Report to / Rapport au :

 

Transit Committee

Comité du transport en commun

 

02 May 2008 / 02 mai 2008

 

Submitted by / Soumis par : Nancy Schepers, Deputy City Manager/Directrice municipale adjointe,

Planning, Transit and the Environment/Urbanisme, Transport en commun et Environnement

 

Contact Person / Personne ressource : Vivi Chi, Manager / Gestionnaire, Transportation and Infrastructure Planning / Transports et planification des infrastructures

Planning Branch / Direction de l’urbanisme

(613) 580-2424 x21877, vivi.chi@ottawa.ca

 

River (16)

Ref N°: ACS2008-PTE-PLA-0052

 

 

SUBJECT:

PATHWAY CONNECTION – HUNT CLUB COMMUNITY TO SOUTH KEYS STATION: ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT STUDY – STATEMENT OF WORK

 

 

OBJET :

SENTIER – DU SECTEUR HUNT CLUB À LA STATION SOUTH KEYS : ÉTUDE D’ÉVALUATION ENVIRONNEMENTALE - éNONCé DE TRAVAIL

 

 

REPORT RECOMMENDATIONS

 

That Transit Committee approve the Statement of Work for the Pathway Connection – Hunt Club Community to South Keys Station: Environmental Assessment Study as detailed in Document 1.

 

RECOMMANDATION DU RAPPORT

 

Que le Comité du transport en commun approuve l’Énoncé de travail concernant le sentier allant du secteur Hunt Club à la station South Keys – Étude d’évaluation environnementale, qui fait l’objet du document 1.

 

 

BACKGROUND

 

For many years pedestrians and cyclists have been illegally crossing the Airport Parkway with no formal pathway in place, creating safety concerns and in one instance resulting in a death to a pedestrian in October 2007.  With both pedestrian safety and the opportunity to provide a connection to enhance the capture area of a primary transit hub in mind, staff are proposing to undertake a study that will develop a plan and functional design that introduces non-vehicular access from the Hunt Club community north of Hunt Club Road, to the transit facility at South Keys Station in a safe manner.

 

The Sawmill Creek Corridor via the Airport Parkway is a key Phase 3 walking and cycling facility proposed in the current Transportation Master Plan (TMP). Prior to initiating the consultant selection process, staff seeks approval from Committee on the scope of work for the study.  The study’s scope identifies the level of effort to undertake the work, and thus helps set the study budget. 

 

DISCUSSION

 

The Statement of Work (SoW) is described in Document 1.  It outlines the tasks to be undertaken for the Pathway Connection – Hunt Club Community to South Keys Station: Environmental Assessment (EA) Study, including consultation, and upon approval from Transit Committee will form the basis for a call for proposals to the consulting industry.

 

This project involves developing a pathway to safely connect the Hunt Club community to the South Keys Transit Station, through a combination of grade separation measures and/or a controlled level crossing.  Not only will the pathway improve access to a major transit facility, but it will also improve access to the existing trail system on City lands surrounding the Sawmill Creek Constructed Wetland.

 

This project will be carried out as a Schedule ‘C’ Class EA as set out in the Municipal Engineers Association: “Municipal Class Environmental Assessment” document. 

 

Since there may be a requirement for Federal land, permits and funding, the project must also comply with the requirements of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA).  This project must satisfy both Provincial and Federal act requirements through a co-ordinated process to avoid duplication of effort.

 

The EA study area will primarily encompass lands east of Plante Street to the South Keys Shopping Centre, north of Hunt Club Road to the CNR rail line.  However, some study tasks will require examination of a broader area, beyond these limits in order to address environmental impacts and operational issues; to coordinate with relevant on-going studies and projects (Greenspace Master Plan and the Environmental Strategy) and special projects in the area conducted by the Public Works and Services Department (Airport Parkway and Hunt Club Road Safety Reviews); and, to study and identify tie-ins to future network connections such as drainage and environmental influences on the Sawmill Creek Constructed Wetland.

 

Key considerations for the study include the following:

 

q       Potential pathway grade separations

q       Impact on the Sawmill Creek Constructed Wetland

q       Links to pathways and the multi-use trail system

q       Access to maintenance roads

q       Pedestrian, cyclist and vehicular safety and security issues, including lighting

q       Geotechnical, grading and drainage, and municipal infrastructure

q       Possible shared use of existing facilities

q       Consultation with the community and agencies

 

STUDY TIMING

 

It is expected that it will take approximately 10 to 12 months after contract award to complete this study.  This timeline is consistent with industry practice for projects of this scope and reflects the City’s experience.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATIONS

 

The study will examine and evaluate the project’s effects on social, physical and natural environments within the study area.  Appropriate mitigation measures will be developed and post mitigation environmental impacts will also be determined.

 

CITY STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS

 

The recommendations contained herein directly support the following Strategic Plan adopted by Council on 11 July 2007:

 

B3        Attain transit goals (30 per cent modal split) by 2021.

E9        Require walking, transit and cycling oriented communities and employment centres.

F4        Ensure that City infrastructure required for new growth is built or improved as needed to serve the growth.

 

CONSULTATION

 

This study will involve stakeholders, including local community/interest groups, property owners, businesses (South Keys Shopping Centre), area schools (R. Byrns Curry and Holy Family) and approval agencies.  Early in the study process, community stakeholders will be identified through liaison with the Ward Councillor.

 

Consultation with the general public will occur principally through open house meetings, but also through the project web page, e-mail and additional meetings as required.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

 

Funds are available to undertake this EA Study in Order No. 902135 Rapid Transit EA Studies.

 

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION

 

Document 1     Pathway Connection – Hunt Club Community to South Keys Station: Environmental Assessment Study – Statement of Work

 

DISPOSITION

 

Following Committee approval of the attached Statement of Work, staff from the Planning, Transit and the Environment Department will commence the consultant selection process with the assistance of the Supply Management Division. 


PATHWAY CONNECTION – HUNT CLUB COMMUNITY TO

SOUTH KEYS STATION: ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT STUDY –

STATEMENT OF WORK                                                                                       DOCUMENT 1

 

City of Ottawa

Pathway Connection – Hunt Club Community To South Keys Station:  Environmental Assessment Study

STATEMENT OF WORK

 

INTRODUCTION

 

The City of Ottawa is the proponent of an Environmental Assessment (EA) to study the proposed pathway connection from the Hunt Club Community to South Keys Transit Station.

 

This Statement of Work (SoW) describes the City’s intentions with respect to the methodology, public consultation and deliverables for this study.  The SoW outlines the tasks to be undertaken to complete the EA study, and upon approval from the City’s Transit Committee, will form the basis for a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) that will be issued prior to a Request for Proposal (RFP).

 

BACKGROUND

 

The Hunt Club Area’s Western Community is an established residential neighbourhood located inside the Greenbelt, north of Hunt Club Road and west of the Airport Parkway.  The neighbourhood is comprised mostly of single-detached and other low-rise dwellings; served by schools and parks and commercial uses.   Access to the area is limited from the east (the South Keys Commercial Centre situated along Bank Street) because of the Aviation Parkway and Transitway corridors that are restricted to pedestrians and cyclists.   There is a paved maintenance road system located between the Parkway and Transitway that generally runs in a north-south direction following the edge of the Sawmill Creek Constructed Wetland.   The use of the maintenance road for pedestrian use is not allowed and is inaccessible from surrounding roads and pathways.   There are no formal pathways linking the Hunt Club Community to South Keys Station.   However, informal footpaths exist at the easterly limit of Sparrow Way and Cahill Drive West that cross the Airport Parkway to gain access to South Keys.  This is a dangerous situation for pedestrians and cyclists crossing the Airport Parkway – in one instance, resulting in a death to a pedestrian in October 2007.  

 

This area is included in the Hunt Club Secondary Plan (approved, as amended by the City of Ottawa on June 13, 2001), and found in Volume 2A of the City’s new Official Plan.  The Hunt Club Community Area Plan shows a ‘Pedestrian Way’ on Schedule 1 of the document that leads from Cahill Drive West and extends over the Airport Parkway, storm ponds and Transitway, to Cahill Drive situated east of Bank Street.  The Secondary Plan does not discuss details about the type and utility of the path.   However, inherent in identifying this pathway is the need to provide access from the Hunt Club neighbourhood to the South Keys Transit Station and also the Shopping Centre - a Major Activity Centre land use designation. 

 

This proposed pathway is deemed an important link from the community to the transit station and is encouraged through policies outlined in the Secondary Plan.  There is flexibility in the location of the pathway, now that the storm water management facility is in place.   This study will provide recommendations to implement a formal pathway system to serve adjacent areas.

 

In support of the Official Plan (OP) and Transportation Master Plan (TMP), the City’s Strategic Plan requires an emphasis on walking, transit and cycling in communities and employment centres in developing and redeveloped areas of the City.

 

The TMP focuses on increasing the modal split to support transit and encourage new infrastructure to improve access to transit through a number of mechanisms, including integrating the pedestrian network with transit facilities such as the South Keys Transit Station.   The TMP also identifies the implementation of a walking, cycling and Multi-Use Pathway project for the Sawmill Creek Corridor, via the Airport Parkway.

 

The study will seek to improve pedestrian accessibility to transit services to help increase transit ridership in the long term, as well as improving linkages amongst major nodes within the community.  

 

PLANNING CONTEXT

 

As the City is the proponent for this undertaking, this project is subject to the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act (OEAA).

 

Federal EA requirements must also be addressed due to a potential requirement for Federal lands, permits and funding. The Study Consultant will ensure that all relevant environmental inventories and analysis undertaken for this assignment will be of sufficient scope to satisfy both Federal and Provincial EA requirements.

 

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

 

The Pathway Connection – Hunt Club Community To South Keys Station: Environmental Assessment Study (Figure 1) involves the extension of the trail system over City lands to connect, through a combination of a grade separation measures and/or controlled level crossings, the Hunt Club community and the South Keys Transit Station and Shopping Centre lands.  

 

FIGURE 1- General Study Area

                                   

MAJOR ISSUES TO BE ADDRESSED

 

Some of the major issues to be addressed during the course of this study include:

 

Potential Grade Separation Requirements

 

The coordination of grade separation requirements at the Airport Parkway and Transitway may be required.   Grade separation scenarios will be developed that complement the scenic route and gateway theme of the Parkway and could include scenarios that provide for signalized at-grade alternatives employing signal priority for the South Keys Transit Station.   Alternatives will include consideration of accommodating the proposed future extension of the North-South LRT line.

 

The selection of location(s) for the pathway connection to the Parkway and Transitway will require the evaluation of impacts on the natural and green space/recreational corridor that forms part of the Sawmill Creek Constructed Wetland.  In addition, safety, aesthetic value, and functional and security issues revolving around the Transitway and airport operations, and emergency response will be investigated and addressed throughout the course of the study.

 

South Keys Transit Station and Shopping Centre Integration

 

The proposed integration of the South Keys Transit Station and South Keys Shopping Centre with the pathway will have to consider the Transitway BRT function and the eventual LRT and BRT expansions.   This study will determine a preferred alignment and profile of the pathway, and address a number of issues, including:

 

q       Compliance with Airport Parkway design goals and strategies

q       Compliance with Transitway Design Guidelines and future LRT Requirements

q       Aesthetic considerations

q       Trail location, access points and configurations

q       Effects on the adjacent residential community and commercial development

q       Integration with the existing pedestrian and cycling environment, including safety and access considerations

q       Effect on cycling

q       Access to adjacent land uses

q       Impact on underground and overhead utilities and services, both existing and proposed

q       Possible shared use of facilities

 

PROJECT SCOPE, TASKS AND DELIVERABLES

 

1.0       General

 

This project will be consistent with the approach and requirements set out in the Environmental Assessment Act.  Since there may be a requirement for Federal land, permits and funding, the project must also comply with the requirements of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA).   This project must satisfy both Provincial and Federal act requirements through a co-ordinated process to avoid duplication of effort. 

 

1.1       Study Area

 

The EA study area shown in Figure 1 will encompass those lands east of Plante Street to the South Keys Shopping Centre, north of Hunt Club Road to the CNR rail line.   However, some study tasks will require examination of a broader area, beyond these limits in order to address environmental impacts and operational issues; to coordinate with relevant on-going studies and projects; and, to study and identify tie-ins to future network connections such as drainage and environmental influences on the Sawmill Creek Constructed Wetland. 

 

In addition to the general study area it is appropriate to identify the major segments of the study area that address different needs within the planning context.

 

The study area will be identified more clearly early in the study process, however it may be modified accordingly to respond to new information and conditions as they emerge.

 

The study will establish the requirements of the connecting links for pedestrian and cycling access and identify any Right-of-Way requirements and easements for the alignment. 

 

1.2       Timing

 

The study is expected to be completed within approximately 10 to 12 months of consultant selection.

 

1.3       Coordination with Other Studies

 

The EA Study process will take into consideration any information including analysis and findings of previous and concurrent transportation, development and infrastructure projects that could influence the direction and/or conclusions of the Study.  Relevant background material will also be collected and reviewed.  

 

2.0       Environmental Assessment Study Tasks

 

 The major study tasks are summarized as follows:

 

2.1       Project Need

 

In order to reaffirm the Hunt Club Secondary Plan, this study will assess and evaluate the need to provide the pathway connection.  The key components of this stage include:

 

q       Identifying and assessing future travel demand including the benefits to transit ridership and access to the South Keys Shopping Centre

q       Identifying current and projected transportation problems and opportunities within the study area

q       A travel-forecasting component that will identify and estimate the need for pedestrian and cycling travel in the area.  The analysis must incorporate the principles of the TMP

q       Consideration of the implications of any corridor specific needs and/or constraints on crossing roadways

 

This analysis will be used to identify all reasonable alternatives to the undertaking.

 

2.2       Environmental Inventory/Existing Conditions

 

An inventory of the social, economic, physical and natural environments within the study area will be compiled.   The inventory will consider all available background material and where necessary, supplement this information through on-site surveys and/or detailed studies.  

 

In general, the inventory will identify and describe those aspects of the environment that could potentially affect, or be affected by, the undertaking.  Some of the specific aspects of the environment associated with this project include:

 

q       Effects on the Sawmill Creek Constructed Wetland

q       Effects on green spaces and natural areas

q       Adjacent communities including Hunt Club and South Keys

q       Current and future cycling and recreational pathway corridors/routes

q       Potential influence of the project from/on development patterns in the area

q       Current storm water drainage patterns

q       Subsurface (geotechnical) conditions

q       Utilities including water, sanitary, hydro, gas, cable, phone, fibre optic

q       Heritage and archaeological conditions

 

The existing conditions and proposed works associated with the pathway connection will be documented before undertaking the evaluation of alternative solutions.

 

The inventory must be completed for the entire study area so that as alternatives are developed and analyzed, the cumulative effects can be examined.   The complete inventory will be clearly described and documented within the final report.

 

2.3       Evaluation Criteria and Evaluation Process

 

A comprehensive list of evaluation criteria and methodology will be developed and used to evaluate the various alternative solutions and designs.   Refinements may be made to the evaluation process in order to accommodate changing conditions or circumstances as they arise.

 

2.4       Alternatives to the Undertaking

 

Developing and examining a full range of options complies with the EA Act requirement that all reasonable alternatives to the undertaking be assessed.   The alternatives will be analyzed and evaluated based upon various criteria and indicators to assess the impacts (with consideration to possible mitigation measures) on the environment and to recommend a preferred alternative solution. 

 

The key components of this stage include:

 

q       Identify alternative solutions to address transportation problems.  Examples include:

o        Do nothing

o        Restrict pedestrian and cycling access between the two land uses/areas

o        Provide a pathway link between the two land uses

o        Provide an alternative using existing/proposed pathway connections within the public right-of-way

o        Implement specialized signalization for controlled access, safety and efficiency of circulation.

q       Develop evaluation criteria and indicators to assess the impacts (with consideration to possible mitigation measures) on the environment by the various solutions

q       Analyse and evaluate the alternative solutions and select the preferred solution(s) that best meet the needs

 

Alternative solutions will be developed with input from the Consultation Groups and will be presented to the public for comments (see section on Public Consultation Plan).  

 

2.5       Selection of Design Alternatives

 

Provided the preferred solution involves provision of new pathway infrastructure, the Consultant will identify and evaluate various design alternatives.  

 

The pathway alignment and cross-section design alternatives will be identified based on consideration of constraints within the study area, input from the public and approval agencies, landowners, as well as City guidelines/standards/practices.   All proposed designs will include any required modifications on crossing/connecting roadways, either public or private.

 

The pathway interface with the Transitway and potential LRT corridor extension will address various grade separation and station modifications that will provide for ease of transfer between modes while integrating with future development plans.

 

2.6       Recommended Plan

 

The alternative designs will be assessed and evaluated as to their affects on the natural, social, urban, economic and transportation environments.   To ensure that all of the impacts are identified, the necessary investigations such as: noise, air quality, vibration, heritage and archaeological, natural areas and wildlife habitats, storm water management, geotechnical, traffic impacts, accessibility and safety, urban and landscape design, property impacts and any other research that would be required to properly define the effects of the facility will be carried out.

 

The alternatives will be compared to each other with the ultimate goal of determining a recommended design.   This exercise will be carried out with input from the study Consultation Groups.   Following the evaluation of alternatives and determining all necessary mitigation measures to minimize any adverse impacts, a recommended design will be prepared and the results will be presented at a final Open House.

 

Upon receipt and incorporation of public feedback, the recommended design will then be developed to a sufficient level of detail as required to produce a functional design plan that is adequate for submissions for project approvals in principle and to establish a complete scope of work, baseline budget and implementation schedules for the entire project.   The recommended plan will incorporate the functional design plan and will include but may not necessarily be limited to:

 

q       A written description of the undertaking including the design parameters.

q       Functional design drawings (plan and profile) for the preferred alignment with a coordinated centerline and property envelope, structural general arrangement drawings

q       Cross-section drawings for typical sections as well as critical areas (e.g.  Airport. Airport Parkway connections, etc.);

q       Implementation (phasing) plan

q       Recommended mitigation measures to reduce the environmental impacts of the project

q       Storm water management requirements

q       Cost estimate of the proposed works (prepared in the WBS format) for budgeting/funding purposes

 

The Recommended Plan will clearly identify and set out the requirements and timing for all subsequent approvals required to proceed with the construction phase of the project.

 

2.7       Environmental Assessment Report

 

The study findings and recommended design with mitigation plans will be presented to the Transit Committee for approval. A Draft and Final Environmental Study Report (ESR) will be prepared to document the entire study process including the recommended design and any appropriate mitigation plans, amending procedure, costing, and implementation and Staging Plan, and commitments to future action, including external approvals known to be required.

 

The final ESR, incorporating all pertinent comments, will be prepared and placed on public record for a minimum 30-day review period.  The Consultant will be available to address any issues as they arise during this review period.  Reference copies of the report will be made available at local libraries, City Hall, City Client Service Centres and the MOE Regional and/or District office.

 

2.8       Federal EA Project Description Report

 

Federal permits, lands and funding may be sought before project implementation can proceed.  In order to expedite the future federal approval processes, the City and EA study consultant will initiate discussions with the relevant federal Responsible Authorities (RAs) to identify all federal EA requirements and initiate the federal EA screening process. This will ensure that all relevant existing environmental inventory data collected and impact assessments carried out during this assignment are scoped sufficiently to address federal EA screening requirements.

 

The consultant will prepare a federal Project Description Report containing a written description and general arrangement drawings for the project in accordance with the requirements of the federal RAs. The report will include enough information on potential impacts, mitigation measures and conceptual compensation strategies to allow the federal agencies to conclude on the significance of environmental effects at this early planning stage.

 

3.0         Consultation

 

This study will involve a number of stakeholders, including community groups, property owners, businesses, institutions, approval agencies and special interest groups.  Early in the study process stakeholders will be identified. This will be accomplished through various forms of consultation, including liaison with City Councillors, community associations, approval agencies and public notification. 

 

The consultation program will primarily consist of meetings with stakeholders, individually and through Consultation Groups, and meetings with the public through Public Open Houses.   Consultation Groups will meet with the Study Team at key stages to review and comment on specific issues, the study progress and findings.  Two consultation groups will be established, namely:

 

q       Public Consultation Group (PCG)

q       Agency Consultation Group (ACG)

 

The membership, roles and responsibilities of each Consultation Group will be outlined and communicated to each prior to meetings taking place. 

 

Specific aspects of the consultation program are detailed as follows.

 

3.1       Public Consultation Group

 

A Public Consultation Group (PCG) will be formed to enable private groups to provide direct input to the study, advising and commenting on local issues and concerns.   PCG members may include representatives from local community groups, area business representatives, special interest groups, and adjacent property owners including representation from each of the following groups:

 

q       Hunt Club Community Association

q       South Keys/Greenboro Community Association

q       Pedestrian and Public Transit Advisory Committee

q       Roads and Cycling Advisory Committee

q       Accessibility Advisory Committee

q       Environmental Advisory Committee

q       South keys Shopping Centre

q       Other interested groups or persons identified during the development of the study design, or that come forward during the course of the study

 

3.2       Agency Consultation Group

 

An Agency Consultation Group (ACG) will be formed to address the full range of technical and policy issues and to comment on all of the special studies required to fully assess the various alternatives and to ensure that the City is following the procedures, legislation and addressing appropriate policies.   ACG members will include experts in their related fields from government agencies and approval bodies including, but not limited to:

 

q       National Capital Commission

q       Department of Fisheries and Oceans

q       Rideau Valley Conservation Authority

q       City of Ottawa

o        Public Works and Services Department

§         Traffic and Parking Operations Branch

§         Surface Operations Branch

§         Infrastructure Services Branch

o        Planning, Transit and the Environment Department

§         Planning Branch

§         Transit Services Branch

o        Business Transformation Services Department

§         Real Property Asset Management

o        Community and Protective Services Department

§         Ambulance, Fire

o        Police Services

q       Ontario Ministry of the Environment

q       Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources

 

3.3       Notifications

 

The public will be notified of: the Study commencement, all Public Open Houses (POHs) and the submission of the EAR for Ministry approval.  Notifications will be sent out at appropriate stages in the Study, and each announcement will take the following forms:

 

q       Advertisements in daily newspapers (The Ottawa Citizen, Le Droit)

q       Advertisements in community papers where appropriate

q       The project web site on the City’s web portal

 

3.4       Public Open Houses

 

The Public Open Houses (POHs) will be held to present and obtain feedback on existing conditions and alternatives to the undertaking, the preferred solution and alternative design concepts, and the recommended plan.

 

Background and presentation material will include a “Project Update Newsletter” which summarizes the information presented at the POH and will be available for general distribution.   Bilingual staff will be present during all Public Open House meetings and all material presented at the POH meetings as well as the “Project Update Newsletter” will be bilingual.  

 

3.5       Project Web Page

 

A Project Information Web Page for the Study will be established on the City’s external web site by City staff with the assistance of the Consultant. The purpose of the Web Page will be to inform the public of the progress of the study and upcoming meetings or activities, post the bilingual materials presented at each Open House, and provide a point of contact for e-mail correspondence. It is imperative that bilingual information for the Open House be ready and posted on the day of each event.

 

3.6       Deliverables

 

The deliverables for the study include:

 

q       Public Open House Summary Reports – one for each of three Public Open House

q       Project Web Page data – as required

q       Project Update Newsletter – minimum of three

q       Draft and Final Environmental Assessment Reports (EAR)

q       Functional design drawings of the preferred design, including plans and profiles for recommended alignments, proposed station layouts and elevation drawings, structural general arrangement drawings, utility relocation details, storm water management plans, landscape design plans, and property requirement plans

q       Project Implementation/Staging Plan, which will identify all future approval requirements including those for property acquisitions and easements and other property related matters

q       Project capital and maintenance costs in WBS format

q       Approvals in principal as required by regulatory agencies