Aménagement commercial/de détail d’un shoppers drug mart
(chemin tenth line/prolongation de la rocade de blackburn hamlet)



Committee Recommendations as amended


That Council approve the following with respect to access on the Blackburn Hamlet By-pass Extension for the proposed Shoppers Drug Mart:


·        all directional access onto the Blackburn Hamlet By-pass Extension until the Blackburn Hamlet By-pass Extension is widened to four lanes, after which access will be restricted to left-in, and right-in/right-out only, and

·        should it be determined by the Director, Traffic and Parking Operations that the left-in posses either an operational or safety concern, the left-in shall be closed at Shoppers Drug Mart's cost, and

·        Shoppers Drug Mart shall post securities in perpetuity to guarantee the potential closure of the left-in access and costs which may exceed the securities shall be assessed against the Shopper Drug Mart property tax roll, and

·        the Director, Planning Branch establish conditions to be inserted into the Site Plan Agreement which address the foregoing.



Recommandations modifiées du comité


Que le Conseil approuve ce qui suit au sujet de l’accès par le prolongement de la rocade de Blackburn Hamlet au Shoppers Drug Mart proposé :


·        l’accès dans toutes les directions vers le prolongement de la rocade de Blackburn Hamlet jusqu’à ce que cette rocade soit élargie à quatre voies, après quoi l’accès sera restreint à l’entrée à gauche et l’entrée et la sortie à droite;

·        si le directeur de la Circulation et du stationnement décide que l’entrée à gauche soulève des problèmes de fonctionnement ou de sécurité, elle sera fermée aux frais de Shoppers Drug Mart;

·        Shoppers Drug Mart doit fournir des garanties permanentes concernant la possible fermeture de l’entrée à gauche et les coûts qui dépasseraient les garanties seront évalués en fonction du rôle de taxe foncière de Shoppers Drug Mart;

·        le directeur, Direction de l’urbanisme, établira les conditions qui seront intégrées à l’accord sur le Plan d’implantation qui porte sur ce qui précède.









1.   Councillor Rob Jellett’s report dated 30 June 2008 (ACS2008-CCS-TRC-0014).


2.   Extract of Draft Minutes, 20 August 2008.


Report to/Rapport au :


Transportation Committee

Comité des transports


and Council / et au Conseil


30 June 2008 / le 30 juin 2008


Submitted by/Soumis par: Councillor/Conseiller Rob Jellett


Contact Person/Personne ressource : Councillor/Conseiller Rob Jellett, Cumberland

613-580-2489, Rob.Jellett@ottawa.ca


Cumberland (19)

Ref N°: ACS2008-CCS-TRC-0014




SHOPPERS DRUG MART COMMERCIAL/RETAIL DEVELOPMENT (Tenth Line Road / Blackburn Hamlet Bypass Extension)




Aménagement commercial/de détail d’un shoppers drug mart (chemin tenth line/prolongation de la rocade de blackburn hamlet)





That the Transportation Committee recommend Council approve provision of a partial-movement site access to/from the proposed widened Blackburn Hamlet Bypass Extension (BHBPE) (from 2-lanes to 4-lanes) subject to future on-going monitoring of traffic operations.  The requested movements are right-in, right-out and inbound left turns.  Outbound left-turn movements would be prohibited.





Que le Comité des transports recommande au Conseil d’approuver la mise en place d’un accès, qui serait assujetti au contrôle continu à venir de la circulation, à la prolongation proposée de la rocade élargie (de deux voies à quatre voies) de Blackburn Hamlet et depuis cette dernière, avec mouvements de circulation partiels, ce qui entraînerait l’aménagement d’un ilôt tourne-à-droite et d’une voie de virage à gauche entrante. Les virages à gauche sortants seraient interdits.





Pursuant to Section 77 (12) of the Procedure By-law, this report was requested to be placed on an upcoming Transportation Committee agenda.  Originally, it was requested to go to the Planning and Environment Committee, but given that the report deals with a roadway modification and in consultation with staff, it was agreed that it would be appropriate to have the matter considered by the Transportation Committee.


The subject site is situated in the northeast quadrant of the Tenth Line/Blackburn Hamlet Bypass Extension (BHBE) in the Ottawa community of Orléans.  Shoppers Drug Mart (SDM) is proposing to develop a two-storey retail store and medical facility, comprised of 1,588 m2 GFA retail pharmacy/drug store on the ground-level and 1,521 m2 GFA medical offices on the upper level.


Annex 1 and 2 illustrate site context and the proposed site plan, respectively.


Both adjacent roads, namely Tenth Line Road and BHBE, are currently two-lane roads and are planned ultimately as four-lane divided arterials.  Adjacent to the site, Tenth Line Road is expected to be widened to four lanes by 2010 and BHBE by 2015.  Regarding site access/egress, a right-in/right-out site connection is proposed to Tenth Line Road, and a right-in/right-out/left-in connection is proposed to the BHBE.  The left-in movement from the BHBE is considered key to the site’s success as a community health provider and retail establishment given its relatively central location in the Orléans south growth area.  It is recognized that a balance needs to be found in providing site access for sustainable new development and accommodating future arterial road traffic in a safe and efficient manner.


As part of the Site Plan Application, a Transportation Impact Assessment (TIA) consistent with City of Ottawa Guidelines was prepared in March 2008.  Public Works and Services have reviewed the study and support the full movement connection to the BHBE prior to its widening to four lanes subject to:


Public Works and Services does not support left-in access or left-out access to the BHBE after its widening.  The comments received on the TIA from staff did indicate that the developer is permitted to provide an assessment and justification to Transportation Committee and Council seeking approval for the desired road feature, which is provided next.





Included as Annex 3 is the proposed design for the right-in/right-out/left-in access to the site from BHBE.  It is located approximately 100 m east of the Tenth Line/BHBE intersection.  The preliminary design features an auxiliary eastbound left-turn lane into the SDM site and two auxiliary westbound left-turn lanes approaching the Tenth Line Road intersection.  Based on volume projections, there is sufficient storage provided in both sets of left-turn lanes to avoid any queuing and turn lane impacts.


As area traffic volumes increase, it is anticipated that the westbound queue forming at the Tenth Line/BHBE intersection will eventually extend beyond the approximate 100 m spacing available between the intersection stop bar and SDM site access driveway connection to the east.  This scenario can be considered unsafe given certain design configurations, although the proposed design and overall site context are believed to minimize the typical safety concerns.  Specifically, motorists seeking to complete left-turns into the SDM site will be required to find an acceptable gap in only two westbound streams of traffic as the auxiliary turn lanes develop downstream of the driveway connection.  When these lanes are queued, equal utilization is expected given that two through lanes are maintained west of Tenth Line Road.


A queuing analysis conducted by the proponent’s consultant, determined that:


Based on the foregoing, it is proposed that it is appropriate to permit the subject eastbound left-turn movement, with the option to close it at some future date should monitoring reveal it results in “out of the ordinary” safety-related issues.




A community meeting was held on the evening of 30 April 2008 at the Ray Friel Centre where the proposed Site Plan was presented.  No concerns regarding traffic operations and/or safety were voiced by the members of the public at this meeting.


Public Works & Services - Traffic and Parking Operations


Public Works and Services (PWS) (Traffic and Parking Operations Branch) have been involved with the associated site plan application from a traffic impact perspective.  Through pre consultation meetings and a review of the application’s Traffic Impact Assessment report, staff have assessed the site operation and impact as it relates to the adjacent arterial road network.


As identified earlier in this report PWS does not support a left-turn movement into or out of the site from Blackburn Hamlet Bypass Extension once expanded (median divided four lane cross section).


This decision was reached based on compliance with the City’s road design standards, the application of good engineering design practices for the safe operation of public roads, and in support of the Council approved design concept identified in the Blackburn Hamlet Bypass Extension EA.


Approximately 50% of Ottawa’s 15,300 collisions in 2007 occurred at intersections with the majority of those at signalized arterial/arterial intersections.  These figures highlight the importance of safety and safe design when designing intersections and the surrounding area influenced by them.


Minimizing conflict points and driver workload are the fundament issues.  This is particularly important for the busiest intersections, arterial/arterial crossings such as the subject intersection, where speeds and volumes are at their highest levels and there is a greater presence of pedestrians, cyclists and heavy vehicles.  Driver workload and associated driver expectation is of greatest concern in an intersection’s “area of influence”.  When entering into a multi-lane intersection the length of the turning lanes and the queue lengths generated by the traffic signal operation typically set the outer boundaries of this area.  It is in this area that the demand on the driver’s attention (driver work load) is greatest as frequent decisions are required to negotiate safe passage.  Providing an area where there are no conflicting movements (i.e. left turn vehicles crossing through traffic) is essential.  Where left-turns are permitted it is critical that gaps in opposing traffic are adequate, acceptable and left-turning vehicles are not making turns through queued traffic (a recognized collision concern in a number of Ottawa locations).  The proposed left-turn into the site is contrary to both these design factors.  Although traffic forecasts noted previously in this report indicate that queues will be brief, the forecasts are provided for the site’s design horizon of 2015.  Growth in the opposing through movement beyond that time period will see the queues extend for longer periods of time.


In terms of driver expectation, good design practices would suggest that design elements should not be a surprise to motorists.  Inclusion of a left-turn at the proposed location and within the City’s 120 m minimum guideline for consideration of full movement access would violate driver expectation with an unexpected median break.  Where turns are made through queues, existing problem locations exist in Ottawa where queue lengths are uneven and courteous drivers in the oncoming near lane provide a gap to allow left-turning vehicles to proceed, only to set up a potential collision condition with vehicles approaching in the second lane.  This report previously states the queues in the approach lanes will be balanced but there is no way of ensuring this will happen at all times.


Minimizing the driver work load and vehicle conflict points in an intersection’s “area of influence” has been a key factor in reducing collisions in and around Ottawa intersections over the years, and part of the reason the City of Ottawa has one of the lowest collision rates amongst large urban areas and the lowest auto insurance rates where non public insurance programs exist.


Design practices supporting safe operations through driver work load and vehicle conflict management include the restriction of site access movement, near major intersections, from full movement to restricted movement.  To accomplish this the standard practice is to use curb deflection and/or fixed medians that extend beyond the intersection’s turning lanes and/or actual or anticipated queue lengths.  This is a supported practice by the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) Geometric Design Guide for Canadian Roads and the City’s standard design practice.  Examples of this would include neighbouring Shoppers Drug Marts on Innes Road that do not have direct uncontrolled full movement access to their sites. 


The design as proposed by this report provides for a median break within the area of influence as defined by the queue lengths associated with this intersection.  As previously identified in this report the consultant calculated BHBE queues for the westbound direction would extend beyond Shopper Drug Mart’s proposed site access.  Providing the left-turn movement in this situation would violate design consistency, driver expectation and proper engineering design practice for the safe and efficient operation of this road and is therefore not recommended.


Although the proposed design is supported by a monitoring task to allow for the removal or prohibition of the desired left-turn movement in the future should it be deemed unsafe, it has been the City’s practice to prohibit collisions from happening through design where experience tells us they are likely to occur as opposed to facilitating collision occurrences and responding after the fact.


Planning, Transit & the Environment - Infrastructure Approvals


An application for Site Plan Control Approval was filed March 18, 2008 for a retail store and second floor medical/dental clinic.  Notice of the application and proposal have been available for viewing on the City website since mid-April and signs have been posted on the site.  The application was circulated to technical agencies, the Ward Councillor and community groups for comments.  A Community Information and Comment Session was held April 30th with notice being sent out to property owners within 120 metres of the site.  A review of the second submission of the proposal has been completed and other than the request for the left-turn in bound off of the By-pass there are only a few minor issues to be addressed prior to site plan approval.





The developer will be responsible for any costs related to providing the proposed site driveway connection to the BHBPE and removal of any restricted movements should they be deemed unsafe at any future time.





Annex 1 - Site Context

Annex 2 - Site Plan

Annex 3 - Preliminary Design of Proposed Full Movement Site Access




Staff in PTE will follow through with the decision taken by Committee and Council as part of the Site Plan Control Approval process and in line with the requirements of the City's Notice Bylaw for road modifications.



Site Context                                                                                                                       ANNEX 1





Aménagement commercial / de détail d’un shoppers drug mart (chemin tenth line / prolongation de la rocade de blackburn hamlet)

ACS2008-CCS-TRC-0014                                                                         cumberland (19)


At the outset, Chair McRae introduced Messrs. Ron Jack of Delcan Consulting and Chris Stoyanovich, Director of Planning and Development, representing the interests of Shoppers Drug Mart (SDM).


Councillor Jellett provided the history behind this site’s development and the support the community has for a drug store and medical offices at this location.  As part of the site development, it is recommended that an in-bound left-turn lane into the property for east-bound traffic along the current Blackburn Hamlet Bypass be provided.  Staff do not support this request, as it was believed that future widening of the Bypass to four lanes and its accompanying increase in traffic would necessitate the lane’s closure for safety reasons.  Conversely, SDM felt that, as the Bypass would not be widened for many years, this lane should be left open.  Further, once the Bypass were widened, SDM wanted to leave the turn lane in place, but agreed that it should be monitored for safety reasons and, if the intersection failed, SDM would have to close the lane, at their own expense.


Mr. Jack explained his client’s main concern regarded future access to the site from the Bypass, without which SDM might miss a large portion of the market to be served by the site.  He acknowledged staff’s concern regarding future traffic concerns, but felt the turn lane would allow traffic to queue out of the regular traffic flow and that the volume of left-turning vehicles would not be sufficient to cause concern.  Mr. Stoyanovich added that there was value to the community in building the store and clinic, which represented a $7M investment.  He maintained that their ability to get a return on their investment would be impacted by an inability on the part of customers to easily access the site.


Michael Flainek, Director, Traffic and Parking Operations Branch, Public Works and Services Department (PWS) introduced Messrs. Michael Wildman, A/Manager of Infrastructure Approvals and Greg Kent, Program Manager for Design Review, Traffic and Parking Operations.  Mr. Flainek explained that as part of the traffic impact studies undertaken when such designs were brought forward, staff scrutinize them using Council-approved design standards, which had been used to develop a road network unique to the Ottawa area, and which incorporated a certain level of driver expectation.  In this instance, the Blackburn Hamlet Bypass was designed to have limited access and was developed to take traffic from neighbourhoods and move it to arterial roads and highways.  In this particular case, this type of access (left turn lane) would typically be handled by a traffic control signal, but to introduce such an access, close to an existing major traffic signal (Tenth Line and the Bypass), would impact a driver’s ability to handle such additional information.  Despite comments from the proponent believing the site would be safe and that time would tell if it were no longer so, Mr. Flainek suggested that this observation could only be achieved after several collisions had taken place.  Therefore, it was staff’s opinion that such situations should not be designed for, and should not be allowed to proceed to a point where a monitoring process would be required to gauge safety.  Mr. Wildman added that if Committee were to direct staff to allow the access, there would be a requirement, through the site plan, to require securities from the proponent to provide for the lane’s eventual closure should it be proven to be unsafe.  Councillor Jellett agreed with this comment and agreed to amend his recommendation accordingly.


Responding to Councillor Bloess’ query as to what criteria could be used to determine the need for closure, Mr. Flainek explained that on-site observation was one method, but noted that the most important factor staff looked at was reportable collisions at an actual site.  When increases were observed, staff would investigate and continue to monitor, and that at some point, staff would make a determination regarding the risks.  Mr. Wildman added that if the intersection were deemed unsafe, and Committee were to impose a condition requiring that securities be posted, such securities would need to be held in perpetuity with an applicable condition in the site plan agreement that would enable staff to use the securities to close the road should it be determined that there was a serious reason to close the intersection.  At the will of Committee, staff could report back or act on delegated authority.


Ernest McArthur, Legal Counsel confirmed that the City could hold such securities for an indefinite period of time which, adjusted according to the Consumer Price Index, inflation or other such factors.


Mr. Jack advised that his client would have no problem providing such a security and the Chair suggested that the councillor’s amendment include a provision to account for inflation to protect the future interests of the City.


Mr. Wildman also added that in the past, when staff had believed an extended period of time might be involved and that the security might not be sufficient, the site development agreement had been worded to enable staff to complete the works and add the value of the works undertaken to the property taxes in the event of a shortfall.


Councillor Jellett had no objection with delegating authority to staff in such matters, but acknowledged that this determination was a matter for the Committee to decide.  On the issue of securities, he liked the possibility of adding them to the property taxes should there be a shortfall in future.  As to the matter of only being able to tell if the intersection was working by waiting for a collision, he felt it would be more prudent to gauge the intersection’s safety by observing the queuing of traffic in the turn lane which, if found to be excessive, could indicate that the intersection was no longer safe.


Responding to Councillor Wilkinson’s suggestion of having an additional traffic signal synchronized to the one at the Blackburn Bypass and Tenth Line Road intersection, Mr. Wildman explained that certain code requirements had to be met with respect to the installation of traffic control signals.  He believed having two sets of signal heads in close proximity would confuse drivers, and felt that having both traffic signals synched to come on at the same time would not work from a design standard point of view.  The Director added that should the intersection be deemed unsafe, staff would close the lane rather than consider adding another traffic signal.


Councillor Bédard asked about the City’s legal liabilities should it opt to perform work that was contrary to the City’s road standards safety system.  Mr. McArthur advised that the City would be in a difficult position in future if a collision were to occur and should evidence be presented that at the time, the City’s professional traffic engineers had concerns about the design, and that normal traffic standards had not been met.


Responding to a question from Councillor Leadman as to whether the intersection was considered unsafe today with the current traffic situation, Mr. Flainek indicated that at present volumes, and prior to the requirement for an expansion to four lanes, staff could agree to allowing access from a two-lane roadway.  The councillor indicated that if Committee were to approve something today where the standard was met as being safe, and traffic escalated due to development, she did not see how the City could be held liable, as collisions were now occurring in areas of the City where traffic had increased beyond capacity.  She wondered if the City could be held liable for these situations as well.


Mr. Flainek emphasized that there would be a level of expectation on the part of drivers to be able to proceed through the four-lane divided intersection at a certain speed, without expecting vehicles to dart out within a queued left-turn lane.  From a professional engineering design point of view, he recommended against designing such a feature into a brand new four lane divided arterial.


In reply to Councillor Wilkinson as to whether SDM would be prepared to save the City harmless from any collisions that might occur as a result of leaving the left turn lane open after the road’s expansion, Mr. Jack indicated he was not in a position to respond, and could not assess the implications of a future accident, without understanding the full ramifications of what might happen in the future.


Mr. Flainek reiterated that even if SDM were to take on such a liability, staff did not believe introducing this type of access in this specific situation was the right thing to do, and would still not support such a move.


Councillor Cullen recognized that this was an important issue in Councillor Jellett’s community and acknowledged his efforts in working with developers to arrive at a solution.  However, he pointed out staff’s unwillingness to support the proposal, and he too found it difficult to do so and did not feel the City should be undertaking such risks, and that collisions of any kind should not be the tests by which the efficacy of traffic modifications were judged.  He recommended that Committee reject this particular solution as being unsafe.


Conversely, Councillor Thompson supported the recommendations because he believed this was an important community development which was worthy of support, and he expected that it would work.


Councillor Leadman could understand the difficulties involved with left-hand turn lanes, but had more difficulty equating why a signalized traffic light would not be considered appropriate for this area, as there were areas within her own ward and throughout the City where signalized turns existed in relatively close proximity to other signalized intersections. 


Chair McRae asked if consideration of this issue could be delayed to a future meeting to allow for further engineering discussions so that Committee did not refuse this request today.  Mr. Stoyanovich explained that delaying this would ultimately delay site plan approval, thus delaying the start of construction and his ability to open a store.


Councillor Bédard felt the proposal could work, but that it would be greatly dependent upon drivers reducing their speed and paying closer attention to their driving.  Noting staff’s concerns, he felt it was important to consider the safety aspects.  He also cautioned against the proponent’s proposed “wait and see” approach as potentially setting a worrisome precedent.  He agreed the City would likely be in a tenuous position if ever there were to be a serious collision, noting staff had advised that this was contrary to the way the City normally did business.  He recognized Councillor Leadman’s contention that there were areas of the City with accesses similar to that of the subject area, which also did not meet the City’s existing criteria.  However, he noted that at one time such areas likely did meet the criteria, were grandfathered, and thus would not now leave the City liable.  With staff advising of potential liability, the councillor posited that such information should be dealt with accordingly and on that basis, could not support the proposal.


In summation, Councillor Jellett felt the City was often too risk-averse, which he felt served to choke off development and good growth because of what might or might not happen in future, given a potential worst-case scenario.  He felt it was too early to predict when the road would be widened, what kind of traffic it would see, and even what the speed limit would eventually be, citing the example of Walkley Road, which currently consisted of four lanes in each direction, and which incorporated many left-hand turns across its expanse.  He agreed with the need for diligence in matters concerning safety, warned against being overly cautious, pointing out that the community would, for many years to come, be used to left-hand turns into the proposed location, and that adding another lane would not change this.  He reiterated that this development would be good for the community and was confident that with proper monitoring in place to ensure the access was safe, there would be few problems.  He confirmed that should the case be made that it were no longer safe, he would support immediate closure.


On behalf of Councillor Jellett, Councillor Bloess put forward the following amended recommendation to replace that which appeared in the report:


Moved by R. Bloess


That Transportation Committee recommend Council approve the following with respect to access on the Blackburn Hamlet By-pass Extension for the proposed Shoppers Drug Mart:

·        all directional access onto the Blackburn Hamlet By-pass Extension until the Blackburn Hamlet By-pass Extension is widened to four lanes, after which access will be restricted to left-in, and right-in/right-out only, and

·        should it be determined by the Director, Traffic and Parking Operations that the left-in posses either an operational or safety concern, the left-in shall be closed at Shoppers Drug Mart's cost, and

·        Shoppers Drug Mart shall post securities in perpetuity to guarantee the potential closure of the left-in access and costs which may exceed the securities shall be assessed against the Shopper Drug Mart property tax roll, and

·        the Director, Planning Branch establish conditions to be inserted into the Site Plan Agreement which address the foregoing.


YEAS (5):        R. Bloess, M. Wilkinson, C. Doucet, D. Thompson, C. Leadman

NAYS (3)        A. Cullen, G. Bédard, M. McRae


                                                                                                CARRIED as amended