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Gladstone update - rumours abound

Sun Jan 22, 2006 Miss Vicky 

So I went to the open house about the Gladstone reconstruction the other night. Not a lot of attendance, but a few residents and business owners came to check out the plans and provide some feedback. The reconstruction is primarily about infrastructure - upgrading water and sewer systems - but there will be some changes to roads, sidewalks, lighting and landscaping. There are two phases - this spring and summer, construction will start between Melrose and Bayswater. Phase two will continue the work to Booth St. The more interesting changes are happening on the other side of the O-Train tracks, because for some reason funds have been allocated for landscaping and streetscaping for that phase of the project. No trees for Kitchissippi! And despite the fact that several studios line Gladstone, and I'm sure there are artists who would love to contribute to improving the space, the one-percent-for-art that is supposed to be allocated to capital projects has not been provided for this one. The community association is pushing for trees at the very least, but it would be useful if folks wrote in to support this idea.

In our stretch of Gladstone, you won't see too many changes. Sidewalks will be widened to the city's standard, lighting upgraded somewhat, road width will be in accordance with the city's cycling plan. The primary changes will be to street corners. The corner on St. Francis will be adjusted so snowplows can navigate better - what this will do is reduce the space for pedestrians, and the result will include a hydro pole obstructing pedestrians' path on one corner (I raised the question of accessibility and safety at the open house, and hopefully they will move the pole despite what I am told is a prohibitive cost). Irving's intersection will be narrowed, which should help with sight lines and slow down the drivers who like to speed down the hill. The adjustments were made after the community raised safety concerns.

The number 14 bus will be rerouted during construction this summer - it will head north on Bayswater and follow Wellington to Rosemount, when it will head back to Gladstone (taking it past Connaught School).

The most interesting thing I found out at the consultation had nothing to do with this particular project. According to a source in one of the business associations, staff in the Mayor's office have verbally indicated that the planned LRT station for Gladstone will not be built - in fact, the latest plans have reduced the number of stations substantially. The Gladstone LRT would not just bring a much-needed connection to the O-Train to Preston Street and the south part of Hintonburg - it means improved landscaping, safety, quick access to Carleton and other destinations, potential for development in the neighbourhood and more. If it is indeed true that the city is considering scrapping the plan, we should be voicing our support for the station now. At the very least, the city should come clean about their plans, so that we can make our concerns heard before it's too late.

Some people were moved to reply

Big Bob Jan 22, 2006 07:39 PM said:

Could there be a more opaque decision-making / consultation process than that of the City of Ottawa? Oh yeah, there's the NCC. And the Vatican. Forget I brought it up. We should, I suppose, be glad that one of the top three on Bob's Opacityometer ISN'T a recipient of our tax dollars and subsidy.

Flanders Jan 23, 2006 01:49 PM said:

Oh man, how foolish not to increase access to the O-train...such a brilliant way to get students to and from campus...ugh...

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