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Can We Give Up Vehicle Lanes in Downtown Ottawa?


The paper examines the feasibility of reallocating roadway space from vehicular use to other uses in the Ottawa downtown area with the purpose of achieving long term land use, transportation, and urban design objectives. The analysis is based on a review of historic travel trends to Ottawa’s downtown area and anticipated future changes in travel behaviour.
The analysis of trends concludes that over the past 20 years, there had been a gradual decline in the number of vehicles travelling to and from downtown, while the number of people travelling downtown had steadily increased. This healthy trend is at least partly the result of past policies related to land use, infrastructure development priorities, and parking policies. If the trend continues, it will support future reallocation of roadway space to streetscaping, walking and cycling facilities, or a combination of these.
The paper concludes that the gradual reallocation of some roadway space from vehicle travel to other uses is not only possible but is also required to achieve the Transportation Master Plan and Official Plan objectives related to sustainability, quality of life, and mobility. The opening of the Light Rail Transit Line will serve as a catalyst for transforming downtown Ottawa; improved access to and from transit stations and other downtown destinations by walking and cycling are essential ingredients for a successful LRT system.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Moving Smarter in Canadian Cities -
Musci, K.
Armstrong, J.
Environmental issues, Environmental legislation