'Significant congestion' at Lansdowne might be a good thing

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Coun. David Chernushenko says some congestion will help encourage people not to drive

CBC News

People who live in the Glebe say the city isn't doing enough to prevent traffic congestion in their neighbourhood when Lansdowne Park opens next summer, but a city councillor says some "significant congestion" in the short term might actually be a good thing.

A public meeting with city staff and consultants was held at St. Giles Presbyterian Church Monday night, giving the city a chance to explain its plans for monitoring traffic when the redeveloped site opens in June.

The city called it their biggest-ever traffic monitoring plan. Analysts will watch how traffic actually flows compared to predictions and make changes based on that.

Consultants expect anywhere from 10,000 to 25,000 people will come to Lansdowne for concerts, 13,000 to 15,000 for soccer games and 18,000 to 25,000 for CFL games — as many as 40,000 for a potential Grey Cup.

'Term we get over and over is, wait and see'

Staff will monitor which intersections people are using to turn where, how many people are crossing the Bank Street Bridge and where people are parking.

They will study two Ottawa 67's games, three soccer games and three football games.

But many residents said they want to know what will be done to reduce congestion.

"The term we get over and over is, wait and see. The city has planners, they did a lot of planning around special events at Lansdowne, but for the day to day, it is just wait and we'll adjust and fine tune then," said Brian Mitchell of the Glebe Community Association.

'We have not yet found a happy medium,' councillor says

Capital ward Coun. David Chernushenko said short-term congestion can lead to positive and environmentally-friendly outcomes.

"There's an odd set of dilemmas here," he said. "Traffic congestion actually prompts people to not drive their car. So, if for the first few weeks we experience significant congestion, that may not necessarily be a bad thing."

But when asked what the take-away lesson from the evening was, Chernushenko said he agrees with residents who want more short-term action.

"There are a lot of people who are prepared to live with Lansdowne and even hoping it succeeds now, but the definition of success is it has to work as much for the neighbouring communities as for the visiting clients," he said.

"We have not yet found a happy medium. The solutions are still too much weighted towards the visiting client and not enough in favour of the affected residents."

Some of the proposed solutions include increasing O-Train service and having more east-west buses from Carling Avenue, more bike lanes and using the proposed Fifth/Clegg footbridge in a few years to make Main Street a better way to get to Lansdowne.

The group running Lansdowne said it will have a traffic co-ordinator in place by January.

Lansdowne: Presentation of the City's Monitoring Plan and report on the work of LTAC

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Monday, December 9, 7 – 8:30 p.m.
St. Giles Presbyterian Church, First Ave. & Bank St.

Over the past 18 months, community representatives, invited experts and City staff have been meeting to discuss the anticipated traffic and parking challenges that a redeveloped Lansdowne Park will bring. This Lansdowne Transportation Advisory Committee (LTAC) contributed to the development of a Monitoring Plan to identify specific problems, and made recommendations regarding other steps that might be taken to address these challenges.

This is an opportunity to learn about the City’s Monitoring Plan, other agreed changes, and issues still to be resolved. Besides the presentation of the Monitoring Plan by City staff, there will be an address by Councillor Chernushenko and an opportunity for remarks from the three community associations affected by Lansdowne (GCA, Old Ottawa East, Old Ottawa South) and by the Glebe BIA. 

Lansdowne workers clog Glebe on-street parking

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Residents say it's a sign of congestion to come once construction is finished

CBC News

Some people living near Lansdowne Park say construction workers are taking up too many on-street residential parking spaces, and they say it's a a sign of the congestion to come once the work is finished.

About 700 workers come to the site each day. Some parking for car poolers is available on the site itself, but others have to park nearby.

They often use spots on residential streets such as Holmwood Avenue, which angers some people in the Glebe.

"Right now the workers have to park on the street, so there's nothing left for the people who live here who have guests. There's nothing left," said Maureen Musgrove.

"It's irksome, but it's going to be like that and worse when this place is developed. I think people will have to walk here. We don't really have rapid transit on Bank Street, so I don't know how they'll get here."

Coun. David Chernushenko said the city will make the parking lot at the baseball stadium on Coventry Road available to Lansdowne workers in three weeks.

For workers who don't use that option and stay in the Glebe, the city said it'll step up enforcement and issue tickets to those who don't adhere to the three-hour limit.

Many workers move their vehicles to a new spot every three hours.

"There will be some days of increased vigilance just to make the point, but also, we don't want to be punitive," Chernushenko said. "These are people who are working for a living and have to get there."

"But sometimes you have to give an extra little push to remind them to look elsewhere."

The new stadium is set to open in time for the 2014 CFL season.

Farmers’ return to Lansdowne Park not a done deal

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Rent, parking, use of Aberdeen Pavilion in winter still to be settled while market booms in new location

By David Reevely, Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA — The Ottawa Farmers' Market has grown in leaps and bounds since it was exiled to a park across from Carleton University to make way for the redevelopment at Lansdowne, so much so that its operators are a little anxious about returning.

"Brewer Park's been incredible for us," said Robin Turner, the market's president. "We moved from a giant parking lot beside an awesome heritage building to a beautiful park with all sorts of infrastructure for families and kids. ... I think the new location at the Aberdeen Pavilion will be great as well, but when we move back there, we have to make sure that people are getting the same value out of the trip."

The market opened on asphalt at Lansdowne in 2006, but has now spent 1½ years in temporary quarters at Brewer Park in Old Ottawa South. With playing fields, a big splash pad and playgrounds, Brewer Park has been a much better draw for families, Turner said, who can make a day of it in a way they couldn't at Lansdowne. The parents shop, the kids run around, they have a picnic, parents run into friends and admire each other's purchases and go back to pick another thing or two from the market's vendors.

The renovated Lansdowne Park is to have a heritage orchard, a splash pad of its own and plenty of room to roam by summer 2015, but until it's done and the farmers have moved into their new, purpose-built outdoor space, they won't know for sure that it works as well as Brewer Park does, Turner said.

"In moving back there, we're going to have to make sure that it recognizes all the things that make a farmers' market great," he said. The market organization has had good discussions with the city and with landscape architects Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg, the Vancouver firm that's designing the public spaces at Lansdowne, he said; Turner's optimistic it will be OK, but they won't know it is until everything is done.

Another major worry is parking, which is free at Brewer Park under a deal with Carleton and which was free on the acres of pavement at the old Lansdowne.

Lansdowne construction making Holmwood Avenue a “living hell” for residents

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By Laura Armstrong, Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA — Holmwood Avenue resident Dennis Brock says he and his neighbours are experiencing a sensory torture chamber as near constant construction across the street at Lansdowne Park enters a second year of an estimated four-year project.

"It's horrible, but there's not much we can do. It's noisy, it's dusty, it's intrusive. It's your worst nightmare in terms of living in a neighbourhood," said Brock, who has lived on Holmwood with his wife, Darlene, for 10 years,

About 30 houses are located a street-width away from Lansdowne Park on the stretch of Holmwood east of Bank Street. An approximately three-metre construction hoarding covered in paintings and graffiti has been the only barrier for residents facing the construction site since work began in early June last year.

The hoarding provides no relief for Holmwood residents from a "living hell" of unrelenting noise, dust, vibrations and smells, said Brock's neighbour, Robert Martin. He said he and his partner, Danica Robertson, have been notifying Marco Manconi, the City if Ottawa's manager, design and construction — Lansdowne, about work continuing outside of bylaw-approved hours once or twice a week for six or eight months, but receive only "patronizing, paternalistic pats on the head" in response.

"There are many cases where what the city says and what the contractor does are completely divergent and, it seems at times, the contractors are going ahead with what they need to regardless of noise bylaws," said Martin.

In March, an amendment to the bylaw that deals with the rezoning of Lansdowne Park allowed contractors to continue work on concrete-related activities until 1 a.m. during the week until the project is complete. A limited amount of 24-hour continuous concrete pours during the week were also exempted, left to the discretion of the general manager of infrastructure services Wayne Newell. All other work must be done during regular construction hours, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. If bylaw hours are not obeyed, contractors could face a daily fine of up to $10,000.

Design of future park at Lansdowne unveiled at groundbreaking

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City of Ottawa on Monday displayed renderings of what the future park at Lansdowne will look like

CBC News

Renderings of the future park at Lansdowne were unveiled during a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday.

Mayor Jim Watson said it's ironic that the current park mostly consists of concrete and very little green space.

The new park will include a large lawn, courtyards, a heritage orchard, an outdoor skating rink and a children's play area.

In total there will be about seven hectares of green space, and the park will have four times the amount of trees it currently has.

There will be parking underground at the site, but Coun. David Chernushenko, who was on hand today, said he hopes people will use other ways to get to the park than personal vehicles.

The park should be ready for use in the spring, the city said.

Lansdowne Park 'almost ready' for CFL kickoff in 2014

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By Jon Willing, Ottawa Sun

Most of the $42-million urban park at the redeveloped Lansdowne Park will be ready for public use when the CFL kicks off in 2014, the construction manager of the historic project said Monday.

Marco Manconi said workers will begin installing the underground utilities this summer and building Aberdeen Square, the future home of the farmers market.

A bus shuttle loop, courtyards, a children's playground and the refrigerated ice rink will follow.

Planting work will continue into 2015, but the city is expecting people will be enjoying most of the amenities by this time next year.

Greely firm wins $16M Lansdowne contract

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Ottawa firm D&G Landscaping has beat out three other qualified bidders to win the right to build the urban park that’s part of the City of Ottawa’s Lansdowne Park redevelopment project.

The Greely-based company will receive $16.28 million for its contribution to the project, which will include installing underground utilities and building a shuttle bus loop.

D&G submitted the lowest bid among the four companies who qualified, according to the City of Ottawa’s media relations department. That beat out Carillion Canada Inc., Doran Contractors Ltd. and the Ottawa Greenbelt Construction Co.

Elsewhere on the Glebe property, Frank Clair Stadium is currently being renovated and in some places rebuilt.

Local developer Minto is constructing new condo towers at the site while Trinity Development Group is getting ready to add close to 400,000 square feet of retail to the space. However news about one of the tenant’s exit from the movie industry has left one of the largest components of that space up in the air.

The firm is set to begin construction later this month, with a lot of the work will be done by spring 2014. D&G’s work is scheduled to be completed by summer of 2015, according to a City of Ottawa news release.

Mayfair owner not 'jumping for joy' over Empire Theatre's Lansdowne demise—yet

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By Graham Lanktree, Metro Ottawa

The Mayfair Theatre owner isn't dancing yet over the sale of Empire Theatres, which was set to be an anchor tenant at the refurbished Lansdowne Park in 2014.

"In order for the cinema to be there, they had to move the horticultural building," said owner Lee Demarbre. "That would have been the biggest commercial space. I can't imagine they're going to let that slip. I'm not jumping for joy because I know someone will probably step in."

On Thursday, Empire Company Ltd., which owns Empire Theatres as well as the Sobeys grocery store chain, said they are getting out of the movie business and selling 24 theatres in the maritimes to Cineplex Inc. along with two in Ontario. The company's other 20 theatres in Ontario and western Canada are being sold to Landmark Cinemas.

The Mayfair repertory theatre sits close to the new development and Demarbre has decried how it will affect his business since it was proposed.

"It would be great news if it opened without a cinema," he told Metro Ottawa. "I love the news that it fell apart."

Yet although the deal puts the fate of the new theatre up in the air, Demarbre believes it will have a soft landing. Before the deal was struck with Empire Co., he said, a cinema company official told him the developers had a handshake agreement with another large cinema chain.

"This is good news for Cineplex," he said. "All this is reflective of how crappy Hollywood is doing right now."