Office of Councillor Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi Ward, Ottawa | (613) 580-2485  |
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Spencer Street re-build update

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As many residents are aware, this summer Spencer Avenue between Western and Holland will be re-built. Recently, the City hosted an open house to look at the plans. The City and my office both got an earful of feedback! While the City’s plans were for a straightforward street rehabilitation with a few intersection narrowings, residents and I were both keen to take advantage of this opportunity to address in a more substantial way cycling safety and traffic speed.

I’m grateful for the suggestions and work by groups including the Wellington Village Community Association, Wellington West BIA and Citizens for Safe Cycling for the significant feedback we got. Your letters and notes have helped to achieve some notable improvements.

First, I will be asking residents by way of petition to remove the parking on Spencer Street. With that accomplished, the City has agreed to paint bike lanes on both sides of the street. Spencer is going to become a more important bike route in the area moving forward, particularly as an alternative to Wellington. While I and others sought segregated lanes, these are the best we could accomplish. I do believe that they will improve cyclist safety through that corridor, as well as help reduce the speed of car traffic.

Secondly, the City has agreed to implement raised intersections at Ross, Smirle and Huron. The project budget won’t allow for both raised intersections and speed humps. I’ve accepted staff’s advice that raised intersections will be more effective than speed bumps, with fewer of the negative impacts from noise and vibration that speed bumps imply. They are also easier for cyclists to navigate the street.

Staff are also proceeding with a sidewalk on the south side of Spencer between Huron and Holland.

Outside of this street re-build, there is an effort underway to reduce the speed limit on Spencer to 40, which should also help. I have proposals before the City for using traffic calming money to address some of the other outstanding issues in the area that are outside the scope of this project.

While these aren’t the full complete street measures we were hoping for, I’m very pleased at getting this movement. My thanks go to the project manager Tara Blasioli, Manger, Transportation Planing, Vivi Chi, and to my colleague Keith Egli who chairs the Transportation Committee. I’m satisfied that we had the opportunity to make our case, at the highest level, and to have it fairly considered, for going further. Within the budget and policies that the City has, I’m pleased that we were able to get these improvements, at least.

As residents know, I have traffic calming money each year and I will continue to address this area with those funds. Slowly but surely, we’re moving toward a safer neighbourhood.

Again, thank you for your engagement. We'll provide construction updates as they become available.

Posted April 11, 2016