Environmental Assessments for Transportation Challenges in Ottawa East and Beyond

Where we are.

Traffic in the eastern parts of the City has been an issue for many years. The dramatic increase in volume on OR 174 over the past decade has created safety problems and peak hour jams of increasing magnitude.  Recognizing the significant growth east/southeast of the city boundary as well as within the city limits, south of OR 174, Old Montreal Road and Innes Road, the United Counties of Prescott and Russell in partnership with the City of Ottawa, undertook an Environmental Assessment (EA) in 2012 to “assess current deficiencies and develop a recommended plan to address capacity, operational and safety issues, meet the transportation needs and minimize environmental impacts by “developing, assessing, and evaluating alternatives“of future transportation demand for the County and City’s east-west direction of travel”.

What’s new?

The City is initiating a new Environmental Assessment to study the most feasible route for the LRT extension – to Place D’Orleans (potentially as far as Trim and other supporting public transport infrastructure requirements to serve the growing population in the east. Cardinal Creek Village will also add a substantial amount of traffic over its evolution to completion. The developer’s proposed plan includes a significant transportation corridor from the area east of Cardinal Creek and north of Old Montreal Road south towards Frank Kenny Road. 

Big picture planning makes sense.

Given the geographic overlap of the original OR 174 and the LRT EA’s the City is proposing that they be combined to ensure a comprehensive analysis of the long term transportation reqirements and solutions for the east end of the city is achieved.  While this will delay the recommendations from the initial ‘OR 174’ EA, east of Trim Road until early to mid 2015, such an integrated approach to assess and address the transportation challenges will undoubtedly result in a better and more comprehensive overall solution.