1.             Downtown Ottawa Transit Tunnel (Dott) Planning And Environmental Assessment Study - Recommended Plan

 

Planification Et Évaluation Environnementale Du Tunnel De Transport En Commun Dans Le Centre-Ville D’ottawa (Ttccvo) - Plan Recommandé

 

Committee Recommendations As Amended

 

That Council:

 

1.         Approve the functional design for the Light Rail Transit (LRT) corridor from Tunney's Pasture to Blair Station and the Maintenance and Storage Facility as described in this report and detailed in Document 1.

 

2.         Direct staff to initiate a formal, expedited Environmental Assessment (EA) process based on the approved functional design, and file the Environmental Project Report with the Ministry of the Environment in accordance with Ontario EA Regulation 231/08 for transit projects.

 

3.         Direct staff to begin the property acquisition process as described in this report for subsequent consideration by Committee and Council, subject to funding approval in the 2010 Budget.

 

4.         Direct staff to initiate the preliminary engineering and the procurement management process as described in Document 3, subject to funding approval in the 2010 Budget.

 

5.         Direct staff to undertake an urban design study and a transportation study for the downtown that takes into account pedestrian, cycling facilities and residual transit service for post-DOTT implementation.

 

6.         Approve that staff ensure that the proposed Downtown Ottawa Urban Design Strategy Mobility Overlay include the integration of the Escarpment Plan and the Bronson Avenue Reconstruction with any streetscape requirements resulting from the DOTT.

 

7.         Direct staff to use Kent and Lyon streets as detour streets only as a last resort and that alternative detour corridors be explored for use during and after DOTT construction.

 

8.         Approve that bus service to the east of Tunney's Pasture utilize the Ottawa River Parkway as much as possible during the construction of the DOTT;

 

            That bus service along Albert Street (particularly between Bayview and Booth) be minimized to the greatest degree possible, while still providing off-peak service to nearby residents; and,

 

            That during the development of the detailed plan for transit service for the DOTT construction period, measures are implemented to minimize the impact to the residential neighbourhoods abutting Scott and Albert Streets.

 

9.         Direct staff to find, identify and include alternate ways of providing priority to transit vehicles moving from eastbound Albert to northbound Booth; and,

 

            That the development of subsequent design phases of the DOTT further prioritize movement, safety and comfort of pedestrians and cyclists through the intersection of Booth/Albert Streets.

 

10.       Approve that the subsequent design phases of the DOTT project include examining the possibility of including space for a segregated off-road bi-directional cycling path along the south side of the LRT alignment from Empress to Bayview;

 

Direct staff to evaluate options for including a bike route overpass over the O-Train cut at Bayview as part of the Bayview Station planning; and,

 

Direct staff to explore options to ensure that there is room for the BikeWest project to safely pass the Tunney’s Pasture Station on the south side between the station and Scott Street.

 

 

Recommandations Modifiées Du Comité

 

Que le Conseil :

 

1.         Approuve la conception fonctionnelle du corridor pour le train léger sur rail (TLR) entre le pré Tunney et la station Blair, de même que l’installation d’entretien et de remisage, comme le propose le document no 1.

 

2.         Enjoindre le personnel d’amorcer le processus officiel d’évaluation environnementale (EE) d’après la conception fonctionnelle afin de définir le projet et de déposer le rapport de projet environnemental auprès du ministère de l’Environnement conformément au règlement sur l’EE 231/08 de l’Ontario pour les projets de transport en commun.

3.         Enjoindre le personnel d’amorcer le processus d’acquisition des propriétés conformément au document no 1 et sous réserve de la demande d’un fonds de capital et d’emprunt pour 2010.

4.         Enjoindre le personnel d’amorcer le processus d’ingénierie préliminaire et de gestion des acquisitions conformément au document no 3 et à la demande d’un fonds de capital et d’emprunt pour 2010.

5.         Enjoindre le personnel d’entreprendre une étude de conception urbaine et une étude du transport pour le centre-ville qui tiennent compte des piétons, des pistes cyclables et du service de transport en commun résiduel pour la période suivant la mise en œuvre du TTCCVO.

 

6.         de demander au personnel de s’assurer que le volet de rechargement des routes de la Stratégie de conception urbaine du centre-ville d’Ottawa tienne compte du plan de l’escarpement et de la reconstruction de l’avenue Bronson dans les cas où des changements au paysage des rues sont nécessaires en raison du TTCCVO;

 

7.         de demander au personnel de faire appel le moins possible aux rues Kent et Lyons pour les déviations  et de trouver d’autres trajets pour les déviations pendant et après la construction du TTCCVO;

 

8.         d’approuver, dans la mesure du possible, l’utilisation de la promenade de l’Outatouais  par le service d’autobus à l’Est de la Station du pré Tunney pendant la construction du TTCCVO;

 

            de réduire autant que possible le service d’autobus le long de la rue Albert (notamment entre Bayview et Booth) tout en maintenant le service pour les résidents du quartier pendant les heures creuses;

 

            d’introduire, pendant l’élaboration du plan détaillé des modifications au service de transport en commun suscitées par la construction du TTCCO, des mesures visant à minimiser les répercussions sur les quartiers attenants aux rues Scott et Albert;

 

9.         de demander au personnel de déterminer des façons de donner priorité de passage aux autobus voyageant vers l’est sur la rue Albert et vers le nord sur la rue Booth;

 

            de veiller à ce que les prochaines étapes de conception du TTCCVO mettent davantage l’accent sur les déplacements, la sécurité et le confort des piétons et des cyclistes à l’intersection des rues Albert et Booth;

 

10.       d’approuver, au cours des prochaines étapes de conception du TTCCVO, l’examen de la création possible d’une piste cyclable indépendante de la route le long du côté sud des rails du train léger, entre les rues Empress et Bayview;

 

de demander au personnel d’évaluer, dans le cadre de la planification de la Station Bayview, les options visant la construction d’un viaduc pour vélos au‑dessus du couloir d’O-Train sur Bayview;

 

de demander au personnel d’évaluer les options permettant de s’assurer que le projet BikeWest puisse traverser la Station du pré Tunney au sud, entre la station et la rue Scott.

 

Documentation

 

1.         Deputy City Manager, Infrastructure Services and Community Sustainability report dated 9 December 2009 (ACS2009-ICS-PGM-0214).

 

2.         Extract of Draft Minutes, 16 December 2009


Report to / Rapport au :

 

Transit Committee

Comité du transport en commun

 

and Council / et au Conseil

 

09 December 2009 / 09 décembre 2010

 

Submitted by/Soumis par : Nancy Schepers, Deputy City Manager/Directrice municipale adjointe,

Infrastructure Services and Community Sustainability/Services d’infrastructure et Viabilité des collectivités

 

Contact Person / Personne-ressource : Vivi Chi, Manager / Gestionnaire, City-wide Transportation Planning / Transports urbain, Planning and Growth Management/Urbanisme et Gestion de la croissance

(613) 580-2424 x21877, vivi.chi@ottawa.ca

 

City-wide

Ref N°: ACS2009-ICS-PGM-0214

 

 

SUBJECT:

DOWNTOWN OTTAWA TRANSIT TUNNEL (DOTT) PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT STUDY - RECOMMENDED PLAN

 

 

OBJET :

PLANIFICATION ET ÉVALUATION ENVIRONNEMENTALE DU TUNNEL DE TRANSPORT EN COMMUN DANS LE CENTRE-VILLE D’OTTAWA (TTCCVO) - PLAN RECOMMANDÉ

 

 

REPORT RECOMMENDATIONS

 

That the Transit Committee recommend that Council:

 

1.         Approve the functional design for the Light Rail Transit (LRT) corridor from Tunney's Pasture to Blair Station and the Maintenance and Storage Facility as described in this report and detailed in Document 1.

 

2.         Direct staff to initiate a formal, expedited Environmental Assessment (EA) process based on the approved functional design, and file the Environmental Project Report with the Ministry of the Environment in accordance with Ontario EA Regulation 231/08 for transit projects.

 

3.         Direct staff to begin the property acquisition process as described in this report for subsequent consideration by Committee and Council, subject to funding approval in the 2010 Budget.

 

4.         Direct staff to initiate the preliminary engineering and the procurement management process as described in Document 3, subject to funding approval in the 2010 Budget.

 

5.         Direct staff to undertake an urban design study and a transportation study for the downtown that takes into account pedestrian, cycling facilities and residual transit service for post-DOTT implementation.

 

RECOMMANDATIONS DU RAPPORT

Que le Comité du transport en commun recommande au Conseil :

1.         D’approuver la conception fonctionnelle du corridor pour le train léger sur rail (TLR) entre le pré Tunney et la station Blair, de même que l’installation d’entretien et de remisage, comme le propose le document no 1.

 

2.         D’enjoindre le personnel d’amorcer le processus officiel d’évaluation environnementale (EE) d’après la conception fonctionnelle afin de définir le projet et de déposer le rapport de projet environnemental auprès du ministère de l’Environnement conformément au règlement sur l’EE 231/08 de l’Ontario pour les projets de transport en commun.

3.         D’enjoindre le personnel d’amorcer le processus d’acquisition des propriétés conformément au document no 1 et sous réserve de la demande d’un fonds de capital et d’emprunt pour 2010.

4.         D’enjoindre le personnel d’amorcer le processus d’ingénierie préliminaire et de gestion des acquisitions conformément au document no 3 et à la demande d’un fonds de capital et d’emprunt pour 2010.

5.         D’enjoindre le personnel d’entreprendre une étude de conception urbaine et une étude du transport pour le centre-ville qui tiennent compte des piétons, des pistes cyclables et du service de transport en commun résiduel pour la période suivant la mise en œuvre du TTCCVO.

 

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

Background

 

The purpose of the Downtown Ottawa Transit Tunnel (DOTT) Planning and Environmental Assessment Study is to develop a plan for a new electrified grade-separated rapid Light Rail Transit (LRT) facility that follows Council’s November 2008 decision to move forward with Phase 1, Increment 1, of the Transportation Master Plan (TMP).  In May 2009 City Council approved the preferred corridor alignment and station locations (Report Number ACS2009-ICS-PLA-0069).  The preferred alignment was based on an evaluation using a set of criteria developed for a grade-separated LRT system and forms an important part of the planning phase of the study.

The substantive recommendation outlined in this report is to approve the recommended plan for the DOTT.  The project is approximately 12.5 kilometres of new electrified light rail transit, between Tunney's Pasture and Blair Stations, primarily on the existing Transitway corridor.  Thirteen LRT stations have been identified along this route, which includes four underground stations serving downtown and the University of Ottawa Campus Station in a 3.2-kilometre long tunnel.  The DOTT’s western portal will be located east of LeBreton Station near Brickhill Street and runs through the downtown core area until it veers south easterly and reaches grade at a portal south of Campus Station.  In addition, the recommended plan includes a maintenance and storage facility to support LRT operations in the vicinity of St. Laurent Boulevard, south of the Queensway.

 

A discussion of the rationale for the recommended plan and summary of additional work undertaken since Council approval of the alignment and station options in May 2009 is provided in the report and supporting documentation as well as information pertaining to issues arising during consultation with key stakeholders and the public.  Approval of the recommended plan will lead to activities related to commencement and completion of the Environmental Assessment (EA).  Provided that funding is available, initial steps towards implementation of this project in accordance with an approved EA are also being recommended.

 

The DOTT study is the City’s first project to follow the expedited maximum six-month EA process for transit projects.  Ontario Regulation 231/08 allows proponents to build on past planning decisions to advance a transit project through an EA.  Major planning issues that were addressed in the Council-approved rapid transit network as described in the 2008 TMP, and its supporting documents, do not have to be revisited in the EA – such as project need, corridor development (surface versus tunnel), technology assessment (buses versus trains).  However, there are other detailed, project-specific planning matters to address subsequent to the approval of the TMP, and the Province assumes that these details are resolved, resulting in a recommended solution, before the EA process is initiated.  The results of the detailed planning study for the DOTT project (i.e. the functional design) are described in this report and the approval of Transit Committee and Council is being sought.

 

The functional design constitutes the technical content of the Environmental Planning Report (EPR).  With Council’s approval of the functional design, staff will initiate the formal EA process to include final public consultation and the submission of the EPR to the Ministry of the Environment.  Subject to unforeseen issues, no other report will be forwarded to Council on the planning/EA component of the DOTT project.

 

Legal/Risk Management Implications:

 

There are no legal/risk management impediments to implementing this report's recommendations.

 

Financial Implications:

 

The capital cost estimate is $2.1B, in 2009 dollars.  This includes allowances for property acquisition, design, project management, construction, vehicles, and contingency.  The estimate does not include escalation and is subject to refinement as the project progresses through subsequent design phases.

 

In a memo dated 23 October 2009 to the Mayor and members of Council from the Deputy City Manager and City Treasurer, the affordability of the DOTT project (as well as other rapid transit projects identified in Phase 1 of the TMP) was outlined.  It was concluded, in accordance with the City’s Fiscal Framework, that the City has the financial capacity to afford its share of all Phase 1 projects.  The affordability model assumes two-thirds funding from senior levels of government.

 

Public Consultation/Input:

 

To date, the study has involved over 150 stakeholder groups, including community organizations, property owners and businesses within the study area, institutions, approval agencies and groups with a special interest in the study.  In addition several Agency, Business and Public Consultation Group meetings (up to six meetings each), three formal Public Open Houses and presentations were conducted in February, June and October 2009.  Individual meetings were also arranged with groups such as the Downtown Coalition, Viking Rideau Corporation, the University of Ottawa, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA), Public Works and Government Service Canada (PWGSC) and the National Capital Commission (NCC).  A project website (www.ottawa.ca/tunnel) was established along with a dedicated e‑mail address (dott@ottawa.ca) to allow the public to contact the study team directly. 

 

Overall, there is strong public support for this project.  Other comments pertain to specific details of the functional design.

 

RÉSUMÉ

 

Contexte

L’étude de planification et d’évaluation environnementale du tunnel de transport en commun dans le centre-ville d’Ottawa (TTCCVO) a pour but de tracer le plan d’une nouvelle installation de transport en commun par train léger sur rail (TLR) rapide à passages superposés électrifiés, conformément à la décision de novembre 2008 du Conseil de mettre en œuvre l’augmentation 1 de la phase 1 du Plan directeur des transports (PDT). En mai 2009, le Conseil municipal a approuvé le tracé et l’emplacement préférés des stations et du corridor (rapport numéro ACS2009-ICS-PLA-0069). Le tracé préféré reposait sur une évaluation faite à l’aide de critères élaborés pour un réseau de TLR à passages superposés et représente une partie importante de l’étape de planification de l’étude.

 

La principale recommandation de ce rapport consiste à approuver le plan recommandé du TTCCVO. Le projet comprend l’aménagement d’un nouveau tronçon de 12,5 kilomètres par train léger sur rail électrifié entre le pré Tunney et la station Blair, en grande partie à même le corridor du Transitway. On a identifié 13 stations de TLR sur l’itinéraire proposé, qui comprend quatre stations souterraines pour le centre-ville et la station Campus de l’Université d’Ottawa le long d’un tunnel de 3,2 kilomètres. Le portail ouest du TTCCVO sera aménagé à l’est de la station LeBreton près la rue Brickhill et se prolongera au centre-ville pour ensuite revenir vers le sud-est jusqu’à un portail situé au sud de la station Campus. De plus, le plan recommandé comprend une installation d’entretien et de remisage qui appuie les opérations du TLR près du boulevard Saint-Laurent, au sud du Queensway.

 

Une discussion de la justification du plan recommandé et du résumé des travaux supplémentaires entrepris depuis l’approbation du tracé et du choix des stations par le Conseil en mai 2009 est présentée dans le rapport et dans la documentation à l’appui, de même que des renseignements sur les enjeux mentionnés pendant la consultation auprès des principaux intervenants et du public. L’approbation du plan recommandé mènera à la mise en place et à l’achèvement de l’évaluation environnementale (EE). Si les fonds sont disponibles, on recommandera aussi les premières étapes qui déboucheront sur la mise en œuvre de ce projet conformément à l’EE approuvée.

 

L’étude du TTCCVO est le premier projet de la Ville qui suit le processus accéléré d’EE d’une durée maximale de six mois pour les projets de transport en commun. Le Règlement de l’Ontario 231/08 permet aux promoteurs de s’appuyer sur les décisions de planification antérieures pour faire avancer un projet de transport en commun jusqu’à l’étape de l’EE. Les principaux enjeux de la planification abordés à l’égard du réseau de transport en commun rapide approuvé par le Conseil et décrits dans le PDT de 2008 et dans les documents à l’appui n’ont pas à être réexaminés dans l’EE – comme le besoin du projet, le tracé du corridor (en surface ou sous terre), l’évaluation de la technologie (autobus ou trains). Cependant, après l’approbation du PDT, d’autres questions détaillées liées à la planification du projet doivent être résolues, et la province tient pour acquis que ces détails ont été réglés et ont donné lieu à la recommandation d’une solution avant la mise en œuvre du processus d’EE. Les résultats de l’étude de planification détaillée du projet TTCCVO (c.-à-d. sa conception fonctionnelle) sont décrits dans ce rapport, et on demande l’approbation du Comité des services de transport en commun et du Conseil.

La conception fonctionnelle représente le contenu technique du rapport de planification environnementale (RPE). Dès que le Conseil aura approuvé la conception fonctionnelle, le personnel amorcera le processus officiel d’EE qui comprend la dernière consultation publique et la présentation du RPE au ministère de l’Environnement. À moins de problèmes imprévus, aucun autre rapport ne sera acheminé au Conseil sur la planification/composante EE du projet TTCCVO.

 

Répercussions juridiques/sur la gestion du risque :

 

Aucun empêchement juridique ni autre problème de gestion du risque n’interdisent de mettre en œuvre les recommandations de ce rapport.

 

Répercussions financières :

 

Le coût d’investissement est estimé à 2,1 milliards de dollars, en dollars de 2009. Ce montant comprend les allocations pour l’acquisition des propriétés, la conception, la gestion du projet, la construction, les véhicules et un fonds de prévoyance. L’estimation ne comprend pas l’indexation et elle est susceptible d’être corrigée à mesure que le projet franchira dans les autres étapes de conception.

 

Dans une note en date du 23 octobre 2009 au maire et aux membres du Conseil, la directrice municipale adjointe et la trésorière de la Ville ont souligné l’abordabilité du projet TTCCVO (de même que d’autres projets de transport en commun rapide mentionnés à l’étape 1 du PDT). Conformément au Cadre financier de la Ville, on a conclu que la Ville avait la capacité financière d’assumer sa part de tous les projets à l’étape 1. Le modèle d’abordabilité repose sur une hypothèse de financement aux deux tiers de la part des paliers supérieurs de gouvernement.

 

Consultation publique / commentaires :

 

Jusqu’à maintenant, plus de 150 groupes d’intervenants ont participé à l’étude, notamment des organismes communautaires, des propriétaires de propriété et des entreprises dans la région à l’étude, des institutions, des organismes d’approbation et des groupes manifestant un intérêt particulier dans l’étude. En plus de plusieurs réunions d’organismes, d’entreprises et de groupes de consultation publique (jusqu’à six réunions dans chaque cas), trois réunions et présentations officielles publiques ont eu lieu en février, en juin et en octobre 2009. Des rencontres individuelles ont aussi eu lieu avec des groupes comme la Coalition du centre-ville, la Société Viking Rideau, l’Université d’Ottawa, l’Agence canadienne d’évaluation environnementale (ACEE), Travaux publics et Services gouvernementaux Canada (TPSGC) et la Commission de la capitale nationale (CCN). Un site Web du projet (www.ottawa.ca/tunnel) a été créé de même qu’une adresse électronique (dott@ottawa.ca) pour que le public puisse communiquer directement avec l’équipe du projet.

 

Dans l’ensemble, le public appuie fortement ce projet. Les autres commentaires ont trait aux détails particuliers de la conception fonctionnelle.

 

 

BACKGROUND

 

Previous Approvals and City Initiatives

 

On 12 September 2007, Council directed staff to initiate a Planning and Environmental Assessment (EA) study for The Downtown Ottawa Transit Tunnel (DOTT).   At that time, a number of initiatives were discussed to show how the City can move forward with a number of transit related activities to implement a new vision for providing transit service in the downtown area and reinforcing the goal of a city-wide 30 per cent transit modal spilt.

 

The timing of a downtown tunnel option was discussed in the context of the Transportation Master Plan and strategic rapid transit network development.  It was acknowledged that an electrified light rail transit tunnel was an important component in addressing transit service improvements required now and in the future.  Subsequently, the Statement of Work for the transit tunnel study was approved at a joint Transportation and Transit Committee meeting on 21 November 2007, which identifies the scope of the study and the level of effort to undertake the work.  The Downtown Ottawa Transit Tunnel Planning and Environmental Study was initiated in June 2008.

 

Originally, the DOTT study area spanned from Bayview Station through the downtown core, between Wellington Street and Laurier Avenue West, to King Edward Avenue (and encompassed Lowertown West and the By-ward Market areas), and extended southerly to include Hurdman Station and the VIA Rail Station.  On 26 and 28 November 2008 Council, during its deliberation of the draft 2008 Transportation Master Plan, approved a staff recommendation to extend the study limits to include Tunney’s Pasture Station in the west and Blair Station in the east.  This would align the scope of the Study with the light rail transit portion of Phase 1, Increment 1, of the City’s rapid transit network.

 

The DOTT study considers environmental impacts, system operational issues and relevant on-going studies and projects while identifying tie-ins to future network connections.  In this regard, the DOTT study ensures cohesion in implementing Council policy as it pertains to land use regulation, transportation and infrastructure planning, urban design and smart growth efforts and mitigation of the environmental impacts of the project.  Completed and on-going studies that have and are being taken into account include the Interprovincial Core Area Rapid Transit Integration Strategic Planning Study, Ottawa Cycling Plan, Escarpment Community Design Plan (CDP), Bayview-Carling CDP, Wellington Street West CDP, Rideau Street Urban Design Study, Nicholas-Mann Gateway Precinct Design Plan, Downtown Ottawa Urban Design Strategy and, Federal Land Use Strategy, NCC Plan for Canada’s Capital, Canada’s Capital Core Area Sector Plan, LeBreton Flats Plan, Booth Street Bridge and LeBreton Station Design Guidelines  Sussex/Rideau/Colonel By Landmark Node Study.

 

Council approved the Downtown Ottawa Transit Tunnel Planning and Environmental Study (Interim report) – Corridor Alignment and Station Alternatives report on 27 May 2009.  A series of recommendations were approved including the recommended alignment and station options for DOTT.  Other recommendations directed staff to undertake a number of activities related to the project including release of a Request for Information; a bus operation plan for Albert Street in the vicinity of LeBreton Flats; a conceptual transit plan for surface operations; incorporating principles related to transit service and operations of the Rideau commercial district; and, reporting on issues related to the Transit System during construction of the project.  These matters have been addressed, separately reported upon by Transit Services, and incorporated in the planning study as appropriate.  Further on, this report addresses options for bus operation during construction of DOTT.

 

The new transit facility will see the construction of approximately 12.5 kilometres of new electrified light rail transit, between Tunney's Pasture and Blair Stations.  Thirteen LRT stations have been identified along the proposed route.  Each station will be designed to accommodate 180 metres long platforms (for future train lengths needed beyond the 2031 planning horizon).  The tunnel will span approximately 3.2 kilometres with four stations below grade serving downtown and the University of Ottawa campus station.

 

East and west of the downtown tunnel the existing Transitway will be converted from bus rapid transit to light rail transit technology.  Approximately nine kilometres of the alignment, outside of the tunnel portion of the corridor, account for conversion of the existing Transitway.  The introduction of rail transit also requires the construction of a maintenance and vehicle storage facility in the vicinity of the LRT corridor at the eastern end of the system.

 

The general alignment and design of the stations are described below.  Figure 1 provides a general overview of the stations within the corridor. 

Figure 1- DOTT Study Area and Alignment

Study_Area

 

Technology Report

 

The Rail System Selection Report was approved by Council on 25 November 2009, with the following recommendation:

 

·         That Transit Committee recommend that Council approve that the Rail technology for the City’s Rapid Transit Plan be Light Rail Transit (LRT).

 

Essentially the decision by Council for light rail will ensure that this and future light rail projects: 

 

 

The Planning and EA Process

 

The DOTT study is the City’s first project to follow the expedited maximum six-month EA process for transit projects.  Ontario Regulation 231/08 came into effect in June 2008 and allows proponents to build upon past planning decisions to advance a transit project through an EA.  In other words, with the Council-approved rapid transit network as described in the 2008 TMP and its supporting documents, major issues such as project need, corridor development (including surface versus tunnel), and technology assessment (such as buses versus trains) were thoroughly assessed through that planning exercise and do not have to be revisited in the development of the EA for the DOTT project.  The Regulation also dispenses of the need for the study Terms of Reference, once a requirement for transit Individual EAs.  This and the ability to refer to past planning decisions save considerable time and effort and allow environment-friendly transit projects to progress more quickly towards implementation than before.

 

The maximum six-month EA transit process is primarily for public consultation, documentation, and provincial approval of the Environmental Project Report (EPR).  Once the EPR is submitted to the Ministry of the Environment, the approval period is 35 days (this is within the six-month timeline).  If the Minister does not render a decision by the end of the 35th day, the project is considered approved.   Should there be bump-up requests, the scope of those requests is now limited to matters of provincial interest only:  natural environment; cultural heritage values or interests; and constitutionally protected aboriginal or treaty rights.

 

In developing Regulation 231/08, the Province assumes that the detailed planning effort is completed resulting in a recommended solution before the EA process is initiated.  The results of the detailed planning study for the DOTT project (i.e. the functional design) are described in this report and the approval of Transit Committee and Council is being sought.

 

It should be noted that the functional design constitutes the technical content to be included in the EPR.  With Council’s approval of the functional design, staff will initiate the formal EA process to include final public consultation and the submission of the EPR to the Ministry of the Environment.  Subject to unforeseen issues, no other report will be coming back to Council on the planning component of the DOTT project.

 

DISCUSSION

 

The need for the DOTT Study is based on the acknowledgment that delays and congestion in the downtown area are significant and of great concern when planning for the redevelopment of the core area and meeting existing and future transportation needs of the City and adjacent municipalities. 

 

Transit through downtown accommodates over 10000 riders per direction during peak hours.  Currently, transit service is limited to approximately 180 buses an hour along Albert and Slater Streets during peak times to meet travel demand.  Effectively, the transit system has reached its capacity in providing Bus Rapid Transit service through the downtown to serve surrounding communities.  The system will no longer be able to expand service beyond 2018.

 

The TMP aims to implement a series of initiatives whereby electrified light rail will:

 

·       Increase transit ridership and improve transportation services throughout the region, and in particular, the downtown core area;

·       Provide the transportation infrastructure needed to support the City's projected population and employment levels for the year 2031.

 

The most significant initiative, and the subject of the DOTT study, is to:

 

·       Construct a tunnel across downtown Ottawa;

·       Convert the existing Transitway between Tunney's Pasture and Blair Station from bus to rail technology.

 

As directed by Council, light rail transit will follow the established Transitway route between Tunney’s Pasture Station and Blair Station via a tunnel through the downtown to replace the existing on-street downtown transit.  The need for LRT has been established through the TMP exercise and Council approved the choice of LRT technology on 25 November 2009 after consideration of this matter in an earlier report.

 

The Recommended Plan

 

The Recommended Plan for the DOTT project considers construction, operational and maintenance issues in preparation of the design.  Since the approval of the LRT alignment and station options by Council, staff has worked to further define the alignment and station designs, as well as develop project staging and costing information.   A detailed description of the Recommended Plan is contained in Document 1.  The following summary provides an overview of the Recommended Plan, and focuses on specific areas where changes are recommended to the alignment and station options approved by Council in May 2009.

 

Design Segments

 

To comprehensively undertake this study, the project was divided into 10 design segments, described as follows and illustrated in Figure 2. 

 

Figure 2- DOTT Design Segments

Overview of Design

 


Tunney’s Pasture Station

 

Tunney’s Pasture Station will serve as the western terminus for the DOTT and accommodate transfers from BRT service from the west and southwest until such time that the LRT system is expanded further to Baseline Station in accordance with the TMP (subject to a future Planning and Environmental Assessment Study).  The Station will accommodate bus and rail transfers for approximately 9000 passengers per hour during peak operating times.  There will be a need to have some transit continuing on Scott Street to facilitate connections to the O-Train and Gatineau services at Bayview and LeBreton stations.  Bus operation on Scott Street will be minimized to mitigate the impact on adjacent lands and allow the federal campus to proceed with its development initiatives.  Integration of the station with future PWGSC development plans for the Tunney’s Pasture employment node can be accommodated.  Once LRT is extended to Baseline Station and the BRT transfer facilities are no longer required, these lands can be re-purposed for development.  The planned underground pedestrian connection between the BRT and LRT platforms would provide for direct access into any building located on this site.

 

The recommended design for Tunney’s Pasture follows the “Parallel” Design Option approved by Council in May 2009.  This option converts the existing BRT platforms in the Transitway trench to 120 m long LRT platforms in a side-platform configuration.  Protection for future platform extension (to the east) to allow 180-metre long LRT platforms is accommodated.  A temporary BRT terminal located on the north side of the existing Transitway corridor would provide turn-around facilities for BRT buses and a waiting area for passengers.  This facility would be reached via an existing (modified) bus ramp located to the west of the station.  Existing bus stop facilities along Scott Street would remain to serve local service.  Passenger flows between the BRT and LRT platforms would be accommodated by an underground passageway extending from the north LRT platform.  To enable access to the south LRT platform, an at-grade crossing of the tracks would be permitted.  This crossing would be beyond the normal operating area of the LRT. Two storage tracks (120 metres long) would be provided west of the LRT platforms to accommodate out of service trains.  Cross-over tracks would be located to the east of the station to allow trains to be reverse direction at this terminus station.  An enclosed platform canopy would cover the full length of the LRT platforms to protect passengers from inclement weather and reduce on-going winter maintenance costs (see Document 1 for more details).  The design of Tunney’s Pasture Station considers and seeks to accommodate the Tunney’s Pasture master plan for redevelopment and future EAs such as the Western LRT Corridor EA as described in the TMP.

 

Figure 3 – Tunney’s Pasture Station

9_Tunneys_Pasture

Bayview Station

 

Bayview Station will be a transfer point between the DOTT and the existing O-Train and a future expanded and electrified North-South LRT.  Additionally, the design must consider the potential for interprovincial transit service via the Prince of Wales Bridge.  As the station site is located adjacent to the Bayview and Somerset Area redevelopment lands, potential integration of the station design into future development is important.  The alignment and new LRT station design therefore seeks to maximize the development potential for lands adjacent to the station that are in both public and private ownership.  A concept plan for the City’s Bayview site and the Bayview-Carling Community Development Plan have been considered in the preparation of the recommended design to assure consistency with these plans.  Provision for a planned off-road multi-use pathway to be located along the west side of the existing O-Train corridor has also been considered in the design of Bayview Station.

 

The recommended design for Bayview Station follows the approved “Direct to Downtown” design option approved by Council in May 2009.  The configuration provides for eventual through movements to/from the North-South LRT line to the core area without having passengers transfer and addresses a direct connection to the core from the Airport and between Carleton University and the University of Ottawa, when the North-South line is converted to electrified light rail as identified in the TMP.  Bayview Station has also been designed to not preclude transit alternatives being investigated through the Interprovincial Transit Integration Study that is currently underway.  If that strategic planning study recommends the Prince of Wales Bridge as the interprovincial transit corridor, a separate EA is required.

 

During the functional design phase several refinements to the station design have been made.  The location of the station has been shifted north of the existing Transitway alignment so that the majority of the construction activities required at this location can occur without the need to close the Transitway for an extended period of time.  After construction of the station, the existing Transitway bridge would be removed. Instead of a stacked centre-platform configuration, a side-platform configuration for the DOTT platforms is proposed on the upper level of the station, linked by a mezzanine level to a lower level centre-platform for the future North-South LRT.  The mezzanine level located between the two platform levels would allow for pedestrian connections to Scott Street and to future development lands located north of the station.  The existing O-Train platform would be relocated to the west, along the alignment of the existing rail corridor.  The lower level platform area could be used as a temporary bus platform and turnaround facility until the electrified North-South LRT is constructed.

 

Figure 4- Bayview Station

10_Bayview

 

LeBreton Station

 

LeBreton Station will serve as a transfer point for OC Transpo bus service to/from Gatineau.  The station is located within the NCC LeBreton Flats development lands and the LRT alignment through this area follows the previous rapid transit alignment agreed to between the City and NCC as part of the previous North-South LRT project.  The station can be directly integrated into future development on NCC lands and will also support development on the City’s adjacent Escarpment Area development lands.  The LRT alignment east of LeBreton Station has been designed to maximize the development potential of these lands by curving north under the former Wellington Street right-of-way before entering the tunnel west of Bronson Avenue.

 

The recommended design for LeBreton Station follows the approved “Buses on Booth/Albert” design option.  The configuration provides for a reconstructed Booth Street bridge spanning the existing aqueduct and the new LRT alignment above the station, which will have 120 metres LRT platforms in a centre-platform configuration, expandable to 180 metres long to accommodate six-car trains in the future.  One station entrance located on each side of the new Booth Street bridge structure will be provided, with escalators, elevators and stairs giving access to the LRT platforms.  Local bus platforms on Booth Street for northbound and southbound buses would be located on the upper level of the station.  To accommodate bus operations at the Albert/Booth intersection, a widening to accommodate double left-turn lanes in the eastbound direction and a dedicated right-turn lane in the westbound direction is provided.  All other lanes, and permitted turning movements, remain unchanged.

 

Figure 5: LeBreton

11_LeBretonStation

 

Downtown Transit Tunnel

 

Between LeBreton and Mann Avenue, a tunnel will be constructed to replace the current on-street bus lanes.  This will separate rapid transit from surface disruptions and provides capacity for future demand, providing fast, efficient and reliable rapid transit through the downtown.

 

The tunnel through downtown Ottawa follows the approved “cross-country” alignment and includes the following major elements:

 

o   Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) launch area will be an open cut between LeBreton Station and Bronson Avenue (for the duration of construction only)

o   A standard poured-in-place concrete structure will be built in this area once TBM work is complete, to reinstate existing local roads and accommodate future development

o   Downtown West

o   Downtown East

o   Rideau

o   Campus

 

Figure 6 – Downtown Overview

Downtown_Overview

 

The rail corridor and configuration of the platforms in the downtown tunnel is based on the most efficient design to traverse the core.  A centre platform, with an east and west bound LRT track on either side can be effectively and economically constructed as the tunnel boring machine (TBM) works its way through the limestone bedrock under the downtown area.  The centre platform avoids duplication of stairways, escalators and elevators, thereby saving costs.  This configuration also minimizes entrance and wayfinding requirements associated with other platform types.  Supporting infrastructure and equipment needs are minimized and the platform creates a safer environment since there is a higher likelihood of multiple passengers at any given time and it is easier to secure the area in case of an emergency.

 

The number and placement of stations in the downtown is based on existing and future population and employment densities.  Local transit routes, major trip producers, existing internal building connections and adequate coverage of the core were also considered.  Using a 300-metre circle as a proxy for a five-minute walk, and a 500-metre circle for a 7.5-minute walk, the spacing of the stations was optimized.  Two stations are located between Bronson Avenue and Elgin Street and another at Rideau Station.  Each of the stations will have a minimum of two public entries, providing good coverage across the downtown.  Given the competing demands for limited available space within public road rights-of-way downtown, it is envisaged that station entrances would be co-located within new or existing development sites in order to maintain existing pedestrian space at-grade, and reduce utility relocations.  At this point, station designs show a mixture of access from public and private lands to demonstrate what is possible at each station location.  These should not be considered definitive, as the final locations for station entrances will be determined during subsequent phases of design, based on interest from adjacent landowners.  In some cases, additional station entrances not shown on the plans could be considered where multiple developers are interested in hosting and funding direct access into a station.  Depending on the location, station entrances located within a public road right-of-way may require closure of existing traffic lanes in order to provide sufficient width for the station entrance and maintain adequate sidewalk width.  Utility relocations are limited to localized areas such as tunnel entrances from the surface and ventilation shafts.

 

The tunnel’s “cross-country” alignment is as follows:

 

·         Under Albert Street, with the Downtown West station in the Lyon/Bay block;

·         Turning slightly to the north at Bank Street to cross under Queen Street at O’Connor, with the Downtown East Station centered between Bank Street and O’Connor; then

·         Continuing cross-country toward Rideau Street, with a Rideau Station spanning under the Canal and Rideau Street; then

·         Sweeping to the south under Rideau, Waller and Nicholas to connect to Campus Station;

·         The tunnel continues toward the portal located south of Mann Avenue and north of Lees Station.

 

This alignment is the most direct and cost efficient route for the tunnel.  The alignment can be constructed easily, and will have low on-going maintenance costs as the curvature of the track is optimized.  It services a large percentage of the existing and potential development in the downtown, and is technically the most feasible given geotechnical conditions and construction considerations.

 

Four underground stations have been designed:

 

·         Downtown West Station is proposed to be located under Albert Street, east of Bay Street, allowing integration with future Central Public Library building and serves existing development in west end of downtown.  An entrance into Place de Ville or Constitution Square is also proposed.

·         The recommended design follows the approved “Centre Platform” design alternative, and incorporates:

o   180-metre long centre platform, to accommodate four-car trains initially and six-car trains in the future;

o   Two access points from ground level:

§  South side of Albert between Bay and Lyon (integrated into future Central Public Library site);

§  North side of Albert between Lyon and Kent (integrated into Place de Ville office complex, or within public right-of-way at existing Kent Transitway station);

o   Elevators, escalators and stairs will be provided at each access point;

o   An underground connection to the Constitution Square office complex or the proposed development at the northwest corner of Albert and Lyon (existing surface parking lot) could be constructed in the future, by others;

o   Underground connections to other adjacent residential, office and retail development sites could also be provided by others.

 

Figure 7 – Downtown West Station

14_West

 

·         Downtown East Station is proposed to be located north of Albert Street, between Bank Street and O'Connor Street, to provide connections to local bus services on Bank Street and serves existing development in central and east parts of downtown.

 

·         The recommended design follows the approved “Centre Platform” design alternative, and incorporates:

o   180-metre long centre platform, to accommodate four-car trains initially and six-car trains in the future;

o   Two access points from ground level:

§  North side of Albert Street, east of Bank Street (integrated into adjacent development or within the public right-of-way at the existing Bank Transitway station);

§  South side of Queen Street at O'Connor Street (integrated into adjacent development or within the public right-of-way);

o   Elevators, escalators and stairs will be provided at each access point;

o   An underground connection to the World Exchange office complex, Sparks Street and other adjacent developments could be constructed by others in the future.

 

Figure 8 – Downtown East Station

16_East

 

·         Rideau Station is proposed to be located south of Wellington Street, between Confederation Square and Sussex Drive and has been designed to provide connections to both the west and east sides of Rideau Canal.  The design allows for potential integration with the Government Conference Centre and the National Capital Commission commemorative design initiative for the Rideau/Sussex intersection.  Connections for local (OC Transpo) and regional (STO) buses are also provided.

·         The recommended design follows the approved “Centre Platform” design alternative, and incorporates:

o   180-metre long centre platform, to accommodate four-car trains initially and six-car trains in the future;

o   Two access points from ground level:

§  East side of the Plaza Bridge (west of the canal and north of the National Arts Centre);

§  East of Sussex Drive (integrated into the Rideau Centre and The Bay buildings);

o   Elevators, escalators and stairs will be provided at each access point;

o   A potential access point along the east side of the Government Conference Centre (former Union Station) building could be constructed by others in the future.

 

Figure 9 – Rideau Station.

18_RideauStation

 

·         Campus Station is proposed to be located approximately where the existing Campus Station sits today, and will provide connections to the University of Ottawa, Sandy Hill and Golden Triangle (via the Corktown Footbridge).  The station alignment has changed since the May 2009 report.  The station has been moved to the west side of Nicholas to improve constructability and reduce the impact that construction will have on local traffic and Transitway bus service (refer to Document 1).  The NCC is currently reviewing this new alignment and further consultation with the Commission is required during the implementation/approval process.

·         The recommended design generally follows the approved “South Portal, Underground Station” design alternative, and incorporates:

o   180-metre long centre platform, to accommodate four-car trains initially and six-car trains in the future;

o   Two access points from ground level:

§  North end of the station, adjacent to Vanier Hall;

§  At the existing pedestrian underpass of Nicholas Street;

o   Elevators, escalators and stairs will be provided at each access point;

o   A potential underground connection into the new Vanier Hall building could be constructed in the future, by others.

 

Figure 10 – Campus Station

20_Campus

 

This report recommends that staff be directed to undertake an urban design study and a transportation study for the downtown for post DOTT implementation.  Due to the re-purposing of Albert and Slater Streets and the impact of reduced bus traffic through the core area, it is appropriate that these studies be undertaken to determine the aesthetics and operational aspects of downtown streets, the ability to accommodate cycling lanes and improve pedestrian circulation and safety.  Similarly, the streetscape component of the core area should be examined in the context of new opportunities due to the changes that will occur in traffic patterns and the geometric alignment of streets, particularly Albert and Slater Streets.

 

Lees Station

 

Lees Station serves adjacent residential development to the south and east of the station area, as well as the southern part of the Sandy Hill community.  The station has the potential to be integrated into redevelopment of adjacent lands as envisaged in the Nicholas-Mann Gateway Precinct Design Plan, and also future redevelopment of University of Ottawa lands to the south.  An important existing pedestrian link between Lees Avenue and the main University of Ottawa campus will also be maintained.

 

Following the approved design option for this segment of the alignment, Lees Station will remain in its current location and generation configuration, with upgrades to existing station facilities incorporated as part of conversion to LRT.   This includes provision of 120-metre long LRT platforms, with protection allowed for future extension to provide 180-metre long platforms.  The existing platform canopies will be removed and replaced with a new fully enclosed platform canopy spanning over the LRT tracks.  Due to the lower use nature of this station, the platform canopy may not extend for the full length of the LRT platforms.  Existing station access points from Lees Avenue will be maintained.

 

Figure 11 – Lees Station

22_Lees

 

Hurdman Station

 

Hurdman Station will be a major transfer point between the DOTT and the existing Southeast Transitway as well as local bus services.  There is a significant opportunity to integrate the station with future development lands to the north owned by the NCC, with access provided to these lands via an extension of Industrial Drive, passing under the DOTT corridor to the east of the station.  Important pedestrian and cycling linkages around the station area will be maintained to provide connections to/from and through the station area.

 

The recommended design for Hurdman Station follows the approved “Horizontal Transfer – Further North” design option.  This will allow continued bus operation to continue to serve the existing station platforms through most of the construction period.  This option places the LRT platforms on a raised embankment north of the existing station, and reconfigures the bus loop as a one-sided platform parallel to the LRT, in an arrangement similar to Billings Bridge Station.  Underpass structures will provide access from the BRT platforms to the raised LRT platforms, and also provide through connections to the development lands and pathways north of the station.  120-metre LRT platforms in a centre-platform configuration, expandable to 180-metre long LRT platforms to accommodate six-car trains in the future will be provided.  A pocket track will be provided to the east of the station to provide operational flexibility for LRT service.  After construction, the existing centre-island bus platform will be demolished, with the space converted to provide bus lay-up and turn-around facilities.  The existing bus lay-up space to the east of the station could be re-purposed for other uses, such as an enhanced drop-off facility.

 

The NCC intends to develop lands to the north of Hurdman Station and therefore an appropriate access to the site is required.  This will be achieved by extending the elevated LRT alignment further east, to pass over an extended Industrial Avenue, which will serve the development parcel in the future.  This elevated alignment will meet the existing Transitway alignment and grade east of Hurdman Station and pass over Riverside Drive via the existing Transitway overpass.

 

Figure 12 – Hurdman Station

23_Hurdman

 

Train Station

 

Train Station provides important connections to intercity (VIA) passenger rail service and to potential commuter rail service.  Access to adjacent employment lands to the east is also provided, and potential integration with a planned Queensway pedestrian overpass can be provided, allowing for access to development on the north side of the Queensway (Baseball Stadium, Overbrook community).  Existing pedestrian and cycling connections to the east and west would be maintained.

 

The recommended design for Train Station follows the approved “Diagonal” design option.  This option eliminates the existing sharp curves east of the station, which are not suitable for LRT operation and straightens the alignment in front of the station.  The existing BRT platforms, Tremblay Road and east station driveway overpass structures would be demolished, with new LRT platforms and overpass structures built along the new alignment.  The existing west station driveway can be maintained, which will allow access into the VIA rail station to be maintained during construction.  120-metre LRT platforms in a side-platform configuration, expandable to 180-metre long LRT platforms to accommodate six-car trains in the future would be provided.  One access point located approximately at the mid-point of the LRT platforms would be provided, linking the LRT station with the VIA rail station and Tremblay Road via a covered walkway.  It is proposed that the existing pedestrian bridge spanning the Transitway be relocated and re-used to span the LRT tracks at the access point.  Others could construct a future connection from the east end of the LRT platforms.  Elevators, escalators and stairs would provide access between ground level and the LRT platforms, located within the existing “bowl” in front of the VIA rail station.

 


Figure 13 - Train

24_Train

 

St. Laurent Station

 

St. Laurent Station serves an established major retail development (St. Laurent Shopping Centre) and provides for transfers to local bus services via an upper level bus terminal.  The adjacent shopping centre has submitted plans for a major expansion, which will further support transit ridership.  Additionally, PWGSC is preparing development plans for a major employment node located on lands adjacent to the station site, south of The Queensway.  There is the potential for a direct pedestrian connection from these lands into St. Laurent Station.

 

Following the approved design option for this segment of the alignment, St. Laurent Station will remain in its current location and general configuration, with upgrades to existing station facilities incorporated as part of conversion to LRT.  This includes provision of 120-metre long LRT platforms on the existing lower level of the station, with protection allowed for future extension to provide 180-metre long platforms.  The upper level bus platforms would remain largely unchanged and continue to serve local bus services providing connections to the LRT line.  Existing station access points will be maintained, with the potential for a connection to future development lands south of the Queensway (to be built by others).

 


Figure 14 – St. Laurent Station

25_StLaurent

 

Cyrville Station

 

Cyrville Station serves adjacent residential development to the north of the station area, as well as employment uses to the west and south.  Build-out of planned residential development to the north (Place des Goveneurs) will support transit ridership at this location.  The station design and alignment is also compatible with proposed plans to upgrade the highway interchange as a result of the Interprovincial Bridge Crossing Study (as presented to date).

 

Following the approved design option for this segment of the alignment, Cyrville Station will remain in its current location and generation configuration, with upgrades to existing station facilities incorporated as part of conversion to LRT.   This includes provision of 120-metre long LRT platforms, with protection allowed for future extension to provide 180-metre long platforms.  The existing platform canopies will be removed and replaced with a new fully enclosed platform canopy spanning over the LRT tracks.  Due to the lower use nature of this station, the platform canopy may not extend for the full length of the LRT platforms.  Existing station access points from Cyrville Road and an office development to the west will be maintained.

 


Figure 15 – Cyrville Station

26_Cyrville

 

Blair Station

 

Blair Station will serve as the eastern terminus of the DOTT and accommodate transfers from BRT service from the east (existing East Transitway and future Cumberland Transitway) and local bus services.  The station also serves a major retail development (Gloucester Centre) located immediately adjacent to the station site, as well as office developments to the east and south (linked via a pedestrian bridge over OR 174).

 

The recommended design for Blair Station follows the approved “LRT on Lower Level” design option.  This option converts the existing local bus platforms on the lower level of the station to 180-metre long LRT platforms, in a centre platform configuration, to accommodate four-car trains initially and six-car trains in the future.  An expanded upper level bus platform in a centre-island configuration would accommodate BRT and local bus service, with vertical transfers achieved directly from the upper (bus) to lower (LRT) levels.  The existing pedestrian overpass, which spans over the station and connects the Gloucester Centre to development lands on the south side of OR 174, would be rehabilitated and re-used.  Existing station access points into the station would be maintained.  A cross-over track would be provided to the west of the LRT platforms to allow trains to reverse direction.  A pocket track, also to the west of the station would be provided to store out of service trains and provide operational flexibility.

 

Figure 16 – Blair Station

27_Blair

 

Maintenance and Storage Facility

 

The LRT Maintenance and Storage Facility is included within the scope of DOTT Planning and Environmental Assessment Study and is an integral part of the project, as it will:

 

 

Ten potential sites were examined based on the four evaluation factors developed for the facility, namely:

 

 

Evaluation of the 10 candidate sites was presented at DOTT Public Open House #2 on 24 June 2009.  Based on the evaluation, three sites were short-listed for additional evaluation:

 

 

Based on feedback from the Consultation Groups and the public, additional evaluation was undertaken, focussing on the land use and development impacts of the three sites.  While these factors had been considered in the initial evaluation, the number of technical considerations overshadowed these impacts.  As the three short-listed sites were all capable of supporting the facility from a technical perspective, the focus on land use and development was deemed the primary differentiator.  As a result of this additional analysis the St. Laurent site is recommended as the preferred site based primarily on:

 

 

Document 1 describes the location and the recommended plan for the Maintenance and Storage Facility.  This facility needs to be constructed and ready to accept vehicles, in advance of the revenue service, for the commissioning of the line.

 


Figure 17 – Maintenance and Storage Facility Conceptual Layout

Geotechnical Analysis

 

A geotechnical study was carried out in support of the planning and functional design phase of this project. Published information and maps from the Geological Service of Canada and the Ontario Geological Service, as well as subsurface information from the geotechnical consultant’s (Golder Associates) files, were used as the basis for that geotechnical study.

 

The results of the study indicate that most of the route downtown is underlain by shallow bedrock, likely at depths ranging from about two metres to five metres below existing ground surface between the west portal and Rideau Centre area.  In the vicinity of the Rideau Centre, a valley in the rock is known to exist, where the surface of the bedrock is indicated to be locally much deeper.  South of Laurier Avenue, the bedrock becomes progressively deeper, extending to depths ranging from about five metres to possibly 25 metres below existing ground surface, and changes from limestone to shale of the Carlsbad formation. The subsurface conditions from about Waller Street to Mann Avenue likely consist of sensitive silty clay overlying deposits of glacial till and sand, and south of Mann Avenue the subsurface conditions are indicated to consist of significant deposits of sands underlain by glacial till.  Both of these areas will have substantial groundwater issues.  In addition, the published information indicates that at least three faults cross the tunnel alignment in the downtown core. Additional faults and associated tributary faults likely also lie within the study area. These faults are now considered inactive but create important features likely to impact the overall bedrock quality and hydrogeological regime.

 

A sample of rock from a local quarry was sent to a laboratory for testing to confirm some of the parameters used for design.  While generally useful, this sample only provided guidance in setting parameters.

 

The results of the geotechnical study have been used to inform the functional design of the tunnel and downtown stations.  Based on the results of preliminary rock modelling using the data available, the vertical alignment of the tunnel has been lowered to provide additional clearance from structures above.  The position of Rideau Station has also been shifted further to the west in order to be located outside of the rock valley area.

 

In order to advance the design of the tunnel and underground stations, additional analysis of rock conditions is required to support the next phase of project design.  This work would include drilling boreholes and undertaking more detailed testing and analysis of geotechnical and hydro-geological conditions.

 

Construction Staging

 

While the final construction staging plan for the DOTT project will be the responsibility of the implementation team and the contractor selected to construct the system, the DOTT functional design process did look at the general objectives of the staging and opportunities to provide logical break points between sections and phases of work.  Estimated durations were also compiled to allow for schematic planning of the implementation process.  At the most general level, the project will be staged to:

 

 

The staging will also follow these general principles:

 

 

In addition to the general principles, the following assumptions were made to determine construction staging opportunities, estimate duration and estimate capital cost for the tunnelled portion of the project:

 

 

The bulk of the visible activity will be at the TBM launch site, which will be at the east end of the LeBreton Flats, although there will be substantial activity at Campus Station and the East Portal (south of Mann Avenue).  Appropriate mitigation measures to reduce noise level impacts during construction will be considered during the EA phase of the study, with detailed plans developed by the contractor responsible for actually constructing the tunnel.  The City will have input into specific measures adopted (e.g. working hours, truck routes, dust control).

 

The following assumptions were made to determine construction staging opportunities, estimate duration and estimate capital cost for the conversion of Transitway Stations:

 

 

The stations at Bayview, LeBreton, Hurdman, Train and Blair require extensive modifications to accommodate conversion and must be largely rebuilt to accommodate the new LRT system and the transfer of passengers to bus and Transitway services.

 

The following assumptions were made to determine construction staging opportunities, estimate duration and estimate capital cost for the conversion of the Transitway running segments (between the stations):

 

 

An operating plan for the line was required to develop the functional plan.  The following assumptions were used to develop the physical requirements for rail operations:

 

 

High-level project scheduling indicates that it could take up to seven years for construction and commissioning of the LRT line.  This duration estimate is subject to refinement through design and the procurement process.  A report will be forwarded to Council to outline the implementation/construction of the project when a procurement method is established.

 

Bus Operations During and After Construction were also a major consideration in the development of the functional plan, although the actual bus operating plans will need further review during the detailed planning of the station and the bus network that is put in place after construction will need to reflect the ridership patterns in place at that time.  However, there are several assumptions that were made to determine the impact of construction on bus services and to size the bus transfer facilities included in the functional plan.  The DOTT project assumed that various segments of the Transitway will be out of service as construction proceeds, during which alternative arrangements will be needed, including:

 

 

Transit Services also undertook a strategic plan (conceptual plan) for bus connections with the rail line for the areas around the Rideau Centre, at downtown rail stations, Tunney’s Pasture, Hurdman, St. Laurent, and Blair.  This is detailed in a separate report (IPD – Strategic Plan for Bus Route Connections with Rail Line. Ref: ACS2009-ICS-TRA-0013).

 

During the detailed design phase, the final detour plans will be closely co-ordinated with construction staging.  These plans may include temporary station facilities to provide good connectivity to local routes and major trip origins and destinations, for instance if buses serving St. Laurent Station are by-passing the existing station, expanded bus bays may be required on St. Laurent to facilitate transfers.

 

At the end of the construction period, there will be substantial changes to the existing BRT and local bus routes to provide connections with the new LRT line, reflect the new operating philosophy, respond to ridership growth and changes in ridership patterns and meet the operating budget requirements in place at the time.

 

Figure 18(a) – Bus Diversion Routes

East_BusOperations

 

Figure 18(b) – Bus Diversion Routes

West_BusOperations

 

Property Requirements

 

The functional design exercise has determined the land requirements based on the alignment for the Recommended Plan.  Lands in both the private and public domain are required.  Real Estate Services has established that 130 properties are needed for this project, as follows.

 

o   30 owned by the NCC

o   15 owned by Public Works

o   5 owned by federal agencies

o   15 with subterranean rights

o   5 with surface rights

 

Property requirements are a key component of the implementation plan and direction to staff is needed to begin the real estate transaction process to ensure that land can be secured, and the proper sequence of construction staging is possible to minimize disruption of traffic and property.  This is particularly important for the alignment west and east of the tunnel.  The tunnel requirements for lands will focus on the downtown core requirements for property, easements, subterranean rights and staging areas.

 

Business Case

 

The Business Case document is not part of the functional planning or environmental assessment requirements, but is intended to fulfill the information requirements of senior levels of government associated with funding major transit projects.  The content consists of a detailed project description, a statement of the project's benefits including an analysis of the project's measurable results, and a series of specific information items relative to government priorities.

 

With a Recommended Plan defined, the business case for the Ottawa DOTT is now actively underway.  The analysis of the project's results is being conducted using a Multiple Account Evaluation framework, which has allowed other project benefits to be calculated.  The ridership is being refined and transportation impact information is being developed at time of writing and will be added to the business case. This analysis is expected to be completed by end of January 2010 and will be forwarded to Council for information.

 

Public Art

 

Public art is an important component of the project and will be accommodated within station and runningway elements of the system.  The City of Ottawa has a policy requiring that an amount equal to one per cent of an infrastructure project’s hard costs be dedicated to the provision of public art.  An allowance of $10 million has therefore been included in project costing for public art.  In addition to the provision of stand-alone pieces of artwork throughout the system, public art could also be integrated into the architectural elements of stations and runningways.  Existing public art along the Transitway will be maintained wherever possible.

 

A public art program geared specifically for this project will be developed by the City and include input from a number of groups including the NCC, Algonquins of Ontario, local arts interest groups and the community at large.

 

Next Steps – Overview

 

The approval of the Recommended Plan outlined in Document 1 and the recommendations presented for approval in this report will lead to a number of activities over the next several months.  A critical path has been provided to Council and will be updated from time-to-time, as milestones are set.  While the DOTT EA (Provincial process) is expected to be approved by the Minister in May 2010, the Federal EA process, which requires more design details, will continue and is expected to be complete in early 2011.

 

An overview of the next steps in the roll-out of this project, leading to contract award is as follows:

 

Planning and EA:

13 January 2010                      - Recommended Plan (functional design) to Council for approval

January/February 2010            - Notice of EA Commencement, including final consultation

Early March 2010                   - Notice of EA Completion, EPR available for public review

Early April 2010                     - Deadline for public comments on the EPR

Early May 2010                      - Ministry of Environment Decision on the DOTT EA

 

It is importation to note that the City has undertaken an update of the risk assessment of the TMP as it relates to the DOTT project and also worked with Infrastructure Ontario to assess the merits of an alternate financing procurement (AFP) method.  Analysis of the assessment is underway and will be the subject of a report on procurement of DOTT to Transit Committee and Council in the new year.

 

RURAL IMPLICATIONS

 

N/A

 

CONSULTATION

 

This study involved over 150 stakeholder groups, including community organizations, property owners and businesses within the study area, institutions, approval agencies and groups with a special interest in the study.  In addition to the Agency, Business and Public Consultation Group meetings, three Public Open Houses and presentations were conducted in February, June and October 2009.  More than 300 people attended in total.  The City has received over 150 comments from the open houses which supplements approximately 100 comments on the project that have been received to-date in the form of written submissions or email from the project web-site.

 

Individual meetings were also arranged with groups such as the Downtown Coalition, Viking Rideau Corporation, the University of Ottawa, and the NCC.  A project website (www.ottawa.ca/tunnel) was established along with a dedicated e-mail address (dott@ottawa.ca) to allow the public to contact the study team directly.  Consultation efforts will continue as the study progresses through the EA stage.

 

A summary of consultation efforts undertaken to date is provided in Document 2.

 

Issues Arising From Consultations

 

National Capital Commission

 

The National Capital Commission (NCC) has a mandate and mission to build the Capital region into a source of pride and unity for Canadians.  They play a key role in the project as they have land holdings at a number of stations, along the alignment and a special interest in the planning of the core area of the City.  The NCC also grants applications for federal land use approvals.

 

A number of meetings have been held with the NCC to deal with real estate issues, land use and design, and other matters that fall within their mandate and require permits and approvals.  These matters have been assessed in the context of this planning exercise and have been incorporated in the Recommended Plan.  Further collaboration with the NCC is required to initiate the formal approval process and this will be achieved as the project moves forward with design.

 

Some key issues being dealt with include:

 

·         Interim and ultimate bus operations and proposed BRT to LRT transfers areas;

·         Proposed future modifications to interprovincial STO bus service routes on Ottawa side;

·         Design principles and guidelines which have considered the capital perspective and National Symbols (Parliament, confederation boulevard, UNESCO site, etc);

·         Transit-oriented land use design principles for stations located on future development lands;

·         Ridership projections and future interprovincial transit considerations;

·         Details on the federal land requirements (for both the NCC and other federal agencies and departments);

·         Assessment of the effects of construction and implementation of LRT service on the environment, heritage/UNESCO Rideau Canal and proposed mitigation at federal sites in proximity to the national symbols, large commemorative sites and Parliament;

·         Detailed information on the station design (dimensions, geometry, land requirements, etc) for stations where there is a capital interest; and,

·         Business case (justification) for federal land use.

 

In addition, presentations to NCC’s Advisory Committee of Planning Design and Property (ACPDR) requires regular presentations and updates related to:

 

·         Design Principles;

·         Integration of Transportation and Land Use;

·         Details of Station layout and Storage and maintenance Facility;

·         Urban Design and Landscape; and,

·         A transit System for the people; and,

·         Federal EA process.

 

Downtown Coalition

 

The Downtown Coalition sought a cross-country alternative that would move the alignment southerly under Albert Street before veering at Metcalfe Street towards Rideau Station.  This matter has been discussed with the Coalition in detail and the recommended plan is now supported by the Coalition.  It is now agreed that the recommended plan achieves the following:

 

·  Less tunnelling due to a more direct route to the next station;

·  Less costly due to a shorter route and less technically challenging boring strategy;

·  Optimal walking distance to the station;

·  Does not require an “S” curve to reach Rideau Station;

·  Provides the potential for more access points to the surface;

·  Avoids technically difficulties under and around buildings;

·  Provides a smoother more comfortable ride through the core; and,

·  Will require less maintenance on vehicles (wheels).

 

Rideau Station and Rideau Viking Corporation

 

The Viking Rideau Corporation indicated that the recommended plan would not be suitable for the operation and future growth of the shopping complex and its remaining development parcels since primary transit movements would be focused at the Rideau Street end only, rather than distributed between Rideau Street and Mackenzie King Bridge as currently exists.  Transit Services has undertaken a review of bus and passenger routings in the area and summarized findings in a separate report (IPD – Strategic Plan for Bus Route Connections with Rail Line. Ref: ACS2009-ICS-TRA-0013).  The report concludes that:

 

·         Routings in the vicinity of the Rideau Centre can be modified to balance the interests of transit customers, operations staff and the Rideau Centre;

·         Changes to the routings will help reallocate buses to the streets in downtown in a manner consistent with balancing service on available streets; and,

·         Performance of the routes, both in terms of costs and passengers carries, will remain very similar to the current operations.

 

The recommended tunnel alignment at Rideau Station serves multiple purposes, including facilitating local transit connections with direct and indirect access to the By-Ward Market, Rideau Centre and retail on Rideau Street, the Ottawa Conference Centre and the National Arts Centre and Confederation Square.

 

This station location best suits the LRT alignment from a functional and operational perspective.  Local and regional transit will be well served by the station as it will act as a hub for riders destined to this area of the downtown.  The number of above-grade transfers and reduced travel time because of a more direct transition between local and regional traffic as well as the opportunity to transfer to local routes at other stations along the LRT network will make this a very active station.

 

Discussions with Rideau Viking have kept them apprised of the recommended plan and surface transit operations following the completion of the LRT project.  The City will continue to work with Rideau Viking and review their proposal, when submitted for comment, to construct alternate access points at Rideau Centre.

 

Public Consultations

 

Extensive consultation has been undertaken throughout the study.  The consultation effort is summarized in Document 2 – Summary of Public Consultations.

 

There is strong public support for this project.  Major issues received from the public and special interest groups arising from the recent Public Open House #3 (26 October 2009) include:

 

Transit Link to Gatineau

 

The issue of a transit link to Gatineau from Ottawa, and specifically from Bayview, was raised.  This DOTT project does not preclude the development of an interprovincial transit link or transfer at Bayview, nor any other option.  The infrastructure required to integrate interprovincial transit services is the subject of the Interprovincial Core Area Rapid Transit Integration Strategic Planning Study (a joint study with the STO/Gatineau, the NCC (project lead) and the City of Ottawa). The interprovincial transit study addresses both short-term and long-term solutions (operational improvements/coordination, and possibly new infrastructure).  Options from that study will be presented for public review in early 2010, with an anticipated report to Transit Committee by mid 2010.

 

Tunnel Depth and Access To Grade

 

There were concerns that the tunnel is too deep and comments concerning the accesses to/from the underground stations.  This issue has been discussed at consultation meetings and again at the most recent open house.  As stated earlier in this report the Recommended Plan includes two entrance points at each station (there are options for additional connections that can be provided by others).  Stairs and escalators will be provided at each entrance.  There will be back-up emergency power.  The tunnels have to be at a depth that clears underground utilities and parking garages but more importantly it should be in solid bedrock to ease the construction effort, duration, and risks.  The depth of the tunnel will be re-examined at the next phase of design, which will be supported by additional geotechnical investigations such as borehole testing.  With the current plan, the estimated time to access the platform from street level varies depending on the station and the access point chosen.  However, the few minutes that it takes to access the underground platform can be quickly offset by the reliability and frequency of a grade-separated LRT service with headways of approximately two minutes or less.  A discussion of utility relocation to accommodate construction of the tunnel and above grade trackwork and stations is provided in Document 1.

 

Number of Downtown Stations

 

This issue was raised previously in May 2009 when Council deliberated and approved the DOTT alignment and station locations.  There are four underground stations planned to serve downtown Ottawa:  Downtown West, Downtown East, Rideau and Campus.  LeBreton Station, to the west of the core area will also serve development on the west side of downtown, including the proposed Escarpment Area development.  Comments received during the consultation process have indicated a desire for either more, or fewer stations in the downtown Ottawa.  Those advocating more stations have typically expressed concern over the spacing between downtown stations compared to other cities, the catchment area of each station, and the distance required to access each station given the potentially deep level of the tunnel.  Others advocating fewer stations for the downtown identify vehicle travel time and cost savings as concerns.

 

Using a benchmark of 300-metre and 500-metre walking distances, it was demonstrated that the majority of the downtown area was within the catchment area of a station, as measured from the mid-point of the platform area.  Separate access points from the platform level helps lessen the walking distance and travel time to the station.  Walking distances are consistent with the City’s guidelines for walking distances to transit stations. 

 

Overall, the proposed number of stations serving the downtown area has struck a balance between optimal station spacing for transit vehicle performance and in-vehicle travel time and the need to provide access and coverage to the downtown area.  This practice is consistent with other successful transit systems in other cities.  Given the significant cost of constructing underground stations, provision of additional stations in the downtown is not recommended.

 

COMMENTS BY THE WARD COUNCILLOR(S)

 

N/A

 

LEGAL/RISK MANAGEMENT IMPLICATIONS

 

There are no legal/risk management impediments to implementing this report's recommendations.

 

CITY STRATEGIC PLAN

 

The recommendations contained herein directly and indirectly support the following objectives of the Strategic Plan.

 

A1.  Improve the City’s transportation network to afford ease of mobility, keep pace with growth, reduce congestion and work towards modal split targets.

 

B1.  Attain transit goals (30% modal split) by 2021.

 

E6.  Require walking, transit and cycling oriented communities and employment centres.

 

F2.  Respect the existing urban fabric, neighbourhood form and the limits of existing hard services, so that new growth is integrated seamlessly with established communities.

 

F4.  Ensure that City infrastructure required for new growth is built or improved as needed to serve the growth.

 

TECHNICAL IMPLICATIONS

 

N/A

 


FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

 

Detailed costing of the recommended plan includes an estimate for property acquisition, design, project management, construction, vehicles, and contingency.  The capital cost estimate for this project is $2.1B, in 2009 dollars.  The following is a summary of the major cost elements of the project:

 

·         Transit Tunnel and Underground Stations                 $735 million

·         Transitway to LRT Conversion                                  $540 million

·         Maintenance and Storage Facility and Vehicles         $515 million

·         Property, Public Art, Insurance                                  $160 million

·         Project Director's Contingency                                   $100 million

·         Project Office                                                             $  50 million

 

This project estimate does not include escalation, and is subject to refinement as the project progresses through subsequent design phases, such as preliminary engineering and approval of a procurement model.

 

In a memo dated 23 October 2009 to the Mayor and members of Council from the Deputy City Manager and City Treasurer, the affordability of the DOTT project (as well as other rapid transit projects identified in Phase 1 of the TMP) was outlined.  It was concluded that the City has the financial capacity to afford its share of all Phase 1 projects in accordance with the City's Fiscal Framework.  The affordability model assumes that the two upper-tier levels of government will each contribute one-third of the total project costs. Once a preliminary agreement has been reached with our funding partners a subsequent report will be provided to Committee and Council for approval.

 

The draft 2010 budget includes a funding request of $74.3M in account 905176 LRT (Tunney's to Blair) to initiate property acquisition, preliminary engineering and procurement management.  This allows the DOTT project to move forward from the planning/EA phase to implementation as quickly as possible.

 

Funding for the urban design study and downtown transportation study (post DOTT implementation) are available in existing transportation study accounts - 902973 Smart Growth Transit EAs, and 905184 Rapid Transit EAs.

 

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION

 

Document 1    Functional Design of Recommended Plan (Previously distributed and held on file with the City Clerk)

Document 2    Summary of Consultations

Document 3    Transit Plan Critical Path

 


DISPOSITION

 

Following Committee and Council approval of the recommendations contained herein, Infrastructure Services and Community Sustainability will undertake the following:

 

·         The formal Environmental Assessment (EA) process using the functional design to define the undertaking and file the Environmental Project Report with the Ministry of the Environment in accordance with Ontario EA Regulation 231/08 for transit projects.

 

·         Initiate the property acquisition process, subject to the 2010 capital funding request.

 

·         Initiate the preliminary engineering process, procurement management process, and property acquisition process.

 

·         Undertake an urban design study and a transportation study for the downtown core area for post DOTT implementation.


SUMMARY OF PUBLIC CONSULTATIONS                              DOCUMENT 2

 

 

Downtown Ottawa Transit Tunnel:  Tunney’s Pasture to Blair via a Downtown LRT Tunnel

Chronology of Consultation Meetings

Date

Consultation Type

Purpose

13-Aug-08

CEAA, MOE Co-ordination Meeting

Project introduction and EA co-ordination

21-Aug-08

ACPDR #1

Project introduction and overview

09-Sep-08

ACG #1

Project introduction and overview

09-Sep-08

BCG #1

Project introduction and overview

09-Sep-08

PCG #1

Project introduction and overview

29-Oct-08

ACG #2

Planning objectives, alternative alignments and evaluation methodology

29-Oct-08

BCG #2

Planning objectives, alternative alignments and evaluation methodology

29-Oct-08

PCG #2

Planning objectives, alternative alignments and evaluation methodology

02-Dec-08

ACG #3

Introduce expanded study area, draft evaluation results

02-Dec-08

BCG #3

Introduce expanded study area, draft evaluation results

02-Dec-08

PCG #3

Introduce expanded study area, draft evaluation results

16-Dec-08

PWGSC

Tunney’s Pasture Design Alternatives

18-Dec-08

Joint ACG/BCG/PCG Meeting #1

Project introduction and overview for CG members in expanded study area

19-Dec-08

NCC

NCC input on alternative designs

06-Jan-09

NAC

NAC input on downtown alignments

21-Jan-09

ACG #4

Downtown stations, alternative designs for expanded study area, maintenance and storage facility overview

21-Jan-09

BCG #4

Downtown stations, alternative designs for expanded study area, maintenance and storage facility overview

21-Jan-09

PCG #4

Downtown stations, alternative designs for expanded study area, maintenance and storage facility overview

04-Feb-09

NCC

NCC Input on alternative designs

18-Feb-09

Downtown Stakeholders (BCG #5)

Alternative downtown alignments, surface transit operations and additional station opportunities

26-Feb-09

ACPDR #2

Alternative alignments and design options

26-Feb-09

Public Open House and Presentation  #1

Project introduction and overview, alternative alignments and design options, draft evaluation results

10-Mar-09

Centretown Community Groups

Overview of Alternative Alignment and Station Layout

26-Mar-09

Rideau Viking Corporation, Rideau BIA

Alternative downtown alignments and surface transit operations

27-Mar-09

Downtown Coalition

Alternative downtown alignments and surface transit operations

27-Mar-09

University of Ottawa

Campus Station design options

16-Apr-09

Pedestrian and Transit Advisory Committee

DOTT project update

04-May-09

ACPDR #3

Preferred DOTT alignment and station locations

06-May-09

City of Ottawa Transit Committee

Committee approval of recommended DOTT Alignment and Station Locations

27-May-09

City of Ottawa Council

Council approval of recommended DOTT Alignment and Station Locations

11-Jun-09

MTO Co-ordination

Co-ordination of MTO projects with DOTT construction and DOTT impacts on Highway 417 corridor

22-Jun-09

Rideau Viking Corporation

Rideau Station impacts and connection opportunities

22-Jun-09

Joint ACG/BCG/PCG Meeting #2

Maintenance and Storage Facility site selection overview

24-Jun-09

Public Open House #2 (M&S Facility)

Maintenance and Storage Facility Introduction, Site Selection Evaluation and draft evaluation results

11-Aug-09

NCC

NCC Input on project

11-Aug-09

Rideau Viking Corporation

Rideau Station connection opportunities

17-Sept-09

CITE - Presentation

Overview of Recommended Plan

17-Sept-09

PTAC

Information related to Recommended Plan and Project Status

14-Oct-09

NCHCA – Trade Show

Overview of Recommended Plan

21-Oct-09

ACG #5

Overview of Recommended Plan

21-Oct-09

BCG #6

Overview of Recommended Plan

21-Oct-09

PCG #5

Overview of Recommended Plan

26-Oct-09

Public Open House and Presentation  #3

Overview of Recommended Plan

04-11-09

DOTT presentation to Bay Ward Community Council

Overview of Recommended Plan

08-Oct-09

City/NCC Scheduling/Information Sharing Working Group

Scheduling/Information Sharing with NCC

22-Oct-09

City/NCC

DOTT Scheduling and Timing Meeting

05-Nov-09

City/NCC Scheduling/Information Sharing Working Group

DOTT EA coordination meeting

05-Nov-09

DOTT presentation to West Wellington Community Association

Overview of Recommended Plan

06-Nov-09

MTO Co-ordination

Use of Queensway during DOTT construction and alternative bus routings/requirements

 


TRANSIT PLAN CRITICAL PATH                                                                                         DOCUMENT 3

 

Transit Plan Critical Path – Updated December 7, 2009

 

Memo & Reports

 

Tabled/Memo Date

Transit Committee Date

Council Date

Title

Description

 

23-Oct-09

Listed as an IPD on 16-Dec-09

Cost and Affordability Memo

Update to City Treasurer’s September 2008 memo advising council of the affordability of the city’s Transit Plan. This memo included updated DOTT project costing.

 

21-Oct-09

18-Nov-09

25-Nov-09

Rail System Selection Report

Council was presented with technology options for the Rapid Transit Plan

 

21-Oct-09

18-Nov-09

25-Nov-09

Transit Tactical Plan Report

Council was presented with Transit Services 10 year Tactical Plan

 

21-Oct-09

RFI (Stakeholder Development Input) Report

Committee was presented with a report for information about the results of the Request for Information for potential development opportunities/synergies with businesses located along the transit plan corridor

 

Listed as an IPD on 16-Dec-09

Strategic Plan for Bus Route Connections

Committee will be presented with information about the integration of the LRT service with bus service.

 

Will be placed on the agenda in Q1 2010 when we have more clarity around funding and functional design

Transit Procurement Analysis & Options Report

Committee will be presented with a report that summarizes the analysis that has been undertaken of the various procurement and delivery methods for the DOTT project inclusive of the Infrastructure Ontario model. 

 

Will be placed on the agenda once a funding agreement has been secured 

Transit Investment Strategy Framework Report

Committee will be presented with a report that summarizes the analysis that has been undertaken of various financial tools that can be used to fund the TMP, encourage Transit Oriented Development and transit use.

 

16-Dec-09

13-Jan-10

DOTT Planning & Environmental Assessment Report

Council will be presented with a Functional Design recommendation.  This will initiate the formal EA process (final consultation and documentation)

 

 

Will be placed on the agenda in once a funding agreement has been secured

Business Development Strategy

Report on the development of opportunities/synergies with businesses located along the transit plan corridor

 

Processes

 

Start

Finish

Title

Description

 

Q3 2009

Q3 2010

Infra Ontario (IO) Assessment

Infrastructure Ontario preliminary Value for Money Assessment, analysis of DOTT project and Alternative Finance Procurement (AFP) options, and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) if selected as the City's procurement agent

 

Q3 2009

Project completion

Start Up & Staff Project Office

Facilitate project progression including property acquisition, preliminary engineering, and procurement management. The project office will staff and operate to align with budget approvals and procurement decisions

 

26-Oct-09

Q3 2011

Public Consultation / Industry Outreach

Open House on Functional Design occurred on October 26th. Consultation with stakeholders and the public will occur throughout the length of the project

 

Q4 2009

Q1 2010

Provincial/Federal MOU

Senior government, memorandum of understanding (MOU), and funding agreement

 

Q1 2010

Q1 2013

Acquire ROW Properties

Secure project properties and access rights along project corridor

 

Q1 2010

Q2 2010

DOTT EA Process

Final consultation, documentation, and filing of Environmental Project Report to the Ministry of the Environment - for approval

Q1 2010

Q2 2010

Engineering & Contract Management Support Consultant

Advance EA engineering to level suitable for procurement. This level will be defined when a procurement model is selected

06-Apr-10

10-May-10

MOE Decision

Environmental Assessment approved by Provincial Ministry of Environment

Q2 2010

Q3 2011

Preliminary Engineering

 

 

Advance EA engineering to level suitable for procurement. The level of engineering/design will be defined when a procurement model is selected

 

Q3 2010

Q3 2011

Output Specifications

Advance output specifications to level suitable for procurement. This level will be defined when a procurement model is selected

Q4 2010

Q3 2011

RFQ Process

Request for Qualification for project construction and vehicles

Q3 2011

Q1 2013

RFP Process

Request for Proposal for project construction and vehicles

 


DOWNTOWN OTTAWA TRANSIT TUNNEL (DOTT) PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT - RECOMMENDED PLAN

PLANIFICATION ET ÉVALUATION ENVIRONNEMENTALE DU TUNNEL DE TRANSPORT EN COMMUN DANS LE CENTRE-VILLE D’OTTAWA (TTCCVO) - PLAN RECOMMANDÉ

ACS2009-ICS-DCM-0214                                         CITY WIDE / À L'ÉCHELLE DE LA VILLE

 

Committee members received a letter dated 15 December 2009 from Willis Richards and Associates on behalf of the Gloucester Centre Shopping Centre, in support of the staff recommendations.  A copy of their letter is held on file.

 

Moved by D. Thompson

 

That the Transit Committee approve the addition of the PTAC submission re DOTT Alternatives for consideration by the Committee at today’s meeting, pursuant to Section 84(3) of the Procedure By-law (being By-law No. 2006-462).

 

                                                                                                CARRIED

 

The Committee received a memo (held on file) dated 15 December 2009 from the Deputy City Manager which outlined the staff response to the comments/recommendations made by the PTAC in their submission dated 15 October 2009.

 

Nancy Schepers, Deputy City Manager introduced the item.  Vivi Chi introduced David Hopper from Delcan, Jean-Marc Barsam, Principal Engineer from Halcrow Group Limited, and Dennis Gratton, Senior Project Engineer.  Mr. Hopper provided a detailed overview of the report before Committee.  A copy of the presentation is held on file.

 

In response to a request by Councillor Wilkinson, the Deputy City Manager provided a brief overview of LRT vs. bus rapid transit (BRT).  She described the Council decisions since June 2007 until present; the TMP Options; costs of LRT vs. BRT and, the peer review of the rapid transit plan.  She concluded by stating that Council has selected the option that:

·         Adheres to TMP and 10-year Tactical Plan objectives

·         Meets the needs of the citizens of Ottawa

·         Provides best overall cost

·         Provides the greatest long-term sustainability

 

Further, she indicated that LRT provides double the carrying capacity of the bus system, while being more reliable and flexible.  The LRT solution will make use of advanced technology that is clean and quiet, resulting in a much more environmentally friendly transit model.  A copy of her PowerPoint presentation is held on file.

 

Councillor Wilkinson referred to a report prepared by Andrew Haydon detailing the benefits of BRT and asked staff to address the facts and figures contained in that report and what the up-to-date numbers would be for Ottawa.  Ms. Schepers confirmed that staff has the numbers for the City’s system and she agreed to prepare a memo providing Council with a response to the information contained in his report, prior to 13 January 2010 when this item rises to Council.

 

In an effort to maximize customer convenience, Councillor Legendre questioned the use of side platforms rather than centre platforms at some of the stations, noting in particular, Bayview Station and wondered if the choice for side platforms was an attempt to balance some of the commercial development issues at these stations.  Mr. Hopper advised that side platforms are a more efficient and less costly structure and will allow for future options underneath for extending the O-Train to Gatineau, et cetera.  He confirmed there would be appropriate signage on the platforms and on the trains to reduce any confusion for passengers who may become disoriented in the underground stations.

 

The councillor was seeking assurance that the focus is to make a system that is desirable and functional for the rider and Ms. Schepers confirmed this was the main priority.  Councillor Legendre expressed some concern that shopping centres such as Gloucester Centre and St. Laurent Shopping Centre were not reflected on the list of stakeholders and suggested there should be some renegotiation of the understanding of those transit stations with them.  The Deputy City Manager confirmed that working with all stakeholders on the development piece will be a part of the next phase and she assured the councillor that staff would report back with a development strategy with respect to how to get them involved.

 

The Committee received the following public delegations:

 

Hume Rogers, Downtown Coalition spoke in support of LRT in a tunnel vs. surface LRT.  He gave a PowerPoint presentation highlighting the following points:

·         The current transit system will collapse in 6-7 years as a result of the inability to move enough buses through downtown; buses will be increasingly overcrowded, leading to delayed and unreliable service

·         Surface LRT will not have capacity and a tunnel will be required in 10-15 years;

·         Only a tunnel provides reliability, speed and comfort; surface LRT is unable to move around obstacles; conflicts at cross-streets decrease speed and reliability

·         Only LRT in a tunnel avoids major disruption due to demonstrations, accidents, et cetera

 

A copy of his written submission is held on file.

 

Should the senior governments decide not to provide funding for this, Councillor Bloess asked whether it would still be a priority for the Coalition.  Mr. Rogers believed the City did not have an option and suggested it has done poorly in explaining to the public the lack of available options to address the congestion problems in the core.  He maintained that before declaring this plan as being too costly, in the long run the other options would be more expensive.  He advised that he had sent his presentation to Federal Transport Minister John Baird and to Jim Watson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and hoped to meet with them in January.

 

Lori Mellor, Executive Director, Preston Street Business Improvement Area also spoke as a resident and taxpayer in the city and encouraged the Committee to approve the DOTT and move forward with this excellent and very necessary component of the rapid transit system.  The more salient points raised were as follows:

·         Locating the transit corridor underground will give commuters refuge from extreme weather conditions and will spare the system from delays caused by traffic congestion, snow storms, et cetera

·         It will allow the development of related commercial activities that will connect the downtown in the same manner as the Path System in Toronto

·         The O-Train is already successful in terms of ridership and it will be able to connect to the east/west LRT when it is in place, spurring significant residential and commercial development along that corridor between Carling and Albert

·         The tunnel will also improve transit connections with Gatineau; currently, many commuters use Preston Street to travel to and from Gatineau, adding to congestion and pollution in the community; an improved transit system between the two provinces would greatly improve the quality of life in Little Italy

·         The tunnel is consistent with the City’s densification goals in the Official Plan; in Little Italy, the zoning allows for densification with minimal parking spots, which can only work if there is a rapid transit system that is easy to use, gets people to where they want to go with little transfer and is fast and reliable.

 

A copy of her written submission is held on file.

 

Claudio Brun del Re, Director, Physical Resources Service, University of Ottawa expressed strong support for the LRT system, and specifically the tunnel through the downtown.  As detailed in his letter previously distributed, the university would realize the following benefits with the tunnel:

·         Improvement in the capacity, reliability and speed of transit for students and staff

·         An opportunity to create a green buffer between the harsh Nicholas corridor and the western edge of the university; improved pedestrian/cycling connections is an opportunity to achieve greater sustainability objectives

·         The proposed realignment of the Campus Station (under Colonel By Drive) will reduce construction disruptions to the campus

·         The ability to provide direct connections from campus buildings into the LRT station.

 

Mr. Brun del Re added that they would like to discuss business opportunities and leasable spaces offered by the new station.  Some issues to be addressed include:

·         With the loss of the Laurier Station, they need to work with the project team to ensure that the new Campus Station provides adequate coverage to the north end of the campus by extending it’s access as far north as possible and providing direct connections into buildings, where possible

·         Impacts of construction and operation of LRT on their Science precinct, notably a planned Photonics Lab and other sensitive facilities; the alignment of the station to the west of Nicholas is very important to the university in this regard.

 

Additional comments are reflected in his letter dated 15 December, which is held on file.

 

Eric Darwin spoke on behalf of the BikeWest Project, a bikeway that runs west from the downtown (parallel to Albert Street), to Bayview, and continuing west (parallel to Scott Street) to Westboro, and beyond.  He suggested that this project be included in the already-numerous planning studies underway along the corridor and that it be implemented as part of the major capital expenditures planned for the next decade.

 

Mr. Darwin stated that to achieve BikeWest, the design and construction of the tunnel should not block the already available cycling right-of-way and, in particular, the new Bayview Station must not block a future cycling overpass at the O-Train alignment and the Tunney’s Pasture station exit on the south side (facing Scott Street) requires minor revision to permit the cycling route to pass the station.  A copy of his presentation providing additional details was distributed and is held on file.

 

Rosemary Thompson, National Arts Centre read from a prepared statement, highlighting the following:

·         They support the proposed location of the tunnel in front of the NAC (Rideau Station), noting it will allow easy access for patrons as well as easy access to the Rideau Canal and will be close to the War Memorial, the entrance to Sparks Street and an easy route to Parliament Hill; therefore, this station is very important to their future and anything they can do in the planning process to bring transit users closer to these Ottawa landmarks is important to them

·         With the new Convention Centre and a growing population, the time has come for LRT as it will allow patrons to attend a performance without using their cars and will free up traffic in the core, adding life to the city.

 

A copy of their letter dated 16 December 2009 is held on file.

 

John Verbaas, City Centre Coalition was concerned that the tunnel seemed to focus on a “five star” solution for the downtown in terms of its capacity and reliability and reduction of bus operational costs.  He posited that the hopes of attracting new riders seems to be more through indirect benefits by potentially less congestion and the tradeoffs by selecting this kind of route for the tunnel include:

·         It will be 10 years before the system is operational and cost savings are realized

·         The vast majority of riders will have to transfer much more than today; is there not a way design the system to reduce the number of people who will have to transfer

·         The proposed system is slightly less beneficial for downtown residents because it is less accessible than the current Transitway and there are less places to enter and leave the system; on top of that, they will be required, along with everyone else, to travel 10 storeys underground to reach the LRT

 

Mr. Verbaas believed there were other alternatives that could be and should be explored, before the City is 100% committed to the path it is currently on.  He understood that staff would be bringing forward a business plan in January, but did not know how Council could be expected to approve this plan, before that business case is provided.

 

In response to some of his concerns, the Chair noted that the tunnel is proposed to be quite deep in order to avoid the watermain, utilities and other underground infrastructure that traverses the proposed tunnel route.  With regards to the business case, he thought that when it is presented to the senior levels of government it would have already been made public.  Ms. Chi confirmed that staff will make that document public once it is finalized.

 

Peggy DuCharme, Executive Director, Downtown Rideau BIA supported the staff recommendations and declined to speak further as she would be addressing the IPD regarding the bus connections later on the agenda.

 

David Jeanes, Transport Action Canada was concerned the City did not have an alternative plan to address the failure of the Transitway through the downtown and depending on how much funding is available, suggested that there may be a need for much more than 12 km of LRT over the next 20 years.  He acknowledged that the costs of moving people by LRT are much less than buses and it is therefore important that the study move forward quickly, although the outcome may not be a tunnel.  He made the following additional comments:

·         noted the high degree of curvature built into some parts of the system that will limit train speeds and create discomfort for passengers

·         transfer stations are nothing like those in Toronto where they are completely enclosed and the bus side of the transfer stations are a poor example of what can be done in facilitating bus/rail transfers

·         30 years ago the former RMOC was designing a bus rapid transit system that would convert to light rail and it is not; Council should therefore ask what was meant by it being convertible because now the City is looking at building more BRT (bus rapid transit) and (temporary) expensive bypass facilities and are converting almost nothing except for the St. Laurent Station.

 

Klaus Beltzner spoke about the curves in the proposed LRT system, some of which are very tight.  He mentioned that a 425 metre radius is required to allow a train to travel at 80 km, but would submit that the radius is likely going to be a lot less and therefore the speed will be less than 80 km/h, which he did not think is what Council wants.  From the functional design perspective, he asked that Council know what the radius of the curves are and what the expected top speeds are at each of the segments so staff can determine the overall speed advantage or disadvantage over the existing bus network.  He was glad to hear about the savings and would remind Council from time to time that that is what is being sought as a part of the benefit of rail.

 

David Gladstone noted the missing rapid transit links to Gatineau and to the airport from the plan.  He stated that there is every indication there will be no decrease in travel times for those who currently use express buses because of the lengthy rides up and down to the trains in the tunnel.  There is no use of existing rail lines.  He posited that transit is becoming an increasingly costly system and the City should be working towards having better transit service now.

 

David James made the following suggested alignment changes to the recommended plan at Hurdman and the VIA Train Station and to preserve a future connection to the southeast Transitway and the future LRT:

·         For Hurdman, move the upper level inbound LRT down to where the buses are, to enable cross platform transfers in the morning to trains without having to go upstairs; for the afternoon, leave the upper platform the way it is and people would just go downstairs

·         To protect for future southeast LRT, the grade separation issue between the two directions is solved because the outbound east LRT is going out over the inbound southeast LRT; this would require a relocation of the station to the north which should be protected because in future, the southeast Transitway will be converted to LRT

·         For the VIA Train station, he suggested changes that could shorten the route and reduce the amount of tunnelling; having the LRT station right in front of the VIA Station is more likely to attract passengers coming from the train because they will be towing luggage and going to the LRT if it was closer would be more convenient for them

·         This alignment would preserve the Transitway station during conversion so the station could be built without interfering with Transitway operations and the Transitway station would also be available after conversion

·         This would also be a good opportunity to have a regional intermodal hub here with a coach (such as the one at Catherine Street) terminal in the former Transitway station; it would enable cross-platform transfers from coaches to LRT and would give people travelling from the train the opportunity to transfer to their secondary mode of transport.

 

In his closing remarks, Mr. James wondered there is going to be such a sharp curve into Hurdman, noting this would be counter-productive for speed.

 

In response to a question about whether a connection to the southeast Transitway had been factored into the design, Mr. Hopper explained that they had examined this early in the design stage, but there was not enough distance from the south end of the Rideau River Bridge through Hurdman to make the connections to the southeast and the east and fit it all in with a platform as well.  The Chair mentioned that Council had directed that that connectivity be there and wondered if a whole redesign for the station would have to be looked at eventually.  Ms. Chi indicated it would not because there would be another line coming out so there would be two platforms that people would transfer between and they are not lined up (south of Hurdman area).  Mr. Hopper added that to protect for future extension to the southeast Transitway, there would be a connection at the south end of the Rideau River Bridge that would split off and there would be a second platform near the existing bus terminal so there would be two separate stations; one for trains to the east and one for trains to the southeast.  He explained that this was the only solution they found that would make the geometry work.

 

Picking up on this last comment, Councillor Legendre asked what was wrong with the suggestion made by the last delegation and Mr. Hopper advised that there is a pocket track east of Hurdman Station and there will be a need for extra service between Hurdman and Bayview (or Tunney’s) in future to provide twice the amount of service in the core and the City would need somewhere to turn the trains back.  They did not consider splitting inbound and outbound onto different levels because they were trying to preserve the option to turn trains in order to run double service west of this location.  He was not confident that could be accomplished with the suggestion made by the delegation.

 

With respect to the suggestion made by Mr. James for changes at the VIA Train Station, Mr. Hopper explained that that had been examined in the early stages of the DOTT project, but the tracks east of the station would all be cut and cover under existing buildings and would be more expensive than an at-grade solution.  Also, the yard-leads to get to that location would require a fair amount of length, so they tried to balance it off by making the yard-lead have all the sharp curves where no one is riding the train and giving passengers the smoothest, quickest ride, which results in a longer walk from the Train Station to the LRT station.  Councillor Legendre thought his idea for the possible relocation of the inner bus terminal was an intriguing concept and Mr. Hopper explained that VIA is the land owner and they have some development plans in the area, but incorporating a bus terminal inside that driveway was not considered during those discussions.

 

Following completion of the public delegations, the Committee took a lunch break between 12:15 p.m. and 1:05 p.m.

 

Councillor Bédard explained that he originally voted against the alignment for the tunnel because of the exit points and it looked like the City was not taking care of the economic viability of the Rideau Centre and the Downtown Rideau BIA (DRBIA).  He was concerned that the tunnel may have to be moved somewhat in order to accommodate where the access point will be at the Rideau Centre and was seeking assurance that during discussions with them and the DRBIA, that some recognition is given that some flexibility may be required.  Mr. Hopper confirmed there was enough flexibility in this plan to accommodate the concerns of the Rideau Centre.

 

Councillor Wilkinson commented on the station design and the location of the platforms and Mr. Hopper explained how these would function.  The councillor made the suggestion of having ramps at every station in case of power failure so there is an alternative to the elevators and escalators.  The consultant advised that the underground system is able to distribute power differently than at street level and each station in the tunnel would have two elevators at each entrance and back-up generators would be available to run some services at each station, including the elevators, long enough to evacuate during an emergency.  The councillor asked whether the station designs would be evaluated by the disabled community and the consultant indicated they would be.

 

Councillor Wilkinson wondered if staff could provide the timelines for specific milestones of the project and the Deputy City Manager indicated that the Critical Path at Document 3 to the report provides some detail, but noted it was based on the assumption of funding.  Staff will continue to update and refine that document as the process unfolds to provide more clarity in terms of when they can better predict key milestones, and would include in that detail on what other studies are occurring simultaneously.

 

The Committee then considered the Motions presented:

 

Councillor Bloess proposed the following:

 

WHEREAS the recommended plan for the Downtown Ottawa Transit Tunnel Light Rail Project will substantially improve capacity and quality of transit service when implemented;

 

AND WHEREAS it is expected that an essential part of the implementation plan during construction will involve planning and providing alternative transit routes when sections of the existing Transitway are converted to light rail;

 

AND WHEREAS this temporary alternative transit service should remain convenient for transit users;

 

AND WHEREAS the Nicholas Connector crossing forms an integral component of the approved Alta Vista Transportation Corridor and its construction may lessen the operational impacts on transit use during construction of the light rail project;

 

AND WHEREAS the Nicholas Connector crossing is identified as a Phase 1, Increment 1 project in the City's Transportation Master Plan;

 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Nicholas Connector crossing be evaluated in terms of the operational advantages and savings and continue to be considered as a viable alternative to address interim transit operations during the construction period.

 

The Chair asked staff to comment on what difference this would make to how they planned the crossing of the Rideau River.  The Deputy City Manager advised that there was direction for staff to look at alternatives and what is in the report is an alternative to this option in terms of using Riverside and then the lanes on the Queensway.  She confirmed that that is doable and there are operational issues with that.  What this Motion would have staff do is ensure they have evaluated on a cost basis (operational perspective and capital investment) and to do a thorough analysis and come back with that and be clear which represents the best value for Council in terms of continued operation during construction and the costs which will have to be covered.  This would come back after funding has been confirmed and before the implementation stage.  Mr. Jensen, Director, Rail Implementation added they would have to come to a decision on that before the end of 2010 in order to have the necessary timelines in place to implement that option.

 

Councillor Legendre noted the Motion was linked to the Alta Vista Parkway which impacts the downtown in terms of vehicles, et cetera.  Ms. Schepers advised that, if approved, staff would look at using that connector for transit only and evaluate it on those terms as part of the construction mitigation.  She confirmed the councillor’s understanding that it would be linked to that corridor, which is intended for vehicular use.  She went on to state that staff do not see the Motion as requiring significant effort because staff had previously been instructed in 2008 to look at the feasibility and cost of temporarily bus-only lanes on Riverside Drive and using the bus-only lanes on the Queensway compared to the cost of the bridge.  The councillor felt that the Motion is an essential reconsideration of a Council position that preferred to have buses on the Queensway rather than adding a bridge.  Legal counsel deferred to staff to comment as he was not familiar enough with the TMP to advise on whether or not it would amount to reconsideration.  Ms. Schepers explained that the Motion instructs staff to look into the feasibility of using the bridge on Highway 417 for buses (which staff have already done) and their response is reflected in the recommendations before the Committee.  She clarified that while staff have come back as directed, their analysis was not based on the operational considerations that the Motion speaks to.

 

In view of the uncertainty in terms of reconsideration, Councillor Legendre wondered whether it would not be better to simply refer the Motion to Council with no recommendation and that Legal staff, in consultation with Planning staff, could address the question of reconsideration.

 

Other councillors did not support the Motion, suggesting it fast-tracks the most difficult part of the Alta Vista expressway – the bridge across Highway 417.  Councillor Doucet stated that that corridor has been contested by many communities for years because they see it as another freeway into the downtown.  He also found it destructive to the DOTT because it derails it from a transit plan to a car plan.  Councillor Bédard agreed this was a way of dealing with the Alta Vista corridor piecemeal and feared that while the Motion speaks to using the corridor for transit during construction, afterwards, it would be used for cars and that was completely unacceptable, especially in the absence of further and extensive public consultation.

 

Councillor Wilkinson asked what the status was of the Alta Vista corridor in the TMP and Ms. Chi advised it is shown in Increment 1.  The councillor believed that what the Motion does is ask staff to evaluate this and if it saves the City money, she did not see any problem having it looked at.  She thought it would provide additional and necessary information and did not think it was there to undermine what is already in the TMP.

 

Councillor Legendre indicated that adding further costs to this process may jeopardize funding opportunities for the DOTT from the senior levels of government and he felt it would send the wrong message to those partners by adding that uncertainty.  He advised that he would not be pursuing referral of the Motion to Council and encouraged Committee members to simply defeat it.

 

On wrap-up, Councillor Bloess remarked that what the Motion is seeking is operational savings and advantages by having the link across the river.  He understood what problems already exist at specific bottlenecks in the system for cars and buses and the additional problems that would be associated with the construction of the LRT, so he was hoping to understand what the advantages would be of having this link.  He emphasized the fact that it is already in Phase 1 of the TMP and he encouraged members to support the Motion and find out if alleviating that pressure can be done at a less costly price.

 

Moved by R. Bloess

 

WHEREAS the recommended plan for the Downtown Ottawa Transit Tunnel Light Rail Project will substantially improve capacity and quality of transit service when implemented;

 

AND WHEREAS it is expected that an essential part of the implementation plan during construction will involve planning and providing alternative transit routes when sections of the existing Transitway are converted to light rail;

 

AND WHEREAS this temporary alternative transit service should remain convenient for transit users;

 

AND WHEREAS the Nicholas Connector crossing forms an integral component of the approved Alta Vista Transportation Corridor and its construction may lessen the operational impacts on transit use during construction of the light rail project;

 

AND WHEREAS the Nicholas Connector crossing is identified as a Phase 1, Increment 1 project in the City's Transportation Master Plan;

 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Nicholas Connector crossing be evaluated in terms of the operational advantages and savings and continue to be considered as a viable alternative to address interim transit operations during the construction period.

 

                                                                                                LOST

 

YEAS (3):       R. Bloess, D. Thompson, M. Wilkinson

NAYS (4):      G. Bédard, J. Legendre, C. Doucet, A. Cullen

 

Moved by G. Bédard

 

WHEREAS the construction of the DOTT project will substantially affect the urban design of the downtown core; and

 

WHEREAS subsequent design phases of the DOTT project will include urban design components

 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that staff ensure that the proposed Downtown Ottawa Urban Design Strategy Mobility Overlay include the integration of the Escarpment Plan and the Bronson Avenue Reconstruction with any streetscape requirements resulting from the DOTT.

 

                                                                                                CARRIED

 

Moved by G. Bédard

 

WHEREAS the DOTT Functional Design Report has identified Kent and Lyon Streets as possible detour bus routes during DOTT construction; and

 

WHEREAS Kent and Lyon Streets are residential streets; 

 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that staff be directed to use Kent and Lyon streets as detour streets only as a last resort and that alternative detour corridors be explored for use during and after DOTT construction.

 

                                                                                                CARRIED

 

Moved by G. Bédard

 

WHEREAS the DOTT functional design report identifies possible detour corridors for buses during DOTT construction; and

 

WHEREAS having detour routes on streets that abut residential communities is disruptive;

 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that bus service to the east of Tunney's Pasture utilize the Ottawa River Parkway as much as possible during the construction of the DOTT; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that bus service along Albert Street (particularly between Bayview and Booth) be minimized to the greatest degree possible, while still providing off-peak service to nearby residents; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that during the development of the detailed plan for transit service for the DOTT construction period, measures are implemented to minimize the impact to the residential neighborhoods abutting Scott and Albert Streets.

 

                                                                                                CARRIED

 

Moved by G. Bédard

 

WHEREAS the DOTT functional design for the DOTT project includes an early design bus routing plans for Albert and Booth; and

 

WHEREAS the design for this intersection includes increasing the number of lanes; and

 

WHEREAS the design for this intersection does not ease the movement of vulnerable road users on the roadway;

 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that staff be directed to find, identify and include alternate ways of providing priority to transit vehicles moving from eastbound Albert to northbound Booth

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the development of subsequent design phases of the DOTT further prioritize movement, safety and comfort of pedestrians and cyclists through the intersection of Booth/Albert Streets.

 

                                                                                                CARRIED

 

Prior to considering the following Motion, Councillor Legendre mentioned that a bicycle link to the east (to Blair) would also be beneficial and he wanted assurance that staff would be diligent in looking for opportunities going east as well.  Ms. Chi confirmed that staff would and that it would be rolled into the EA going out to the public.

 

Moved by G. Bédard

 

WHEREAS DOTT construction will have an impact on downtown mobility patterns and

 

WHEREAS the BikeWest project is a conceptual bikeway from the downtown running due west, parallel to Albert Street to Bayview, then continuing west parallel to Scott Street to Westboro, and easily extendable to Lincoln Fields and beyond.

 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the subsequent design phases of the DOTT project include examining the possibility of including space for a segregated off-road bi-directional cycling path along the south side of the LRT alignment from Empress Street to Bayview; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that staff evaluate options for including a bike route overpass over the O-Train cut at Bayview as part of the Bayview Station planning; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that staff explore options to ensure that there is room for the BikeWest project to safely pass the Tunney’s Station on the south side between the station and Scott Street.

 

                                                                                                CARRIED

 

The Chair asked if the Committee was in favour of carrying the report, as amended and Committee members indicated their support.  However, immediately following this, Councillor Doucet explained that he wanted to speak to the item.  On a Point of Order, Councillor Bloess suggested that no further discussion should ensue since the Committee had verbally ‘carried’ the item.  The Chair ruled however, that Councillor Doucet would be given an opportunity to speak on the main item before a vote was taken.

 

Councillor Doucet believed that the City should be going with surface light rail because it is cheaper, faster and can proceed now.  He stated that the DOTT is an environmental disaster, because it will result in the moving of thousands of tonnes of earth to put the system underground and he did not believe it was logical to bury environmentally friendly transportation, while leaving polluting buses on the surface.  He maintained the City should be improving the electric footprint in Ottawa now, not in 20 years when the LRT will be in operation.  He believed the DOTT was a Band-Aid solution to the current Transitway which does not work.

 

            The Chair acknowledged that a representative of the Pedestrian and Transit Advisory Committee was not present to speak to their submission and the Committee received the information as presented by PTAC.

 

That the Transit Committee recommend that Council:

 

1.         Approve the functional design for the Light Rail Transit (LRT) corridor from Tunney's Pasture to Blair Station and the Maintenance and Storage Facility as described in this report and detailed in Document 1.

 

2.         Direct staff to initiate a formal, expedited Environmental Assessment (EA) process based on the approved functional design, and file the Environmental Project Report with the Ministry of the Environment in accordance with Ontario EA Regulation 231/08 for transit projects.

 

3.         Direct staff to begin the property acquisition process as described in this report for subsequent consideration by Committee and Council, subject to funding approval in the 2010 Budget.

 

4.         Direct staff to initiate the preliminary engineering and the procurement management process as described in Document 3, subject to funding approval in the 2010 Budget.

 

5.         Direct staff to undertake an urban design study and a transportation study for the downtown that takes into account pedestrian, cycling facilities and residual transit service for post-DOTT implementation.

 

6.         Approve that staff ensure that the proposed Downtown Ottawa Urban Design Strategy Mobility Overlay include the integration of the Escarpment Plan and the Bronson Avenue Reconstruction with any streetscape requirements resulting from the DOTT.

 

7.         Direct staff to use Kent and Lyon streets as detour streets only as a last resort and that alternative detour corridors be explored for use during and after DOTT construction.

 

8.         Approve that bus service to the east of Tunney's Pasture utilize the Ottawa River Parkway as much as possible during the construction of the DOTT;

 

            That bus service along Albert Street (particularly between Bayview and Booth) be minimized to the greatest degree possible, while still providing off-peak service to nearby residents; and,

 

            That during the development of the detailed plan for transit service for the DOTT construction period, measures are implemented to minimize the impact to the residential neighbourhoods abutting Scott and Albert Streets.

 

9.         Direct staff to find, identify and include alternate ways of providing priority to transit vehicles moving from eastbound Albert to northbound Booth; and,

 

            That the development of subsequent design phases of the DOTT further prioritize movement, safety and comfort of pedestrians and cyclists through the intersection of Booth/Albert Streets.

 

10.       Approve that the subsequent design phases of the DOTT project include examining the possibility of including space for a segregated off-road bi-directional cycling path along the south side of the LRT alignment from Empress to Bayview;

 

Direct staff to evaluate options for including a bike route overpass over the O-Train cut at Bayview as part of the Bayview Station planning; and,

 

Direct staff to explore options to ensure that there is room for the BikeWest project to safely pass the Tunney’s Pasture Station on the south side between the station and Scott Street.

 

                                                                                                            CARRIED, as amended

 

YEAS (6):       R. Bloess, G. Bédard, J. Legendre, D. Thompson, M. Wilkinson, A. Cullen

NAYS (1):      C. Doucet