Draft Preliminary Study

This study is available in English only and may be translated in whole or in part upon request. For more information, please contact Barbara Backland at 613 580-2424, extension 14953.

Background study and purpose

Downtown Moves is an urban design and transportation study that identifies ways to create vibrant, safe and accessible streets for pedestrians, cyclists and transit riders by restoring a balance among street users and by improving the streetscape environment. The study informs the City on how to best capitalize on the trans¬formative opportunities presented by the implementation of the Ottawa Light Rail Transit (OLRT) project, and other major infrastructure projects in the downtown.

The City’s overall aim is to make walking, cycling and transit be more comfortable and convenient by enhancing the environmental quality of the public realm with streetscape amenities and facilities, as well as allocating the appropriate balance of surface space with the network of street right-of-ways downtown. Downtown Moves also examines ways to seamlessly integrate the future LRT stations at street level and provides a framework to guide a wide range of planning and engineer¬ing projects proposed for the downtown. Detailed analysis of Downtown Ottawa’s policy framework and existing conditions is available in Appendix A and B of this report.

The study builds upon the guidance provided in the City of Ottawa Official Plan, the recommendations in the 2004 Downtown Ottawa Urban Design Strategy, the 2008 Transportation Master Plan, the City’s Pedestrian Plan and Cycling Plan, and a host of other studies and projects.

Moreover, City Council understands that a prosperous efficient city is one that embraces walking, cycling, and transit use as priority modes. A more walkable, liveable and sustainable downtown will also be more economically competitive over the long term. This theme is echoed in the City’s Official Plan and in the guid¬ing principles of Choosing Our Future, the long term plan for the Nation’s Capital.

What could or should our downtown streets look like for pedestrians, cyclists and transit riders? How can residents get where they need to go safely and with ease? Can we capitalize on the transformative opportunities of upcoming Ottawa Light Rail Transit (OLRT) project, and other infrastructure projects to make improvements across the downtown?

The Downtown Mobility Study challenges you to consider these and other questions as you read through this Interim Progress Report.

Inside, you’ll find help answering these questions using an extensive inventory downtown streets, a tool kit of best practices and outlines of preliminary concepts and significant “moves” to guide the future improvements in and around downtown streets.

Let’s be clear—we have put forward ideas, not firm plans. We’re at the idea stage – not the feasibility stage. We want this Report to prompt discussion and debate about the future of our downtown. This is your opportunity to make our ideas even better.

We know that changing downtown streets isn’t an overnight transformation. Any particular projects – whether it’s adding bike lanes, changing one-way streets to two-ways, improving street landscaping or adding street furniture – may be done over a five to 20-year horizon following the construction of the LRT and as funding becomes available.

So let’s get moving.

Need more information? Contact:

Nelson Edwards, Planner
City of Ottawa
Planning and Growth Management Department
110 Laurier Street West
Ottawa, ON K1J 1P1
Tel: 613-580-2424 ext. 21290
Fax: 613-580-2459