Public Open House #4
Thursday, February 23, 2012
7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
(with presentation from 8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.)
19 Leeming Drive
This is the fourth Public Open House to facilitate on-going public participation in this planning and design study.
The information presented tonight will give you an opportunity to participate in the Transit Project Assessment Process for the West Transitway Extension Recommended Plan.
The City of Ottawa is proposing to extend the City’s bus rapid transit (BRT) network (Transitway) from Bayshore Station to west of Moodie Drive. The proposed transit facility will ultimately be a fully grade-separated exclusive bus rapid transit corridor including a new station just east of Moodie Drive. The project will improve transit service reliability between downtown and the west urban community by removing the requirement to operate transit service in mixed traffic on Highway 417.
Your views are important to us.
Representatives from the City of Ottawa and McCormick Rankin (the City’s consultant) are here this evening to discuss the project with you. We welcome your input – please don’t hesitate to ask questions and make your opinions known to us. Please fill out a comment sheet.
Your continued involvement is essential to the successful completion of this study.
The City of Ottawa proposes to extend the West Transitway from Bayshore Station to west of Moodie Drive.
The proposed facility will run immediately adjacent to the westbound lanes of Highway 417 (the Queensway). It will be a fully grade-separated exclusive transit facility.
An interim plan for partial grade separation with Moodie Drive will be constructed first. Eastbound buses will exit the existing bus lanes on Highway 417 and cross over Moodie Drive to access the Transitway. Westbound buses will travel under Moodie Drive before connecting to the existing bus lanes on Highway 417.
This project is a priority for the City of Ottawa, as it will:
- Help the City of Ottawa achieve its 30% transit modal split objective and reduce automobile dependence;
- Improve service reliability by removing rapid transit from mixed traffic on Highway 417;
- Enhance transit accessibility by providing a new station at Moodie Drive; and
- Reduce transit passenger travel times and associated operating/capital costs.
Planning Context – Implementing the West Transitway to 2031 :
- The 2008 Transportation Master Plan (TMP) sets out a goal to increase the peak-hour transit modal split to 30% by 2031. To help achieve this goal, the plan defines a long range rapid transit network which includes extending the West Transitway to Kanata.
- Extending the West Transitway from Bayshore Station to Moodie Drive was identified as a priority transit investment in the TMP, subject to immediate implementation provided the availability of funding.
1994 -RMOC completes West Transitway Extension EA from Woodroffe to Bayshore Station
1997 - RMOC completes West Urban Community Transit Integration Study and EA from Moodie Drive to Terry Fox
2008/2009 - City of Ottawa approves 2008 Transportation Master Plan and initiates this Planning and EA study from Bayshore Station to Moodie Drive
SEPT 2010 - Council approves study Recommended Plan
OCT 2011 - PWGSC announces acquisition of former Nortel site
APR 2011 - Council directs staff to review alternate station west of Moodie
DEC 2011 - Preferred station location confirmed East of Moodie Drive
FEB 10, 2012 - Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP) Begins
Environmental Assessment process
Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP)
- This project is being planned in accordance with the Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP) as described in Ontario’s Transit Projects Regulation (O. Reg. 231/08). The notice of commencement was published in local newspapers and circulated to interested and potentially affected stakeholders on February 10, 2012. The regulation describes a process that certain transit projects must follow in order to be considered exempt from the Environmental Assessment Act (OEEA).
- TPAP is based on the principles of sound Environmental Assessment (EA) planning and requires that the proponent base decisions on sound scientific approaches and methods in consultation with stakeholders.
- The TPAP is a proponent driven, self-assessment process. Proponents are still required to consider alternative designs and identify potential impacts and mitigation measures when evaluating and recommending a preferred plan.
- Regulated Timelines – There is a six-month time limit on the approvals process. This includes a maximum 120-day consultation and documentation period; a 30-day public comment period; and a 35-day period for the Environment Minister to review objections.
- Stakeholder Objections – The Minister of Environment can only act if an objection is received regarding a potential negative impact on a matter of provincial importance that relates to the natural environment or has cultural heritage value or interest or on a constitutionally protected aboriginal or treaty right, that cannot be resolved.
Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA)
- As the proposed station east of Moodie Drive is partially located on federal lands, a screening under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act is required.
- A notice advertising commencement of the federal EA was posted on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry on June 28, 2010.
Phased evaluation of alternatives
Decision-making for this study began by considering a range of alternatives that narrowed progressively to a final recommended plan.
The generation, evaluation and selection of alternatives were undertaken in three phases that correspond to the design milestones required to identify a transit project. The three phases were:
- Phase 1: Corridor Selection
- Phase 2: Route Selection
- Phase 3: Design Selection
Phase 1, the selection of a preferred corridor, was completed as part of the 1996 West Transitway Extension Individual Environmental Assessment, from Woodroffe Avenue to Acres Road (RMOC, 1996), which confirmed the Queensway as the preferred rapid transit corridor extending to the West Urban Community. Phases 2 and 3 were carried out in this study.
As the study progressed from the corridor selection phase to the design selection phase, the level of engineering and environmental detail informing the evaluation was increased.
Phase 1: Corridor Selection
West Transitway Extension Individual EA ( Woodroffe to Acres Road – RMOC 1996)
- Britannia Corridor
- Carling Corridor
- Richmond Corridor
- Queensway Corridor
- Baseline Corridor
- CN Rail Corridor
Phase 2: Route Selection
- Former Railway Route
- Queensway North Route
- Queensway Median Route
- Queensway South Route
Phase 3: Design Selection
- East Segment Alternatives- Bayshore Station to Graham Creek Tributary
- Central Segment Alternatives- Graham Creek Tributary to Stillwater Creek Tributary A
- West Segment Alternatives- Stillwater Creek Tributary A to west of Moodie Drive
On September 8, 2010, a Preliminary Recommended Plan for the West Transitway Extension (from Bayshore Station to West of Moodie Drive), including a station east of the Moodie Drive interchange, received Council approval.
Shortly thereafter, in October 2010, it emerged that Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) had purchased the former Nortel Carling campus with the intention of creating a federal employment node projected to ultimately house 15,000 employees. As a consequence of this announcement, Council directed staff to review the appropriateness of an alternative station location west of Moodie Drive. The advantages and disadvantages of the alternative station locations to the east and west of Moodie Drive are summarized below.
On December 14, 2011, Council received the comparative review report and accepted the Recommended Plan confirming the station location east of Moodie Drive.
East Station Alternative:
- Reduces overall travel times for all eastbound transit services from Kanata by 3.5 minutes when compared to the West Station Alternative (including associated reduction in operating costs and emissions).
- Increases service reliability by avoiding left turn movements for Transitway buses.
- Fully integrated with the existing multi-use pathway network and promotes new multi-modal connections.
- Accessibility and visibility from adjacent employment and residential lands will promote station activity and create an enhanced sense of security for transit users when compared to the West Station Alternative.
- Requires removal of additional cultural meadow vegetation that is contiguous with the Stillwater Creek Valley. The ecological significance of this meadow area is considered low as it is isolated and characterized by low botanical diversity and a high proportion of non-native species.
- Locates the station approximately 250m from the nearest residence. However, the noise assessment concluded that the addition of a station at this location will have a negligible influence on local sound levels which fall below the MOE limits for stationary sources of noise.
- The addition of a station will generate new ground vibrations, however, given the amplitude of decay observed between measured locations, the continuous surficial geology in the area, and the distance from the nearest residence, ground vibration levels of 0.1- 0.2 mm/s are expected. These levels fall well below the typical human annoyance threshold of 1.0 mm/s.
West Station Alternative:
- Minimizes removal of cultural meadow vegetation that is contiguous with the Stillwater Creek Valley.
- Locates the station 750m further from residential properties, thereby reducing potential for minor noise/vibration impacts. Neither station alternative results in noise/vibration impacts that exceed municipal or provincial guidelines/ limits.
- Requires all eastbound buses to travel an additional 1.5 km, adding 3.5 minutes to eastbound travel times, increasing vehicle emissions and escalating annual operating costs by $525,000.
- Requires all eastbound buses to make a left turn movement across Moodie Drive during the morning peak, thereby reducing service reliability.
- Isolated location minimizes accessibility and sense of security. The station is not visible from, or within walking distance to, any residential or employment lands.
Evaluation criteria and background studies
The following background studies were completed to assess impacts and develop mitigation strategies. These studies form appendices to the Environmental Project Report.
Overall Project Objectives:
- Transit Review
- Transportation Review
Social / Cultural Environment:
- Noise, Air Quality, and Ground Vibrations
- Stage 1 & 2 Archaeological Assessment
- Traffic Analysis
- Constructability Review
- Geotechnical Considerations
- Estimate of Property Requirements and Construction Costs
- Recreational Pathway Analysis
- Natural Environment Impact Assessment
- Hydrogeological Assessment
- Stillwater Creek: Geomorphology Assessment ; Flood Plain Assessment; Culvert Realignment; and Culvert Stormwater Management Thresholds
- Stormwater Management Strategy
- Contaminated Properties - Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment & Contaminant Investigation
The recommended plan includes the following facilities:
- Two 4.0 m Transitway lanes and two 2.5 m paved shoulders for exclusive transit use that are grade-separated at both Holly Acres Rd. and Moodie Dr.;
- A new transit station immediately east of Moodie Drive with local bus access to/from Corkstown Road;
- A small “kiss-and-ride” facility adjacent to the station on Corkstown Road in order to improve community access to rapid transit; and
- Enhancements to the existing pedestrian and cycling environment.
Cross section of recommended plan
Consultation activities to date
During the TPAP pre-planning activities, the study team sought input through:
Public Open Houses
- POH No. 1 - June 25, 2009
- POH No. 2 - February 22 and February 24, 2010
- POH No. 3 - June 23, 2010
- Meetings with Crystal Beach-Lakeview Community Association (CBLCA)
(April 30, 2009) – Introduce the study
- (September 1, 2009) – Present Assessment of Route Alternatives
- (November 2, 2009) – Present Route Selection Report
- (January 12, 2010) – Discuss Comments on Route selection Report
- (February 4, 2010) – Present Functional Design Alternatives
- (June 16, 20110) – Present Preliminary Recommended Plan
- (November 3, 2011) – Present Comparative Review of Station Location Alternatives
Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) Meetings with National Capital Commission (NCC), Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO), Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA), OC Transpo, and Internal City staff departments
- February 25, 2009
- July 9, 2009
- October 19, 2009
- February 4, 2010
- April 7, 2010
- June 15, 2010
Advisory Committee Meetings
- Ottawa Forest and Greenspace Advisory Committee (OFGAC)
- Roads and Cycling Advisory Committee (RCAC)
Individual Meetings with Municipal, Provincial and Federal Agencies
Communications with Aboriginal Communities
City of Ottawa Transit/ Transportation Committee Meetings
City of Ottawa Council Meetings
- September 8, 2010
- April 6, 2011
- December 7, 2011
What we heard
The following modifications were incorporated into the plan as a result of effective and constructive stakeholder engagement during TPAP pre-planning activities:
- Upgrading existing pathways and providing new connections to Bayshore Station and facilities on Moodie Drive;
- Designing a retaining wall adjacent to Stillwater Creek to minimize encroachment;
- Ensuring the project can accommodate a future MTO noise barrier;
- Reducing the footprint of the local transit component of the proposed station east of Moodie Drive and providing a ‘Kiss-and-Ride’ facility;
- Incorporating context sensitive design elements into the station and structures to ensure the facility complements its rural setting and its position within the Greenbelt; and
- Upgrading existing on-road cycling lanes and providing a multi-use pathway across the Moodie Drive overpass, connecting Crystal Beach/Lakeview to Bells Corners.
- Until the Transitway is extended across the Greenbelt to Kanata, an interim connection to existing bus-only Highway 417 shoulder lanes is required (west of Moodie Drive).
- The recommended interim plan includes full grade separation for westbound buses under Moodie Drive.
- Opening Day to ~ 2031
- Construct exclusive Transitway from Bayshore Station to Moodie Drive
- Construct bridge over Holly Acres Road
- Construct improvements to the existing multi-use pathway and on-road cycling network in the vicinity of Holly Areas Road and Moodie Drive
- Construct bridge under Moodie Drive for westbound Transitway buses; and;
- Construct transit station at Corkstown Road;
- Estimated cost - 76 M *Accounts for provisional 8 M noise barrier (if directed by Council)
- 2031 or beyond
- Tie-in to future extension of the West Transitway from west of Moodie Drive to west of Eagleson Road (once constructed)
- Estimated Cost (2010$) - TBD
Mitigation measures and monitoring
Potential environmental effects associated with the proposed West Transitway Extension can be classified into the following categories:
- Footprint Impacts: Permanent impacts to existing features within and adjacent to the proposed transit facility and station.
- Operations and Maintenance Impacts: Long term impacts occurring during operations and maintenance activities.
- Construction Impacts: Temporary impacts occurring during construction activities.
A comprehensive mitigation and monitoring strategy has been developed to address these potential environmental effects, and is summarized below and on the following panel.
Property requirements for the Recommended Plan:
- NCC Property : ~ 1.2 ha.
- MTO Property : ~ 5.5 ha.
- Private Property: ~ 0.2 ha
- A retaining wall will be constructed to contain the Transitway within the Highway 417 right-of-way, to minimize encroachment into the Stillwater Creek valley in order to minimize impacts to natural features.
- Natural channel design measures will be implemented to minimize effects on fish and fish habitat associated with the minor realignment of Stillwater Creek. Post-construction monitoring of the channel will also be undertaken.
- New storm sewer infrastructure and end-of-pipe treatment will be installed to mitigate potential encroachment into the Stillwater Creek floodplain and minimize the potential introduction of pollutants to adjacent water bodies.
- Landscaping and context sensitive design principles will be implemented to mitigate the visual effects of introducing a transit station into the rural landscape.
- The City will enter into a corridor sharing agreement for use of MTO property.
- The City will continue to work with Aboriginal groups to identify treaty rights and traditional land uses as the study progresses.
- Traffic detours on Moodie Drive and Holly Acres Road will be required during construction. Advance notification and signage will be provided to mitigate the impacts of short-term lane and/or ramp closures on the community. Safe cycling and pedestrian detours will be identified for Moodie Drive and Holly Acres Road during these short-term closures. Construction staging will be developed in detailed design.
- Standard construction mitigation measures will be implemented, including the clear delineation of vegetation clearing zones, the implementation of erosion and sediment control measures, the re-stabilization and re-vegetation of exposed surfaces, the appropriate management of excess materials, and the preparation of spill prevention/management program to minimize potential effects on terrestrial and aquatic features. Environmental inspection will be carried out during construction to ensure that protection measures are implemented as specified in contract documents.
- Standard construction measures such as requirements to keep equipment in good working order and to eliminate unnecessary vehicle idling will be implemented to mitigate construction noise effects, in accordance with the City of Ottawa’s Noise Control By-Law.
- Standard mitigation measures to control air emissions and suppress dust will be implemented during construction.
- Standard construction mitigation measures for ground vibrations will be enacted, such as limiting speeds of heavy vehicles. Monitoring of ground vibration levels may be undertaken at nearby residences during construction, as required.
- Standard construction mitigation measures will be included in contract documents to account for potential of uncovering heritage or archeological elements.
- Contractor will time construction activities to avoid migratory bird nesting seasons and to avoid disturbance of fish and fish habitat.
- Access to recreational pathways will be maintained for the duration of construction, so as to minimize impacts on multi-use pathway users.
- Temporary property requirements will be identified by the Contractor if required. The Contractor will minimize inconvenience to adjacent properties.
- Specific mitigation strategies for minimizing impacts to utilities will be further developed during detailed design.
Operations and maintenance impacts
- Transitway operations have been isolated from general traffic in order to mitigate the effect of background traffic growth on transit service reliability.
- In accordance with City policy, the predicted increase in noise levels does not warrant noise attenuation. However, the recommended plan has been developed to not preclude the installation of noise barriers in the future.
- Grade separation at Holly Acres Road will eliminate starting and stopping of buses, which addresses the primary source of ground vibrations at this location.
- February 10, 2012 - Notice of Study Commencement (Transportation Project Assessment Process) Published
- February 23, 2012 - Public Open House #4 We Are Here!!
- February 23, 2012 - Recommend Plan
- Spring 2012 - Notice of Completion of Environmental Project Report
- Spring 2012 - File Environmental Project Report for 30-Day Public Review
- Spring 2012 - Ministerial Decision
- Spring/Summer 2012 - Complete Federal Environmental Assessment & Detail Design
We hope that this session helped you identify and assess how you may be affected by this transit project and helped you better understand the range of potential environmental impacts. Please submit your comments and concerns so that the study team can respond to such issues in the Environmental Project Report (EPR). Once completed, you will have an opportunity to review the EPR during the 30-day public review period.
Let us know what you think!
Please complete a Comment Sheet or send us your comments by March 8, 2012:
Jeffrey Waara, P.Eng.
Senior Project Manager, City of Ottawa
Infrastructure Services and Community Sustainability
Tel: (613) 580-2424 ext. 27805