Last night, I was happy to join engaged community members and Transportation Staff at the Kanata Recreation Complex for the final Kanata Light Rail Transit (LRT) Environmental Assessment (EA) Open House.
The purpose of this open house was to discuss the recommended corridor (beyond the Canadian Tire Centre [CTC] to Hazeldean Road) and present design details on the recommended plan, station locations and concept designs, and the requirement for a light maintenance and storage facility.
Following the last Kanata LRT EA Open House in June, further assessment was conducted on corridors 1, 5, 8, and 13. As it stands, Corridor 8 remains the recommended corridor by both staff and community feedback. Generally, the public did not support Corridor 13.
Corridor 8 was decided to extend to Hazeldean because the route is elevated at the CTC. An earlier BRT study identified the route would stay elevated to Hazeldean. As such, this makes Hazeldean an ideal transition point and the best transfer point for riders. This extension into the growing communities of Stittsville would also see an increase in ridership, as opposed to ending at the CTC.
Alternative Designs were also developed and evaluated for March/Eagleson Station and Terry Fox Station to Palladium.
Alternative 1 was selected for March/Eagleson Station due to the minimal impact on the OPP facility, Watt’s Creek, and adjacent lands, the provision for a bus terminal immediately adjacent to the station and the support for good station connectivity and access.
Terry Fox to Palladium
Additionally, Alternative 2 was selected for the Terry Fox to Palladium connection as the location provides good coverage of existing/proposed land uses, a good opportunity for city building and station integration with the public, good alignment geometry, and the guideway is further away from the adjacent residential community while allowing for development frontage along Campeau.
Other discussion points included the Light Maintenance and Storage Facility options. At this time, additional analysis of these locations requires further analysis; however, the preliminary preferred LMSF alternative is to expand the Moodie Drive site previously identified by Stage 2. Discussions with the NCC are ongoing.
Following last night’s consultation, staff will work on preparing a report to Transportation Committee for Spring 2018 with the projected costs and phasing plan. At this time the City does not have projected costs for the project as they have been waiting for the consultation to be completed to ensure there are no further changes to the plan. Now that the consultation is complete, staff will confirm the exact alignment and from there will work to obtain projected costs.
Timelines for the project remain dependent on funding availability. Currently the Transportation Master Plan (TMP) estimates the date of the project to be beyond 2031. It is anticipated the project will be funded in partnership with the Federal, Provincial and City each covering 1/3 of the costs.
LRT staff have been in discussions with the CTC regarding its future use. Although there is nothing firm in place for the potential move of the Ottawa Senators, if they were to move, the City’s plan would be for redevelopment of the site so there would still be a need for LRT at the CTC location. The Ottawa Senators have also been involved in discussions regarding the impact the LRT station will have their operations.
I would like to thank the community members and others who took the time to participate in this process from day one by either joining us at an open house or by providing comments electronically. LRT is an important step for the future of transportation within the City of Ottawa and this portion is especially important for residents of Stittsville to be connected with an efficient means of travel with the rest of our great City. As a Councillor, I am happy to see this plan being presented as we come along and move forward toward the future of travel and it is uplifting to know that the community is engaged in making sure that the process is done right for future residents of Ottawa to benefit from for a long time.
For those who missed the presentation, I have made it available on my website here.