Lansdowne Park commute to have few options

A traffic report from the city released this week shows Ottawa residents will likely be forced to bus, walk or cycle to the park with fewer parking spots in the area.

Traffic concerns could lead to bus-only lanes to avoid public transportation gridlock

Design images of the new Lansdowne show parked cars alongside shops but transportation to Lansdowne is still a major concern for the area's councillor. ((OSEG))

Taking the bus to the new revitalized Lansdowne Park could be not only the best, but possibly the only viable option for many residents, according to a series of traffic measures city staff have mapped out.

City councillors will look at traffic reports Thursday that recommends ways to encourage people to use public transit, walk or bike to Lansdowne. Residents will also offer their view during that day's public delegations.

There are fewer parking spaces planned for the new park and on-street parking will be limited, especially during larger events. The traffic report also has shuttle buses planned to bring residents from Carleton University, Vincent Massey Park and as far away as the new C.E. Centre near the Ottawa airport.

Area councillor David Chernushenko, who reiterated he does not think Lansdowne should have a sports stadium, said the city, in a way, is forcing residents to take more environment-friendly transportation.

"I'm not sure the general public is aware that they have voted for, and supported, what some have called social engineering," Chernushenko said, "I, think it's a good thing."

But the plan is not foolproof, the former federal Green Party member added, because it does depend on buses avoiding traffic jams.

NCC to allow shuttle buses on Queen Elizabeth Parkway

One solution involves the National Capital Commission allowing shuttle buses to use Queen Elizabeth Parkway, but that will only be for major events that attract 25,000 visitors or more.

Smaller events, such as Canadian Football League games, would not grant the buses guaranteed access of the road, which runs along the Rideau Canal. The NCC is only calling the use of the road a "pilot project".

The NCC has also told the city it will continue to close the Queen Elizabeth Parkway for special events regardless of any football or hockey games at Lansdowne Park. In fact, the city has been told road closures could happen more often in the future.

Chernushenko said he believes the city might have to create dedicated bus lanes to Lansdowne, much like the ones on the highway and in Gatineau.

"We've got to make sure we create the infrastructure that makes that a preferable choice. In the end that could be a positive outcome," he said.