Published on March 10th, 2017 | by Cynthia Shahan0
Ottawa City’s Cross-Town Rapid Transit Corridor Approved
March 10th, 2017 by Cynthia Shahan
A unanimous vote of the Ottawa city council recently approved a proposal to build a new cross-town rapid transit corridor. The system will start with 24 new stations along Baseline and Heron roads. The new stations are to be built about 600 metres apart. The idea is to make cross-town travel on mass transit more convenient and faster than driving.
CBC News reports that the anticipated funding comes from the provincial and federal governments, with the project planned to begin by 2020. The work will widen the roads so that bus lanes will run down the centre of the road, with two vehicle lanes on either side as well as cycling lanes and sidewalks (see image above).
Also projected is construction on the $140-million stretch between Heron Station and Baseline Station at Algonquin College. Another portion of the corridor from Baseline to Bayshore stations is not being considered until after 2031.
To complete the project, 15 properties will need to be completely expropriated and another 200 partially expropriated. Also, a strip along the southern edge will be a Central Experimental Farm (as part of the project).
In an earlier story by CBC News, concerns were discussed regarding less green space from the road expansion. Councilor Diane Deans suggested that Ottawa “look for ways to create new green space elsewhere, in order to compensate for the land being taken for the bus corridor.” In response: “Staff said they had not yet looked at that idea with respect to this project, but that they are working with the federal government on a ‘shelter belt’ of trees and shrubs that could protect the farm from salt, snow spray, and erosion.”
We’ll look to report on the project again after it is implemented … in a few years. On the surface, it looks like an effective and bold move to shift more people from cars to buses. Though, it surely would have been more effective if it took away one or two of those car lanes.