Report to/Rapport au:

 

Transportation Committee

and Council / et au Conseil

 

21 January 2011 / le 21 janvier 2011

 

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 /Personne ressource : Vivi Chi, Manager/Gestionnaire, Transportation Planning/Planification des transports, Planning and Growth Management/Urbanisme et Gestion de la croissance   (613 580-2424 x 21877, Vivi.Chi@ottawa.ca

 

Bay/Baie (7), College/Collège (8), Knoxdale/Merivale (9), River/Rivière (16)

Ref N°: ACS2011-ICS-PGM-0044

 

 

SUBJECT:

BASELINE ROAD TRANSIT INTENSIVE CORRIDOR (Bayshore Station to Prince of Wales Drive) Planning and Environmental Assessment Study - Statement of Work

 

 

OBJET :

étude de planification et d'évaluation environnementale DU Couloir de transport en commun à fort débit du chemin Baseline (entre la station Bayshore et la promenade Prince of Wales) – énoncé de travail

 

 

REPORT RECOMMENDATION

 

That the Transportation Committee approve the Statement of Work for the Baseline Road Transit Intensive Corridor Planning and Environmental Assessment Study, as detailed in Document 1.

 

RECOMMANDATION DU RAPPORT

 

Que le Comité des transports approuve l’énoncé de travail relatif à l’étude de planification et d'évaluation environnementale du couloir de transport en commun à fort débit du chemin Baseline, comme le montre en détail le document 1.

 

 

BACKGROUND

 

In conjunction with the rapid transit network, on 28 November 2008, as part of the Transportation Master Plan (TMP) discussion, Council approved a series of new Transit Intensive projects which included:

 

·         Baseline Road/Confederation (Heron Road) - Dedicated bus lanes between Baseline Station and Confederation (Heron Road);

·         Baseline Road to Richmond Road - Dedicated bus lanes between Baseline Station and Bayshore Station;

·         Heron Road - Dedicated bus lanes between Heron Road /Southeast Transitway Confederation Station and Walkley Road

·         Walkley Road - Dedicated bus lanes between Heron Road and Russell Road

·         Russell Road/St. Laurent Boulevard BRT - Dedicated bus lanes between Walkley Road to Hospital /Innes Road BRT Link and;

·         Carling Avenue LRT - LRT in dedicated bus lanes between Lincoln Fields Station and the North-South LRT west of Preston Street.

 

These corridors complement the rapid transit network by providing improved city-wide transit access to major employment, commercial and institutional land uses. The Baseline Transit Intensive Corridor between Bayshore Station and Prince of Wales Drive is the subject of this report. The study area is shown in Figure 1.

 

The present bus service along Baseline Road operates in mixed traffic with delays which affect reliability. The section east of Baseline Station is a priority with respect to timeline, due to existing and potential higher ridership levels, and the potential to provide a greater degree of transit-service reliability. This will complement existing and on-going planned changes to Heron Road, which connects Baseline Station to the O-train and the Southeast Transitway at Heron Station.

 

Figure 1:     Baseline Transit Intensive Corridor (Bayshore Station to Prince of Wales Drive - Study Area

corridorLimit.wmf

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Baseline Road is a major transportation corridor that facilitates movement of people and goods in an east-west direction. Land use in this area includes retail centres, the Queensway-Carleton Hospital, schools, parks, Pinecrest Cemetery, single unit residential homes, town houses, multi-storied apartment buildings, and the Experimental Farm. Baseline Road corridor is approximately 9.5 km in length that stretches between Richmond Road in the west and Prince of Wales Drive in the east. Other arterials that intersect the corridor are Richmond Road, Fisher Avenue, Merivale Road, Clyde Avenue, Woodroffe Avenue and Greenbank Road, all of which accommodate substantial north-south travel demand throughout the day with high traffic volumes during peak periods. Baseline Road is classified as an arterial four-lane roadway with a median that separates east and west traffic movements.

 

The Statement of Work (SoW), described in Document 1, outlines the tasks and scope of work to be undertaken for the Baseline Transit Intensive Corridor, including consultation. Upon approval from Transportation Committee, it will form the basis for a call for proposals to the consulting industry.

 

The purpose of this study is to undertake an integrated planning and functional design process and complete an environmental assessment (EA) study in accordance with the Transit Project Environmental Assessment Process (Ont. Reg. 231/08) for the Baseline Transit Intensive Corridor.  Since there may be a requirement for Federal land because a portion of the route may enter onto the Experimental Farm, and as there may be potential need for federal permits and funding, the project must also comply with the requirements of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA).  The EA processes will be co-ordinated to avoid duplication of effort.

 

Key considerations for the Baseline Transit Intensive Corridor EA study include the following:

·         Transit service and ridership

·         Adjacent land use type

·         Connection with other City transit projects

·         Cycling and pedestrian needs

·         Full evaluation of potential impacts

·         Cost

 

It is expected that the study will take approximately 18 months after contract award to complete.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATIONS

 

The study will examine and evaluate the project’s effects on social, physical and natural environments within the study area.  Appropriate mitigation measures will be developed and post mitigation environmental impacts will also be determined.

 

CONSULTATION

 

This study will involve stakeholders, including local community/interest groups, property owners, institutions, businesses, and approval agencies.  Early in the study process stakeholders will be identified through various forms of consultation, including liaison with the Ward Councillors.

 

COMMENTS BY THE WARD COUNCILLOR(S)

 

Councillor Taylor:  I have no comments that ‘must be added’. I am in concurrence with the study moving ahead as described in the statement of work.

 

Councillor Chiarelli is aware of this report.

 

Councillor Egli:  I am ok with the study proceeding with the proviso that close attention is paid to the Greenbank issue. That road is already heavily used and is a difficult area to get through at certain times of the day.

 

Councillor McRae is aware of the staff report and supports moving forward with the Environmental Assessment.  This project aims to improve the City’s transportation network to reduce congestion, increase transit-service reliability, further modal split targets and enhance pedestrian and cycling infrastructure.

 

LEGAL/RISK MANAGEMENT IMPLICATIONS

 

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

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

 

Funding for the study is available in Rapid Transit EA Studies (905184).

 

CITY STRATEGIC PLAN

 

The recommendation contained herein aims to support the following Strategic Directions adopted by Council:

 

Transportation

 

Objective 1: Improve the City’s transportation network to afford ease of mobility, keep pace with growth, reduce congestion and work towards modal split targets.

 

Transit

 

Objective 1: Achieve a 30% modal split by 2031

 

Sustainable Healthy and Active City

 

Objective 6: Require walking, transit and cycling oriented communities and employment centres.

 

Planning and Growth Management

 

Objective 3: Ensure that the City infrastructure required for new growth is built or improved as needed to serve growth.

 

TECHNICAL IMPLICATIONS

 

N/A

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

 

Funding for the study is available in Rapid Transit EA Studies (905184).

 

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION

 

Document 1      Baseline Transit Intensive Corridor (Bayshore Station to Prince of Wales Drive) Planning and Environmental Assessment Study – Statement of Work

 

DISPOSITION

 

Following Committee approval of the attached Statement of Work, the selection of consultants will commence. A call for proposal will be undertaken with the assistance of the Supply Management Branch.

 

Baseline Transit Intensive CORRIDOR (Bayshore Station to PRINCE OF Wales Drive) Planning and Environmental ASSESSMENT sTUDY - Statement of Work                                                                                                                                  DOCUMENT 1

 

introduction

 

This Study will examine all reasonable alternatives for the intermediate and long term scenarios including segregated bus lanes for improved transit service along the Baseline corridor. Using the most current information and technical data available, this study will identify existing and future transit demand and document opportunities and challenges within the Study area. The study will analyze the need and justification for Transit Intensive bus corridor(s) to provide community and local transit functions.

 

Once a transit intensive corridor is identified, the Study will examine a range of alternative design options, and identify both construction and operational impacts of the project on all aspects of the environment. The study will bring forward a recommended plan detailing the corridor alignment, location transit stops, supporting infrastructure and all measures to mitigate environmental impacts. In addition, detailed costs, implementation timelines and all subsequent approvals required to proceed with the construction of the project will be identified.

 

PLANNING CONTEXT

 

In conjunction with the rapid transit network, on 28 November 2008, as part of the Transportation Master Plan (TMP) discussion, Council approved a series of new Transit Intensive projects which included:

 

·         Baseline Road/Confederation (Heron Road) - Dedicated bus lanes between Baseline Station and Confederation (Heron Road);

·         Baseline Road to Richmond Road - Dedicated bus lanes between Baseline Station and Bayshore Station;

·         Heron Road - Dedicated bus lanes between Heron Road /Southeast Transitway Confederation Station and Walkley Road

·         Walkley Road - Dedicated bus lanes between Heron Road and Russell Road

·         Russell Road/St. Laurent Boulevard BRT - Dedicated bus lanes between Walkley Road to Hospital /Innes Road BRT Link and;

·         Carling Avenue LRT - LRT in dedicated bus lanes between Lincoln Fields Station and the North-South LRT west of Preston Street.

 

These corridors complement the rapid transit network by providing improved city-wide transit access to major employment, commercial and institutional land uses. The Baseline Transit Intensive Corridor between Bayshore Station and Prince of Wales Drive is the subject of this report.

The purpose of this study is to undertake an integrated planning and functional design process and complete an environmental assessment (EA) study in accordance with the Transit Project Environmental Assessment Process (Ont. Reg. 231/08) for the Baseline Transit Intensive Corridor.

 

Since there may be a requirement for Federal land because a portion of the route may enter onto the Experimental Farm, and as there may be potential need for federal permits and funding, the project must also comply with the requirements of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA).  The EA processes will be co-ordinated to avoid duplication of effort. The study will include all relevant environmental inventories and analysis to sufficiently satisfy both Federal and Provincial EA requirements.

 

The present bus service along Baseline Road operates in mixed traffic with delays which affect reliability. Baseline Road is a major transportation corridor that facilitates movement of people and goods in an east-west direction. It is approximately 9.5 km in length that stretches between Richmond Road in the west and Prince of Wales Drive in the east. Other arterials that intersect the corridor are Richmond Road, Fisher Avenue, Merivale Road, Clyde Avenue, Woodroffe Avenue and Greenbank Road, all of which accommodate substantial north-south travel demand throughout the day with high traffic volumes during peak periods. Baseline Road is classified as a four-lane arterial roadway with a median that separates east and west traffic movements.

 

Ottawa’s TMP has set a target of 30% transit modal split by 2031. Apart from the Bus Rapid Transit Network, the TMP has also identified various corridors within the City’s transportation network as Supplementary Transit Corridors to encourage transit usage in future. Baseline Road is classified as Transit Intensive bus corridor which signifies the requirement of designated bus lanes. However, from transit perspective, it is also important as it provides an alternative and direct route between two important transitway stations via Heron and Baseline without using the downtown core. Further, this corridor also connects with O-Train line at Confederation Station as shown below.

 

Bus routes along Baseline Road (2011)

 

With the exception of a small stretch between Woodroffe Avenue and Navaho Road, Route 118 serves the Baseline corridor throughout its length. There are other regular routes (Routes 151, 152) as well as peak period routes (Routes 155, 179) which partially serve the corridor. Along the corridor, there are 42 intersections of which 24 are signalized intersections. Many signalized intersections operate at Level of Service (LOS) ‘E’ or ‘F’ during AM and PM Peak periods with average delays ranging from 62 to 142 seconds per vehicle. This poor LOS adversely affects transit service efficiency and causes delays to transit passengers. Any growth in traffic volumes along and across the corridor could create further delays to transit service.

 

PROJECT SCOPE, TASKS, AND DELIVERABLES

 

1.                  General

 

The purpose of this study is to undertake an integrated planning and functional design process and complete an environmental assessment (EA) study in accordance with the Transit Project Environmental Assessment Process (Ont. Reg. 231/08) for the Baseline Transit Intensive Corridor.  Due to potential impact on Federal land, the study must also comply with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA).

 

Key considerations for the Baseline Transit Intensive Corridor EA study include the following:

·         Transit service and ridership

·         Adjacent land use type

·         Connection with other City transit projects

·         Cycling and pedestrian needs

·         Full evaluation of potential impacts

·         Cost

 

1.1       Study Area

 

To ensure that all options are being considered, the Study Area (Figure 1) has been expanded to include area around Bayshore Station and the Baseline Road/Richmond Road Intersection in the west and the area of Baseline Station and Navaho Road (servicing Algonquin College) in the south. The Study Area highlights consideration of the roles and functions of Bayshore and Baseline Stations as transfer points.

 

Figure 1: Study Area

corridorLimit.wmf

 

The Study will ultimately recommend a preferred alignment from Bayshore Station to Prince of Wales Drive.  A range of alternative corridors and designs will be examined, including on-street bus lanes (centre and curb side) and segregated transit service.

 

Some tasks will require examination of a broader area beyond these limits in order to address environmental impacts and operational issues; to coordinate with relevant on-going studies and projects; and to study possible future network connections.

 

1.2       Coordination with Existing and Concurrent Studies

 

The Study will take into consideration any information including analysis and preliminary findings of concurrent on-going transportation, development and infrastructure projects that could influence the direction and/or conclusions of the Study. These projects include:

 

 

1.3       Timing

 

It will take approximately 18 months after contract award to complete this study.

 

2.         Study Design

 

A Study Design will be developed to ensure that all aspects of the EA will be addressed.  Part of this task will be to liaise with the Provincial and Federal authorities responsible for EA reviews to obtain their input on what EA requirements must be met (specific to this project).  The Study Design will:

 

 

3.         Planning

 

Prior to commencement of the EA process the following steps are needed to be completed.

 

3.1       Project Need

The bus transit corridor elements included as part of this project were envisioned in the TMP to form part of a cross-town east-west bus corridor that would complement the rapid transit LRT and BRT corridors. These improvements would make transit more attractive, especially to ‘choice’ riders.  In addition, it would provide high quality connections to the existing rapid transit network and increase the accessibility of the corridor to the rest of the city.

 

Using the most current information and technical data available, this study will identify existing and future transit demand and document opportunities and challenges within the Study Area. The study will analyze the need and justification for a Transit Intensive bus corridor to provide commuter and local transit service. The study will also quantify benefits to transit riders for each of the alternatives.

 

3.2       Existing Conditions

 

An inventory of the social, economic (agricultural, employment, retail etc.), physical and natural environments within the study area will be compiled. The inventory will consider all available background material and where necessary, supplement this information through on-site surveys and/or detailed studies. The inventory must be of sufficient detail to enable the analysis and evaluation of alternative transportation solutions, designs and mitigating measures.

 

In general, the inventory will identify and describe those aspects of the environment that could potentially affect, or be affected by the undertaking.  Some of the specific aspects of the environment associated with this project include:

 

 

The existing conditions and proposed works associated with development in the Baseline Corridor and within the study area will be documented prior to undertaking the evaluation of alternative solutions.

 

3.3       Alternative Solutions

 

The Study will identify and examine all reasonable alternatives to the undertaking.

 

The key components of this stage include:

 

-   Do nothing;

-   Improve roadway capacities;

-   Improve transit facilities;

 

The travel-forecasting component included in this stage of the study must:

 

 

3.4       Alternative Corridors and Evaluation

 

When assessing alternative corridors, a wide variety of factors will be examined, including but not limited to:

 

·         Ridership potential;

·         Roles as mass mobility system and as community building and regeneration catalyst;

·         Potential to promote and advance transit-oriented development;

·         Community access and land use integration;

·         Congestion reduction;

·         Visual, cultural landscape and heritage attributes;

·         Environmental characteristics;

·         Project impacts; and

·         Costs.

 

Although they are discussed independently, most of these issues are closely related to each other, and their interdependence will have a direct bearing on the study findings and EA recommended plan.

 

3.5       Design Alternatives and Evaluation

 

A comprehensive evaluation criteria and methodology will be developed to evaluate the various alternative designs for the selected corridor.

 

The effects of each alternative design on the environment will be thoroughly evaluated.  Mitigation measures and associated implications (e.g. cost of mitigation etc.) are to be identified and considered in the evaluation process.  The study must clearly identify the initial impacts of each alternative as well as the net post-mitigation effect using quantifiable indicators and measures wherever possible.

 

Effects on traffic operations will be evaluated in accordance with current City guidelines and practices. To ensure that all impacts are appropriately evaluated, detailed analysis will be required for specific issues such as:

 

 

3.6       Costing

 

Developing an accurate project baseline budget is an essential component of this study and it will contribute to the City’s short and long range capital budget forecasting, priority setting and funding applications.  The baseline budget will be developed using a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) format in current dollars, and include contingency allowances.

 

Project costing is a fundamental criterion in the evaluation of alternatives and will be a key consideration in the analysis of staging considerations and to establish implementation strategies.

 

3.7       Recommended Plan

 

Following the evaluation of alternatives and determining all necessary mitigation measures to minimize any adverse impacts of the project, a recommended plan will be developed.  This will include:

 

 

The recommended plan will clearly identify and set out the requirements and timing for all subsequent approvals required to proceed with the construction phase of the project. The recommended plan will be presented to Transportation Committee and Council for approval. The approved plan will become the basis for the environmental assessment stage of the study.

 

4.         Environmental Assessment

 

This stage of the study addresses the Transit Project Environmental Assessment Process (Ont. Reg. 231/08), as well as requirements to address the CEAA.

 

4.1 Environmental Project Report

 

An Environmental Project Report (EPR) will be prepared to document the entire study process including the approved design, mitigation measures, and consultation efforts.  The EPR will be placed on public record for a minimum 30-day review period as per the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act.

 

4.2 Federal Project Description Report

 

A Project Description Report will be prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Federal Responsible Authorities (RAs). The report will include sufficient information on potential impacts, mitigation measures and conceptual compensation strategies to allow the Federal agencies to conclude on the significance of environmental effects at this early planning stage.

4.3 Federal Screening Report

 

Upon completion of the Study, and in addition to the EPR, a Federal Screening Report will also be prepared. The Report will be of sufficient scope to address the federal screening requirements.  It will document the proposed project and summarize all stages of the study process leading to the development of the final recommended plan for the Project.

 

5.         Consultation

 

This study will examine a wide range of technical, social and environmental issues and will incorporate a broad number of community and business interests. The success of this effort is contingent on an effective, comprehensive and timely consultation program.

 

The consultation process will include meetings with key stakeholders through an Agency Consultation Group (ACG), a Public Consultation Group (PCG), a Business Consultation Group (BCG), and the general public through Public Open Houses.  A minimum of five meetings with each Consultation Group will be held during the course of the study.  Representation on the ACG, PCG, and BCG, will be confirmed during the development of the Study Design and in consultation with Ward Councillors and include a general invitation to City Advisory Committees. Consultation with the general public will occur principally through Public Open Houses, but also through the project Web page and by e-mail.  Additional meetings with specific agencies, groups and stakeholders will be held as required in order to address any particular issues as they may arise.

 

5.1       Agency Consultation Group

 

An Agency Consultation Group (ACG) will be formed to provide input on planning, engineering and environmental issues and will provide general guidance to the Study Team.  ACG members will include experts in their related fields from government agencies and approval bodies. The ACG will meet at key stages throughout the study.

 

5.2       Public Consultation Group

 

A Public Consultation Group (PCG) will be formed to enable private groups to provide direct input to the study, advising and commenting on local issues and concerns.  PCG members may include representatives from local community groups, and special interest groups. Membership of this group will be determined in consultation with affected Ward Councillors.

 

5.3       Business Consultation Group

 

A Business Consultation Group (BCG) will be formed to enable business representatives to provide direct input to the study, advising and commenting on local issues and concerns.

 

5.4       Notifications

 

The public will be notified of the Study Commencement, all Public Open Houses (POHs), and Study Completion.  Notifications will be sent out at appropriate stages in the Study, and each announcement will take the following forms:

 

 

5.5       Public Open Houses

 

The Public Open Houses (POHs) will be held to present and obtain feedback on existing conditions, alternative design concepts, and the recommended plan.  The EA assignment will include a minimum of four POH meetings:

·     POH1 will include study area, study scope, study schedule, existing conditions, and preliminary alternative solutions to the undertaking.

·     POH2 will identify various alternative corridors, evaluation methodology and preliminary findings.

·     POH3 will identify the preferred design alternative for the selected corridor, representing the recommended plan.

·     POH 4 will take place during the EA phase of the study; with the EPR available for public review.

At each POH there will be a presentation followed by a question and answer session. The POHs will be advertised in daily and local newspapers and notification will be e-mailed to persons on the Project’s Master Mailing List.

 

Background and presentation material will include a Project Update Newsletter which will summarize the information presented at the POH and will be available for general distribution.  All material presented at the POH meetings as well as the Project Update Newsletter will be bilingual.  Bilingual staff will be present during all Public Open House meetings.  A summary report will be produced to document each POH including all comments received.

 

5.6       Project Master Mailing List

 

A Master Mailing List will be prepared and updated via Public Open House sign-in sheets, general enquiries, e-mails and other forms of consultation.

 

5.7       Project Web Page

 

A Project Information Web Page for the Study will be established on the City’s external web site to inform the public of the progress of the study and upcoming meetings or activities, post the bilingual materials presented at each Public Open House, and provide a point of contact for e-mail correspondence.

 

5.8       Frequently Asked Questions

 

To assist in providing information to the public, a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) will be prepared to provide answers to common questions raised during the study.  The FAQ document will be established early in the study process and will be updated regularly.  It will also be posted on the web site.