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Get ready for Gladstone construction!

Tue Dec 6, 2005 Miss Vicky 

Went to a meeting this evening about plans to dig up Gladstone Avenue from Melrose to Booth. It's part of the infrastructure upgrades that are happening across the city. But it's not all about sewers and watermains - the project will also widen sidewalks, ensure that roads conform to the draft cycling plan, and improve the streetscape (well, a bit anyway). There will be a public meeting about this, likely in late January, where everyone will have a chance to check out the proposals and give their feedback. But in the meantime, any thoughts from Miss Vicky's readers along Gladstone?

There are two parts to the project - the underground stuff and the road-and-sidewalk stuff. Since sewers and watermains are being replaced, and upgrades only go to the property lines, homeowners may want to consider upgrading their service connections. Now, when they did my street I don't recall hearing anything about this - you have to pay for it yourself, of course, but if you have an older home you might want to consider it. Tonight we suggested to the project manager that many homeowners may not know the advantages/disadvantages for doing this, what costs might be involved, and so on, so it might be useful to anticipate questions residents may have and provide as much information as possible. Most people don't really think about their sewer and storm drain connections (what the heck is a "weeping tile", anyway?), so asking them whether they might want to change them may cause some confusion. Or maybe it's just Miss Vicky that's confused.

The other big topic for us Hintonburg folks was the intersection at Irving and Gladstone, which has some issues - speeding cars, lots of pedestrians and difficult visibility for all parties. The planners had some geometric alterations proposed - expanding one corner, changing the radius of others - but our folks were more interested in talking about other ways to slow traffic, like speed humps or an all-way stop. Although those measures are not tied to this study, we got some good advice about possible ways to proceed. I also learned that Ottawa does not have a good history with pedestrian crossings, something I have always wondered about. More on this another time, perhaps, when I'm feeling more traffic-geeky.

The project gets more interesting when Gladstone hits Preston - so it's unfortunate that there was only one person from that area there, and no one from the Preston street BIA or St. Anthony's church. They need input on a couple of key elements - like whether it's necessary to have night parking on the North side of Gladstone or whether the metred parking along the Adult High School is necessary. They are also contemplating eliminating the eastbound "ramp" by St. Anthony's.

Not much is planned for streetscaping on the Hintonburg side of the project (not that we're bitter), but there is some potential on the east side, especially with the little island and bus stop by the church. What they do will depend upon the answers to the questions they raised, so hopefully they'll get some input from people along that stretch of Gladstone.

In the meantime, get ready for another dusty summer in the 'hood!

Some people were moved to reply

amckay Dec 7, 2005 05:20 AM said:

They did our street 3 years ago and we took the opportunity to have our lead water main replaced with copper. It cost us $1700 but it would have been at least 3 or 4 times that if they hadn't been already ripping up the streets. We would have gotten our sewer replaced too for another $800 but they told us they could only replace it up to the outside of the foundation for some reason so we opted out of that one. If they could have brought it through to just on the inside we'd have gone for it.

But nobody came to ask us if we wanted this done. I went looking for the guy with the white hard hat and asked him. And I bugged him several times in the following few weeks just to make sure he didn't forget. Finally they appointed a guy to look after all the residents who wanted this done, because we were apparantly all bugging him over and over.

[Edited By amckay Dec 07, 2005 05:22 AM]

Miss Vicky Dec 7, 2005 07:42 AM said:

My problem? As a first-time homeowner, I was clueless.

amckay Dec 7, 2005 08:04 AM said:

Yeah, for the cost/effort involved they really should be approaching each homeowner to let them know they have a unique opportunity to upgrade. Even if it's as simple as dropping a pamphlet into each mailbox, that would suffice. And the cost of doing that would be next to nothing so you have to wonder why it's not standard practice for this sort of thing.

Flanders Dec 7, 2005 08:53 AM said:

A standard pamphlet would be easy to draw up and print...don't know why this can't be done...

In the meantime, we had guys come and hammer in no-stopping signs in front of our house and up and down our street at 12:20 am (!) the other night, and also left ominous looking construction signs and flashing lights...Is there a number at the city you can call to see what road work is being planned where and when? (and why in the world anything would be done in December?)

amckay Dec 7, 2005 09:10 AM said:

311 is the new number for anything you want to know from the city. It's been in effect a month or so now.

Miss Vicky Dec 7, 2005 09:35 AM said:

You could call Shawn Little's office as well. 580-2485.

Special Patrol Group Dec 7, 2005 04:43 PM said:

I am not thrilled about having construction and all that comes along with it right in front of our home but I can accept it's for the greater good so the relief will come when it's over, I just know it's gonna seem to last forever. Ugh. Wowes me!
I want to go to that meeting in January, hopefully it will be on a night I could attend and get more info about what we'd need to know.
I really hope something can be done to improve the speeding situation on Gladstone, there is alot of people that drive way too fast in front of my house late at night and they always get away with it. It really boils my potato!! Only in the day do the speeders get caught, at least some them DO get caught. I think my area is soon becoming a new speed trap for the police, in the last few months I've many pull-overs.
So I guess this construction has a bright side, there will be no problems with speeders if the road is all torn up. :)

amckay Dec 7, 2005 05:40 PM said:

For speeders - get your neighbours all on board and just keep reporting it to police. With a lot of reports from many people they will do something. I know because we had a similar situation on our street which is now resolved because residents just kept calling it in.

Special Patrol Group Dec 7, 2005 05:57 PM said:

Thanks for the tip amckay.

amckay Dec 7, 2005 06:37 PM said:

It works even better if everyone keeps a log of events and people's logs match, but we got the job done without the logging. But there were extenuating circumstances in our case - mainly that the main culprit was a resident of our very short street. Key word here being "was"

liss76 Dec 7, 2005 11:06 PM said:

Yes.. *was*. :o)

And, to toot his horn for him, amckay is now considered a local hero to more than one household on our little street, thanks to his .. um.. dedication? to cleaning up this situation.

:o)

Flanders Dec 8, 2005 11:38 PM said:

Nice one, amckay - Similar anti-speeding actions may be called for on my street...

By the way, 311 does seem to be the number for questions, but has not yet proven itself the number to dial if you actually want answers...

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