Traffic woes to continue until LRT starts rolling, Manconi says
Commuters report needing extra time to get to and from work
Construction and detours are tying up Ottawa's streets and highways and the city's manager of transportation says that won't change until the Confederation LRT line launches.
John Manconi said it's hard to go anywhere without hearing people talk about their transit challenges.
"I continue to push RTG ... to launch the train," Manconi said. "Get these detours off and then that will ease congestion — not just for buses, but also for other commuters."
While the LRT line is under construction, buses that would normally take the Transitway downtown have been re-routed onto heavily-used roads like Scott Street.
The city still has no firm idea when the Confederation line will be complete.
Planned and unplanned closures
Road and lane closures have also been piling up over the last few weeks, to the point where afternoon congestion in the core is basically unavoidable.
While planned closures are part of the problem, so are unplanned ones — including the closure of the Chaudière Bridge.
The crossing will remain closed to vehicles until the end of summer, due to both of high water levels on the Ottawa River and scheduled construction.
Yelena Knight commutes by bus from Kanata to her job at Place du Portage in Gatineau, and said her travel time has increased by at least 30 minutes each way since the bridge shut down April 28.
"It has such a significant impact on the commute ... I have to put in more buffer time in order to get to work on time," Knight said.
"It's just very frustrating."
Dreading the commute
Darcie Flagg carpools from Kemptville, Ont., to her job at Bank and Albert Streets in Ottawa's downtown core and said the traffic on Highway 417 is currently unbearable.
Exit ramps from the eastbound 417 at Maitland Avenue and westbound at Carling Avenue are closed until May 28 and May 31, respectively, as part of scheduled highway expansion work.
On Tuesday, Flagg said it took her nearly two hours to get home.
"I dread the commute," Flagg said.
"The job is great, the people are great, the perks of working for the government are fantastic, obviously. But getting into work — it's probably the biggest hurdle."