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Wednesday, April 29th, 2009
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Members of the Project Team are available to discuss the project with you and to answer any questions that you may have.
Visit us at: Hospital Link / Cumberland Transitway Connection Study
Purpose of the Open House
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Welcome to the first of three (3) Public Open Houses planned by the City of Ottawa for the Hospital Link / Cumberland Transitway Connection Study as part of an initial planning phase leading to an Environmental Assessment (EA) Study later this year.
The purpose of this Public Open House is to:
- Provide the study objectives
- Explain the new Transit Project EA process
- Present background information
- Present alternatives
- Outline the next steps
- Obtain your input on issues and areas of concern
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The City of Ottawa has initiated its preliminary planning process for the upcoming Environmental Assessment (EA) Study for the proposed Hospital Link and Cumberland Transitway Connection that would connect the Southeast Transitway, the future Cumberland Transitway and Blair Station.
This project is being undertaken to identify and protect rapid transit corridors that will help to improve transit service to the Ottawa Health Sciences Centre and Hospital Lands; improve transit service from Ottawa’s southeast end to central Ottawa; and, address existing and future development issues.
The proposed transit links are identified as future projects within the City of Ottawa’s 2008 Transportation Master Plan (TMP). The section of the Cumberland Transitway from Blair Station easterly to Navan Road is listed as a Phase I priority; the Hospital Link from the Southeast Transitway to Blair Road (at Innes) is listed as a Phase II priority.
The EA study will complete the planning component for the above corridors - the locations for which are ‘undefined’.
An Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) ruling pertaining to a potential Browning Avenue Transit Corridor requires the completion of the EA Study by the end of 2009, and also that the City’s Official Plan “Future Rapid Transit Corridor – Alignment to be Defined” designation shall not apply to lands within the boundary of the hospital complex Ring Road.
Environmental Assessment Process
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This project will follow the new Transit Projects Regulations (Ontario Regulation 231/08) under the provincial Environmental Assessment Act. This process is similar to the Municipal Class EA Process in that an assessment of potential effects, mitigation measures, documentation, and public consultation are required.
Differences to the EA process under the new Ontario Regulation 231/08 are:
Does not require proponents to rationalize the need for transit or look at alternatives to the selected transit project
Accelerated EA process to be completed within a 6 month period including a 120 day consultation and documentation period
- An Environmental Project Report (EPR) will be prepared for a 30-day public and agency comment/objection period
- Whether there is an objection or not, the Minister of the Environment will have 35 days after the public review period to provide one of the following:
- A notice to proceed as planned in the EPR
- A notice that further steps are required, such as further study or consultation
- A notice to proceed with conditions
- Only issues around matters of provincial importance that relate to the natural environment or cultural heritage resources or constitutionally protected Aboriginal or treaty rights are grounds for objection to the project
For more information, an interim Transit Project Assessment Process guide (EBR # 010-3784) is available and the Ontario Regulation 231/08 can be found. Both can also be found on our resource table.
A federal EA (Screening) under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act will also be undertaken.
Environmental Assessment Process Timeline (under Ontario Regulation 231/08)
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2008 TMP Transit Objectives
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The City’s Transportation Master Plan (TMP) was approved on November 28, 2008. Ongoing public input from Ottawa residents was a significant factor in the final shape of the TMP.
The City’s Official Plan objectives include “a substantial increase in the use of public transit and reduced dependence upon automobile use during peak hours” (Section 2.3.1, OP, 2003).
To provide a high quality transportation system, the City’s goal is to increase transit’s share in the morning peak hour from 23% in 2005 to 30% by 2031.
The 2008 TMP’s transit strategy to accomplish this target emphasizes:
Ease of Mobility – provide greater availability, reliability, speed, safety, convenience and comfort, expand the rapid transit network and transit priority corridors, intensify land use.
The TMP’s rapid transit network will allow faster, more efficient connections to destinations throughout the City. The rapid transit system will utilize a combination of Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).
Rapid Transit Network 2031
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Rapid Transit Network Components
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Rapid Transit Network Corridors are critical to achieve the City’s transit objectives. Rapid Transit increases the ease of mobility and attractiveness of transit use for residents.
The three (3) key components of the City’s Rapid Transit Network are:
Primary Rapid Transit Corridors – fast frequent, high-capacity using either rail or bus technology in exclusive right-of-way that is generally grade separated
Transit Intensive Corridors – linking to the primary network, have all-day, dedicated, continuous and exclusive transit facilities for use by buses/trains, operating at grade with priority at signalized intersections
Transit Priority Corridors – connecting corridors equipped with a set of coordinated priority measures that give transit preferential treatment over other vehicles – may include peak-period transit-only lanes, short dedicated lane segments, queue-jumps and traffic signal priority
The Hospital Link and Cumberland Transitway Connection corridors are proposed as Primary Rapid Transit corridors in the 2008 TMP.
Rapid Transit Stations
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Stations are meeting points for transfers between all modes of travel.
They must be convenient, comfortable and as secure as possible. They must be accessible for all, and give opportunities for convenience retail and services.
New Transit Station locations will be identified through this study.
Transfer facilities must have features such as taxi loading, drop-off/pick-up facilities, and pedestrian walkways
Areas near rapid transit stations are also excellent locations for future employment opportunities.
Transit Corridor Objectives
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The Potential Transit Corridors should:
- Improve the level of service / increase transit ridership
- Increase transit service reliability and speed
- Coordinate with existing and future transit facilities and other modes of travel (pedestrian, cycling, automobile)
- Minimize negative impacts to natural, social, economic and cultural environments
- Keep neighbourhoods liveable and maintain current community links
- Minimize property acquisition requirements
- Minimize project costs while achieving objectives
- Fulfill requirements of the Environmental Assessment Act using the new process
- Be adaptable to emerging and probable changes in technology
Official Plan Land Uses
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Along with the current land uses, future developments will generate a significant amount of new travel activity.
2003 Official Plan requirements:
- any new plans of subdivision must include transit within 400 m of all buildings
- all development or redevelopment within 600 m of an existing transit station or major transit stop must facilitate access to them.
The Need for Transit – Projected Population and Employment Growth
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Due to the projected city-wide population and employment growth between 2005 and 2031, peak hour transit person transit trips will increase by 76%, while automobile person trips will only increase by 24%.
For the Greens Creek Screenline, the expected increase in transit use is 40% while automobile use is projected to decline by 2%, creating an increase in the share of transit users versus automobile users from 35% in 2005 to 43% in 2031. (TMP, 2008)
Community/Urban Design Context
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Integration with Cycling
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Transit will be integrated with cycling through:
- Providing access for cyclists
- Augmenting mobility and providing easy access for drop-off/pick-up
- Maintaining and enhancing current and future cycling corridors and pathways
- Forming part of the link to on and off road cycling routes
- Maintaining corridors
Integration with Multi-Use Pathways & Scenic Routes
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Transit will be integrated with multi-use pathways and scenic entry routes through:
- augmenting mobility and providing easy access for drop-off/pick-up
- maintaining and enhancing current and future cycling corridors and pathways
- forming part of the link to multi-use pathways
- maintaining corridors
- enhancing our National Capital’s Scenic Entry Routes through aesthetic design
Integration with Road Network
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Transit will be integrated with the road network through:
- augmenting mobility and providing easy access for drop-off/pick-up
- transit priority and transit intensive corridors where warranted (vital to maintain a competitive transit service)
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The location and design of the selected transit corridor will include mitigation of potential effects on Ottawa’s natural heritage. Core Natural Heritage Features such as Greens Creek will be protected.
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Key issues identified to date include:
- Access to / integration with Hospital Lands developments
- Potential impacts to the Alta Vista / Riverview, Pineview and Blackburn Hamlet communities
- Effects on ecology of natural areas and potential reduction of habitat including Greens Creek, Mud Creek, Hospital Woods, and natural areas north and south of Blackburn Hamlet Bypass
- Slope stability and geotechnical issues in Greens Creek area
- Impacts on access to farming operations on NCC lands and future NCC multi-use pathways.
- “Pinchpoints” where limited room exists for new rapid transit facilities.
- Linking into Blair Station which is being modified to also accommodate Light Rail Transit
- Coordination with proposed Cumberland Transitway - Navan Road to Trim Road
- Design / approval of rail crossings
- Major intersecting transportation corridors (e.g. Southeast Transitway, St. Laurent Blvd., Highway 417, Regional Road 174)
Hospital Lands Area Plan
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Transit Technical Guiding Principles
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The following are the Transit Technical Guiding Principles, which are proposed to be used as the fundamental basis for the bounds of the study. They have been developed from the Study Team’s interpretation of the RFP and Council minutes, review of the City’s 2008 Transportation Master Plan (TMP) and, subsequent discussions with City staff.
- This EA must recommend one (1) plan. It may have multiple components, be they alignments, phasing, technical solutions, etc.
- The primary goals of the study are the identification of appropriate measures to provide high quality bus rapid transit service:
- Between Orleans South and the Inner Urban Area - connecting the proposed Cumberland Transitway east of Navan Road with Blair Station and with the Hospital Link Corridor
- Citywide to the Ottawa Health Sciences Campus and other hospital lands
- As part of a continuous cross-town rapid transit network
- The objective, where feasible, is to develop a fully segregated busway (i.e. grade-separated dedicated facility in an exclusive right-of-way as per the TMP’s Primary Transit Corridor definition). Otherwise a dedicated, continuous, exclusive transit service (e.g. at-grade bus only lanes as per the TMP’s Transit Intensive Corridor definition) may be considered.
- Transit facility elements are to be designed so as not to preclude future conversion to LRT. Only those corridors that can readily be converted to LRT shall be considered and assessed.
- Future scenarios (2031 and beyond) may be identified, but shall not be pursued under this EA.
- Although a potential long term LRT through Blackburn Hamlet has been contemplated by the City, the focus of this study will be a fully segregated busway in the Blackburn Hamlet area (in keeping with the TMP).
- The east limit of the study is to provide for a connection to the Cumberland Transitway at approximately 400 m southeast of the intersection of the Blackburn Bypass and Navan Road.
Alternative Transit Corridors
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Potential Alternatives to the Undertaking (considered through the City’s Transportation Master Plan) include:
- Expanded Transit Network
- Increased Roadway Capacity
- Walking / Cycling
- Travel Demand Management
- High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lanes
The 2008 TMP has identified expansion of the Rapid Transit Network as an important part of the solution to address projected future travel demand within the Study Area.
A long list of possible transit corridors has been generated based on their potential to provide bus linkages between the Southeast Transitway, future Cumberland Transitway, Blair Station and provide access to the Hospital Lands.
Alternative Transit Corridors – Long List
Click to enlarge
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The evaluation of alternatives is a fundamental requirement of the Environmental Assessment Act. Evaluation factors and criteria may include:
- Fisheries & Aquatic Habitat
- Wetlands / Vegetation
- Species at Risk
- Wildlife Habitat / Connections
- Surface Water / Groundwater
- Surface Geology and Soils
- Air Quality
Social & Economic Environment
- Compatibility with Communities
- Human Health
- Noise / Vibration
- Land Use
- Property Ownership
- Agricultural Lands
- Contaminated Sites
- Visual Aesthetics
- Heritage / Archaeology
- Cultural Landscape
- Aboriginal Heritage and Rights
Traffic & Transportation
- Transit Network Continuity
- Transit Level of Service
- Transit Travelling Time / Reliability
- Ridership Potential
- Safety and Security
- Construction & Staging
- LRT conversion potential
- Compatibility with existing and future infrastructure
- Multi-modal Integration
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Public involvement is a key component of the EA process.
Key opportunities for members of the public to provide input to the study include:
- Public Open House #1: Present Study process, schedule and background - April 2009
- Public Open House #2: Present the existing conditions inventories, and Alternative Design Concepts – June 2009
After EA Study Commencement
- Public Open House #3: Present the recommended functional design, environmental effects, proposed mitigation measures – September 2009
- Environmental Project Report: made available for 30-day public review and comment at the end of the study – November 2009
Ongoing public/stakeholders/agency liaison will be carried out throughout the pre-consultation and formal EA study period. Consultation groups will meet regularly:
- Public Consultation Group – stakeholders from community and interest groups to advise on local issues/concerns
- Institutional Consultation Group – stakeholders from the hospital lands to deal with site specific issues
- Agency Consultation Group – public agency technical experts
First Nations will also be consulted.
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The next steps that will be followed in the study include:
- Review comments received at the first Public Open House
- Complete environmental inventories
- Complete assessment of project need and justification
- Evaluate alternatives and identify recommended alternative(s)
- Consult with stakeholders
- Public Open House #2 targeted for June 2009
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Thank you for your participation in this project.
Your comments are appreciated.
Please comment on any aspects of the project which you consider to be important using the comment sheets provided or through the project’s website