Big Ideas for Ottawa 2067

The NCC wants 17 “big ideas” for 2067, so here are mine:

  1. convert parkway lanes, or the entire parkway system, to separated cycling highways e.g. https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/cycling/routes-and-maps/cycle-superhighways
  2. restore Union Station’s use as a (VIA) train station, with connections to Ottawa LRT
  3. replace the parking lots with the original symmetrical park (see https://www.flickr.com/photos/rakerman/5898482946/ )
  4. demolish L’Esplanade Laurier (block between Bank and O’Connor) and build a park to serve new towers along LRT line
  5. replace the high-speed arterials through downtown Ottawa with safer complete streets e.g. http://ecologyottawa.ca/complete-streets/ (also see map with arterials as red lines at https://www.flickr.com/photos/rakerman/6722994119/ )
  6. Make Gatineau Park a National Park (protected by the National Parks Act)
  7. Permanently close Gatineau Park to vehicle traffic; only active transportation in the park
  8. have a regular shuttle bus from Ottawa and Hull into Gatineau Park ; ideally with space for skis etc.
  9. replace current busy mix of OC Transpo & STO buses on Wellington/Rideau with a tram loop e.g. http://www.ncc-ccn.gc.ca/sites/default/files/pubs/2013-p07e-inteprovincial-transit-integration.pdf
  10. extend train service over Prince of Wales bridge to Gatineau again; but also have a cycling bridge at same location
  11. free Chaudière Falls (remove ring dam), connect to Rideau Falls with clearly signed, safe, separated cycling path
  12. separated bike lanes (cycle tracks) on Sparks Street, with good and safe connections to rest of cycling network
  13. well-signed, free public washrooms and water fountains throughout the downtown, along paths, and in parks
  14. Make Ottawa a Dark Sky Community, restoring beautiful night sky for residents and visitors – for more info see http://darksky.org/idsp/communities/
  15. Make Ottawa a Blue Community, with bottled water banned – for more info see http://canadians.org/bluecommunities
  16. Make Ottawa a carbon-neutral community – for more info see http://www.projectneutral.org/
  17. Implement “Most surface parking should be removed from the plateau” from 2007 Parliamentary Precinct LTVP (p. 27) – also see image from plan at https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CWWK78bU4AAUHHQ.jpg

Bonus idea: Clear (shovel, plow etc.) all steps, walkways and pathways, including in parks, throughout the winter.

The entire exercise is a bit puzzling as the NCC already did a big Horizon 2067 consultation.  Of note, in the 28 pages of the local consultation (PDF) there are zero mentions of the parkways, commuter highways beloved by the NCC and which many of the urbanist residents of Ottawa would like to see replaced with narrower, slower streets or replaced with bikeways (as I suggest above) or just removed altogether.