Office of Councillor Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi Ward, Ottawa | (613) 580-2485  |
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Parking removal and bike lanes on Spencer: open house April 25

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Since the spring of 2016, I’ve been consulting and notifying residents through the website and newsletter that I have asked, with staff’s concurrence, to remove parking and paint bike lanes on Spencer from Western to Holland.

Despite some extensive communications, and ongoing correspondence with some affected residents since last June, there are still some residents affected who consider that they’ve been caught off-guard.

To further discuss the plan, we’ve set up a public meeting on Tuesday, April 25, graciously being hosted by the Ottawa Mosque at their annex Hall of Peace, from 7-9 pm at 241 Northwestern.

I consider that the removal of parking and installation of painted bike lanes will improve safety for all the road users on Spencer, act as additional traffic calming, help local businesses, and increase home values in the area. We have the support of the community association and Business Improvement Area in that effort.

Some residents, however, consider that the removal of parking on Spencer will eliminate spots to which they’ve become accustomed, increase parking pressure on the side streets, and result in a parking deficit that will affect their ability to receive guests and tradespeople/deliveries. Further, some are concerned that the painted bike lanes will actually result in a less safe street.

To date, having heard, I think, most of the concerns, I’m still comfortable after careful thought that the parking removal and bike lanes will result in a more livable community and with no unacceptable impacts.

To chat it all over, I hope you’ll join us at the April 25 public meeting. I’m approaching this meeting with an open mind. While I believe that I’ve heard, considered, and replied thoughtfully to the concerns that have been raised, it's possible that there's been a perspective I've missed.

It bears keeping in mind as well that the new configuration doesn’t have to be permanent. If unacceptable impacts do emerge, it’s relatively easy to let the paint fade and put up new signage. But, I think it’s important we give this a fair shake.

I know that many, particularly those with families, find evening meetings challenging, so we’ll do our best to find some Wi-Fi and stream the event on Facebook.

Posted April 11, 2017