Residents near Ottawa hospital worry about road changes

Residents near the Civic campus of the Ottawa Hospital say despite their councillor's assurance they remain concerned increased traffic will make their community unsafe.
Geoff Poapst said he's concerned changes to traffic on the Bayswater will change the character of the street. (Laurie Fagan/CBC)

Residents near the Civic Hospital say despite their councillor's assurance they remain concerned increased traffic will make their community unsafe.

A city of Ottawa plan for the Carling Preston Street area would change the designation of three streets: Beech Street and Champagne and Bayswater Avenues.

It would mean the streets would be designated collectors for traffic running north-south from Carling Avenue to Somerset Street, but residents are concerned the change would dump more vehicles from the high-rise condos planned around Carling Avenue into their neighbourhood.

Geoff Poapst, who lives on Bayswater with his wife and two children, said residents raised concerns with the city that a collector could mean city buses and that the street may be widened.

"When we raise this concern we're told by the city well it could mean those things, but not tomorrow. Maybe at some point...well that's a very hollow reassurance," said Poapst.

He and other residents have placed signs on their lawns protesting the potential increase in traffic.

Michelle Reimer, a mother of two children and part of the newly formed Liveable Bayswater group, said there are 50 children on her street.

"The planners need to know the demographics of our neighbourhood," said Reimer. "There are concerns and fears, people have seen accidents."

Kittchissipi councillor Katherine Hobbs said she's calling on city staff to remove any reclassification.

But she said more residents in high-rise condos on Carling could actually mean less vehicle traffic because of their proximity to the O-Train and the new LRT.

"The reality is that people won't be driving around as much as they do now," said Hobbs.

Some residents said they are pleased with Hobbs asking for the change to be halted, but want to see city staff put that guarantee in writing.

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