daily menu » rate the banner | guess the city | one on oneforums map | privacy policy | DMCA | news magazine | posting guidelines

Go Back   SkyscraperCity > Continental Forums > North American Skyscrapers Forum > Canada > Ontario

Ontario » Toronto



Global Announcement

As a general reminder, please respect others and respect copyrights. Go here to familiarize yourself with our posting policy.


Reply

 
Thread Tools
Old July 3rd, 2006, 10:31 PM   #121
samsonyuen
SSLL
 
samsonyuen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Canary Wharf > CityPlace
Posts: 8,350
Likes (Received): 314

From: http://www.ottawasun.com/News/Ottawa...58915-sun.html
________________________
Quote:
Thu, June 29, 2006
Station may be on move

By SUN STAFF

At least one transit station along the 30-km north-south light rail transit line could be moved.

Gloucester-Southgate Coun. Diane Deans will introduce a motion July 12, the day council votes to approve or kill the almost $800-million project, to remove the proposed LRT station to be built at Lester and move it to South Keys.

Originally, Deans said, the Lester station was going to be built when city staff were looking at building a link to serve the Ottawa airport. That plan is not going ahead so Deans says there is no reason to build a station in the middle of nowhere.

"I can't imagine who the users will be," said Deans, adding two 20-storey apartment buildings near South Keys are expected to be built. "Put it where the population base is."

Deans said city staff is expected to support her request.
samsonyuen no está en línea   Reply With Quote

Sponsored Links
Old July 5th, 2006, 02:44 PM   #122
WZ1
Borat Sagdiev
 
WZ1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Mississauga
Posts: 817
Likes (Received): 8

i hope they make up their mind! they need to cut to the chase and build the thing already.
__________________
My Photography Website - Urban Photography

Zenfolio: Urban North America
WZ1 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 8th, 2006, 04:09 PM   #123
samsonyuen
SSLL
 
samsonyuen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Canary Wharf > CityPlace
Posts: 8,350
Likes (Received): 314

From: http://ottsun.canoe.ca/News/OttawaAn...74129-sun.html
________________________
Quote:
Sat, July 8, 2006
LRT no go for Kanata, councillor says

By DONNA CASEY

With city council set to vote on the future of light rail transit next Wednesday, one city councillor says the train should not leave the station unless there's major changes to the plan.

Kanata Coun. Peggy Feltmate said she'll be voting to put the brakes on the estimated $800-million north-south light rail transit line.

"For me, I'm just not comfortable with the plan as it's proposed," Feltmate said yesterday.

She said city staff have presented the project with a "take or leave it" stance.

"Well, under those conditions, I'm leaving it," said Feltmate.


The west-end councillor said many of the project's financial details weren't available at recent open houses, creating confusion over one of the largest proposed projects in the city's history.

"I see what's happening here and I'm afraid it's not going to be successful," said Feltmate, adding the north-south line boondoggle will doom any future for an east-west line reaching Kanata residents.

Calling the trains "glorified streetcars," Feltmate said many Kanata residents were led to believe the city was looking at a rapid-transit system.

"I don't think it's what people thought they were buying," she said.
samsonyuen no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 8th, 2006, 04:10 PM   #124
samsonyuen
SSLL
 
samsonyuen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Canary Wharf > CityPlace
Posts: 8,350
Likes (Received): 314

From: http://www.canada.com:80/ottawacitiz...6-c8f4dcb82479
________________________
Quote:
Public backs light-rail solution
poll: Chiarelli, however, can't count on their vote, survey cautions

Mohammed Adam
The Ottawa Citizen

Saturday, July 08, 2006

As Ottawa city councillors prepare for next week's defining vote on north-south commuter rail, a new poll says most residents support the multimillion-dollar project.

A Decima-Citizen survey conducted in the days after the city's plan was unveiled, found 49 per cent of residents favoured the project and 36 per cent were against it. While the poll gives light-rail backers a platform to push the project through, it does not translate into public support for Mayor Bob Chiarelli, the plan's chief architect and booster. In fact, when asked whose view of light rail expansion they are inclined to support, slightly more people favour Alex Munter's diesel alternative.

Light rail has become a defining issue for the city, not only because of the project's potential to transform the nation's capital, but also because a lot of money is riding on it. The cost of the project ranges from $744 million to close to $900 million.

The city has settled on a double-track electric-powered system, but a heated debate is raging on whether that is the best plan. Some believe a diesel system, which is cheaper, is the better option.

In the midst of the debate, Decima Research conducted a telephone survey of 403 residents June 23-26 on various issues related to public transit.

The survey, which has a margin of error of 4.9 per cent, is considered accurate 19 times out of 20.

By a margin of 49 per cent to 36 per cent Ottawa residents saw more benefits than disadvantages in the project. Fifteen per cent didn't know or wouldn't say.

According to the survey, support for light rail was highest among regular bus riders, with 54 per cent saying the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. Among those who don't use public transit support is split, with 44 per cent seeing more benefits in light rail versus 42 per cent who don't.

Decima president Bruce Anderson says while support for light rail is still high, it is not "as clear a slam dunk as it has been in the past" and that's because the cost of the project, which is perceived to be high, has sapped some of the earlier support.

Still, more people want light rail because of the fear of growing gridlock in the city. The poll found that 78 per cent of Ottawa residents feel traffic congestion is getting worse and they want something done about it.

Support for rail is also reflected in "fairly positive" user satisfaction for OC Transpo, which 63 per cent of respondents say is doing a good job. Only 20 per cent say the transit company is not doing a good job.

"Support for light rail is driven by a sense that traffic is bad, and anything that helps to resolve it we should embrace," Mr. Anderson said. "People want a solution to traffic gridlock and they see LRT as part of it."

But in a somewhat surprising finding, public support for the project does not improve the fortunes of Mr. Chiarelli, the politician who most personifies light rail.

When asked to indicate support for either the mayor's plan or Mr. Munter's plan, 25 per cent backed Mr. Munter and 20 per cent chose the city plan, considered to be Mr. Chiarelli's. Fifty-five per cent couldn't or wouldn't say.

Regular transit users are more likely to back the mayor than Mr. Munter, whose plan draws most support from those who don't use transit or say traffic congestion is getting worse. Under Mr. Munter's plan, the city would switch to diesel system for both north-south and east-west, which would run on existing rail corridors.

Mr. Anderson said the mayor would be right to wonder why support for light rail does not extend to him.

"Mayor Chiarelli has led the fight for LRT, he is the champion of LRT and is leading the charge to create more of it and the mayor would have hoped that his numbers would be higher," Mr. Anderson said.

He says the reason for the mayor's low numbers is not because people have analysed the plans and found his wanting. It may simply be a visceral reaction to the cost of the north-south plan and a feeling among a substantial number of Ottawa residents, that the city plan "is not east-west friendly enough."

As well, many residents worried about traffic congestion may be reluctant to invest their hope for a solution in a mayor who has been around during the time the problem worsened.

"If I care about LRT and I care about affordability, Mr. Munter's plan would appeal to me more than the mayor's," Mr. Anderson said.

"And if people are looking for a vision on the issue and they are not seeing it, it is hard for an incumbent to prove the case for a new vision."

But he says during the election campaign in the fall when people are really paying attention and analysing the issues in greater detail, the mayor could have the upper hand.

"This is still a very competitive situation and over the course of the campaign, he has a chance to make his vision more compelling for people," Mr. Anderson said.
samsonyuen no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 9th, 2006, 03:10 PM   #125
samsonyuen
SSLL
 
samsonyuen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Canary Wharf > CityPlace
Posts: 8,350
Likes (Received): 314

From: http://ottsun.canoe.ca/News/OttawaAn...75292-sun.html
__________________________
Quote:
Sun, July 9, 2006
Rolling out for O-Train
Transit group rails against impending shutdown if council OKs LRT line

By NELLY ELAYOUBI

A vote by city council this week to go ahead with the north-south light-rail project will halt the O-Train.

If councillors approve the $800-million line in a vote Wednesday, O-Train service will be stopped next April, to be replaced by the new LRT line, which won't be ready until 2009.

"The result is that for almost two years, (transit) users will be overloading the buses and congesting city roads," argues David Gladstone, of Friends of the O-Train, who want to see the existing service maintained and the LRT line proposal reviewed and revised after the fall election.

'WILL BE IMPACTED'

The group is drawing attention to the issue by riding the O-Train tomorrow, Tuesday and Wednesday, starting at 7 a.m., leaving from Bayview station. "We want to let riders know that they will be impacted," Gladstone says.

Councillors say O-Train service -- which has been hailed as a "success" -- has to be halted for work on the LRT service.

"There is no choice because that is a route that we're going to continue to use and it has to be changed," says Bell-South Nepean Coun. Jan Harder.

Harder says OC Transpo has given assurance it can handle an expected rise in bus ridership caused by the rail shutdown.

"It's not the optimum choice, but it's a small time pain for a long time gain."

Gladstone predicts there won't be sufficient service. "You're replacing an existing winter independent service with buses on the road."

Friends of the O-Train are also protesting the sale of three trains that have "99.8% reliability and are accident free." Harder points out the sale will net $9 million to be used for the LRT line.

NECESSARY EVIL

While West-Carleton Coun. Eli El-Chantiry hasn't decided how he will vote Wednesday, he agrees with Harder that a "minor" transit disruption is necessary when looking at the "bigger picture."

El-Chantiry's priority, however, is getting the city to address its $85-million backlog for the repair and rehabilitation of city roads. "It's going to come to a point that if the city ignores the roads, small repairs will become big repairs, if the city delays."
samsonyuen no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 10th, 2006, 11:41 PM   #126
samsonyuen
SSLL
 
samsonyuen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Canary Wharf > CityPlace
Posts: 8,350
Likes (Received): 314

From: http://www.ottawabusinessjournal.com...6377151443.php
_______________________
Quote:
City insists LRT risks on builders' shoulders thanks to terms of deal
By Jim Donnelly, Ottawa Business Journal Staff
Mon, Jul 10, 2006 12:00 AM EST

If folks in Ottawa want a good indication of where the city's light rail transit project is headed, all that's needed is a brief glance to the west.

That's because the city of Vancouver is involved in a nearly-identical project called the Canada Line (formerly called the Richmond-Airport-Vancouver Line), scheduled to open in 2009 and partly funded from private-sector investments.

Both projects, it turns out, are public private partnerships (P3s), a relatively new form of governmental procurement involving a mashup of public and private interests. In Ottawa's case, says the city's Rejean Chartrand, this type of agreement transfers overrun risk to the Siemens-PCL/Dufferin consortium who won the design, build and maintenance contract a few months ago.

"The structure of the contract is for the design, the construction and the 15-year maintenance period," says Mr. Chartrand. "This is what really creates the partnership component. It's a fixed commitment and firm price to both design and build it, and also a fixed price to maintain it for 15 years."

That's similar to Vancouver's deal, but not quite – its maintenance agreement is scheduled to last 35 years, 20 years longer than Ottawa's. Vancouver's Canada Line, now well into its construction phase, has also secured five separate funding partners including the federal and B.C. provincial governments, the Vancouver YVR International Airport, the regional transportation authority, and even the private sector company tasked with building the railway.

According to Canada Line's communications director, Alan Dever, In Transit B.C. (a company one-third owned by SNC Lavalin, the B.C. provincial pension fund, and a Quebec interest) is dunking $720 million into the $2-billion project – no small sum, considering Ottawa's private sector investment adds up to a nice round zero.

The amount of public funds designated for Canada Line has been capped at $1.3 billion, said Mr. Dever. Any snags in the construction phase will theoretically be paid by the contractor, as in Ottawa's deal, so money is doled out as the project is built rather than by the amount of materials used, as under a more traditional procurement agreement.

Same with federal and provincial money going towards the project, says Mr. Chartrand. "The understanding is premised on construction milestones.



The plan is that we will have a schedule of payment with the contractor, so when they build component 'a' worth $1 million, then we pay the contractor $1 million, and we claim back from the province and f ederal government their share of the million.

"And we'll be doing this on a monthly basis."

Canada Line's Mr. Dever says the P3 side of light rail construction is very much like building a house. "The contract, among other things, what it does is transfers all the risk for construction overrun to the private sector. The public sector funding is $1.3 billion or so, and it's capped at that amount. And any overruns are paid for by the private sector.

"If you want to see changes in scope, then you have to pay for it, just like if you're building a house. If there are changes to the scope of the house, then those are additional funds."

Mr. Chartrand says Ottawa's financing structure is different, despite the fact that both projects are P3s and both have similar objectives. In Vancouver's case, "They effectively told the contractor we have so much money to put towards this, and you, the contractor, have to come up with the difference in financing. And the contractor is financing the difference."

"In our case, we don't have the contractor providing any financing," thanks to the way the deal was originally constructed, says Mr. Chartrand.

So if the track needs a slight extension during the construction phase, or if a new station not in the current plan needs building, the city must pay. The municipality is footing most of the bill for the project (other than $400 million kicked in by the federal and provincial governments), whose price ranges from $750 million to $1 billion depending on who you speak with.

"But otherwise, everything is fixed for the 15-year period," he says. "So they take the risk.

"So a public private partnership is about risk transfer, so the risk transfer is whatever they design and build, they have to maintain for a fixed price. So if they don't build it properly, and its going to cost them more during the 15 year maintenance, well, that's the risk that they take.

"And in addition, we're securing guarantees from the company itself," continues Mr. Chartrand. "Which means that at that point in time, you can take them to court and their assets – the company assets are being pledged, is essentially what this means."

Mr. Chartrand calls these guarantees "effectively ironclad." The Siemens consortium has, he says, provided a $300-million performance bond, another $300-million labour and materials payment bond, and finally a $16-million letter of credit "that will be irrevocable in the city's name, and if they don't perform the city has the ability to access this letter of credit if things aren't done properly," he says.

Opponents to the city's light rail plan say these guarantees aren't enough to finance a project that's sure to cost over $1 billion when all is said and done. "This project started off in the $400-million range when first budgeted," says Peter Hillier of the Get It Right group, a conglomerate of business groups who want the LRT decision deferred until after the election. As it stands now, council is set to vote on the project July 14.

"It quickly ran up to $625 million and over the last six months has risen from $725 to $900 million, including ancillary projects that are necessary but they left off the project budget.

"We're getting $400 million from the Provincial and Federal Governments and the mayor has yet to fully explain where he is going to drum up the rest."
samsonyuen no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 11th, 2006, 12:07 AM   #127
samsonyuen
SSLL
 
samsonyuen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Canary Wharf > CityPlace
Posts: 8,350
Likes (Received): 314

From: http://www.canada.com:80/components/...b-a1d2e3d64c24
_________________________
Quote:
Vanier community fears effects of 'senseless densification'
Four kilometres from Parliament Hill would seem to be in the range of the city's plan to encourage density growth, but residents are saying the proposed development is way off scale with the rest of the neighbourhood, Maria Cook reports.

Maria Cook
The Ottawa Citizen

Monday, July 10, 2006

When Prince Charles saw the model for the 50-storey Canary Wharf Tower in London, he asked: "But why does it have to be so tall?"

Vanier residents are asking the same question.

Many people in this modest east-side Ottawa neighbourhood are alarmed at a controversial plan to build three condominium towers -- 16, 24, and 30 storeys -- plus 136 townhouses next to some of the smallest houses in the city.

"It doesn't fit with our area," says John Nolan, president of the South of Beechwood community association.

The developer, Claridge Homes, argues the project is an "excellent demonstration" of the principle of intensification enshrined in the City of Ottawa's new official plan. The city wants greater density within the Greenbelt in order to limit suburban sprawl.

But, area residents are concerned the size of the project will snarl traffic and damage Vanier's village character and quality of life.

"Instead of endless suburban sprawl, we'll have senseless densification," says Stephen Fai, a Carleton University architecture professor who lives near Vanier.

"I don't think we have to choose between the two extremes."

Ottawa-Vanier MPP Madeleine Meilleur is a Vanier resident. "The concentration is too high," she says. "It's not going to be good for the people who live there now. It's a nice family neighbourhood. People bought there because it's not a dense community."

Some people are also worried about the health risks of stirring up a former industrial site contaminated with heavy metals such as mercury.

"Cancer is a big scare," says Mr. Nolan.

Vanier promises to make a compelling case study for other Ottawa neighbourhoods. How will these contentious issues be resolved? How will the city interpret the official plan?

"Claridge is pressuring the city, and all of us, to make a choice between economics and a good place to live," says Mr. Fai.

"This is an important, precedent-setting case and could influence the reading of the official plan in the future."

The parcel, called 100 Landry St., is a fenced field of long grass bounded by the Vanier Parkway to the west, Landry Street to the north, Carillon Street to the south and a Muslim cultural centre to the east.

"It's one of the few urban sites that has any sort of mass of land," says Neil Malhotra, Claridge vice-president. Mr. Malhotra says the area is nearly on the doorstep of Parliament Hill. "There's supposed to be some density."

The proposed development consists of 757 new units in:

- 76 two-storey townhouses located in 15 buildings;

- 60 three-and-a-half-storey stacked townhouses in five buildings;

- Three highrise apartment buildings with 621 units.

Mr. Malhotra argues density is needed to make the project economically feasible. It will cost "millions" to remove and replace the contaminated soil.

"If it's not us, someone else would have to do a project of this scale to make it work."

Mr. Nolan says the community is not opposed to development on the site, which is almost four kilometres from Parliament Hill. The problem is the height and the influx of at least 1,500 people.

The surrounding houses and small apartment buildings range from one-and-a-half storeys to three storeys, although there is a 16-storey apartment building just west of the site.

"The current plan ignores the delicate balance that this neighbourhood has achieved," says Mr. Fai. "I cannot accept this as a legitimate proposal for this site. It's too big and doesn't pay any attention to the surrounding neighbourhood. It is possible to do some highrise development, but 30 storeys is absurd."

He lives at the foot of a highrise building on Rideau Terrace.

"There's an example of the kind of mistake that can be made in a neighbourhood," he says.

"The people across the street lost all their sunlight. Cars are whipping up and down our street all the time. The air conditioner of the building sounds like a jet engine taking off."

Compounding the community's apprehension is the fact that thousands of new houses and apartments are being planned in the area, including on the former Rockcliffe airbase, Karen Way, Rideau Street and Beechwood Avenue.

New residents will use the same three roads to travel downtown -- Montreal Road, Vanier Parkway and Beechwood.

"It seems like all the densification is happening in one place," says Mr. Nolan.

The community association wants to see a plan for Wards 12 and 13 before the city continues with any decisions regarding current and future development, zoning amendments or street design plans.

Rideau-Vanier Councillor Georges Bedard and Ottawa-Vanier MP Mauril Belanger agree the city should study the impact of the pending developments.

"Someone has to have a sense of the entire area so nobody wakes up with a nasty surprise," says Mr. Belanger.

"You need to look at transportation, infrastructure, recreational facilities, education and green spaces to see whether or not they can handle the increased population. If they can't, you don't allow the intensity sought by developers," he says.

"The city should stick to zoning bylaws it sets," adds Mr. Belanger. "People feel disenfranchised when someone buys a property and builds two times as much as allowed by the bylaw. At some point, the fabric of our community will suffer. Council has the responsibility to avoid actions that endanger our quality of life."

Mayoral candidate Alex Munter shares the community association's concerns.

"The city's approach is piecemeal, poorly co-ordinated and lacking an overall vision," he says.

"Developing brownfield sites makes a lot more sense than paving over forests and farmland. But it's also more complicated because we have to respect existing communities."

The site, once a steel beam fabrication plant, has stood empty for decades. Claridge plans to purchase the property this year from Truscan Properties, the real estate division of the TD Bank.

Claridge is awaiting Ministry of the Environment approval of its cleanup plan, which the company hopes to start this winter. The project would take seven to eight years to complete.

"As far as I understand, there isn't a health problem," says Mr. Malhotra. "If you deal with it when there's snow on the ground, it helps to keep the material less air-borne and there are fewer people outdoors."

Current zoning permits 314 units of housing and 38,700 square metres of commercial development. The current allowable height is 19 storeys. Claridge has applied to the city for a zoning amendment.

Mr. Bedard points out that the site permits office towers, and that housing is preferable.

"It's a compromise situation," he says. "The benefits are that there will be a good increase in land value in the area and it's going to be very good for the commercial areas on Montreal Road and Beechwood Avenue."

A traffic impact study prepared for Claridge by Delcan Corporation predicted increases in traffic on Vanier Parkway, Beechwood Avenue and Landry Street.

It also outlined the need for a road connection between the development and Vanier Parkway with a turning lane and traffic lights.

"The biggest issue will be transportation," says Mr. Bedard. "How do we get people in and out of there efficiently. Our staff say we're just going to have added congestion and that traffic flows can handle it.

"We're going to have to become more pedestrian and cycling oriented and recognize that if we use cars we're going to be caught in a bottleneck."

The redevelopment of Vanier seems inevitable given its proximity to downtown. Ultimately, it comes down to quality of urban design and architecture.

Currently, the project is designed almost as a gated community with its back toward Vanier. There are few connections to the neighbourhood and it treats Landry Street as a service road. Public space consists of a half-acre parkette required by the city.

The two highest apartment towers overlook Vanier Parkway, while the rear of the third tower, along with its concrete parking ramp, faces onto Landry. The taller townhouses, dominated by surface parking, abut Landry Street.

There are no architectural designs yet. "The intent is that they be reflective of some of the architecture we see in the neighbourhood," says Mr. Malhotra.

He notes Claridge has tried to address community concerns. For example, in the original design, the townhouses beside Landry backed onto the street. Now, the sides of the buildings face Landry. Claridge also removed a through route from Landry to the Vanier Parkway.

"If I were working on the project, I would look first to the existing neighbourhood for clues on how to build a viable, inner city project in east-central Ottawa," says Mr. Fai.

"The neighbourhood surrounding 100 Landry is very diverse culturally, economically, and topographically. This needs to be thoughtfully addressed."

While many people agree in principle to limiting urban sprawl, "inner city developments are complex and all of us will need to adjust to lengthy, comprehensive, and inclusive approval processes," he says.
samsonyuen no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 13th, 2006, 12:13 AM   #128
samsonyuen
SSLL
 
samsonyuen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Canary Wharf > CityPlace
Posts: 8,350
Likes (Received): 314

From: http://www.ottawasun.ca/News/OttawaA...78471-sun.html
______________________
Quote:
Tue, July 11, 2006
So many trains of thought
Councillors weighing 'overwhelming' arguments as debate over light-rail project begins today

By DEREK PUDDICOMBE

THE LONG and arduous debate over whether to approve an almost billion-dollar 29.7-km light rail transit project for the city begins today.

It looks like it will be a tough debate.

Some councillors have decided to vote against the project for a variety of reasons -- safety, money or simply because they say it's not the right LRT plan for the city.

Others, who have favoured the project from the beginning, are also having some second thoughts.

Baseline Coun. Rick Chiarelli, says he still hasn't made up his mind.


'THE SCALE IS LOADED'

"I really wanted to vote in favour of it," said Chiarelli, "but there are overwhelming reasons to vote for it and overwhelming reasons to be cautious as well. The scale is loaded on both sides."

One reason Chiarelli is cautious about what would be the largest construction project in the city's history is the cost.

"It's an awful lot of money and we have to know how it will affect flexibility in the future," he said.

Some councillors are saying the true cost of the project is anyone's guess. Estimates have ranged from $778 million to $1 billion. Even when staff presented the number a month ago, an informal poll revealed councillors didn't understand the real cost of the proposed light rail system and Chiarelli says that's been city staff's fault.

"The flow of information on the project has been confusing," he said.

Bell-South Nepean Coun. Jan Harder says the project is vital to keep traffic flowing from Barrhaven into the city's core.

"I hope this council has the vision after years and years of research and consultations," said Harder. "This is not for today or tomorrow. This is for the next 50 years."

Innes Ward Coun. Rainer Bloess visited Houston, Texas, last week on his own dime to get a feel for its LRT system -- the same make and model Ottawa will be voting on this week.

Admittedly not sure how he was going to vote before heading south, and still left with some questions, Bloess said the trip opened his eyes to the value of light rail transit.

Bloess' east-end council colleague Cumberland Coun. Rob Jellett also has some remaining concerns but likes the concept of LRT.

'CHEAPER TO RUN'

"Light rail is a better technology than using buses. It's better for the environment and cheaper to run," said Jellett.

Osgoode Coun. Doug Thompson said some rural residents oppose the system but many support it.

"Light rail is the only way that a major city can develop and Ottawa is certainly a major city," he said, and added many rural residents who travel into the core of the city would probably use the system.
samsonyuen no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 13th, 2006, 12:15 AM   #129
samsonyuen
SSLL
 
samsonyuen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Canary Wharf > CityPlace
Posts: 8,350
Likes (Received): 314

From: http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/...2d4002&k=46051
____________________
Quote:
Attempt to delay light-rail vote fails
14 of 21 city councillors decide against deferral motion pitched by Alex Cullen

Jake Rupert
The Ottawa Citizen

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Ottawa's proposed north-south light-rail project is headed toward reality after city council yesterday voted down a move to defer a decision on the issue until after this fall's election.

Bay Councillor Alex Cullen brought the deferral motion, which died on a vote of 14 to seven, with many councillors saying that after years of study and planning, it was time to decide the issue.

Final voting on whether or not to go ahead with the 29-kilometre University of Ottawa to Barrhaven electric line, with a price tag of $780 million to $1 billion, is set for today after further debate.

The losing deferral vote is seen as a preview of what the final vote will be because most of the councillors who voted against deferral are expected to support the project.

In this camp is Gloucester-Southgate Councillor Diane Deans, whose growing area, including Riverside South, will be served by the line. She said this city council has been wrestling with the issue for years and is in a far better position to make the decision than the next council.

"At some point, council has to have the intestinal fortitude to make a decision on this," she said.

"I don't believe it's in the long-term interest of this city to delay. It's judgment day for this council."

Bell-South Nepean Councillor Jan Harder, whose ward includes Barrhaven, concurred.

"Members of this council and the one before it voted to make this the No. 1 transit priority, and it's time to move ahead with it," she said.

Mr. Cullen brought the motion because he felt taxpayers would have more direct impact on the decision if it became an election issue. This position was supported by a coalition of community groups and both main candidates running against Mayor Bob Chiarelli.

"This is taxpayers' money no matter how you slice it, and we should find out from our electorate if they are seeing this as an appropriate use of their money," Mr. Cullen said.

The city's light-rail project leader, Rejean Chartrand, warned council that the group of companies chosen to design, build, provide cars for and maintain the system for 15 years say a six-month delay would add $60 million to $80 million to the cost of the project.

Mayor Bob Chiarelli, the project's chief booster, didn't ask questions of staff or speak during the deferral debate after it became clear Mr. Cullen's motion wasn't going to pass.

The provincial and federal governments have each committed $200 million toward the project and the city is financing the rest, largely using gas tax transfers from the upper levels of government and development charges dedicated to transit projects.

Mr. Chartrand said he's confident this is the right project, at the right time, for the right price, with the right protections built in for the city.

"You can be sure that this is the best price for this project," said Mr. Chartrand.

"The city will pay for performance only, and there will be penalties if deadlines and performance standards aren't met."

Furthermore, city manager Kent Kirkpatrick said the city's whole planning process in the south end of Ottawa has been designed around the line, the roads into the area can't deal with any more cars, and the funding is in place to pay for the line with minimal impact to taxpayers.

"If you decided not to build this infrastructure ... a lot of planning will have to be undone and changed," he said. "This is the best strategy to service an area where the city has focused growth."

Mr. Kirkpatrick said there will be no pressure put on taxpayers until 2010, when the line starts running and the city will have to find roughly $16 million per year to run it.

That translates into a two-per-cent tax increase, beginning in 2010.

Still, a minority of councillors are expected to vote against the project today because they aren't convinced it is worth the price tag. Knoxdale-Merivale Councillor Gord Hunter is a long-time an opponent of the project for this reason.
samsonyuen no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 13th, 2006, 12:17 AM   #130
samsonyuen
SSLL
 
samsonyuen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Canary Wharf > CityPlace
Posts: 8,350
Likes (Received): 314

From: http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/...c22b93&k=99119
_____________
Quote:
All aboard rail? We'll soon see
'There should be enough votes' for light-rail plan, mayor says

Jake Rupert
The Ottawa Citizen

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

'We're just not getting a lot of public transit for the money' says David Jeanes, president of the advocacy group Transport 2000, of Ottawa's multimillion-dollar light-rail project.
With the fate of Ottawa's north-south light-rail project hanging on one more vote, most likely to take place tomorrow, the pro, con and defer camps on city council were out in force yesterday.

Mayor Bob Chiarelli spent much of the day meeting with various councillors trying to secure their votes for the rail line, which would run from the University of Ottawa to Barrhaven at a cost somewhere between $780 million and $1 billion, depending on who does the math.

Mr. Chiarelli, who has been the leading force behind the project, said there are councillors who had concerns about it, but they have been answered.

"We aren't going to take the debate lightly, but we're fairly confident that there should be enough (votes) to carry it," Mr. Chiarelli said. "This will be beneficial to the whole city, and I think enough councillors see that."

Others, such as Bay Councillor Alex Cullen and Knoxdale-Merivale Councillor Gord Hunter, were working to get the votes to delay a decision on the matter until after this fall's municipal election, or to kill the project outright.

Mr. Cullen said he felt his move to have the vote deferred was gaining ground.

Indeed, Kanata Councillor Peggy Feltmate is now in favour of deferral, and two other councillors, Cumberland's Rob Jellett and Baseline's Rick Chiarelli, now say they are thinking about deferring the vote.

Mr. Cullen said if deferral fails, he will be voting against the project as it stands. He said initially the project was supposed to cost $600 million, and he just can't see the value anymore.

"I wanted to believe, but this is not what we started out trying to do," he said. "I want rail in Ottawa, but at $858 million, conservatively, we should be getting more than this. I just don't see this as value for the money we would be spending."

Mayor Chiarelli said the city has the money for the project, and he doesn't want to see it added to the list of capital project failures in the city. He said these include Lebreton Flats, 50 years and counting with nothing built, 15 years without an expansion of the Ottawa Congress Centre despite having almost $100 million in available funding, and no east end bridge over the Ottawa River despite a clear need.

"We've got the money in our hands, so let's get it done," Mr. Chiarelli said. "No one is saying it's perfection, but let's get the show on the road. Let's start building a world-class city."

Bell-South Nepean councillor Jan Harder spent the day working on getting support for the extension of the line from the Rideau River into the heart of Barrhaven. The extension was initially part of the plan, but was lopped off in an ultimately vain attempt to keep things close to budget.

A compromise solution will see the line reduced to one track into Barrhaven. This option, estimated to cost $24 million, will be voted on separately.

Ms. Harder says if others on council don't vote for the extension, she'll be voting against the project because it would no longer make sense.

Some councillors, like Baseline Councillor Rick Chiarelli, say they still need more information before they can make a decision.

In particular, Councillor Chiarelli wants to know the extent to which the $400 million coming from the provincial and federal governments is tied to this particular project and how the decision on this project is going to impact other transit projects planned for the future.

He said city staff have said the money from the other levels of government will be taken off the table if the project doesn't go ahead.

But Ottawa West-Nepean MP John Baird, who is also president of Treasury Board, says the money will remain on the table for other transit projects if this one is voted down.

Rick Chiarelli says he wants clear answers on this issue for both the federal and the provincial elements, which are worth $200 million each.

"If this money isn't tied to this project, there's a lot more possibilities," he said. "This is one transit project. There are others."

Rick Chiarelli said he's worried that financing the rest of the project using gas tax transfers from the two upper levels of government will mean the "other" projects won't get done.

Cumberland Councillor Rob Jellett says tension over the vote is so high that he and the mayor got in a heated argument over the issue recently.

"Bob and I got into it, and it got personal," Mr. Jellett said. "Nobody threatened anybody, but it was personal."

He said it got that way because he is now leaning towards deferring the project until after the election.

He said he's leaning that way because of the feedback he has been getting from his constituents.

"People want a chance to step back and look at this project one more time," Mr. Jellett said. "There are questions that need answering: Is the ridership there? Is this the right route? Is this the right project for the money right now?"

If the contract is awarded, it will go to a consortium consisting of Siemens, which will supply rail vehicles and technology, and PCL and Dufferin construction companies.

The city's light-rail team will start making presentations at 1 p.m. today followed by questions from councillors, debate and then the vote. However, it is expected that the meeting will not finish today and that the vote will held tomorrow after the meeting resumes at 9 a.m.
samsonyuen no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 13th, 2006, 12:18 AM   #131
samsonyuen
SSLL
 
samsonyuen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Canary Wharf > CityPlace
Posts: 8,350
Likes (Received): 314

From: http://www.ottawabusinessjournal.com...2493836467.php
_______________________
Quote:
LRT debate drags on, final decision far from imminent
By Ottawa Business Journal Staff
Wed, Jul 12, 2006 8:00 AM EST


Artist's conception of proposed light rail passing through downtown. (Photo courtesy City of Ottawa)
Ottawa City Council is embroiled in a heated – and sometimes confusing – debate over the future of the city's largest construction project.

Council members seem far from a final decision, as they get sidetracked with procedural measures and wrangle over proposed amendments to the plan for the north-south LRT line that would link the University of Ottawa with Barrhaven.

Mayor Bob Chiarelli and councilor Alex Cullen tangled in a particularly fractious exchange. Coun. Cullen opposes the LRT plan as it stands, and lost a vote Tuesday to defer a final decision until after this fall's municipal election.

By a vote of 14-7, council rejected Mr. Cullen's motion to put off a decision until the new council takes office.

Mr. Cullen had argued that delaying a final decision would be in the best interests of democracy, but other councilors disagreed and said it's time to either approve the project or reject it.

"To delay this is just a copout," Innes councilor Rainer Bloess told council.

Many of the council members who voted against the Cullen motion are expected to support the LRT plan when it comes to a final vote, either later today or Thursday.
samsonyuen no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 14th, 2006, 12:44 AM   #132
samsonyuen
SSLL
 
samsonyuen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Canary Wharf > CityPlace
Posts: 8,350
Likes (Received): 314

From: http://ottsun.canoe.ca/News/OttawaAn...81938-sun.html
_____________________
Quote:
Thu, July 13, 2006
Councillors toe LRT line
Plan to build $1B transit system goes ahead by 14-7 vote

By DEREK PUDDICOMBE

After two days of debate, north-south commuters can count on riding the rails.

Council yesterday voted 14-7 in favour of a light rail network to be built in the nation's capital.

"This is a champagne moment for our city. This is a new start for our city," said Capital Coun. Clive Doucet, who has always been a supporter for the 29.7-km route.

Cumberland Coun. Rob Jellett said the decision has been the most difficult in his short political career, but despite being heavily lobbied -- and receiving threats -- to vote against it, he voted in favour.

"In the end, this may cost my job, but I will be leaving knowing I made a decision with the best information I had available," said Jellett.


2% PROPERTY TAX HIKE

Diane Deans was confident that taxpayers would be willing to accept a 2% property tax increase in 2010, when light rail will be up and running, to help fund the system if savings can't be found elsewhere.

"To get this type of system, taxpayers would be willing to accept it," she said.

The vote was broken into two parts: The contract for the design, construction and 15-year maintenance of the north-south line; and the extension to bring the rail line into Barrhaven, which passed in a 17-5 vote. Most councillors said the Barrhaven extension would be necessary to make the project work.

Mayor Bob Chiarelli said the light rail system -- thought to be his pet project -- will improve the quality of life for residents and make Ottawa a world class city. He said it won't take long before the public will buy into it.

"They will learn to love the system," said Chiarelli. "It will be the start of making this a great world capital."

He said the line will also make an impact on the city's economy.

"It will mean a significant boon to the downtown and people will end up having more fun downtown."

Bay Coun. Alex Cullen said he jumped off the train last year when city staff refused to endorse a plan to look at building a tunnel under the downtown core.

Cullen said while there is room for a north-south project, the time just isn't right -- especially not at the almost $1-billion price tag.

"It's not worth it. There is a better plan we can put together to check our levels of ridership," he said.

Innes Coun. Rainer Bloess, who travelled to Houston, Tex., last week to get a feel for the LRT that Siemens built there -- a system that is similar to Ottawa's project -- said he took into consideration the future impact of LRT when he cast his vote against the plan.

"It's about what we want our city to become," said Bloess. "I want the train, but I want it in the right place. The numbers don't give me the confidence."

---

HOW THEY VOTED

TO APPROVE THE LRT CONTRACT:

Doug Thompson: yes

Janet Stavinga: yes

Peter Hume: yes

Eli El-Chantiry: yes

Clive Doucet: yes

Shawn Little: yes

Georges Bedard: yes

Diane Deans: yes

Bob Monette: yes

Jan Harder: yes

Rob Jellett: yes

Maria McRae: yes

Diane Holmes: yes

Bob Chiarelli: yes

Rick Chiarelli: no

Michel Bellemare: no

Jacques Legendre: no

Alex Cullen: no

Glenn Brooks: no

Peggy Feltmate: no

Rainer Bloess: no

TO EXTEND THE LINE INTO BARRHAVEN:

Doug Thompson: yes

Rick Chiarelli: yes

Janet Stavinga: yes

Peter Hume: yes

Eli El-Chantiry: yes

Clive Doucet: yes

Shawn Little: yes

Jacques Legendre: yes

Georges Bedard: yes

Diane Deans: yes

Bob Monette: yes

Peggy Feltmate: yes

Jan Harder: yes

Rob Jellett: yes

Maria McRae: yes

Diane Holmes: yes

Bob Chiarelli: yes

Michel Bellemare: no

Alex Cullen: no

Gord Hunter: no

Glenn Brooks: no

Rainer Bloess: no

TO EXTEND THE LINE TO THE UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA:

Doug Thompson: yes

Janet Stavinga: yes

Peter Hume: yes

Eli El-Chantiry: yes

Clive Doucet: yes

Georges Bedard: yes

Diane Deans: yes

Bob Monette: yes

Jan Harder: yes

Maria McRae: yes

Diane Holmes: yes

Mayor Bob Chiarelli: yes

Rick Chiarelli: no

Michel Bellemare: no

Shawn Little: no

Jacques Legendre: no

Alex Cullen: no

Gord Hunter: no

Glenn Brooks: no

Peggy Feltmate: no

Rob Jellett: no

Rainer Bloess: no
samsonyuen no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 14th, 2006, 12:48 AM   #133
samsonyuen
SSLL
 
samsonyuen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Canary Wharf > CityPlace
Posts: 8,350
Likes (Received): 314

From: http://www.canada.com:80/components/...7-60e48d7a841f
____________________________
Quote:
Council goes way off track

Randall Denley
The Ottawa Citizen

Thursday, July 13, 2006

So much for the great debate on light-rail. The proponents of the city's north-south plan had no real interest in improving it and the opponents' alternative ideas were too little and too late.

After a day and a half of discussion, councillors approved pretty much what staff had placed in front of them.

A number of motions did try to get at the glaring problem of jamming downtown streets with buses and trains, but Mayor Bob Chiarelli managed to rule them out of order. Councillor Gord Hunter even presented a whole new approach to transit, calling for an extension of the transitway to serve Riverside South and trains on the east-west transitway.

Councillors were unpersuaded. This first step in a 15-year transit expansion plan sets the city off in entirely the wrong direction, but the prevailing council wisdom is that it's too late to stop now.

Councillors were to some extent victims of their own momentum. When they asked staff a year ago to get a contract to build the north-south line, there was really little chance of any outcome different from the one we saw yesterday. The $158-million price escalation might have given a reasonable person pause, but it didn't seem to matter a whit to most on council. The small number of additional transit riders the train is likely to attract wasn't much of a deal at the promised $725 million. It's really a joke at $883 million, plus.

Councillors managed to debate light-rail for years without ever really focusing their attention on the consultants' report that told them the numbers of new riders would be small and that the 30-per-cent transit commuting share goal would almost certainly never be met. Other than the cost, it's the most relevant information. The new train is projected to attract 1,090 new transit riders in the morning commute by 2021.

Councillors who persist in using a figure 60 times as large should have another read.

The councillors who opposed the rail plan found themselves fighting not only the momentum of the project, but also a cunning little array of inducements that were intended to persuade uncommitted councillors. East-end councillors got a small Band-Aid solution to the Queensway split, west-end councillors got a long overdue improvement in a transitway bottleneck. Jan Harder won the grand prize, a $24-million extension of the rail line to Barrhaven. Rural councillors were rewarded with $3.5 million in rural road repairs.

On that last point, one really has to admire the chutzpah of Councillor Eli El-Chantiry. The West Carleton councillor found the original $2-million rural road inducement too low and asked for $1.5 million more.

This got Councillor Jacques Legendre's attention and he began to ask embarrassing questions about why rural road repairs would be attached to an urban transit project anyway.

While everyone else looked at their shoes, Legendre went on at length about how this made the debate a "mockery."

Poor Jacques. He's right, of course, but after all his years in politics, he is still doesn't understand how the city's reward system works.

Councillors applied their usual complexity but the underlying question in front of them was a simple one. With all information in hand, was the north-south plan a good idea, or not?

Instead of arguing the main point, councillors expended much of their time on procedure and trivia. That suited the light rail supporters rather well, because the plan really doesn't stand up to much scrutiny. The opponents made it easy for them by focusing on not-going-to-happen ideas like dropping the link to Barrhaven or reconsidering a tunnel downtown.

Earlier, councillors had rejected a plan to delay the decision so they could consult the public in this fall's election.

Councillor Maria McRae said there would be no point, because councillors would have no new information later.

That would be true, if delay was all councillors intended to do. It eluded McRae, but the purpose of the delay was to figure out a better, cheaper way to serve people in the south, freeing up money for east-west.

Once councillors turned their attention to the actual contract proposal, they found there is really no way to tell if it provides good value for the money.

Without any breakdown of the cost of component parts or any potential alternatives, it was difficult for councillors to do anything but give a simple yes or no.

In the end, most simply went along with what city staff and the mayor wanted, just like they have all along. Now it's all over but the paying.
samsonyuen no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 14th, 2006, 07:25 AM   #134
p5archit
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Toronto, Vienna, Amsterdam
Posts: 533
Likes (Received): 1

This thread is full of a ton of info, but its basically only pasted articles from various daily's- seems awfully boring to me..where are the picts, the comments etc..??

Don't have any...oh well then post another article..!

All the same, it is great to hear that Ottawa is experiencing a building boom-

p5
__________________
..unc!
p5archit no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 14th, 2006, 11:48 PM   #135
samsonyuen
SSLL
 
samsonyuen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Canary Wharf > CityPlace
Posts: 8,350
Likes (Received): 314

The problem is that there a lot more Ottawa forumers in SSP. I'm in London, so no pictures from me. Does anyone have any photos?
samsonyuen no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 16th, 2006, 01:45 PM   #136
samsonyuen
SSLL
 
samsonyuen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Canary Wharf > CityPlace
Posts: 8,350
Likes (Received): 314

From: http://ottsun.canoe.ca/News/OttawaAn...86279-sun.html
______________________
Quote:
Sat, July 15, 2006
Rideau Centre scraps plans
Citing 'unduly onerous' demands from the city, mall management has given up on a major expansion, Susan Sherring reports

By SUSAN SHERRING

PLANS for a major expansion of the Rideau Centre have been abruptly halted, with the mall's owners withdrawing their development application to the City of Ottawa.

"The (city's) Memo of Acceptance and the entire process are most disappointing and discouraging," wrote Michael Herman, Viking Rideau's managing director, in a tersely worded letter obtained by the Sun.

"The conditions outlined in the (city's memo) are unduly onerous and unacceptable. We hereby withdraw our development application."

Viking Rideau and the City of Ottawa have been part of an ongoing process for several months now. Working with the Urban Design Review Panel (a panel of private citizens), city staff and Rideau Centre officials came up with the Final Project Design Memo of Acceptance, outlining a variety of design elements required under the city's Urban Design Plan.

The end result is the Final Project Design Memo of Acceptance, a six-page letter that gives more than a hint of the stringent design regulations by which the Rideau Centre is expected to abide.


Rideau-Vanier Coun. Georges Bedard, whose ward includes the Rideau Centre, said Ottawa wants to sit down with the owners, but there are simply some areas of disagreement which aren't negotiable from the city's point of view.

He said council voted last year on an urban design for the downtown area, and points out the Rideau Centre was an integral part of the process leading up to that council decision.

Bedard said the biggest stumbling block appears to be the Centre's reluctance to revamp the facade of the stores fronting on Rideau St., along with a requirement for new stores at the corner of Nicholas St. to also front the street.

He said it's imperative to the future of the downtown core that the area be revitalized -- and that the life be brought back to the street.

"We did it wrong the first time and we have to get it right this time around," Bedard said. "We need people going in and out of those downtown businesses along the entire street."

He suggested the present design has hurt other businesses on Rideau St., and that in turn has led to some of the serious problems -- including crime -- now being witnessed on that street.

"The future of the downtown core depends on us getting it right this time," Bedard said.

John Moser, the city's acting deputy city manager, replied to Herman's letter suggesting he doesn't understand the company's reticence.

"I must indicate that I am somewhat dismayed with your decision," Moser wrote.

Moser suggests given the amount of work that is being done, he hopes the two sides can meet to see if some common ground can be found.

"We will therefore not formally close our file, as you have requested, until we hear further from you," Moser wrote.

Moser told the Sun yesterday he was surprised at Rideau Viking's decision and had thought the two sides were close to an agreement.

Until the site plan application is approved, Moser said a building permit won't be issued for the expansion.

In the fall of 2005, the Rideau Centre announced that despite problems with the expansion of the Ottawa Congress Centre, it was proceeding full steam ahead with their own plans.

40 NEW STORES

The centre planned to expand eastward to Nicholas St., creating up to 130,000 sq.-ft. of new retail space which would be fully integrated with the existing mall, adding up to 40 new stores at the centre.

At the time, Cindy VanBuskirk, director of marketing and leasing, said the Rideau Centre was facing a "pressing demand" for space and must expand to "preserve and grow" its market share.

Yesterday, she wasn't quite so talkative.

"Where did you get that information?" she asked.

"I'm not prepared to comment at this time."

Herman was equally as quiet about the letter to the city and didn't return the Sun's calls made to his Toronto Viking Rideau office.
samsonyuen no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 17th, 2006, 02:37 AM   #137
agrigentum
Dtown
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 50
Likes (Received): 0

Quote:
Originally Posted by samsonyuen
The problem is that there a lot more Ottawa forumers in SSP. I'm in London, so no pictures from me. Does anyone have any photos?
I'm moving to Ottawa mid-August...if this thread is still available then I will be happy to post some pics.
agrigentum no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 21st, 2006, 12:28 AM   #138
samsonyuen
SSLL
 
samsonyuen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Canary Wharf > CityPlace
Posts: 8,350
Likes (Received): 314

From: http://www.canada.com:80/components/...a-c6f5eb563667
____________________________
Quote:
Shut pedestrian underpass
councillor: Homeless, drug dealers frightening, Bedard says

Andrew Seymour
The Ottawa Citizen

Thursday, July 20, 2006


CREDIT: Wayne Cuddington, The Ottawa Citizen
Georges Bedard wants a fence to keep people out of the tunnel.
Rideau-Vanier Councillor Georges Bedard wants to permanently shut a "dangerous" downtown pedestrian underpass frequented by homeless street youths.

The walkway, running under Colonel By Drive between Wellington and Rideau streets, is where a street youth was killed last month after an altercation with another man who allegedly urinated on the steps near the street youth's "home."

"It's an inappropriate place to sleep. It's supposed to be a walkway for pedestrians and tourists," said Mr. Bedard yesterday.

Until the walkway can be shut and another solution found for pedestrians crossing the busy intersection, he said the city should put up a fence.

"The short-term solution is barricading those areas where people are sleeping and put in a proper fence, something interesting to maintain some sort of a style -- but definitely close it off," Mr. Bedard said, describing the area as a haven for drug dealing that intimidates residents and visitors to Ottawa.

Mr. Bedard's comments come a week before Ottawa police plan to do a safety audit of the area that will recommend solutions to make it safer.

The Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design study, which will be conducted by Ottawa police Sgt. Bill Van Ryswyk, will focus on design changes to reduce the incidence and fear of crime.

Potential solutions could include gating the area at night, a permanent fence or improving lighting and sightlines to prevent people from congregating there, said Ottawa police Staff Sgt. Paul Johnston of the Central-East Neighbourhood section, which patrols Rideau Street.

"We are going to look at changing the design of it," said Staff Sgt. Johnston. "It's not the best place from a policing perspective."

He said it has been a troublesome spot. "There is a perception it is not safe down there," said Staff Sgt. Johnston.

Yet, he said, the problems are mostly limited to alcohol infractions, a small amount of drug use such as smoking pot, panhandling and loitering.

In last month's homicide, it was one of the street youths who slept in the underpass that was the victim. Steven Beriault, 21, was stabbed to death following a confrontation with a man Mr. Beriault's friends said was urinating on the steps. Ricky Roger Hankey, 35, has been charged with second-degree murder.

Mr. Bedard said there is no reason the street youth can't stay in shelters instead of sleeping on the street.

"The street doesn't belong to them. The street belongs to every citizen of Ottawa and each one of us has the right to ensure that we are not hassled and we are secure when we are walking down a sidewalk," he said. Since Mr. Beriault's murder, street youth who hang out under the bridge have circulated a petition against any possible closure of the underpass.

Melanie Vallieres, 18, said last night that the councillor's idea is "pointless" and that it won't bring back the friend she knew as "Cactus."

"It's not going to prevent violence in this city," said Ms. Vallieres, who occasionally spends the night in the underpass between her travels.

"All it's going to do is take away homes from the people who sleep here. This is people's homes."

Seventeen-year-old Kristie Duncan, another homeless youth, calls it a "terrible idea" and says it will only displace her community into another downtown location. She also believes Mr. Beriault's killing, which she calls an "isolated incident," is being blown out of proportion for political purposes. "That wasn't a random person walking through and getting bludgeoned to death," she said.

Mr. Bedard, who previously backed a plan to remove bus shelter walls on Rideau Street that was later rejected by council following widespread public outrage, said he envisions the fence running from one end to the other of the overpass, blocking off a "wedge" where the homeless like to sleep.

Mr. Bedard said the underpass was poorly planned and it would take time to find a long-term solution that works.

However, a short-term solution involving a fence could be done relatively quickly, he said, especially considering council's recent commitment to cleaning up Rideau Street.

Mr. Bedard said he has asked the mayor to set up a meeting with the police and all the relevant city departments to develop a strategy for the underpass.
samsonyuen no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 26th, 2006, 12:22 AM   #139
samsonyuen
SSLL
 
samsonyuen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Canary Wharf > CityPlace
Posts: 8,350
Likes (Received): 314

From: http://ottsun.canoe.ca/News/OttawaAn...00845-sun.html
____________________
Quote:
First Nations group asks Ottawa to stop light rail project
Last Updated: Tuesday, July 25, 2006 | 8:54 AM ET
CBC News
An Ottawa-area First Nations group has asked the city to halt its recently approved light rail transit project until a land claim against a section of the route is resolved.

Chief Kirby Whiteduck of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation, told the Ottawa Sun on Monday that his council has asked the city to stop construction.

The portion of the rail line in question runs through a section of the National Capital Commission's Greenbelt between Leitrim and Hunt Club roads.

Whiteduck, whose community is off Highway 60 between Ottawa and Algonquin Park, told the paper that no level of Algonquin government has ever signed a treaty to surrender the lands.

The Algonquins launched their 26,000-hectare land claim 23 years ago.

Negotiations began in January but such claims often take years to resolve.

Officials with Indian and Northern Affairs Canada confirm that there are ongoing negotiations between the city and the Algonquins over a piece of land that is supposed to carry the train.

Whiteduck told the Ottawa Sun that his council received a technical document from the city in the spring describing the project and requesting a response within a month.

But the documents are highly technical and the group's chief negotiator, Toronto lawyer Robert Potts, sent the city a letter asking for more time so the Algonquins could set up a technical advisory group.

Whiteduck told the paper that if the city proceeds with the project, the land would no longer be available and the Algonquins might seek a higher financial settlement.

Some city councilors said they weren't aware of the land claim and said they had concerns about how a delay might increase costs.

The city's solicitor, Rick O'Connor, told the Sun that the city only learned of the claim from the federal government in March. But he said the project has received environmental approval from the provincial and federal governments and will move forward.
samsonyuen no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2006, 12:52 AM   #140
samsonyuen
SSLL
 
samsonyuen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Canary Wharf > CityPlace
Posts: 8,350
Likes (Received): 314

From: http://www.canada.com:80/components/...9-bea90e77fe3e
_________________
Quote:
Cleaning up one of our downtowns

Richard Bercuson
The Ottawa Citizen

Thursday, July 27, 2006

This isn't in any bylaw, but it's probably acceptable to agree with city councillors. Even the mayor. From time to time, one must weigh the risk of denting one's self-respect against admitting one sides with the plain, shocking truth.

So here we go. Rideau-Vanier Councillor Georges Bedard seems to be on a mission to polish up our downtown. Bravo. For starters, he'd like something done about street youths inhabiting the pedestrian walkway under Colonel By Drive. He's right: the walkway isn't a campsite.

It's not a few other things either, such as a business conference room, a pot palace, a tavern, a public toilet, or a playing field. This may be offensive to the street kids who "habitate" the space. Then again, so much in life is offensive. I'm thinking light rail on Albert Street.

Maybe the denizens consider it just another instance of ill-tempered adults bullying innocent youths who need to know where they're at in the world. Well, we know where they're at and they don't belong there.

On my own recent passage through their hideaway, there was a bunch asleep in sleeping bags. A few others were setting up a table (a table? from where?), to create posters depicting their objections to being hassled about their living quarters.

Three young guys huddled beside the Conference Centre. They turned away from me as I went by since things were hurriedly being exchanged. Not business cards, I expect.

Mr. Bedard also feels there's too thick a concentration of homeless shelters in the downtown core. He says their proximity to each other breeds negative lifestyles. He's quite correct.

Of course, the two issues are closely linked in two ways.

(1) They both involve our downtown region. One difficulty is our downtown is tiny relative to those of other major cities and so these issues are easily accentuated and impossible to ignore.

In fact, Ottawa's downtown is essentially four distinct regions linked by what I view as a major urban planning error: the paucity of decent cheesecake spots. (I refer you to the planet's most dangerous eatery, the American restaurant chain The Cheesecake Factory. The closest one to us is near New York City. What's wrong with Ogdensburg, I ask?)

We have the drab quadrant roughly bounded by Wellington, Elgin, Gladstone and Bronson, including the effervescent Sparks Street Mall. Call this the Business Downtown. Or, if you prefer, on evenings after 4 p.m. and weekends, call it the Dead Downtown.

The Elgin Street strip between Somerset and Catherine Streets is the Food-and-Drink-But-Keep-It-Quiet-Even-After-Hours-When-Everyone-Need s-To-Go-Somewhere-Downtown.

The Byward Market is the Lively Downtown, perhaps the heart of it all.

For other body parts, it has a strip club, too.

And finally, the region between Colonel By and King Edward is our Transition Downtown. It doesn't know what it wants to be as it scrambles up the social ladder with condominium projects and all-night grocery stores. Forget how many bodies you have to step over to get to them.

Coincidentally, the homeless shelters and the new Colonel By Outdoor Youth Hostel are in this section.

(2) Mr. Bedard's initiatives deal with the homeless. He wants a moratorium on further shelters being built. He also suggests erecting fences in the walkway to prevent the kids from bunking down.

This was done beneath the Mackenzie King Bridge, next to the Nicholas Hostel. The homeless would tuck themselves into the wedge under the bridge. Once the fence blocked their access, they moved elsewhere.

He's referred to the situation as the ghettoization of the homeless. It may be semantics, but ghettoization is not necessarily a bad thing.

Rockcliffe Park is perhaps the ghettoization of old money and embassy homes in a tony, sidewalkless neighbourhood. Tinkering with it would play havoc with sightseeing tours. Nor would I suggest melding ghettos by moving The Mission behind Rideau Hall.

However, here's the conundrum. We might agree with his civic-mindedness.

Let's ignore, too, the oft-employed cynicism that he's pandering to his constituents. As an elected official, he's supposed to pander to his constituents so long as he isn't blithely trampling on common sense.

The youths will relocate, probably out of his ward, and another councillor will need to deal with it.

After his suggested moratorium, the homeless adults may find their shelters and support services shunted elsewhere, too. But where? Will the de-ghettoization of this ward create a new and similarly unpalatable ghetto elsewhere?
samsonyuen no está en línea   Reply With Quote


Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Related topics on SkyscraperCity


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 12:09 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Feedback Buttons provided by Advanced Post Thanks / Like (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

SkyscraperCity ☆ In Urbanity We trust ☆ about us | privacy policy | DMCA policy

Hosted by Blacksun, dedicated to this site too!
Forum server management by DaiTengu