Fix the traf­fic cri­sis in our city — now

PressReader - Tke Channel - Fix the traf­fic cri­sis in our city — now
Our roads are at ca­pac­ity. We can’t put an­other ve­hi­cle on north-south routes that have not been up­graded or widened in decades. The rush hour in Ot­tawa is at a cri­sis point, and must be ad­dressed now, not in 2032. We can’t get up any ear­lier in the day to beat the traf­fic.De­spite the ag­o­niz­ing con­ges­tion, it’s still faster for many to hop in their car. We have bike routes, but not enough, and bik­ing is not a so­lu­tion for ev­ery­one, es­pe­cially in our long, cold win­ters.Here are the sad facts: The south­ern LRT won’t be ready for years. We are not tack­ling our bus­ing deficit. We have hit a wall. I am rec­om­mend­ing that we pump the brakes on de­vel­op­ment un­til we put in place so­lu­tions. The City of Ot­tawa should not ap­prove one more dwelling or res­i­dence in the south end of Ot­tawa un­til such time as the traf­fic prob­lem is solved. Full stop.So, what can be done? Widen the roads. There are a num­ber of north-south routes that could ac­com­mo­date ad­di­tional lanes, so let’s add them.A rapid bus sys­tem. We can add a reg­u­lar north-south bus sys­tem dur­ing rush hours that will not only ad­dress the cur­rent lack of ca­pac­ity but re­duce the num­ber of trans­fers nec­es­sary for rush-hour rid­ers. And yes, if they need a lane, then let’s find them a lane.En­hanced park-and-ride. Cur­rently, if you don’t ar­rive at the park-and-ride well be­fore 8 a.m., then for­get about find­ing a park­ing spot. We need to build park­ing struc­tures that will not only han­dle all the ex­ist­ing traf­fic, but fu­ture ca­pac­ity as well.Im­ple­ment pri­or­ity traf­fic (i.e., change traf­fic di­rec­tion dur­ing rush hour). We have had great suc­cess di­vert­ing lanes on the Cham­plain Bridge to Aylmer so there are more lanes flow­ing with the di­rec­tion of traf­fic dur­ing rush hour. Ot­tawa could change some of the south­bound lanes dur­ing the morn­ing com­mute to northbound lanes, and vice versa, to take ad­van­tage of un­der­used lanes at the right times of day.Com­mu­nity Work Hubs. Not ev­ery­one can work from home, but the city should part­ner with the federal gov­ern­ment to test the con­cept of lo­cal Com­mu­nity Work Hubs in the south end of the city. Se­cure federal gov­ern­ment of­fice space in the south end of the city.If you want more homes in the south end of Ot­tawa, there will have to be so­lu­tions to our traf­fic prob­lems.

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