Community’s Hard-won Battle on Traffic & Safety Threatened – Again

A year and a bit ago Chapel St was opened to traffic at Beausoleil without any notification to the surrounding neighbours -read stories herehere and  here.

bicycles_and_pedestrians_only-svgThe local community donated time & effort for meetings – including one on the street in a snowstorm – interviews and postings to ensure their voice was heard and finally it was… as covered wonderfully here by the Ottawa Citizen’s David Reevely in his article “A Clever Solution to a Dumb Policy“.

On January 14, 2014 Councillor Mathieu Fleury released an email stating, “staff will convert the opening of Chapel Street at Beausoleil Drive into a “cyclist access only” intersection, as proposed by community members. “ Letter from Cllr Fleury’s office

Now all this hard work is being threatened again as the developers approach the City for the street to be re-opened. See here the proposal by the developers to the City to re-open the street. Prop to open Chapel at Beausoleil Parsons

The opening of Chapel St in 2014 led immediately to an increase in cut-through traffic from Lowertown, Hwy 5 & the Market to the 417 resulting in a very busy residential street in the heart of our ward that is already afflicted with traffic issues on King Edward, Waller, Montreal Road and Rideau St. There are 3 schools at the junction of Beausoleil & Chapel and opening this junction to greater vehicular traffic buts a key school crossing at risk.

Rideau was recently redesigned with wide driving lanes and without cycle lanes making this route in addition to being a speedy cut-through of the Ward to being a conduit for big vehicles – say trucks.

Now the proposal to build to towers (26 & 27 stories – if last check is still accurate) at the corner of Rideau and Chapel – in total disregard to the Low Rise Main Street vision that the Community worked on with the City on last year – is asking the city to re-open Chapel at Beausoleil as this will “enhance” the cycling and pedestrian experience (cough-cough) and accommodate the trucks that need to access the retail proposed (two large boxstores) at the bottom of the Towers.

Is this an exercise to see who tires first? The elected officials have heard the community speak loudly and clearly on this issue. Let’s raise the roof beams and ask our City, our Councillor, our Mayor and residents to stand firmly and back the inclusive decision made so recently in face of this blatant disrespect for the voices and hard-work of the local community.

Please note the Ottawa City contact to write to is Erin O’Connell Erin.O’

Sandy Hill Seen first heard of this issue yesterday. Apparently comment to Ottawa City are due today 7 July…



One response to “Community’s Hard-won Battle on Traffic & Safety Threatened – Again

  1. The planners and councillor have been getting an earful from this resident on that plan. The developer is acting like it’s a negotiation to see if they get 5 times the allowed height or only 3. The building is devoid of real public space, is proposed with only two large retail bays so we’ll get another shoppers drug mart and who knows. They want to run trucks and deliveries all over Chapel and Beausoleil because Rideau is too busy to allow a garage entrance and to top if off the whole thing will be 2+ stories right up against the sidewalk so we’ll never get real trees.

    It’s a huge site.. how about a courtyard at street level with a respectful garage entrance that allows trucks and cars to enter and turn around underground. A nice treed area with a restaurant or two plus an anchor store like Home Hardware next to a slender mixed use tower at a reasonable 28-35 stories without hideous podium. Height isn’t an issue for me but cramming stuff up against the street, garbage trucks, layup space, bike parking, light & shadow, plus general architectural merit are.

    That’s a fantastic site (I used to live at 160 Chapel) and I’d love to see people get the amazing views but it needs to be done with respect for the community and future residents.

    If they overpaid for the site thinking they could run over the existing and future CDP by whining to the OMB then they’re in for a fight; and very little sympathy.

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