparks Street, while the surface of Wellington Street with traffic maintained would be an alternative option.
The tramway aligns with the City's priorities of providing more sustainable mobility choices and combating climate change. It would help residents and visitors access destinations on both sides of the Ottawa River more easily. Both corridors are feasible and consistent with the Committee's earlier direction to ensure the project aligns with the City's goals to reduce buses downtown and improve transit service, as well as integrate with the City's investment in LRT.
The tunnel under Sparks Street would be more convenient for transit users, offer connections to the City's O-Train, provide greater reliability and minimize traffic impacts. Residents also support the tunnel, which could help reanimate Sparks Street.
The alternative corridor of Wellington Street is feasible and less costly than the tunnel. A pedestrian tunnel would offer a direct connection from the Lyon tramway station to the Lyon LRT Station. This corridor would only be recommended if the STO cannot secure funding for the tunnel and if issues with the option are resolved.
The Committee also endorsed the STO's all-tram scenario for its transit system expansion. This would mean 70 per cent fewer STO buses in Ottawa, reducing street traffic from 115 buses per peak hour to 35 once the tram is running.
The Committee directed the Mayor to write to the Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities to request that the federal government prioritize investments in Stage 3 LRT and the STO tramway rather than in a sixth bridge between Gatineau and Ottawa.
To facilitate transit connections between the downtowns of Ottawa and Gatineau, the Committee approved a motion directing staff to include a study on the feasibility of a transit loop and the conversion of Wellington Street to a pedestrian mall, as part of the update to the Transportation Master Plan. The study and implementation of the projects, if they are feasible, would be funded entirely and led by the federal government.
The Committee approved a motion to pilot the Qwick Kerb system to build a temporary bike lane on the southern portion of Elgin Street between Argyle Avenue and Isabella Street. The bike lane would be maintained during the coming winter. Staff would evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the Qwick Kerb system at the intersection of Catherine and Elgin streets.
Recommendations from today's Transportation Committee meeting will rise to Council on Wednesday, November 25.
Source : City of Ottawa
Audio of the meeting and media availability.