Report to/Rapport au:

Transportation and Transit Committee/

Comité des transporttransports et des services de transport en commun


and Council/et au Conseil


16 JulyXXXXXX July 2003/XXX le 16 juillet 2003XXX juillet


Submitted by/Soumis par:  R.T. Leclair, General Manager/Directrice générale

Transportation, Utilities and Public Works/Transport, services et travaux publics


Contact/Personne-ressource:  Michael J. Flainek, P. Eng., Director/Directeur

Traffic and Parking Operations Branch/Circulation et Stationnement

Telephone : 580-2424, extension 26882,




Ref N°:  ACS2003-TUP-TRF-0021



SUBJECT:     Holland Avenue Reconstruction: Tyndall Street to Carling Avenue – PROPOSED ROADWAY MODIFICATIONS



OBJET:          reconstruction de l'avenue holland: de la rue tyndall à l’avenue carling – modifications proposées à la chaussée






That the Transportation and Transit Committee recommend Council approve the proposed roadway modifications to Holland Avenue, between Tyndall Street and Carling Avenue as shown in Annexes 2A and 2B.




Que le Comité des transports et des services de transport en commun recommande au Conseil municipal d’approuver les modifications proposées à la chaussée de l’avenue Holland, entre la rue Tyndall et l’avenue Carling, comme l’illustrent les annexes 2A et 2B.





Holland Avenue is a major collector roadway that operates as a two-lane road with full-time parking on each side.  As part of the 2003 Integrated Road and Sewer Program, Holland Avenue between Tyndall Street and Carling Avenue is scheduled for full reconstruction over the next two years.  Therefore, it is appropriate to consider modifications or adjustments to the road to meet current standards, implement measures identified in the programs included in the Transportation Master Plan, and to address any other operational issues.


Holland Avenue is identified as a transit priority corridor connecting Fisher Avenue and Carling Avenue with the Tunney’s Pasture Transitway Station.  This corridor is part of the transit priority network that was defined in the 1997 Transportation Master Plan (TMP) and is reconfirmed in the 2003 Draft TMP (Map 4).  The Transit Priority Program focuses on the improvement of transit travel times and reliability on the transit priority network.


Holland Avenue, from Tyndall Street to Carling Avenue, is within the boundaries of the 1997 Parkdale Area Transportation Study, a joint RMOC/City of Ottawa study. Specific recommendations included:


“Implement intersection narrowings at Sherwood Drive, Kenilworth Street, Ruskin Street, and Inglewood Place to delineate parking on Holland Avenue.  This would calm the traffic along Holland where speeding problems were noted. In addition, it would create a shorter pedestrian crossing distance for those wishing to cross Holland Avenue.  The narrowings would extend about three-quarters of the way across the curb lane thus allowing space for cyclists.”


Regional Council rejected this recommendation in February 1998 because of the Transit Priority Route designation in the Official Plan.  It was felt at the time that intersection narrowings and transit priority were not compatible as the intent was to have the buses travel in the parking lane during peak periods.


Since that time, the community association has asked the former Region and new City to consider other ways of achieving the goals of improving pedestrian safety and reducing traffic speeds.


Existing Conditions


Holland Avenue is a 13.5 metre wide, two-lane road with parking permitted on both sides. Cyclists share the travel lanes with other motor vehicles including buses.  There are 1.65 metre sidewalks on both sides of the road to accommodate pedestrians.  The section between Tyndall Street and Carling Avenue is primarily residential, with a public school located near the Highway 417 overpass, and some medical-related commercial sites near Carling Avenue.  The surrounding area is shown in Annex 1.


There are currently between 1,000 and 1,500 motor vehicles per peak hour, and between 30 and 70 bicycles per peak hour using this section of Holland Avenue.  Buses on routes 55, 57, 86, and 176 pick up and drop off passengers at a number of stops along this section of Holland Avenue. The total two-way bus volumes are 25 buses in the morning peak hour, and 22 buses in the afternoon peak hour.  During the peak hours, transit modal share is between 35 % and 40 % in the peak direction.


A sample of the operational issues that were raised in the 1997 Parkdale Area Transportation Study and in comments received in the intervening years include:


·        When there are few or no vehicles parked on Holland Avenue, the parking lanes get used by impatient drivers who pass slower vehicles on the right.  These drivers are often exceeding the speed limit;

·        Pedestrians feel unsafe when walking along Holland Avenue because the sidewalk is narrow, with no buffer between the sidewalk and the vehicles, particularly with vehicles passing on the right as noted above;

·        As traffic increases, buses will become more and more subject to the unpredictability of mixed traffic flow. This will lead to uncertainty in bus travel times, therefore requiring additional vehicles to provide the same level of service;

·        Speeding traffic, particularly in the off-peak; and,

·        Pedestrian crossing is seen as difficult or dangerous, particularly for school children. 





Given that the road is to undergo a full reconstruction starting in 2003, an opportunity exists to review the community needs, pedestrian, cycling and the transit priority needs as well as accommodating the needs of car and truck traffic.  A plan has been developed that accommodates all of these needs. It includes a number of benefits:


·        Shorter pedestrian crossing distances for those wishing to cross Holland Avenue are provided through intersection narrowings;

·        Wider sidewalks are to be provided;

·        Cyclists are provided for in a wider travel lane;

·        Transit priority is ensured on the existing traveled lanes by signal modifications that allow the buses to jump ahead of traffic at key locations.  The transit priority measures along Holland Avenue will focus on traffic management, signal priority measures, and bus stop design rather than on the provision of exclusive bus lanes running the length of Holland Avenue; and,

·        Intersection narrowings will protect parking and will remove the opportunity to pass on the right.  The protected parking will also provide for a separation of the travel lanes from the sidewalk.


These benefits are achieved through special transit signals, and through a number of intersection narrowings, and through changes in the parking regulations as shown conceptually on Annexes 2A and 2B. Intersection narrowings at Sherwood Drive, Kenilworth Street, Ruskin Street, and Inglewood Place will: encourage motorists to drive in an appropriate manner given the surrounding local environment; provide a shortened pedestrian crossing distance; will prevent vehicles from passing on the right; and, will provide bus stop locations following the principles of transit priority.


Holland Avenue has a width that makes it impossible to use current roadway design standards for all elements of the roadway.  A design that incorporated the best balance of reduced widths was developed so that trees would not have to be removed.  The following table highlights the desired width and the proposed width for each element:


Roadway Element

Desired Width

Proposed Width




Parking Lane



Shared Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Lane

4.3 to 4.8m



The constricted width of Holland Avenue will require that sidewalks be built without boulevards. They will be designed and built according to the City of Ottawa standardHarmonized Sidewalk Technical Design Guideline (as approved by City Council on 22 May 2002) for sidewalks built without boulevards.  This will  which reduce the “roller-coaster” effect by providing 2.4m transition slopes at driveways (i.e. the sidewalk will slope gently down to the driveways), and providing cross-falls that remain fairly constant along the length of the sidewalk (i.e. varying between 2% and 2.8%).



The transit priority measures planned for Holland Avenue will ensure that the effects of vehicular congestion and signal delay on transit are minimized.  This is important because every missed green at major intersections is an approximate two-minute delay for all passengers on board and all waiting passengers downstream plus the additional delay due to missed transfers.


Most of the transit priority measures planned for this section of the corridor will be implemented during this reconstruction; however, a bus queue jump for northbound buses traveling along Fisher Avenue/Holland Avenue at the approach to Carling Avenue will be implemented as a separate project.  Without this queue jump, the Holland Avenue transit priority scheme is not complete.  The suggested transit priority measures along Holland Avenue represent a relatively new approach to implementing these measures because they will be done:


·        proactivelyProactively, before major interruptions to transit service start to occur due to future traffic increase;

·        inIn conjunction with another municipal project (sewer) to minimize costs and disruption; and,

·        inIn conjunction with other non-car related improvements to achieve community objectives while contributing to the long termlong-term transportation objective.


In terms of vehicular level of service, defined as the volume to capacity (V/C) ratio, there will not be any significant change because the V/C ratio of critical intersections will not change.





The modifications will improve the efficiency of transit service on Holland AvenueThe Official Plan notes in Section 2.4 that maintaining the environmental integrity of the City is critical. The support of walking, cycling and transit has a pivotal role in reducing the city’s energy consumption, improving air quality, and minimizing the overall demand for land and other resources. The modifications proposed for Holland Avenue will:


·        Improve the pedestrian environment by creating wider sidewalks and by better buffering them from motor vehicles;

·        Improve the cycling facilities by providing a shared travel lane; and,

·        Improve the efficiency of transit service on Holland Avenue with transit priority measures..*****










The process that generated the 1997 Parkdale Area Transportation Study included extensive public participation including a Steering Committee (which included members of the public), two rounds of Focus Group meetings and three Public Open Houses.


More recently, there was a meeting with about 20 community representatives from three area community associations on 10 April 2003 where attendees reviewed and made comments on the plan.  There was general support for the overall concept at this meeting.  As well, approximately eighty people attended a Public Open House on 8 May 2003, where the proposed modifications were presented.  Many members of the public were in favour of the plan, however, some felt that the narrowings would delay traffic at intersections when vehicles were turning onto and off of Holland Avenue.  Specific comments and staff responses can be found in Annex 3:  Summary of Public Comments.





This project conforms with Section 2.4.3 – Transit Priority – of the 1997 Transportation Master Plan.  The specific section of Holland Avenue undergoing reconstruction is shown on the Transit Priority Network as detailed in Transportation Master Plan - Map 2.  This is reconfirmed in the 2003 Draft Transportation Master Plan – Map 4.


Section 2.5.6 – Design Guidelines – of the 1997 Transportation Master Plan discusses the benefits of traffic calming (or similar) measures as possible solutions to operational or safety problems stemming from excessive automobile speeds or poor driver behaviour.  The implementation of a series of intersection narrowings as a traffic management measure is a benefit in this regard.  The 2003 Draft Transportation Master Plan reinforces the use of traffic management measures such as intersection narrowings to preserve neighbourhood liveability.





Funding for the Holland Avenue Integrated Road, Sewer and Watermain Reconstruction Project, estimated at $2,680,000, is available in City of Ottawa Account 901285.  Construction is scheduled to commence in 2003 and will be completed in 2004.  Funding to modify the traffic control signals to accommodate the transit priority signals, estimated at $85,000, is available in City of Ottawa Account 902134 – Arterial Transit Priority.

Internal Order #902134 – Arterial Transit Priority

Budget Authority     $1,980,000

Actual/Committed to Date    $   108,804

Balance Available     $1,871,196

This Request       $     85,000

Remaining       $1,786,196






Annex 1           Key Plan

Annex 2A         Proposed Roadway Modifications – Carling Avenue to Kenilworth Avenue

Annex 2B         Proposed Roadway Modifications – Kenilworth Avenue to Tyndall Street

Annex 3           Summary of Public Comments





Subject to approval by Council of the recommendations contained in this report, the reconstruction of Holland Avenue is planned to begin in July 2003 and be completed by the end of 2004.


The parking bylaw will be modified through delegated authority to remove permitted parking in the afternoon peak period (3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.)hour on the west side of Holland Avenue between Inglewood Place and Carling Avenue.


Annex 1

Key Plan








Roadway Modifications – Kenilworth Avenue to Tyndall Street


Roadway Modifications – Kenilworth Avenue to Tyndall Street




The City held a Public Open House on 8 May 2003 to present and discuss the proposed changes to Holland Avenue.  Of the approximately eighty people that attended, thirty-seven completed comment sheets.  Many were in favour of the plan, however, some felt that the narrowings would delay traffic at intersections, when vehicles were turning onto and off of Holland Avenue.  Specific comments and the action taken for resolution, if necessary, are:


·        Comments in favour of the intersection narrowings (12 comments total):

o       Narrowings will shorten distance for pedestrians crossing

o       They will create a physical barrier to the “parking lane” being used as a driving lane especially in evenings when only a few cars are parked on Holland Avenue. Currently drivers consider Holland Avenue to be 4 lanes and therefore speeding cars are a problem.

o       Traffic speeds will be reduced by the narrowings.


·        Comments in opposition to the intersection narrowings (13 comments total):

o       Narrowings are hazardous for cyclists that currently use “parking lane.”  Staff Comment: Cyclists are provided for in the shared cycle/vehicle lane.

o       They create obstacles for snow ploughs so residents expect big piles of snow in the winter blocking driveways. Staff Comment: The narrowings are designed to facilitate winter ploughing.

o       Signs placed on the narrowings create hazard for cyclists and pedestrians and clutter the right-of-way. Staff Comment: This signage will be installed according to standard practices that account for cyclists and pedestrians. Regarding clutter, signage will be kept to the minimum requirements to ensure roadway user safety.

o       Nearside narrowings prevent vehicles behind a left-turning vehicle from overtaking on inside, leading to idling engines and frustrated drivers. Staff Comment: Near side narrowings are to be implemented only at intersections where opposing through/left-turning traffic volumes are sufficiently low as to not significantly reduce roadway capacity.

o       Buses stopping at the elongated narrowings will slow traffic and lead to either frustrated drivers or hazardous overtaking. Staff Comment: The principles of transit priority are to give transit vehicles preferential treatment over other motorized vehicles.. The other alternative, requiring buses to stops in bus bays formed by parked cars, is clearly a benefit to cars at the expense of transit.

o       General slowing of traffic due to buses and left turning vehicles will encourage some drivers to use adjacent streets (especially north on Huron Avenue). Staff Comment: Due to the relatively short wait- time of buses at bus stops (2-3 passengers per stop), there will be little incentive to divert to other streets.  There are 2 stops at platforms in each direction and all have low passenger activity.  The average delay for a vehicle that happens to be behind a bus will be less than 30-45 seconds total for both stops.

o       They contribute to increased greenhouse gas production due to inefficient use of vehicles (idling engines, longer travel times). Staff Comment: As noted above, the average delay for a vehicle, that which happens to be behind a bus, will be less than 30-45 seconds total for both stops. The negative effects of the delay to a few cars is outweighed by the positive benefits of encouraging transit use. . In addition, the other alternative of, providing bus stops in bus baysys, would create delays of 5 to 15 seconds to each bus as they merge into traffic.


o       They are perceived to be the same as measures on Parkdale Avenue and Kirkwood Avenue that have not been well received and currently under review with a view to remove. Staff Comment: A review of the measures on Parkdale Avenue and Kirkwood Avenue has shown that the measures are effective.


o       The travel lanes are too narrow at the intersection narrowings to allow for cyclists to share the lanes comfortably with other vehicles. Staff Comment: The intersection narrowings have been reduced from 2.5m in width to 2.25m thereby allowing for an additional 0.25m on the shared bicycle/motor vehicle lane near the narrowings.


·        Comments on Transit Priority:

o       Allowing buses to take priority is generally a good idea.

o       Cyclists traveling south to Carling Avenue will not know exactly where to position themselves relative to the curb. Staff Comment: Cyclists will ride in the shared cycle/motor vehicle lane. Visual queues for purpose of cues for bicycle position within the roadway will be taken from the intersection narrowings and/or if necessary, parked cars.

o       Southbound cars wishing to turn right on Carling will want to use the transit priority lane south of Inglewood. Staff Comment: It is intended that this lane function as a right-turn-only lane for cars and as a through/right-turn lane for transit vehicles.


·        Comments on Widened Sidewalks:

o       The wider sidewalks will be safer for pedestrians

o       The sidewalks do not need to be widened, as there are so few pedestrians. Staff Comment: Improved sidewalks will improve the walking environment for those who use the sidewalks, and may encourage others to walk.  They will be designed and built according to the City’s Harmonized Sidewalk Technical Design Guideline as approved by City Council on 22 May 2002.


·        Comments on Cconstruction:

o       Can we lift parking restrictions on adjacent streets to offset the loss of parking on Holland Avenue? Staff Comment: The potential temporary loss of parking will be reviewed when developing the construction staging plan.

o       Is there anything that can be done to prevent adjacent streets (e.g. Harmer Avenue) being used during the construction period?  Staff Comment: The potential diversion of traffic during construction will be reviewed when developing the construction staging plan. Efforts will be made to ensure that lanes on Holland Avenue remain open during construction.