Office of Councillor Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi Ward, Ottawa | (613) 580-2485  |
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Further thoughts on W-LRT

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On March 6, the City of Ottawa and National Capital Commission announced that the 100-day Working Group had achieved a compromise that ensures a route for western light rail through the sensitive Dominion-Cleary corridor.

On November 21, supported by myself and many in the community, the NCC challenged the City to develop a plan for using the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway that wouldn’t have adverse access and visual impacts. They sought a solution that would preserve greenspace and trees.

At the same time, we all heard the strong voices in Kitchissippi calling for preservation of the Byron Linear Park. Of course, across the City, we heard the clear call to ensure western light rail is on track and on budget; this is, after all, a city-building exercise.

The announcement March 6 largely accomplishes these goals, and goes even further. Significant new green space will be added. The Cleary station will be buried and complement the NCC’s vision for a linear park along the beautiful Ottawa River. I continue to hold in great admiration those of our and the NCC’s staff who had the creativity to suggest the “stacked” solution.

The compromise solution will ensure we build an affordable light rail system that will be key to our City’s sustainability for generations without compromising the quality of life in Kitchissippi.

There is a section of light rail that will be visible from homes on Dominion Avenue and the nearby apartment towers. Residents are concerned about noise and vibration from the unburied section so close to homes. The proposed Dominion Station has raised concerns about noise and light pollution, as well as maintenance and general aesthetic considerations. The very short Dominion Avenue may become a kiss-and-ride that it is simply not built to handle, though planners are working hard to ensure that Lincoln Fields becomes the preferred drop-off point.

Residents have asked for my help in minimizing these impacts. I look forward to working with residents, my colleagues on Council and the City to further address the proposed open trench and concerns raised about the station location through the design and procurement process. I’m committed to ensuring that all ideas for mitigation will be aggressively pursued

Posted April 17, 2015