This site uses JavaScript. Please enable JavaScript in your Browser and reload the page to view the full site.

Demonstration Plans and Sections

Demonstration Plans and Sections

Road Types

Regional roads are very diverse. They vary in their function, width and land use context. It is necessary to provide demonstration plans that respond to different corridor types. The Region's background research on the performance evaluation of representative regional roads provides a thorough analysis of the characteristics that define different corridors within different urban contexts. Included is a review of indicators such as: number of vehicle lanes, block length, frequency of accesses, sidewalk and boulevard widths, civic context, adjacent land use, building setbacks, and building height.

Based on this analysis, and through an evaluation of several defining characteristics, six road corridor types have been developed as the basis for organizing the demonstration plans and sections:
 

  • Right-of-Way Considerations
  • Urban Core
  • Urban Residential
  • Urban Main Street
  • Suburban Commercial
  • Suburban Residential
  • Suburban Business/Institutional

Although these road corridor types form the basis of the demonstrations, it is not possible to encapsulate all of the various combinations of road corridor functions and contexts. There will be variations of these basic types. On this basis, the guidelines are presented in a manner that recognizes the need for flexibility in their implementation. It is important to note that the three "urban" road types may also be appropriate for suburban locations.

Right-of-Way Considerations

Right-of-Way Considerations

Ottawa-Carleton's ROW protection policies prescribe the width of the ROW that is sought for protection. This width ranges from a low of 20m for roads in the core area to a high of 45m for roads in suburban locations.

Municipalities may find that the available ROW is less than what is required to design a road which most effectively addresses the first principles for regional road design as outlined in Section 6.0. In such cases, creativity is required in the road design to fit in all of the desired road components. While trade-offs may be needed, these guidelines can help establish values and principles and point to solutions. In some cases alternative development standards may need to be used.

The following table lists various road corridor components and appropriate dimensions according to three circumstances. The first circumstance is an urban corridor where the available ROW is constrained. The second is an urban corridor where there are no ROW constraints. The third is suburban corridors where the ROW is typically unconstrained. This table provides guidance when designing road corridor cross-sections.

Appropriate Dimensions for Road Corridor Components:
 

ROW Component - Adjacent Lands/Neighbourhood Components Constrained Unconstrained Suburban
Building Height-to-Width Ratio 1:1 to 1:2 1:1 to 1:3 1:3 to 1:6
Building Setbacks 0m 0 - 6m 0 - 6m+
ROW Component - Road edge components Constrained Unconstrained Suburban
Sidewalk 2.0m+ 2 - 3m+ 2.0m
Sidewalk Offset (from buildings) 0.25m 0.25 - 0.5m 0.5m
Streetlight/Utility Post Curb Offset 0.75m 1.0 - 1.5m 1.5m+
Tree Offset from curb 0.75m 0.75 - 1.5m 2.75m+
Inner Boulevard N/A 2.0 - 3.0m 2.0m - 4.0m
Outer Boulevard N/A N/A 0 - 3.0m

*Note: 0.25m curb offset is included.

Right-of-Way Considerations

Appropriate Dimensions for Road Corridor Components:

ROW Component - Roadway Components Constrained Unconstrained Suburban
Curb Offset
(separating any lane from a curb face)
0 - 0.25m 0.25m 0.25m
Dedicated Cycling Lane* N/A 1.5 - 2.0m 2 - 2.5m
Shared Curb Lane
(shared cycling & vehicles, part-time or full-time vehicle parking)*
4.0 - 4.5m 4.25 - 4.5m 4.5m
Curb-side Parking*
(full-time vehicle parking, no cycling)
2.5m 2.75m N/A
Vehicle Non-Curb Lanes
(no parking, no cycling)
3.25m 3.25m 3.5m
Vehicle Curb Lanes*
(no parking, no cycling)
3.5m 3.5m 3.75m
Medians N/A 0, 1.5, 5.0m 0, 1.5, 5.0m
Right-of-Way (ROW) Width 20m or less 23, 26, 30m 30, 34, 37.5, 44.5m
Corridor Width 20.5m or less 26 -32m 34 - 50m+

*Note: 0.25m curb offset is included.

Suburban Business/Institutional

Suburban Business/Institutional

These roads generally have wide ROWs with four to six lanes and no on-road parking. They are flanked by commercial, industrial or institutional uses which are typically set back from the road in open landscaped sites, with limited direct vehicle access and no on-road parking. The building height-to-corridor width ratio is low. Road side landscaping can help define the road edges.

Traffic volumes are high and there is potential for low to moderate bike and pedestrian volumes.

The ROW is typically 37.5m with two bicycle lanes and four vehicle lanes, whereas the ROP protects 34m. The ROW is 44.5m with two bicycle lanes and six vehicle lanes, whereas ROP protects 40m and occasionally 45m. The corridor width varies depending on the setbacks.

In retrofitting suburban business/institutional corridors consider:

  • planting in raised planter boxes on median;
  • planting outside of ROW;
  • street lights located in outer boulevard;
  • pedestrian level lighting;
  • reducing the planting zone to 2m, or reduce lane widths if there is insufficient ROW.

Suburban Commercial

Suburban Commercial

These roads generally have wide ROWs with four to six lanes, serving commercial retail and service businesses in low-rise and mid-rise buildings. Traditionally there has been extensive road side parking areas, often with very little landscape treatment and an unappealing pedestrian environment. Vehicle traffic levels are high, and there is potential for moderate bicycle and pedestrian volumes.

The ROW is typically 37.5m if two bike lanes are included with four vehicle lanes and a median. The Regional Official Plan protects for 34m. A 44.5m ROW is required if two bike lanes are included with six vehicle lanes and a median, whereas the Regional Official Plan typically protects 40m, and occasionally 45m. Corridors range from 37.5 to 43.5m in width.

When retrofitting suburban commercial corridors consider:

  • infilling parking lots with buildings;
  • planting trees between the sidewalk and curb;
  • planting on adjacent lands;
  • street lights located in outer boulevard, or on the median along long uninterrupted road lengths;
  • pedestrian level lighting;
  • shared bicycle/vehicle lanes when road speeds are less than 60km/h;
  • replacing the median with narrow centre turn lane;
  • reducing the outer boulevard to 2.0m or reducing lane widths.

The challenge of retrofitting suburban commercial corridors is to set the stage for new development patterns while still maintaining what are often highly successful retail centres. Reurbanization of these corridors depends primarily on enhancing streetscape quality, integrating the corridors with adjacent residential neighbourhoods and achieving a built form pattern which enables the evolution of a mixed use district which supports life and activity on public streets.

Urban Core

Urban Core

These roads have historically narrow ROWs and are found in denser urban areas such as the Central Area. They are often flanked by mid-rise and high-rise buildings, with minimal building setbacks and a mix of uses. The building height-to-corridor width ratio is often 1:1 or 1:2. There is usually both on-street and off-street parking. There is a high potential for traffic of all modes.

The ROW is typically 20m, with a 20.5-26m corridor accommodating all components. Under the current Regional Official Plan, there is the potential to secure an additional 4m high by 1.5m wide pedestrian easement from adjacent lands, where cantilevered buildings overhang the easement. If the overhang is supported by columns, the easement may be 2.5m plus the width of the columns

Where existing urban core roads are being retrofitted, the intent of redesign is to better distribute the space among the road functions, maximizing pedestrian comfort on the sidewalk and cyclist safety. Road corridors could be improved by:

  • providing trees and vegetation in raised planting beds along the curb in-lieu of wider sidewalks;
  • locating trees on adjacent lands;
  • adding pedestrian level lighting;
  • using curb lanes either as a shared vehicle-bike lane, or a parking lane, or both, depending on peak-hour requirements;
  • deleting a parking lane on one side of the street to create wider sidewalks; and,
  • using additional ROW if available, to create (in order of priority): wider sidewalks, more cycling space and street trees.

Urban Main Street

Urban Main Street

These roads generally have historically narrow ROWs and are usually found in denser urban or village areas with a mix of at-grade retail and residential uses in a continuous edge of closely set, low and mid-rise buildings with individual street entrances. There is both on and off-road parking. There is a high potential for traffic of all modes.

Roads with this cross-section are also found in village cores, exhibiting many of the same characteristics, however, usually having lower densities and lower traffic volumes.

The ROW is typically 23m (protected), but 26m accommodates all road components more appropriately. The corridor ranges from 23 to 26m in width.

When retrofitting an urban main street or planning a new one, consider using:

  • raised planting beds along the curb in-lieu of wider sidewalks;
  • curb lane "bump-outs" or landscaping and bike parking and for defining street parking areas;
  • pedestrian level lighting;
  • curb lanes as either a shared vehicle-bike lane, or a parking lane, or both depending on peak-hour requirements;
  • parking lane on one side of the street to create wider sidewalks; and,
  • additional ROW, if available, use to create (in order of priority): wider sidewalks, more cycling space and space for street trees.

Suburban Residential

Suburban Residential

These roads generally have wide ROWs with four to six lanes, and are flanked by low density residences usually without direct vehicular access to the road. On-road parking is usually prohibited. Vehicle traffic levels are high, and there is potential for moderate bicycle and pedestrian volumes. Vehicle speed reduction is a design objective for these road corridors. Ideally, higher density residential uses should be considered along such regional roads to create special "urban" districts. With front facing uses, the road will function as an integrator not a divider.

The road components can fit within a 30 or 34m ROW. The required ROW is 37.5m if two bicycle lanes are included with four vehicle lanes and a wide median, whereas the Regional Official Plan protects 34m. A ROW of 44.5m is required if two bicycle lanes are included with six vehicle lanes, whereas the Regional Official Plan protects 40m and occasionally 45m. The corridor width ranges from 36 to 49.5m.

In retrofitting suburban residential roads or planning new residential neighbourhoods along regional roads, first consider optional neighbourhood design concepts that avoid reverse frontage. Also consider:

  • planting in raised planters, including on medians in selected corridors;
  • planting trees between the curb and the sidewalk;
  • planting on adjacent lands;
  • locating the sidewalk 1 to 2m inside the lot line, leaving wider inner boulevard;
  • street lights located in outer boulevard, or on median along long uninterrupted road lengths;
  • pedestrian level lighting;
  • shared bicycle/vehicle lane when road speeds are less than 60 km/h; and,
  • reduce the outer boulevard to 2.0m, or reducing the lane widths if there is insufficient ROW.

Urban Residential

Urban Residential

These roads generally have historically narrow ROWs and are found in denser urban areas. They are lined primarily with houses and mid-rise apartments and some small to mid-size mixed use buildings. There could be individual driveways and/or shared on site parking. The building height-to-corridor width ratio is typically 1:3, resulting in well-defined road corridors. There is usually limited on-street parking. There is a high potential for all modes of traffic.

The ROW is typically 20m (protected), but 26m better accommodates all components. The corridor width ranges from 26 to 38 m.

Where existing urban residential roads are being retrofitted, or new roads are planned consider using:

  • pedestrian level lighting;
  • curb lanes as either a shared vehicle-bike lane, or a parking lane, or both depending on peak-hour requirements;
  • the parking lane on one side of the street to create wider sidewalks or introduce trees;
  • additional ROW, if available, to create (in order of priority): wider sidewalks, more cycling space, and space for street trees.