The second open house for the Stage 2 project’s Trillium Line took place last Thursday night at the St. Anthony’s Banquet Hall in Little Italy. Turn out for the event was limited, but local residents and concerned citizens were present to listen to the proposed plans as well as express their concerns and ask questions.
At the open house the City of Ottawa, consultants from MMM Group and Parsons, along with the Ottawa Airport Authority, gave a slideshow presentation addressing the key issues and objectives surrounding the expansion of the Trillium Line running North-South to the community of Riverside South.
Some of the highlights of the presentation included the push for 70% of Ottawa’s population to live within a 5km distance of rail transit by 2023, a move to an 8-minute frequency for trains (rather than their present 15-minutes), a new multi-use pathway along the rail line for commuters, additional stops along the present line at Gladstone and Walkley Roads, three new stops on the South line (located at South Keys, Leitrim, and Bowesville), as well as a much anticipated connection to the McDonald Cartier International Airport that would include an additional stop at the Ernst & Young Centre.
It was the addition of the two new stops at Gladstone and Walkley that brought many of the local residents out to this particular open house on Thursday. Concerns over noise and traffic pollution were a hot topic, as was a concern over the amount of density that would follow such infrastructure upgrades. However, general comments and questions regarding the entire line from most citizens were positive and very hopeful in tracking the next stages of the project.
Attention for the evening, however, was clearly focused on the much-anticipated extension of the transit line to McDonald Cartier International Airport. Residents were concentrated around panels identifying the details of this line, as well as representatives from the Ottawa Airport Authority.
However, while the airport extension is an important priority for the City and their long-term plans, during the presentation the City and Ottawa Airport Authority made it clear to the audience that the proposed connection to the airport is not a part of the City’s transit ‘affordability network’ or the present Environmental Assessment study. The City’s ‘affordability network’ includes the extension South to Bowesville station (as well as an extension West to Baseline and East to Place du Orleans). Information presented at Thursday’s open house on the airport extension is being used to inform as well as help the planners in their overall environmental impact decision-making process.
The project is currently undergoing an Environmental Assessment study for which they will prepare an Environmental Project Report to be presented to the City’s Transportation Committee in June 2015, as well as published for public review. The purposes of these open houses has been to collect comments and feedback from local and interested residents regarding their concerns and suggestions to ensure that all considerations have been taken into account.
For further updates on the Stage 2 project’s Trillium Line expansion, a map of the proposed line, or to voice your opinion, visit the City of Ottawa project website here.
By: Brynne Campbell
Image: City of Ottawa