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Ecology Ottawa: City's active transportation plan still needs work

The agency has released a report, critiquing work by the city and making some recommendations of their own.
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2018-04-14-lrt-train-tunnel-JW
An O-Train emerges from the downtown LRT tunnel during testing in April, 2018. (Courtesy: City of Ottawa)

Ecology Ottawa thinks the municipality could do a lot more in it's push for active and sustainable transportation.

It has released a report with recommendations, as it believes the decisions made by the City of Ottawa in the next five years could shape the way its residents move around the region for years to come.

Titled 'Seizing the moment for Safe and Healthy Streets,' Ecology Ottawa highlights progress being made as well as opportunities for improving pedestrian, cycling and transit infrastructure.

In its report, the agency said the City of Ottawa has not yet showed an appreciation that hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent to reduce congestion on roads without any evidence that the roads will see this desired effect. It added that the city is increasing its investment in cycling and pedestrian infrastructure, but spending increases could be interpreted as simply correcting past under-investment rather than showing ambition on active transportation. 

Ecology Ottawa believes overall active transportation project transparency is lacking at city hall, and the municipal government is making it difficult to trace expenditures over time.

In order to correct these problems, the agency would like to see the city put forward more aggressive targets as part of the renewal of the Transportation Master Plan.

When considering active transportation connectivity to transit hubs it wants the city to widen its analysis beyond 600 metres, extending the radius to 5 km. Ecology Ottawa said following through on that analysis systematically could provide real sustainable transportation options to 70% of Ottawa's population.

Learning from the design of Pimisi Station and the Booth Street bridge, the agency thinks the City of Ottawa could ensure early and consistent inclusion of active transportation design elements into future LRT projects, drawing from their experience with these LRT stations.

Ecology Ottawa is holding its Active Transportation Summit from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Christ Church Cathedral on Sparks St., Wednesday.




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