On Tuesday May 1st, I was happy to join residents in the Fringewood community for an Open House along with representatives from the City to discuss issues and concerns in regards to traffic and planning.
The meeting was well attended with roughly 40-45 residents in attendance with some significant conversation shedding some light on the background of City policies with presentations from the City’s Planning department, Traffic department, and Bylaw Services.
Some of the information from Monday night’s meeting include:
Robert from Planning Staff explained that the City has different programs in place with a set budget to deal with roads that do not have sidewalks. For each of the options, Fringewood would be waiting for years, as they are not ranked high on the prioritization list. The potential solution is a retrofit by priority to fill gaps at transit and community destinations. This would be a stand-alone project and I am currently reviewing funding options with the City.
A concept drawing was presented that would have the road widened to accommodate paved shoulders. A question was asked if the paved shoulders would be kept clear in the winter and that answer is yes.
The Traffic Service Catalogue outlines the services that are provided in relation to traffic safety inquiries. The catalogue covers topics such as speed, pedestrians and cyclists, warning signs, traffic control, heavy trucks, parking and schools. As Kerry-Lynn had mentioned at the meeting, the catalogue outlines what is available in terms of traffic calming.
There are two options for when staff receives concerns due to traffic:
- Area Traffic Management (ATM) encompasses a set of measures used to ensure that the streets within neighborhoods are used appropriately. It ensures that the impact of vehicles on these neighborhoods is minimized to improve safety and the quality of life of those who use of the street.
- In order to achieve this, a variety of regulatory measures, physical measures, and programs can be used to address such issues as excessive vehicular speed, higher than desired traffic volumes, and inappropriate driver behavior.
- In Ottawa, the City has chosen to use “area traffic management” as the term to describe the process of dealing with neighborhood traffic concerns, and as one specific set of permanent/physical measures (such as speed humps and mini traffic circles) among a broader set of measures that can be used to achieve the desired improvement.
- In order to ensure that the City’s resources are concentrated on the most significant concerns, and to ensure that the number of projects is manageable in relation to program resources, requests will undergo an initial screening process involving two steps that must be satisfied before being considered for a potential Area Traffic Management (ATM) project.
- Fringewood did meet the screening criteria for the ATM study and I am presently looking into where Fringewood stands in terms of priority ranking.
- It is important to realize that measures used to address problems typically have secondary impacts that can negatively affect some street users or residents. In deciding how to deal with problems, the expected improvement must be balanced against any such impacts that could occur.
- The comprehensive traffic study compares all proposed studies on an indicator-by-indicator basis, and assign points according to the relative severity of concerns. The study with the most severe collision problem, for example, would receive the full 30 points, while remaining projects would receive fewer points according to the relative severity of issues. Staff will recommend, once per year in accordance with the annual budget schedule that the highest-ranking studies proceed over the coming year.
- The number of studies conducted will correspond with the resources available to conduct the planning phase, and with the City’s expected ability to fund their implementation within five years, in view of their priority relative to any backlog of approved projects. The results of the data tube have been sent to city staff to support the reprioritization of Fringewood on the Area Traffic Management list. I will update the community with the current ranking, as soon as I find out, which should be by the end of next week.
- The Temporary Traffic Calming Measures Program was first introduced as a pilot project in 2013 by the city’s traffic department. Temporary traffic calming (TTC) was introduced as a way to address speeding in a relatively inexpensive and quick way. A ‘comprehensive traffic study’ study is not required. The TTC treatment refers to the installation of flexible delineator signs or flex-stakes on the centerline of a roadway, typically within school or playground areas, speed pavement markings, speed display boards, planter boxes and cyclo-zone delineators.
The heavy trucks signs have been ordered for the corner of Hazeldean and Fringewood and will be installed once they have been received.
I have asked our traffic staff to review the signal timings of the traffic light at the Hazeldean and Fringewood intersection and to look at the possibility of adding advance turning signals.
Two speed boards will be installed on Fringewood Drive in May. These speed boards will record volume and speed, which will be downloaded on a quarterly basis by the provider and reviewed by our traffic staff. When traffic staff review a speeding concern, they have the ability to share this information with the Police. Moving forward, I will continue to share speed and volume data in my weekly eNewsletter to be available on my website at www.shadqadri.com.
If residents are interested, I can also request that Fringewood implement a winter parking ban similar to the pilot project executed in the Fairwinds community last winter.
The “Slow Down for Us” signage is once again available for all residents that would like to use them in the community. Please send me an email with your address at Shad.Qadri@ottawa.ca.
Spot speed surveys:
Traffic/Reporting incidents to the Police
Residents should report any and all incidents using the police online app below or call 613-236-1222 ex 7300. The police are streamlining their process in regards to dispatching police presence to a particular area. The Ottawa Police have advised my office that to get the most focus on a particular area is through submitting online complaints. The Police use the number of complaints to then allocate resources to a particular area. You can report online or through the Ottawa Police app, for more information please visit https://www.ottawapolice.ca/en/contact-us/Online-Reporting.asp.
If residents only obtain a partial plate, make or model of the vehicle, they can still file a report online. The complaint can be as general as speeding in this area – street name or intersection and time frame. All reports are reviewed and will support evidenced based enforcement by traffic services and patrol officers. This allows OPS to target areas where citizens have identified concerns. OPS also use the speed boards to assist in addressing speeding complaints.
Planning – Parks
Fringewood Park is scheduled for a renewal. Work involves replacing the senior playstructure and play equipment and the project will operate under a budget of $180,000. A planner will start work on the file soon & the community will be able to give input on what they would like to see.
Planning – Commercial development
The No Frills development at Hazeldean and Fringewood will include a physician, physiotherapy, a restaurant and a coffee shop.
Please report any issues such as potholes, residents not picking up after their dogs, or parking in a no parking area at www.ottawa.ca or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to copy me at Shad.Qadri@ottawa.ca to allow me to follow up and keep the communication loop open.
- I have reported the Thursday around 6 PM parking issue to By-Law for them to monitor and report to my office.
If your drainage ditch is not flowing well, please send me an email.
If any residents are interested in starting a Fringewood Community association, please send me an email at Shad.Qadri@ottawa.ca.
I would like to thank everyone who took the time to join as well as City staff that came out to provide this background information: Kevin Wherry (Parks and Rec), Robert Grimwood (Transportation), Laurel McCreight (Planning/Infrastructure), Kerry-Lynn Mohr (Traffic), and Kyle Donaldson (Bylaw).