REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY OF OTTAWA-CARLETON
5 MAY 1999
Chair: D. Holmes
Members: M. Bellemare, W. Byrne, R. Cantin, L. Davis, C. Doucet, H. Kreling,
J. Legendre, M. McGoldrick-Larsen
REGRETS M. Meilleur
CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES
Councillor Legendre advised that a statement he made during the committee’s discussion of the Walking Security Index had not been included. Accordingly, he suggested the addition of the following to page 17: "That moreover, the Walking Security Index at this time is a work in progress."
That the Transportation Committee confirm the Minutes of the meeting of 21 April 1999 as amended by the foregoing.
CARRIED as amended
POSTPONEMENTS AND DEFERRALS
1. ACHIEVING LIVABLE CITIES
- Co-ordinator, Transportation Committee report dated 7 Apr 99
Nick Tunnacliffe, Planning and Development Approvals Commissioner provided the following comments:
- the Urban Transportation Council was established in 1991 and is made up of politicians and senior public servants from across Canada, as well as representatives from various lobby groups; it meets twice a year and has various sub-committees working on different projects;
- the 1993 Urban Transportation Vision contained thirteen principles and he referred to the "Generic Vision for Urban Transportation in 2023" in the brief to see how Ottawa-Carleton is meeting those;
- there are a number of points in the Generic Vision the Region has not been making progress i.e. community and neighbourhood planning is largely in the hands of the area municipalities, and while there is some good work being done, he did not think there is a commitment to the Vision and to the principles articulated in the ROP;
- with respect to the proposal to decrease the average distance and time for peak hour commuter travel, he indicated it is actually increasing and until the Region begins to grow in and not out and to raise the average density of development, this trend is likely to continue; he acknowledged that this aspect is perhaps a long-term plan and will not be achieved perhaps until the end of the planning period;
- the principles in the Vision relating to a parking strategy and on-street goods transfer rest largely with the local municipal jurisdiction;
- with respect to providing universal access to public transportation for the physically challenged, although there has been some progress at OC Transpo, it will be some years before there is a complete fleet in place;
- he confirmed that roads and bridges are in a good state of repair, but there are a number of bridges which still require rehabilitation;
- the Vision which relates to decreased air pollution is not applicable in Ottawa-Carleton because it is in fact increasing and will continue to do so until there are different modes of propulsion and a declining use of the automobile;
- the Urban Transportation Vision has been endorsed by a number of municipalities across Canada and has been described as perhaps the most influential sustainable transportation vision statement currently in Canada and also, as the best thinking on environmental sustainable transportation in Canada;
- since 1993, TAC’s Urban Transportation Council is working to make the vision a reality through a number of publications e.g. the Urban Vision Sampler, Financing Urban Transportation and Achieving Livable Cities, the latter of which is before committee today.
With respect to the brief before committee for discussion, he noted the following:
- decision-making within and between organizations is not as efficient as it should be and there is difficulty in co-ordination; a direction would be to simply this process;
- another barrier is the form of cities; since World War II, they have been built largely based on suburban growth and there is a need to adapt those, which will be a difficult task;
- there are social forces at work against achieving livable cities, including demography i.e. ageing of the population will put different demands on cities and transportation;
- with respect to the market forces, he observed that developers are adverse to taking risks and it is difficult to get them involved and invest in new directions with respect to different types of housing, et cetera;
- municipal finances, particularly in Ontario, are under increasing threat, creating considerable opportunity for the Region to think and work differently;
- air quality is a public health issue and ways to alleviate that are going to require the Region to think about and change how it builds its cities and how it delivers its transportation services.
Mr. Tunnacliffe summarized his presentation by providing an overview of the eight principles detailed in the paper, upon which a new model for achieving livable cities should be founded. He also highlighted the benefits which would be achieved through achieving these principles.
Councillor Legendre expressed his disappointment with the recent Regional Development Charges report which proposed different scenarios for collecting RDC’s, based on areas. He felt it lacked the focus on growing in and not out and in terms of how much money is generated, both models will end up collecting the same amount. The Commissioner responded by stating that staff proposed a model with just three areas in which to collect RDC’s because the model with nine areas would be more complicated and in future, there could be pressure from developers in one area suggesting that because they paid more they should be getting more things earlier. Staff determined it would be simpler to collect all the money from the areas outside the Greenbelt on the same basis. The councillor was quite concerned about that rationale however, because he believed simplification is one of the biggest arguments against moving to a one-tier level of government.
That the Transportation Committee receive this verbal presentation for information.
2. RED LIGHT CAMERAS - STATUS REPORT
- Acting Deputy Commissioner, Environment and Transportation Department
report dated 1 Apr 99
That Transportation Committee and Council receive this report for information.
3. TRAFFIC LIGHTS AND SIGNS: A TOUR OF THE LORETTA AVENUE SITE -
FEUX DE CIRCULATION ET AFFICHES: UNE VISITE À LA CENTRALE DE
- Co-ordinator, Transportation Committee report dated 7 Apr 99
That the Transportation Committee receive this video presentation for information.
4. REHABILITATION OF POOLEY’S BRIDGE AND FIVE STONE ARCH BRIDGES LEBRETON FLATS - PUBLIC HEARING
- A/Co-ordinator, Transportation Committee report dated 21 Apr 99
Jim Miller, Director of Engineering, provided an overview of the item, as detailed in the report. He advised that while Pooley’s Bridge is within the Region’s ownership, it’s obligation to do work on the other structures is tied into the Lebreton Flats agreement. Through a series of slides, Mr. Miller illustrated the deteriorating conditions of Pooley’s Bridge and highlighted the main issues of safety and security, the possibility of additional structural failures and the impact on pumping operations of the Fleet Street Pumping Station. He stated that Pooley’s Bridge is part of the Regional Cycling Network and is very much integrated into the Lebreton Flats Development.
In an overview of the evaluation process that lead to the various alternatives considered, Mr. V. Sahni, Manager, Structural Branch, advised that user safety was foremost, both on and under the bridge. The condition of the bridge has been a source of concern as there are areas on the bridge which are ready to fall at any time. With respect to the historic significance of the bridge, he stated Pooley’s is one of the oldest bridges in Ottawa and is the second oldest bridge of this type in Ontario. Shoring (supporting) the bridge in the early 1980’s helped preserve the structure and if this structure was not continually monitored as it has been by staff, it would not be here today. He confirmed the "do nothing" alternative is not viable due to the extreme deteriorating condition of the structure. Mr. Sahni provided an overview of the various alternatives considered, stating that as each of the alternatives progresses, there is less and less heritage characteristic of the structure maintained. He made note of a correction in the report whereby Alternative 3A is described as a "…ghosted outline of south spandrel wall" and indicated this should read "…a ghosted outline of north spandrel wall." The main features of the recommended Alternative (3B) are detailed in the report.
Councillor Cantin supported the preferred alternative, because he believed any of the options that leave the arches exposed, may attract skateboarders, creating a potentially dangerous situation. He expressed some concern about the stones in the piers and compared them to those in the arches because he noted it is proposed that those stones not be replaced. Staff advised the piers are in much better condition and can be rehabilitated and stabilized. The councillor questioned whether staff had examined the cost of replacing the entire bridge, including the piers and V. Sahni advised the cost would be in excess of $5M. He added that the heritage character of the overall sight should be respected.
In response to questions posed by Councillor Legendre, V. Sahni advised that the rehabilitation will retain the existing arch stones and these will be used as a framework to anchor to the new bridge. He added they will try to use as much faschia of the existing bridge as possible, with a requirement of between 10 and 20% of new stone. He confirmed that it is not the intention to use existing stone as a structural element.
Doug Corkery, Kayak Club submitted a brief from the Ottawa River Runners in which it is recommend that:
1. The residual south 5 metres of original arches be removed or stabilized to assure future safety of Regional employees, cyclists and paddlers.
2. The pier ruins should be adequately stabilized.
3. Provision should be made to accommodate a modest event staging area along the western pier base for whitewater competition, training and electronic timing.
4. Consideration be given to stabilizing approximately 50 metres of seriously eroding shoreline in the Tailrace in conjunction with bridge reconstruction.
5. Consideration be given to expediting the process both for safety concerns with respect to pedestrians, cyclists and Regional employees and to accommodate the Canadian National Whitewater Championships awarded to Ottawa and scheduled for August 3 - 6, 2000.
Mr. Corkery advised that the Kayak Club has been using this site for approximately 25 years because it offers a constant flow of water and is a unique whitewater facility in that it is natural and not man-made, as most such sites are. Through a series of slides, he illustrated the condition of the bridge and the arches. He recognized the need to address the issue of erosion in the bank adjacent to the piers because of the flow rates from the pumping station and the intention of the NCC to pass these banks into the ownership of the Region as part of the Lebreton Agreement. He was particularly concerned about the proposal under the preferred alternative to install netting under the bridge to catch falling stones. While he understood the safety concerns, from an aesthetic point of view, he did not feel it would be very attractive for someone passing underneath on the adjacent trail. He suggested a better alternative would be to remove the arches completely and put a sill on the side facing the pumping station with a "stone facing" to preserve the character of the pumping station forecourt.
Mr. Corkery went on to state that he did not think the piers were solid from a safety and stonework perspective and suggested a decision should be made either to preserve or remove them. As recommended by the Ottawa River Runners, he indicated they would like access to the west side of the bridge to install electronic timing on a temporary basis for racing events because this would be a very high profile start area for national races. He did not know of any other site in the world that has this kind of potential.
When asked to comment on the delegation’s comments about the instability of the arches and the stones, Mr. Sahni confirmed these facts, but explained staff are attempting to reach a balance between heritage preservation and safety. The arches and piers will be stabilized and there may be stones falling, so the netting is necessary to prevent them from hitting someone. With respect to their request for installing electronic equipment on the west side, he advised that possibility can be investigated.
Paul Stumes, Heritage Ottawa indicated Pooley’s Bridge is probably the oldest bridge in Ottawa and as such, is not only a means to cross that water channel, but is a historic relic and an important component of the city’s legacy. It is the view of Heritage Ottawa that the plan to build a new crossing will destroy the majority of the structure and such destruction would be a barbaric act. If there are no funds to completely restore this structure, he opined that it should be preserved in its present condition, even if it means to close it to pedestrians and cyclists temporarily. He did not believe it would be a great inconvenience to make a slight detour during that period of time as there are other ways around the waterway. He confirmed that Heritage Ottawa is willing to assist staff in finding a solution to "mothball" the bridge at lower cost. He added that Heritage Ottawa should not be expected to comment on the complex technical matters detailed in the report, without seeing substantiating technical data and calculations on issues such as the extent of the cracking in the structure, whether or not the bridge sinking, et cetera. Heritage Ottawa opposes spending over $1.5M on a "recreational facility" when there are other routes available.
In response to a question posed by Councillor Cantin, V. Sahni confirmed the figures for each alternative are based on extensive study. Further, while it could be argued that nothing has been done to the bridge since 1980, staff have been monitoring the bridge since that time and have carried out detailed engineering studies, comparing the conditions on an annual basis. He noted that one thing that cannot be changed is the condition of the original stone and the figures in the report are based on the cost of replacing the stones. Mr. Sahni indicated his willingness to share any of the engineering reports with Heritage Ottawa.
Councillor Cantin made reference to the original cost estimated for reconstructing the bridge at Lemieux Island and how that cost had eventually escalated and did not want to see a repeat of that situation. The Director advised that when staff get into the detailed engineering for this project, the costs can be fine-turned and some enhancements i.e. the needs of the Kayak Club, may result in additional costs.
Councillor Doucet expressed his difficulty with the recommendations because it would appear so little of the actual bridge will remain. He questioned whether putting up a new structure and simply preserving Pooley’s was an option and staff confirmed it was, but there would still be the ongoing liability of keeping the existing bridge. Mr. Sahni advised that Pooley’s Bridge will fall by itself if nothing is done to preserve it. The councillor questioned whether it could simply be put into a state of closure where it will not collapse, and then erect a new bridge and V. Sahni indicated that is an option, but it is a question of whether or not that is acceptable to the community. J. Miller advised he was reluctant to suggest the committee approve spending money to construct a new bridge, because that option was never considered and the approaches, length of span, et cetera are considerations that would have to be evaluated. Staff and the advisory committees are attempting to get a bridge which they believe restores the heritage aspects and fits in with the nature of the area itself.
Stuart Lazear, Senior Heritage Planner, City of Ottawa Planning Branch praised staff for the work they have done and the study process. He spoke in favour of Alternative 2 (2A or 2B) because these options retain more of the heritage fabric than the proposed alternative and is also less costly. He appreciated the considerations in the report with regard to maintenance, accessibility and safety, but from a heritage perspective and in keeping with the Regional Official Plan to encourage the proper care, custodianship and restoration of buildings and structures owned by the Region, he encouraged committee to consider Alternative 2 instead.
Councillor Cantin related his concern with respect to access to the remainder of the arches and how people will have to be deterred from entering that section of the bridge. Mr. Lazear agreed his fears are well-founded; however, if Alternative 2 is considered, he believed there were many opportunities to mitigate that concern. He added that safety, liability and maintenance issues have to be addressed closely, but are doable with proper due consideration.
Lois K. Smith referred to the alternative bike and pedestrian pathway that can be used and indicated that staff have assured her people will be permitted to use the road that branches off at the current Duke/Fleet junction. She emphasized the need to maintain as much access as possible. One particular concern she had was that on days when the construction site is not operational, people tend to ignore the barriers so as to avoid having to make a detour. She advised that when construction sites pose obstacles for people, it pays in a number of ways to provide an alternative route.
Robert Pajot, LACAC was pleased that the Region is addressing the issues of Pooley’s Bridge and thanked staff for providing them with the opportunity to work with them. He felt there were other possibilities in future developments within the field of conservation which is rapidly developing and there may be techniques in the future which may be applicable to this bridge. He advised that LACAC would like to see the maximum amount of historic fabric retained to allow the possibility for future restoration. Short of "mothballing", Alternative 2A and B provides for future restoration of the bridge. LACAC recognizes this bridge is in severe condition, but they do not want to falsify what the remaining historic fabric is by doing half the job and the question is what will be the end result of this process. From a heritage point of view, they acknowledge the constraints, safety and possible other uses of the environment but they would like to state that their role is to maximize the retention of the fabric and to allow for possible restoration in the future.
Councillor Kreling made note of the differing options proposed by the delegations and acknowledged the fact that the report itself states there was not a clear-cut preference by the stakeholders for the rehabilitation of the bridge. While he did not discount the commitment and the value each of the delegations brought forward today, he noted they had not spoken with a unified voice with one specific alternative in mind and indicated his intention to support the staff recommendation.
Chair Holmes remarked that her priority is to get the bridge operating for pedestrians and cyclists by the year 2000 and explained that the reason these groups are not here today is because they are satisfied with the proposed alternative. She indicated the only thing she would be prepared to do is to ask staff to meet with the City of Ottawa heritage people for a month and report back on whether or not there is any more accommodation that can be made with respect to Alternative 2A/B. Mr. Sahni interjected however, that staff need a position from Regional Council in order to go back to LACAC and make that application to alter. Further, any additional options would have to be then vetted through the City of Ottawa Planning Committee and city council and if there is still disagreement, staff would report back. In light of these comments and in order to expedite the process, Chair Holmes reiterated her support for the staff recommendation.
Having held a public hearing, that Transportation Committee recommend Council:
2. Authorize the Department to undertake necessary repairs to five other stone arch bridges in the area as noted in the report;
3. Authorize filing of an ‘Application to Alter’ to the City Of Ottawa for modifications relating to rehabilitation of Pooley’s Bridge per the recommendation (1a) above, as required under provisions of the Ontario Heritage Act;
4. Authorize staff to undertake detailed design of the rehabilitation of Pooley’s Bridge per recommendation (1a) above and repairs to five bridges over the aqueduct as outlined in recommendation (1b);
5. CONROY ROAD RECONSTRUCTION REQUESTED MEDIAN BREAK
- Director Engineering Services report dated 25 Mar 99
- National Capital Commission letter dated 8 Apr 99 and McCormick Rankin Feasibility
Study/Functional Design report dated Feb 99 entitled "Conroy Road - Median Opening
3145 Conroy Road"
The committee received a brief overview from Wayne Bennett, Manager, Transportation Projects Branch, who highlighted the fact that since this project was first initiated four years ago, there had been no request for a median break at this location. Last fall, however, a formal request was received, despite the fact the project had already been tendered and the reconstruction had commenced. It is anticipated the roadworks will be completed by October 1999.
John Fraser, Senior Review Engineer, Engineering Services Branch, indicated Conroy Road is a high-level arterial roadway and as such, a median was approved by Council as part of the original design. Providing breaks in the median along such a busy road introduces more conflict points thereby increasing the risk of collisions. The McCormick-Rankin report dated February 1999 indicates that 32 vehicles enter/exit the Thunderbird Golf and Go-Kart site to and from the north and 8 vehicles enter/exit from and to the south for a total of 40 vehicles. With such a low volume one could argue there would be few conflicts with a break in the median; however, there are traffic signals at Johnston and Thurston which would provide an opportunity for motorists to make a protected U-turn in order to access this site. He cautioned committee members that once a median break is approved, it is not always easy to close it again. Staff were also concerned about allowing a median break because it is not known what future development will occur at this site, because it is currently rented out by the National Capital Commission (NCC). If a more significant development comes in and it is their desire to use the access across the median as well, it could have an impact on traffic congestion, particularly at the CP rail line immediately to the north of this site. In addition, the distance for stopping lanes and spacing could be difficult and must be considered accordingly.
Councillor Cantin questioned what the distance was between the CP tracks and where the requested median opening would be. Mr. Fraser advised there is approximately 100 metres between the two. The councillor raised the issue of required space between traffic signals and made reference to a similar example on Ogilvie Road where a median break was approved for a business and has been successful. Mr. Fraser advised that 100m is probably the limit between signals. The councillor presumed therefore that if this median break would be 100m from the tracks, it would probably be approximately 100m from Thurston and Johnston roads.
Robert Walters, Senior Planner, NCC apologized for not bringing this request forward earlier on in the process but acknowledged that NCC and their consultants, McCormick-Rankin, would be pleased to sit down with staff to work out an agreement on this proposed median break. He indicated this property has been leased to Tim Rivers since 1981. Mr. Rivers’ business has enjoyed left-in and left-out access for quite some time and would like to maintain that. He advised that limiting access to right-in/right-out will be detrimental to the present tenant and would limit the development to the private sector. He made note of the fact the tenant is quite concerned about losing business as a result of a solid median being constructed and if motorists were forced to make a U-turn at the next intersection, he may have to move to another location.
Marie Carter, McCormick-Rankin indicated they investigated the median opening, taking into consideration the posted speed limit, the potential for expansion, the volumes accessing the site; safety was the key issue. In their examination of similar roadway facilities, it was discovered that on Hunt Club Road east of Bank Street, there are four median breaks which provide access to residential developments and have high volumes turning in and out. Over a three year period, there were only 11 collisions reported at the four intersections combined and the volume of left-turn collisions was quite low. She explained that making U-turns at signalized intersections may not be the safest thing and believed this was more an issue than turns at a median break. With respect to the future use of this site, she advised that the Region would have the opportunity to maintain the median opening (if approved) or to close it. Further to the information provided earlier by staff, she clarified that the distance from this access to Johnston Road is 230 metres. Based on those facts it is believed providing an access would be feasible and would not present a safety hazard.
Councillor Byrne made reference to the changing use of the site and provided an example in her ward where a business renting land from the NCC was expropriated so another, busier business could be established. Since there was an increase in traffic generated by this new use, she questioned whether the NCC could in fact expropriate back this site on Conroy Road to make room for another business. Mr. Walters responded by stating the existing lease expires next year, and while the land could be put up for sale, the existing tenant is given first right of refusal. He reminded committee that at the present time, the City of Ottawa is pursuing rezoning this area to light industrial and the decision to sell the lands has been deferred pending the outcome of that zoning issue. Councillor Byrne reiterated her concern related to future development.
Councillor Cantin made note of the fact there were 25 vehicles/minute during peak hours on Conroy Road according to 1995 figures, and questioned how much of that north/south traffic would actually be generated from Johnston Road during that traffic signal cycle. D. Brousseau advised that this project went through four years of an environmental assessment process so all of those calculations have been done. While he understood this, the councillor indicated he still wanted to have that information. He understood the safety implications posed by a median, but questioned whether it is safer to do U-turns at Johnston Road where there is a lot of traffic, or turn directly through a median where there is less traffic and there are gaps in the traffic in which to make those turns. D. Brousseau emphasized that it is safer for motorists to turn at a signalized vs an unsignalized intersection.
Moved by R. Cantin
That the report be deferred to the next meeting.
YEAS: R. Cantin, C. Doucet....2
NAYS: W. Byrne, L. Davis, D. Holmes, H. Kreling....4
D. Brousseau reiterated the fact that this is a private property access and if committee and Council make allowances for every private property that requested access across a median, there would be no need for medians. He wondered whether changing the roadway design would require another environmental assessment and further public consultation, keeping in mind that the community involved is not aware of anything different from what was originally approved during the EA process.
Tim Rivers, Thunderbird Golf and Go Kart explained that the peak hours for his business are not during regular peak hours and he is not open during the winter months; therefore, he did not believe a break in the median would cause a detrimental affect to the traffic flow in this area. He believed he would lose some business, without full access being provided to the site. He explained to committee that he was originally told Conroy Road would not be reconstructed until 2020 or later and he confirmed he had not attended the public meetings, even though he had received a letter from the Region saying he had. He indicated he had been approached by the NCC to purchase the property and he wanted to continue with the business at this location. He confirmed that the NCC has agreed to renew his lease for the next seven years in any case.
Moved by R. Cantin
That a median break be allowed at the Thunderbird Golf and Go Karts, 3145 Conroy Road; that the proponent agree to possible closure of the median at the property owner’s cost, should collision statistics prove the median break unsafe.
YEAS: R. Cantin, C. Doucet, D. Holmes....3
NAYS: W. Byrne, L. Davis, H. Kreling....3
The Committee then considered the staff recommendation as presented:
That the Transportation Committee recommend Council re-endorse the road design for Conroy Road between Hunt Club Road and Walkley Road as submitted and approved on 22 April 1997.
YEAS: W. Byrne, L. Davis, H. Kreling....3
NAYS: R. Cantin, C. Doucet, D. Holmes....3
6. ROAD CLOSING - Part of St. Patrick Street (formerly Ottawa Street), City of Ottawa, Part 3, Plan 4R-13481 & Part 5 Plan 4R-2379
- A/Regional Solicitor’s report dated 19 Apr 99
That the Transportation Committee recommend Council pass a By-law to close those parts of St. Patrick Street (formerly Ottawa Street) described as Part 3 on Plan 4R-13481 and Part 5 on Plan 4R-2379.
Levels of Service at Intersections
Councillor McGoldrick-Larsen made reference to a memo dated 17 February 1999 from the Director of Mobility Services with respect to intersections which are at a level of service (LOS) "F". She acknowledged the memo was provided to councillors for information, but she was seeking comment from staff as to whether or not the Region should come up with a policy or criteria on how the Region is going to deal with those intersections. D. Brousseau advised that Council does not have a program to address those kinds of problems and explained that the Transportation Master Plan (TMP) states clearly the need to maximize the capacity in the existing system. He suggested that if committee and council wish to pursue this, staff could develop a program and present it at budget time. The councillor explained she was simply looking for a staff report on this issue so the committee could discuss the implications.
Chair Holmes expressed an interest in reviewing those intersections with a view to improving their LOS by more transit usage or whether there were ways of relieving capacity or congestion problems. D. Brousseau advised that that is the premise of the TMP because if more people walked or took public transit, the congestion levels should moderate. The demands of the Plan are that certain infrastructures be built.
With respect to the latter comment, Councillor McGoldrick-Larsen emphasized that it was not her intention that when staff came back with a report, it would recommend extending pavement. Rather, she believed it would assist councillors to better identify the more serious intersections and to come up with possible solutions. From a safety perspective, whatever the solution, she suggested identifying the worst intersections and determine the solutions.
Moved by M. McGoldrick-Larsen
That the following Motion be Tabled:
That staff further analyze the intersections identified in the 17 February 1999 memo from the Director of Mobility Services, "Intersections Levels of Service" and report back to committee.
1999 Resurfacing Program
Councillor Cantin made note of the above documentation circulated to all members of Council. He noted that St. Joseph Boulevard is ranked 34th on the priority list and wondered if that was because it had been deferred to 2000. The committee was advised that this item was circulated as an Information Previously Distributed item to be listed on the next agenda, and the councillor agreed to withhold his comments until that time.
Reduction of Speed Limit at Notre Dame des Champs School
Councillor Cantin requested a reduction in the speed limit for Navan Road, as it is currently 70 km/h. He indicated it was near Notre Dame des Champs School and there are a lot of heavy trucks travelling this portion of Navan Road. An added safety concern is that just before the approach to the school in the eastbound direction, the road curves. He was seeking a speed reduction and a flashing caution light (to operate during school hours) to warn motorists about children and pedestrians ahead. He advised that the school is slated to be closed in the fall. D. Brousseau advised that staff will review this situation.
Commercial Signs on Regional Rights-of-Way
Councillor Cantin referred to his previous inquiry on this matter and requested the status of the departmental response. D. Brousseau advised that there are already several outstanding signing issues that staff are investigating and this matter is included in that workplan.
Installation of Community Signs on Hydro Poles
- Councillor Doucet letter dated 20 Apr 99 to the Glebe Community Association and
Councillor Doucet referred to a request from the Glebe Community Association (GCA) to mount large signs on hydro poles. The Association was also seeking coverage under the Region’s insurance and permission to mount those signs.
J. Buck, Superintendent of Traffic Investigation and Surveys, advised that he had received this request previously from the councillor and had an opportunity to review the matter thoroughly. He provided the following information to committee:
- the proposal is for 25 signs of brightly-coloured children to be attached to hydro poles along Bronson Avenue between the Canal and the Queensway, the purpose being to warn motorists to drive carefully and to be aware they are passing through a residential community;
- in addition, bilingual entry signs welcoming drivers to the community would be mounted;
- the signs are anticipated to cost approximately $2500 which the GCA plans to pay for from community donations; they would be installed several feet off the ground and would not interfere with pedestrian movement;
- the GCA requests that the Region affix the signs to the poles and cover it under its insurance policy; they are also seeking approval for staff to cut the signs; staff feel this is a reasonable request; it will cost $250 to cut the signs and $1000 in total to mount them;
- some considerations to be noted included the implications with respect to the Region’s Signs By-law; the signs would be 3/4" plywood and therefore would be rigid signs by definition;
- staff were concerned about drivers being distracted from traffic signals and regulatory signs and therefore, caution must be taken to ensure specific colours are not placed near signals or regulatory signs of similar colour; they could also not be mounted on poles where there are already regulatory and warning signs;
- it was suggested this proposal be viewed as a traffic calming initiative;
- staff would assess each sign to ensure safety is not compromised.
Councillor Doucet proposed that committee agree with the concept and ask staff to report back on this proposal in June.
Councillor McGoldrick-Larsen was reluctant to approve the Motion as this time and inquired what the implications would be if other communities came forward with similar requests. D. Brousseau suggested this could be discussed further when the staff report is brought forward and indicated staff’s willingness to proceed on a pilot basis.
Moved by C. Doucet
That Transportation Committee approve the concept of a welcoming child figures and a welcome to our neighbourhood sign on a pilot basis for Bronson Avenue as proposed by the artist Bhat Boy and the Glebe Community Association and request a report from staff on the legal, safety and practical challenges and Regional participation in this project poses.
The meeting adjourned at 4:55 p.m.