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New active transportation facilities on the Hwy 417 bridges

New active transportation facilities on the Hwy 417 bridges

Over the next several years, the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) will replace the bridges/overpasses at Richmond Road, Pinecrest Ave, Woodroffe Ave, and Maitland Ave.

I have been working with Councillor Theresa Kavanagh, Mayor Sutcliffe, and our provincial counterparts to ensure that those new structures include better, safer transportation routes for pedestrians and cyclists. And I am very pleased that MTO has come onside and will build active transportation infrastructure as part of their plan.

The City of Ottawa is investing $5.4 million (which was already earmarked for active transportation projects like this one) to improve the Maitland bridge. MTO will do the rest on their own. The City will also work on connections between the bridges and area cycling routes and sidewalks.

Beginning May 22 and until June 5, 2024, MTO has an online Public Information Centre for the Maitland and Woodroffe bridges.

You can also read the full Subject matter - Report to Committee (escribemeetings.com).

Ottawa Citizen: Bears in the backyard: Here's what advocates want to see in Ottawa's updated wildlife strategy

Ottawa Citizen: Bears in the backyard: Here's what advocates want to see in Ottawa's updated wildlife strategy

Full story by Joanne Laucius

People are still getting bounced from one level of government to another when they have a question or concern about wildlife, said Johnson. It happened to a member of her staff earlier this month when the staffer had concerns about a sickly-looking coyote repeatedly sighted in the City View neighbourhood.

“Many jurisdictions have a finger in the pie of our green space. They all have some, but not all of the responsibility,” she said. “It should be easy to make one call and ensure that the correct responding agency knows about the situation. We have a wealth of expertise.”

CBC: How Ottawa residents are trying to coexist with urban wildlife

CBC: How Ottawa residents are trying to coexist with urban wildlife

Full story

By Emma Weller, CBC

April 1, 2024

Dan Brunton was shocked when he came face-to-face with a bear at his home a few years ago near Mud Lake. 

He was curious when he heard rustling in his garbage can, presuming it was a raccoon. As he walked up to scare it away, the head of a roughly 90-kilogram black bear popped out of his garbage. 

"We get young bears coming into the city fairly regularly, but this adult was a real surprise," said Brunton, a retired ecological consultant. 

These kinds of encounters may be more common this year.

Earlier this month, the province issued a warning that bears might be coming out of hibernation early this spring due to warmer temperatures. 

And with a lack of natural food sources available this time of the year, they'll be on the hunt for other meals.

"The problem there is that if [an animal] doesn't go away and there's some interaction with people, which is almost always the people's fault … the animal dies," Brunton said.

"That's the most common outcome of these things."

In his scenario, authorities safely got the bear back into its habitat, Brunton said — but that's not always the case.

City has responsibility, says councillor

Weaved throughout Ottawa's neighbourhoods, the Greenbelt and the Ottawa River have created homes for urban wildlife, right next to some people's backyards.

While residents reap the benefits of the city's green space and ecosystems, they also at times struggle to coexist with that wildlife.

Given Ottawa's amount of greenspace, the city has a greater responsibility when it comes to managing the city's relationship with urban wildlife, said College ward Coun. Laine Johnson. 

Last year, a bear wandered into the Bridlewood neighbourhood looking for food after coming out of its hibernation and was killed by Ottawa police. 

"We were all deeply disappointed," Johnson said. "If we had been able to respond in a different way, I think we could have saved that bear. And unfortunately, that was not the case."

Bears and other animals often saunter into nearby neighbourhoods in search of food, with garbage, bird feeders and vegetable gardens all serving as tempting options.

People who live around areas where urban wildlife thrive need to be educated on how to respond appropriately when animals roam onto their streets, Johnson said. 

Johnson said her office will be releasing a wildlife strategy plan in September. She's also urged the City of Ottawa to invest more money to help harmonize the relationship between humans and wildlife. 

Another issue that contributes to wildlife around Mud Lake and other densely populated parts of the city is that people tend to feed them, said Chris Myles, a conservation officer with the National Capital Commission. 

In his experience, Myles said, when there are conflicts between humans and wild animals, that's almost always what they're about.

"They come to look at us as food sources. So rather than scuttle off, when they see somebody coming up the trail, they may start to associate you with food."

Moodie Dr Traffic Calming: As We Heard It Report

Moodie Dr Traffic Calming: As We Heard It Report

Thank you to those of you that found the time to provide feedback on the proposed permanent traffic calming plans for Moodie Drive. 167 respondents completed the online survey, which was posted online in late 2023. Residents were advised about the survey through Councillor Johnson’s email newsletter, social media platforms, and flyers which were delivered to nearby homes.

The proposed plan includes the installation of 4 speed humps on Moodie Drive between the school site and Anwatin Street. Additional measures between the school and West Hunt Club Road include the relocation of the speed display board (further south toward West Hunt Club) and dashed pavement markings which are intended to provide a visual cue for drivers to decelerate prior to entering the 40km/h zone and approaching the first speed hump when travelling northbound. 

Overall, 63% of residents responded that they were very comfortable or somewhat comfortable with the plan as proposed. There was strong support from residents living on Moodie Drive, with 72% indicating that they are very comfortable with the proposed plan. Staff have compiled the survey findings into an ‘As We Heard It’ Report (link below). 

I’m pleased to announce that the permanent traffic calming project on Moodie Drive will proceed, with construction taking place as early as summer 2024. We will continue to share updates about the construction timeline as they become available.

Moodie Dr Traffic Calming: As We Heard It Report

Centrepointe Drive traffic calming Q&A

Centrepointe Drive traffic calming Q&A

On February 28, 2024, over 100 Centrepointe-area residents took part in an online meeting about the upcoming Centrepointe Traffic Calming plan.

There were many questions and issues raised during the meeting. City engineers have written answers to your questions. You will find the full Q and A below.

Please remember that the City of Ottawa is hosting an online consultation for the Centrepointe Drive Area Traffic Management study via a survey, available until Saturday, March 23, 2024:

Centrepointe Drive Traffic Calming Survey

If you have any further questions or comments, please email Project Manager Wook Kang at [email protected].

Centrepointe Drive Traffic Calming Q&A

Summary of August 10 2023 flooding in College Ward

August 10, 2023 produced an average of 60 mm of rain throughout the city over a period of 5 hours, with a peak recorded volume of 107 mm. At peak, 190mm/hour was falling. Due to the nature of the storm (high peak intensity and high volume), sanitary sewers, storm sewers and overland drainage systems were all affected.

In College Ward, several homes were flooded. This report looks at the reasons why and how flooding can be prevented in future.

Staff say that they are currently initiating a drainage study in the City View/Crestview area to control flow into the storm sewer system thereby minimizing the risk of sewer surcharge.  This study should be completed by early summer. They are also undertaking computer simulations of the of the August 10th, 2023 event in the Meadowlands Area using sewer hydraulic models to determine if additional tweaks to the infrastructure can be done to further reduce the risk of flooding.

SUMMARY REPORT

CBC: Councillors eye solution to keep community associations insured

CBC: Councillors eye solution to keep community associations insured

"I thought it was fairly inappropriate for city staff to have had two years of deliberations, ostensibly with community groups, and to come back with a report this past winter that says we're going to kill the program," said College ward Coun. Laine Johnson.

Full story: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/community-association-insurance-cost-ottawa-change-plan-1.7105303

Year One in Review:  A Progress Report for College Ward Residents

Year One in Review: A Progress Report for College Ward Residents

Click here to read the Progress Report

Dear Neighbours,

When I was campaigning to be your City Councillor for College Ward, I said I’d address the issues that you said were important to you. Here’s a list of those promises and an update on what we have accomplished so far.

I believe in accountability and transparency. I hope this Progress Report lets you know what we’ve done, what’s underway, and what we still need to tackle.

Warm regards,
Laine

CBC: Police budget passes as Councillors say they aren't seeing enough officers

College ward Coun. Laine Johnson said police have to do more to build bridges with communities that are worried about gun violence but don't trust police. 

"These racialized communities want to help," she said. "But they don't feel that they have the protection when they call a hotline. They don't feel they have the follow-through.... They don't feel safe."

Full story

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