MINUTES

TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE
REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY OF OTTAWA-CARLETON

CHAMPLAIN ROOM
15 SEPTEMBER 1999
1:30 P.M.

 

PRESENT

A/Chair: J. Legendre

Members: M. Bellemare, W. Byrne, R. Cantin, L. Davis, C. Doucet, H. Kreling,

M. McGoldrick-Larsen, M. Meilleur

REGRETS D. Holmes

 

A/Chair Legendre reported with great sadness that Ruth Wildgen, a former Regional and City of Ottawa Councillor, passed away on Saturday, 11 September 1999. A moment of silence was taken in her remembrance.

 

CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES

A/Chair Legendre pointed out a clerical error on page three in which the word YEAS was noted in duplicate, rather than YEAS and NAYS.

That the Transportation Committee confirm the Minutes of the meeting of 7 July 1999 as amended.

CARRIED as amended

 

1. Modifications to Innes Road and Tenth Line to Accommodate the Development of the Trinity Commons Shopping Centre - PUBLIC HEARING  

- Co-ordinator, Transportation Committee report dated 29 Jul 99

D. Brousseau, Director, Mobility Services and Corporate Fleet Services, stated that the report recommendations had been previously approved by committee; however, the item was placed on the agenda as an objection had been received under the public hearing process of the Ontario Municipal Act.

Mr. Marcel Bisson, resident stated Innes Road was one of the three roadways in the area that could adequately handle the movement of vehicles from east to west. He believed that increasing the number of traffic control signals, such as that at the intersection of Highway 417 and Cyrville Road, would create traffic blockages, and make vehicle circulation both difficult and dangerous during peak hours. Mr. Bisson stated Tenth Line Road was the only north/south Regional road, other than Blair Road, that linked Highway 17 to the 417 or to the entire territory located north of Mer Bleu or north of the old CPR rail line.

Mr. Bisson continued by stating another factor was that development within the Region had no control over development east of regional boundaries such as the areas of Rockland, Clarence, Bourget, Limoges. He noted many people in those outlying areas travelling west used Regional Road 28 to Frank Kenny Road, rather than Innes Road.

Mr. Bisson pointed out that since the time the Region completed the study to justify the intersection improvement, one high school had been build as well as another school had expanded. This resulted in increased school bus traffic during the morning and night peak hours. Mr. Bisson commented the traffic control study was conducted in July, at which time the schools were closed and during the holiday period for many residents. Mr. Bisson emphasized it was important there be the fewest restrictions to slow traffic down.

The speaker indicated the Region and City of Cumberland had already provided the permits and construction was underway. He stated the request for public input at this late date was unfair.

Mr. Bisson referenced the proposed entrances in which A/Chair Legendre provided clarification. Mr. Bisson stated trucks were the cause for traffic slow down, mostly during peak hours. He pointed out there was no place that would allow the trucks to wait until traffic slowed down before turning west on Innes Road.

Mr. Bisson stated the two routes would serve to separate normal traffic. He pointed out the majority of the centreís users would come from north of Innes Road, with few coming from the south. The speaker stated 90% of the traffic would either cross Tenth Line Road or turn left (east) onto Innes Road before going into the shopping centre.

Councillor Meilleur inquired where the speaker resided in relation to the site. Mr. Bisson reported he was currently living on Mer Bleu Road, however, he owned land abutting Tenth Line Road. Mr. Bisson stated he operated a transport service and experienced the problems drivers face during peak hours, morning and night, at the intersection of Innes Road and Highway 417, as well as on Hunt Club Road and Bank Street. The speaker explained they were obliged to wait for two light changes since it was not possible to accelerate as quickly with a truck, the lights were too close together, and automobiles cut the trucks off. Mr. Bisson believed the access to shopping centres should always be via right turns, and there should be no exits on Innes Road to turn left. Councillor Meilleur suggested the option of no left turns during peak hours, however, Mr. Bisson stated that would not resolve the problem. He referenced the example of Innes Road near Cyrville Road, where the construction of a Home Depot resulted in one light at the exit of the store on Innes Road, and another light close by at Cyrville Road.

A/Chair Legendre requested a staff response to Mr. Bissonís comments regarding the increased danger as a result of the signalized entrance to the parking lot. D. Brousseau, Director, Mobility Services and Corporate Fleet Services, explained the installation of signal light at the main entrance provided a sense of security, noting it was very important to regulate access for all vehicles. He believed the security of access was more important than the convenience of heavy trucks, noting the number of light changes would allow trucks to make the necessary turns to enter at the third entrance.

In response to the speakerís comment regarding the incorrect timing for the traffic study and changes regarding the schools, Mr. Brousseau reported if traffic did increase because of the presence of schools, a traffic control signal at that area would improve the situation.

Mr. Bisson concluded by stating Frank Kenny Road was built specifically to re-route trucks from Navan Village. He suggested if it was difficult for heavy truck drivers to use or find Innes Road, they would use Regional Road 28 (Navan Road) as it was the only route open year round to truck traffic. Mr. Bisson believed truck volume in the area would increase referencing the industrial park located between Mer Bleu and Tenth Line Roads.

Bill Holzman, Planning Consultant for RIOTRIN Properties (Cumberland) Inc. stated the Regional process began in February and required conclusion in the near future. He indicated development was under construction with both the Regional and local site plan agreements signed, and financial arrangements and securities in place. Mr. Holzman reported Home Depot was scheduled to open in January 2000, therefore, it was important to quickly complete the necessary road modifications, noting the winding up of the construction season. He requested Committee to uphold their previous decision regarding the report recommendations.

Mr. Holzman reported he had met with Mr. Bisson at the site. However, he stated most of his concerns were centered on the transportation networks in the east, with some concern regarding the site, that being the signal and the location of the most easterly truck access. Mr. Holzman stated rationale had been provided to Mr. Bisson at that time.

Councillor Cantin referenced the patterns for the centreís delivery trucks, in particular the food store and Home Depot operations. The Councillor inquired about the impact those trucks would have on the traffic and the shopping patterns of the users (after hours and weekends). Mr. Holzman reviewed the proposed retail for the site. He stated the delivery trucks for the tenants would be during off peak hours and overnight.

J. Fraser, Senior Review Engineer, reviewed the traffic analysis completed by the developerís traffic consultant. He explained that using this information, staff designed the modifications required. With respect to the truck access, Mr. Fraser confirmed the proposed design was adequate to safely handle the trucks using the access. Councillor Cantin requested further clarification on the design of the east truck access lane. Mr. Fraser explained it was two lanes heading east at the intersection, however, it reduced to one lane at the easterly point of the site. Mr. Fraser confirmed the trucks moving west bound would have a left turn lane into the access, and trucks moving east bound would have a right turn lane, therefore, moving off the traveled portion of the road.

Councillor McGoldrick-Larsen inquired why there were many entrances into the commercial site, rather than fewer but larger entrances. Mr. Fraser explained the retail was spread over the perimeter of the site, therefore, making it necessary to be attentive of the pedestrian movement and allowing the vehicles to get to the site of their choice easily. He explained the numerous accesses would avoid subjecting motorists to wait and with a large site, reiterated it would allow the traffic to get to their destination more quickly without being in conflict with other motorists and pedestrians.

Mr. Holzman pointed out the population in the area was expected to continue to grow and traffic would be coming from all directions, therefore, many numerous entrances were beneficial.

In reference to the RONA site at Hunt Club and Merivale, Mr. Brousseau noted there were more accesses at the subject Trinity site. However, he explained the Merivale site had two/three signalized accesses which were not proposed at the subject site. Councillor McGoldrick-Larsen noted there was an access at the Merivale site that was intended to be a right out access onto Merivale, however, this was not respected by motorists.

Mr. Nicholas Patterson, Ottawa-Carleton resident expressed concern that a reputable developer such as RIOTRIN had been subjected to the lengthy delay of one year to obtain approval for the necessary road modifications. He noted Councillors did not even remark on the fact the developer was running out of time and had been working on the "minor" modifications for one year. Mr. Patterson stated he was tired of hearing about situations which demonstrated the inefficiency of government and lengthy approval processes necessary. The speaker referenced the highest property taxes in the country, except for Montreal, and the poor police service. Mr. Patterson reiterated that he as a taxpayer was extremely frustrated by the demonstrated inefficiency of local government, noting the necessity of the "simple" road modifications. Mr. Patterson emphasized the need for Council to stop ignoring the obvious inefficiencies and voice of the taxpayer, noting they actually paid the bill.

Councillor Cantin pointed out the developer confirmed the process began in February 1999 and was near completion. The Councillor stated that considering the large project and traffic safety concerns involved, staff had done well to complete the process within seven months.

Having held a public hearing, that the Transportation Committee recommend Council approve:

1. The installation of traffic control signals on Innes Road (Regional Road 30) at the proposed site access approximately 220 m east of Tenth Line Road (Regional Road 47), and the construction of associated roadway modifications along Innes Road and Tenth Line Road as illustrated in Annex B and C, subject to the owner, RIOTRIN Properties (Cumberland) Incorporated:

a. funding the total cost of the proposed road works and traffic control signal installation which would include paying the annual maintenance costs for the traffic control signals until such time as they meet the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario installation warrants and Council approves the assumption of the costs, and;

b. executing a Legal agreement with respect to (a) above.

CARRIED

REGULAR ITEMS

2. FOREST RENEWAL PROGRAM FOR OTTAWA-CARLETON

- Commissioner, Environment and Transportation report dated 12 Aug 99

That Transportation Committee recommend Council approve:

    1. That the Plant for Tomorrow program be reinitiated in the Fall of 1999 which provides one tree per property owner available on a first come, first served basis; that a media campaign be developed for October, 1999; and that the number of trees distributed be determined by suitable plant material availability to an upset limit of $300,000;
    2. That a complete "Tree Kit" be provided which shall include one bag of compost and one bag of woodchip mulch; detailed information on tree installation and maintenance and advice as to the benefit of how tree cover and greenspace fulfils other Regional programs and goals;
    3. That the Region of Ottawa-Carleton, the three local Conservation Authorities and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources develop a program that would provide assistance to rural plantation owners for the provision of tree seedlings. The program would be undertaken as a pilot project for a period of two years with an estimated annual cost of $90,000.

CARRIED

RESPONSES TO MOTIONS/INQUIRIES

3. WALKING SECURITY INDEX

- Motion TC-2-99

- A/Deputy Commissioner, Environment and Transportation report dated 7 Jul 99

That the Transportation Committee receive this report for information.

RECEIVED

4. Pavement marking longevity

- Motion TC-3-99

- A/Deputy Commissioner, Environment and Transportation report dated 7 Jul 99

That the Transportation Committee receive this report for information.

RECEIVED

 

COUNCILLORíS ITEMS

5. 1998 NATIONAL SURVEY ON ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION

- Chair, Transportation Committee report dated 16 Aug 99

Stephen Grundy, Executive Director and Chantal Laliberté, Transportation Manager, Go for Green reported Go for Green was a national non-profit organization concerned with encouraging outdoor physical activity that protects, enhances or restores the environment. Mr. Grundy noted the organization worked in every Province and Territory across the Country, and therefore, were not experts in the Ottawa-Carleton Region. The speaker reported Go for Green worked on several programs, such as active transportation, active and safe routes to school, trails and rails to greenways, community enhancement projects, environmental stewardship, awareness and education.

Mr. Grundy and Ms. Laliberté provided a slide presentation on the organization, the active transportation program and the 1998 National Survey on Active Transportation. A copy of the presentation slides and the survey are held on file with the Regional Clerk.

Councillor Byrne referenced the busing of children to schools. The Councillor inquired if Go for Green had been in contact with the schools to determine ways to address more active modes of transportation to the students. Ms. Laliberté reviewed the active and safe routes to school program which was now in the process of a promotional campaign and showed success. However, Ms. Laliberté noted to date the response from the Ottawa-Carleton Region for this program was low. Ms. Laliberté agreed most that were taking charge of the walking school bus initiative were parents. Mr. Grundy stated Ottawa-Carleton was a leader for other areas such as bike paths, however, was weaker in this program area with room for growth. He stated Toronto and Vancouver were very successful with high participation rates.

Councillor Davis referenced a development in her ward that would significantly increase the traffic volume. The Councillor inquired if the organization could assist the community by providing an impact statement. Mr. Grundy explained they could provide information and educational materials on what other communities were doing, planning techniques and the benefits of the programs.

A/Chair Legendre thanked the representatives for the excellent survey and informative presentation.

Alayne McGregor, Citizens for Safe Cycling (CfSC) spoke in support of the survey and stressed the need for the Region to assist to implement the ideas presented. She was pleased to see the potential for increased cycling in Canada and in the Region. Ms. McGregor hoped the Region would reflect on the survey when considering the year 2000 budget and programs. She pointed out the survey indicated that traffic safety was a major obstacle. She suggested the need for the Region to update the local 1992 Cycling Profile Survey to determine what could be done to encourage cycling.

The speaker referenced a Regional Cycling Advisory Group motion of 13 July 1999 requesting the Transportation Committee consider that Year 2000 funding in the Transportation budget for cycling promotion and education activities be increased to reflect the Regionís commitment to increasing bike travel. Ms. McGregor indicated benefits include achieving the goals of the Official Plan and reduced congestion on the roads.

Ms. McGregor referenced the assumption with the Go for Green survey that bike lanes were the only way to increase the number of cyclists. The speaker disagreed with this point and referenced two handouts distributed to the Committee members (extract of "Obstacles to walking and cycling" and Better Bicycling News Publication). Ms. McGregor agreed facilities were a major problem, however, obstacles such as reliable routes, work place acceptability, and the riderís overall comfort level played a major factor. In closing, she believed to just build the infrastructure was not sufficient, as promotion and education were also necessary.

As a member of the Regional Advisory Committee for Cyclists (RACC), Councillor Doucet stated he did not agree with the speakerís closing comments. He stated that studies show cyclists had to feel safe in order to attempt to cycle and that involved proper infrastructure, knowing the best route and driver courtesy. He believed the reason for the strong cycling community in Ottawa was a result of the bicycle path system that provided a safe environment and generated the interest in recreational and work transportation. He did not agree with the RACC approach to the Regionís policy as it created confusion for Council members, citing the RACC position that bicycle lanes were not required on King Edward Avenue. The councillor stated a fundamental problem was the lack of consensus among the bicycle community as to what they wanted the elected representatives and the Region to do to support them. In closing, he hoped CfSC and RACC would agree on their policy direction and support the need for proper infrastructure.

In response, Ms. McGregor acknowledged the major concern among cyclists was safety-related elements and she expressed support for the need for infrastructure, however, promotion and education were also necessary. In addition, the speaker referenced other situations/routes where bike lanes would not be successful due to the number of intersections, design factors or number of turning movements, noting bike lanes may only add to the traffic confusion. She acknowledged the need for a clear consensus on bike lane issues and infrastructure requirements.

Councillor Legendre concurred with Councillor Doucetís comments regarding the need for a consistent message from the cycling community and to recognize that not all cyclists had a high level of comfort in heavy traffic.

That the Transportation Committee receive this report for information.

RECEIVED

INQUIRIES

Data Centre Road - Use of Motorcycles

Councillor Doucet reported Data Centre Road was being used as a "race track" by numerous motorcycles travelling at high speeds during the week and weekends. He indicated the problem could not be resolved through policing and community meetings and requested staff to provide a report on possible structural changes that could be made to that portion of Data Centre Road to discourage the use of motorcycles in this manner.

Changes to Standards for Trucks in the Province of Ontario

Councillor Legendre recalled that on a recent drive in the United States, he noticed a lot of large, heavy, load-carrying vehicles and the numerous wheels they had supporting their cargo (some as many as 42). He suggested this may benefit in the protection of the roads and safety as it would spread the weight out over the road surface. D. Brousseau reported that staff would be providing members of Council with an information memo on the Provincial changes recently made to the configuration of heavy vehicles.

Councillor Meilleur stated more axles on trucks would not resolve the safety problem, in particular on high volume roads such as King Edward where there was the possibility to lift the axle and create the same damage. The Councillor expressed concern in that these changes would allow larger vehicles to go through the city, possibly carrying dangerous goods. She asked that staff conduct an in-depth study on the issue, including a review of methods to discourage large transports from using King Edward Avenue and other downtown streets.

Councillor Cantin indicated he had made a similar request regarding changes to the Ontario regulations, noting concern with heavier trucks, slower acceleration/braking rates, and increased damage to roads. He suggested staff monitor Regional Road 174 for such damage, as the new standards were unique to Ontario and not across Canada. He also requested comparatives with other Provinces.

In light of this discussion, D. Brousseau advised staff would bring forward a report to be placed on a future agenda.

 

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting adjourned at 3:15 p.m.

  

_______________________ ____________________

ACTING CO-ORDINATOR ACTING CHAIR