Q1: Why are some properties losing their left-in/left-out capabilities on Bank Street?
A: Median requirements were evaluated as part of the functional design and confirmed through the Road Safety Audit that was completed as part of the preliminary design. While the utmost efforts will be made to accommodate businesses’ individual concerns regarding access, maintaining full access to all properties is simply not possible with the proposed design. Many businesses that will see their left-in/left-out access restricted already have alternative accesses on Bank Street or on side streets. As noted in the completed Road Safety Audit for the corridor, restriction of left turn access helps improve the safety of the corridor and reduces vehicle conflicts.
Q2: Why are some of the centre two-way left turn lanes (TWLTLs) being removed?
A: The TWLTLs are being removed to improve the overall aesthetics of Bank Street to better suit its designation as an arterial main street and is in-line with the recommendations of the Bank Street Community Design Plan. The intent is to visually break-up the existing width (four vehicle lanes plus TWLTL) of asphalt with a concrete median. In addition, the collision analysis shows high collision rates in the segments with TWLTLs. As noted in the completed Road Safety Audit for the corridor, removal of TWLTL’s also improves the safety of the corridor and reduces vehicle conflicts.
Q3: What is meant by "raised" and "traversable" medians?
A: Raised medians are generally 150mm in height and are not traversable, whereas traversable medians are 25mm in height with low height mountable curbs which allows drivers to drive onto the median and turn left. Traversable medians are used in lieu of two-way left-turn lanes (TWLTL). The intent is to visually break-up the existing width (four vehicle lanes plus a TWLTL) of asphalt with a concrete median. As noted in the completed Road Safety Audit for the corridor, removal of TWLTL’s improves the safety of the corridor and reduces vehicle conflicts.
Q4: What can be done to increase safety and reduce the number of illegal pedestrian crossings on Bank Street at the Billings Bridge Mall entrance?
A: Due to the short distance between the existing traffic signals at both the Riverside Drive eastbound and the transitway intersections, a new traffic signal cannot be installed at the Billings Bridge Mall access. Under the functional design a fence was proposed to be installed in the median between the Transitway and Riverside Drive (south) to deter pedestrians from illegally crossing Bank Street in this area. This recommendation is being carried through to the preliminary and detailed design under this project. Pedestrians will be able to cross at the signalized intersections at Riverside Drive (eastbound) and the Transitway to access Billings Bridge Mall.
Q5: Why are there no bus bays planned for the corridor?
A: Bus bays are not currently being implemented in the City of Ottawa and existing bus bays are being removed as they are not desirable for OC Transpo as they result in difficulties for buses merging back into traffic.
Q6: What is a protected intersection?
A: A protected intersection is a signal-controlled intersection with dedicated space and crossings for pedestrians, bicycles and motor vehicles which improves user safety and comfort. Protected intersections create shorter, simpler crossings, more predictable movements, and better visibility between people on bikes and people driving. Unlike at conventional intersections, cyclists are not forced to merge into traffic. Instead, they are given a dedicated path through the intersection. The setback between the vehicle lane and the cycling facility makes cyclists more visible to turning drivers than in a conventional intersection. This, along with design elements including corner safety islands, setback cross rides (cycling crossings) and crosswalks, and dedicated bicycle signals reduce potential conflicts between all users. For more information please visit https://ottawa.ca/en/parking-roads-and-travel/cycling/cycling-planning/completed-projects#protected-intersections
Q7: Why do there appear to be two different protected intersection/corner designs?
A: Due to adjacent property, building or grading constraints two different intersection/corner designs have been proposed throughout the corridor which is in accordance with the City of Ottawa and Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities (AODA) current design guidelines. If there are no constraints, a pedestrian refuge area can be provided between the curb and cycling facility where a pedestrian will wait to cross. In this option the pedestrian and cyclist facilities remain at the same level. If there are significant constraints that do not provide sufficient space for a pedestrian refuge area between the curb and the cycle track the cyclist facility ramps down to road level in advance of the intersection and pedestrians will wait on the sidewalk before crossing. The cyclist facility will ramp back up on the far side of the intersection, past the crosswalk and crossride.
Q8: The northeast corner of Bank Street and Heron Road does not have separated facilities for cyclist and pedestrians?
A: The existing building at the northeast corner of Bank Street and Heron Road results in significant constraints for providing dedicated pedestrian and cycling facilities, however, this corner is currently under review and opportunities to provided separate cycling and pedestrian facilities are still under consideration
Q9: What are you doing to improve pedestrian facilities?
A: The proposed pedestrian facilities along Bank Street are minimum 1.8m wide (and wider where feasible) in accordance with current City of Ottawa and Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities (AODA) guidelines. The pedestrian facilities will be located behind the cycle track which will provide a greater buffer between vehicles and pedestrians. Where the pedestrian facility is against the cycle track, demarcation tiles will be installed to separate the two facilities in accordance with AODA guidelines. Intersections will be constructed with properly sized waiting areas and bus stops will be constructed with landing areas between the curb and cycle track.
Q10: Why are you adding cycle tracks along Bank Street that are raised instead of on road facilities?
A: Bank Street from Riverside Drive (westbound) to Ledbury Avenue has been identified in the City of Ottawa’s Transportation Master Plan as a Cycling Spine Route and is a Cross Town Bikeway north of Heron Road, with several connections to other spine routes, local routes and pathways. In accordance with the City of Ottawa’s Cycle Plan, cycle tracks are being provided to provide greater accommodation and connectivity to cyclists. Due the high traffic volumes and operating speed on Bank Street, separated raised cycle tracks are preferred for this type of corridor to improve comfort for cyclists and enhance the overall safety of the corridor.
Q11: Why are the raised cycle tracks (bike lanes that are raised up from road level) curved at some intersections?
A: Horizontal curves are used for multiple reasons such as slowing cyclists before they enter an intersection and are being designed to the City’s current guidelines and standards which are in line with North American standards.
Q12: Why are there two-way/bi-directional cycling facilities only in a few locations versus one-way/unidirectional facilities?
A: Unidirectional cycle tracks are primarily proposed throughout the corridor however there are a few bi-directional cycle tracks proposed at key locations to improve connectivity to destination points or existing pathways/facilities.
Q13: What is being done to improve the cycling and pedestrian facilities at the Bank Street and Riverside Drive (westbound) intersection?
A: The geometry of the Billings Bridge results in significant constraints for the pedestrian and cycling facilities. In the Preliminary Design, there are cycling ramps that allow cyclists to merge and take a lane on Bank Street in advance of the Billings Bridge. Modifications to the Billings Bridge are outside of the scope of this project; however, opportunities to provide aa further improved cycling and pedestrian connection are currently under review.
Q14: How are you improving the traffic capacity of Bank Street as it is a major arterial corridor?
A: The section of Bank Street between Riverside Drive (westbound) and Ledbury Avenue has many designations including being an Arterial Mainstreet, truck route, transit route and cycling route. Therefore, the corridor is being reconstructed as a “complete street” to improve the multi-modal capacity throughout the corridor, by providing improved facilities for all users.
Q15: Will OC Transpo routes or bus stops be changing?
A: OC Transpo route changes are not part of the project scope. Bus stop locations have been reviewed and relocated in consultation with OC Transpo. Bus stops will be primarily located on the far side of the intersection to allow buses to clear the intersection before stopping for passengers.
Q16: Why aren’t roundabouts being consider for this corridor?
A: Roundabouts were reviewed during the functional design however due to the limited property and traffic volumes throughout the corridor were not deemed to be appropriate for this corridor.
Q17: How will accessibility of the corridor be improved through the reconstruction?
A: The design will meet the City of Ottawa Accessibility Design Standards, as well as the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). Some of the key accessibility components of the design include a minimum 1.8m wide pedestrian facilities with delineator tiles placed when adjacent to a cycle track and seating areas / rest areas throughout the corridor. Intersections will include properly sized refuge areas for pedestrian crossings, accessible pedestrian signals and installation of tactile walking surface indicators (TWSIs).
Q18: Is there coordination between the renewal project and the development applications at 1335 to 1346 Bank?
A: Yes. Coordination between this project and the proposed developments is ongoing.
Q19: Will the overhead utility lines be buried.
A: There is currently no plan to bury Hydro lines within the project limits. It is City policy, for roadways classified as is this section of Bank Street, to work around the Hydro lines unless there is a technical requirement to bury them. In this case, there is no requirement to bury the Hydro lines.
Q20: Will you ensure that city scaping is reflective of native fauna and contributes to the ecology of the area (e.g., trees that produce berries for wildlife or that blossom for bees)?
A: Yes. Wherever possible, native plants will be used.
Q21: What are the timelines for construction of this project?
A: The timing and duration of the project is still under review as it will be dependent on available funding. The project will be completed in multiple phases. Currently, construction is expected to commence in mid-2022 at the earliest. Please note that utility works, including Enbridge gas upgrades and Hydro pole and overhead utility relocations, will be completed in advance of the reconstruction works.
Q22: Will Bank Street be closed during construction
A: While it is not anticipated that Bank Street will be closed during construction, impacts to traffic during construction are still under review and will be finalized during the detailed design stage.
Q23: How will public transportation be impacted during construction?
A: Impacts to public transportation and traffic during construction are still under review and will be finalized during the detailed design stage.
Q24: I am a frequent user of the pedestrian facilities along Bank Street. How can I still access these facilities during construction?
A: Accessibility and maintaining accesses to pedestrian facilities and businesses is an important consideration for the City. Pedestrian access to homes, pedestrian facilities and businesses will be maintained at all times and the City will make every effort to provide access through and around construction sites. Detours and sidewalk closures will be communicated on-site with signage.
Q25: My business receives weekly/daily deliveries. How can I make sure this is not impacted?
A: Access to each business will be maintained during construction. On rare occasions, if access cannot be maintained for short periods of time, the project team will coordinate with the business owner to reduce impacts. We ask that each business fills out a business questionnaire for the project. This will also help us get primary contacts for each business and relay important information to the Contractor like peak delivery times. Please email the project contacts for a copy of the survey.
Q26: Will utilities to businesses and residents be impacted during the reconstruction? How will business and residents be notified when utilities (i.e. water, gas, electricity) are shut off?
A: During construction, there may be times where utilities, such as gas or water, will need to be interrupted. The City will provide 48 hours of notice of planned service disruptions; however, there may be instances when unforeseen construction issues will result in water, gas and hydro disruptions.
Q27: Will garbage/recycling pick-up and snow removal be impacted during lane closures?
A: The City’s contractor is responsible for coordination of garbage/recycling pick-up and snow removal within the construction zone. All City services outside of the construction zone will continue as normal. The project team will monitor these activities closely during construction.
Q28: Will the City be replacing water and sewer services to private properties?
A: As part of this assignment, the City’s Contractor will be installing new water and sewer services on City of Ottawa property in areas where the watermain and sewers are to be replaced. The private services beyond the City property line will not be included in this work.
Q29: I have a disability; will I be able to get around the construction?
A: Under the terms and conditions of their contract, the Contractor is required to prepare a Construction Site Pedestrian Control Plan which will ensure the provision of a safe and accessible path of travel for all pedestrians through and/or around the construction site. The plan shall ensure that persons with disabilities, as well as those with increased mobility needs (parents with strollers and/or young children, elderly pedestrians using canes, walkers, or wheelchairs, etc.), will be accommodated either through or around the construction site. The project team is available to review and facilitate accessibility related accommodations during construction.