The new year will bring to a close disruptions associated with construction of the first phase of Ottawa’s light rail project and in a few months we will all be able to take advantage of the convenience of a modern public transport system. Also this year, plans crystallize for LRT Stage 2; east-, west- and south-bound extensions of the first phase. Queensway Terrace North (QTN) and Woodpark communities, in particular, straddle the area immediately surrounding the junction proposed for Bayshore and Baseline legs of the new line. This means our respective communities will likely change a good deal in the coming years. On the one hand, it will be easier to skip from one end of town to the other, shop in the Bayshore centre or the Market, even catch a movie in South Keys. All of these things will be easier to do with sufficient time to get back home and make dinner or to relax with our families. On the other hand, the fact that our communities straddle a main transit junction point introduces new opportunities, even challenges. While some opportunities and challenges may be foreseeable others perhaps not so much.
The QTN board renewed our local LRT Phase II committee to accomplish three things. First, to meet with various City of Ottawa officials, our City Councillor Mark Taylor, and other interested stakeholders (e.g., construction engineers, transportation specialists) to provide interested QTN community members with periodic updates. Second, to hold meetings with various QTN community stakeholders (e.g., residents, businesses) to better understand local reactions as the project moves toward the construction phase. Third, to act as a conduit linking City of Ottawa officials with the QTN community. This note is our first attempt to meet these goals. We have plans to meet with Councillor Mark Taylor and the City engineer, Chris Swail, to get an update about city plans. We will also adapt a questionnaire for QTN community members to provide written feedback and hope to set up a series of workshops to focus community attention on things that we can all collectively do to make LRT phase II as positive an experience as possible.
We plan to regularly post about LRT phase II issues in the QTN newsletter and will be happy to talk about these issues at the Winter Carnival (Frank Ryan Park on Feb 11, 2018). In the meantime, if you have questions, concerns, suggestions or are interested in contributing please contact Malcolm Cunningham.