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pearsonality
Feb 7, 2018, 6:30 PM
Hello,

There was an article in today's Citizen about how the city is planning to dramatically redesign the Albert/Slater juncture (on the west end of the downtown core) in order to make it more ascetically pleasing after the LRT opens.

The idea is to have it serve as a 'gateway' to the downtown core. A bookend to what the Mackenzie King bridge/the canal do for the eastern approach to the core.

A proposed reconstruction of the western juncture of Albert and Slater streets should have a goal of turning a dead zone into a gateway for the downtown core and a redeveloped LeBreton Flats, city planners have heard.

The article mentions that designers have been brought in to consult from other municipalities (like Markham and Brampton). I was wondering if anyone here has ideas for what they think the new juncture should look like. Specifically if there is a design idea currently in use in another municipality that you think we should draw from.


Source:

Title: City pushed to make new Albert-Slater juncture a landmark
Author: Jon Willing
Publication: Ottawa Citizen
Published on: February 6, 2018 | Last Updated: February 6, 2018 3:58 PM EST
URL: http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/city-pushed-to-make-new-albert-slater-juncture-a-landmark

Norman Bates
Feb 7, 2018, 8:30 PM
I recall other posts talking about this triangle confluence of Bronson, Albert and Slater, in the nanny goat hill location.

OTSkyline
Feb 7, 2018, 8:43 PM
This is a really good idea... let's hope the City doesn't f*ck it up.

The west side of downtown is a such a road mess with Albert/Lebreton and the awkward Wellington St zig zagging across patches of grass. This really creates confusion and these random roads take all the space on the west side - it's really created a hard divide between downtown (the CBD) and anything west of it. Re-configuring the roads and such will hopefully make it more urban and a seamless transition to Lebreton.

Let's see what they come up with...

Also agreed on the Mackenzie King Bridge update. Right now the sidewalks are pretty tight and it really is only used as a bus "highway". Like the article mentioned, it's a shame since some of the best views of Ottawa (the parliament, NAC, canal and Chateau Laurier) are seen when crossing that bridge. Today, people walk by and might say "wow, that's nice" while 38 buses zoom past by them but it's no place to linger. If the buses are (mostly) gone, the sidewalks are widened, benches, garbage bins and such are installed on it, I could see some people walking by there more often and stopping by for a sit and to enjoy the view. :tup:

Acajack
Feb 7, 2018, 9:02 PM
Don't want to rain on the parade, but will Mackenzie King really be that free of buses? A number of STO routes will be running there later this year, although it's hard to imagine the number of buses will be anywhere what OC Transpo runs there right now.

zzptichka
Feb 7, 2018, 9:11 PM
I recall other posts talking about this triangle confluence of Bronson, Albert and Slater, in the nanny goat hill location.

They've released redesign plans half a year ago or so and there has been a discussion in Roads Projects thread.

http://www.metronews.ca/content/dam/thestar/2017/10/22/resdesigned-slater-street-plan-released-to-ottawa-councillors/story-313683-380216-image-rendered.jpg.size.xxlarge.letterbox.jpg

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DPwb_TbW0AY6Ac6.jpg

I guess this study is about trees/arts/beautification or something.

Uhuniau
Feb 7, 2018, 10:26 PM
Also agreed on the Mackenzie King Bridge update. Right now the sidewalks are pretty tight and it really is only used as a bus "highway". Like the article mentioned, it's a shame since some of the best views of Ottawa (the parliament, NAC, canal and Chateau Laurier) are seen when crossing that bridge. Today, people walk by and might say "wow, that's nice" while 38 buses zoom past by them but it's no place to linger. If the buses are (mostly) gone, the sidewalks are widened, benches, garbage bins and such are installed on it, I could see some people walking by there more often and stopping by for a sit and to enjoy the view. :tup:

With the buses gone, cars will take up the freed space. Will that be any better of a lingering environment?

Kitchissippi
Feb 8, 2018, 1:21 AM
Maybe consider shifting Albert street to the north and redeveloping the south side to have dense development and an active street front. It's not much of a "gateway" when all you see are the backs of those row houses.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4651/40143008071_3f6232cb1b_b.jpg

J.OT13
Feb 8, 2018, 3:17 AM
Although I like the idea, this would mess up RVL's plans for LeBreton.

In any case, I wouldn't be surprised to see those row houses redeveloped sometime in the next 20 years.

passwordisnt123
Feb 8, 2018, 4:36 AM
Although I like the idea, this would mess up RVL's plans for LeBreton.

In any case, I wouldn't be surprised to see those row houses redeveloped sometime in the next 20 years.

I’m actually surprised we haven’t seen redevelopment of those townhomes at least start already. Confederation line is opening in less than 11 months and there’s a station within spitting distance.

acottawa
Feb 8, 2018, 1:44 PM
I’m actually surprised we haven’t seen redevelopment of those townhomes at least start already. Confederation line is opening in less than 11 months and there’s a station within spitting distance.

These are people's houses, they can't just be redeveloped unless somebody expropriates them.

Ottawa Champ
Feb 8, 2018, 2:46 PM
These are people's houses, they can't just be redeveloped unless somebody expropriates them.

I believe those houses are on 50-100 year leases from the federal government. Maybe they will be redeveloped once the leases expire.

acottawa
Feb 8, 2018, 3:11 PM
I believe those houses are on 50-100 year leases from the federal government. Maybe they will be redeveloped once the leases expire.

I was told (by a lawyer currently facing discipline by the law society, so take with a grain of salt as appropriate) that original purchases were given the option of buying or leasing the land (as a means to make the housing more affordable). I am not sure if owners have the right to buy the land subsequently (or if the story is true at all).

lrt's friend
Feb 8, 2018, 3:26 PM
The current Scott-Albert entrance into downtown is far from attractive. With big plans at Zibi, Lebreton and Bayview, it is time to spruce up this corridor.

roger1818
Feb 8, 2018, 3:41 PM
It's not much of a "gateway" when all you see are the backs of those row houses.

My interpretation was the "gateway" would be further east, where Albert and Slater diverge, not at Bayview, where Scott St turns into Albert. I've often thought the bi-directional stretch of Albert (between Bayview and Empress Ave) should be re-named Scott St, but renaming streets is always messy.

Radster
Feb 8, 2018, 4:30 PM
One of the studied options should be a roundabout.

roger1818
Feb 8, 2018, 5:46 PM
One of the studied options should be a roundabout.

Not sure how well a roundabout would work on a steep hill.

Mikeed
Feb 8, 2018, 7:12 PM
I'm not saying this what I want to see in that triangle lot, but I wonder if that will end up being suggested as home to the Afghan War memorial.

Some kind of landmark would fit well in that triangle and if the design can be one that stirs imagery of citizenship, truth, duty, valour, and Canada- then it could actually prove to be a good compromise to this issue.

The Richmond Landing- imo is ideal- and War Museum spot is a good one too.

And neither do I think a monument to war is the best use of the spot. But I think it is worth considering in some people's mind.
---

I have long also wanted a piece of public artwork or monument to First Nations in Canada. Yes, we have the First Nations war memorial but I truly would like to see a public space that has some work of art/landscaping that incorporates First Nation cultural imagery into the streetscape of Ottawa.

It could be a public plaza for the reconciliation movement Canada is undergoing right now. Many cities have triumphal arches or an example in my eyes is Nelson's Column. I'd love to see something like Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square but a National totem pole. I think it would make a very cool and Canadian public space and would fit well in a roundabout or plot like this traffic triangle.

Of course, totem poles are only a cultural element of the indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest so something that incorporates elements of many First Nations across Canada would be a good fit for here.


To counter the claim that Ottawa has "too much green space" and to many monuments- well, this *is Ottawa*. If it were not for it being the physical embodiment of the Federation, it would be a lot like Sudbury or Timmins.

So embracing the opportunity for having public works of art here I think is key and Ottawa as the physical embodiment of the Federation could use public art in the spirit of reconciliation. As Canada is made up of a founding cultural fabric of English, French and Indigenous people.


Example of what I'm thinking are the two works of Bill Reid:

"The Raven and the First Men" (http://i.huffpost.com/gen/3048428/thumbs/o-BILL-REID-900.jpg)

"The Spirit of Haida Gwaii"
(http://i.huffpost.com/gen/3076606/thumbs/o-SPIRIT-OF-HAIDA-GWAII-900.jpg)

Mikeed
Feb 8, 2018, 7:13 PM
Maybe consider shifting Albert street to the north and redeveloping the south side to have dense development and an active street front. It's not much of a "gateway" when all you see are the backs of those row houses.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4651/40143008071_3f6232cb1b_b.jpg

This 100%!!

Though probably too late for bold action like this.

Mikeed
Feb 8, 2018, 7:17 PM
Although I'd also like to see some public space that stirs to mind Booth, the lumber barons and Canadian's history of being an industrial and enterprising nation.

roger1818
Feb 8, 2018, 8:18 PM
I have long also wanted a piece of public artwork or monument to First Nations in Canada. Yes, we have the First Nations war memorial but I truly would like to see a public space that has some work of art/landscaping that incorporates First Nation cultural imagery into the streetscape of Ottawa.

Probably wouldn't work but a giant Inukshuk spanning the street acting like a gate?

lrt's friend
Feb 9, 2018, 12:17 AM
Although I'd also like to see some public space that stirs to mind Booth, the lumber barons and Canadian's history of being an industrial and enterprising nation.

Yes please! This is so appropriate given that this area had the largest sawmill in the world at one time.

People do not realize that the Ottawa Valley forest resource was one of the best in the world because it was not subject to periodic forest fires as most of the rest of North America typically is.

Kitchissippi
Feb 10, 2018, 6:33 PM
Yes please! This is so appropriate given that this area had the largest sawmill in the world at one time.

People do not realize that the Ottawa Valley forest resource was one of the best in the world because it was not subject to periodic forest fires as most of the rest of North America typically is.

So should we put up a monument to the forest, or the men who depleted this resource? :haha:

Richard Eade
Feb 13, 2018, 10:53 PM
I sent in a suggestion for the road realignment:

https://s5.postimg.org/4ityz9h7r/Suggestion.jpg

It is similar to the City’s plan – except that it removes the section of Bronson between Slater and Albert and aligns the ‘Albert-Slater intersection’ with the existing Commissioner-Albert intersection. The City’s plan removed Commissioner and has the ‘Albert-Slater intersection’ in the middle of the block.

My plan was devised to simplify the ‘spaghetti-bowl’ of roads and maximize the areas of future development. Using Commissioner as the primary intersection also allows for much easier access to the future Central Library. There is room for a MUP on the northeast side of Commissioner, between Slater and Albert, next to the Future Lot that would likely be residential.

Another ‘feature’ of my plan was that the residential portion of Bronson, the northern end, was disconnected from the busier part of Bronson. Yes, the north part would have only Right-in-Right-out access to Albert, but I didn’t think that that would be a deal-breaker, since there is also Queen and Sparks for access. It turned out that the City said that it had suggested something like that during the Bronson rebuild and that it had been poorly received by the residents. I have not seen what was presented at that time.

[On a completely unrelated side note: The City is planning to convert intersections along Baseline Road into Right-in-Right-out, but it is, apparently, not a deal-breaker there.]

Catenary
Feb 14, 2018, 1:12 AM
I sent in a suggestion for the road realignment:

https://s5.postimg.org/4ityz9h7r/Suggestion.jpg

It is similar to the City’s plan – except that it removes the section of Bronson between Slater and Albert and aligns the ‘Albert-Slater intersection’ with the existing Commissioner-Albert intersection. The City’s plan removed Commissioner and has the ‘Albert-Slater intersection’ in the middle of the block.

My plan was devised to simplify the ‘spaghetti-bowl’ of roads and maximize the areas of future development. Using Commissioner as the primary intersection also allows for much easier access to the future Central Library. There is room for a MUP on the northeast side of Commissioner, between Slater and Albert, next to the Future Lot that would likely be residential.

Another ‘feature’ of my plan was that the residential portion of Bronson, the northern end, was disconnected from the busier part of Bronson. Yes, the north part would have only Right-in-Right-out access to Albert, but I didn’t think that that would be a deal-breaker, since there is also Queen and Sparks for access. It turned out that the City said that it had suggested something like that during the Bronson rebuild and that it had been poorly received by the residents. I have not seen what was presented at that time.

[On a completely unrelated side note: The City is planning to convert intersections along Baseline Road into Right-in-Right-out, but it is, apparently, not a deal-breaker there.]


I don't know - I attended the first Baseline BRT consultation, and you would have thought the world was ending with the uproar over the right in right out and requirement to make a U turn if you were going the wrong way.

bradnixon
Feb 14, 2018, 2:20 AM
I don't know - I attended the first Baseline BRT consultation, and you would have thought the world was ending with the uproar over the right in right out and requirement to make a U turn if you were going the wrong way.

Consider the recently approved development at Hunt Club & the Airport Parkway were the major objection from the local councilor was the right-in/right-out access and the requirement for u-turns.

Uhuniau
Feb 14, 2018, 2:48 AM
I sent in a suggestion for the road realignment:

That's a lot gooder than the overly-generous-to-cars geometry now being proposed by the city.

1overcosc
Feb 14, 2018, 5:45 AM
Consider the recently approved development at Hunt Club & the Airport Parkway were the major objection from the local councilor was the right-in/right-out access and the requirement for u-turns.

IMO we need MORE left-turn bans and RIRO rules in the city. On streets like Merivale, St. Laurent, Carling, etc.. all driveways should be RIRO. Left turns should generally be banned in areas like Centretown where the road network is a grid (easy enough for drivers to go to the next block and do three-rights-make-a-left). Left turns block traffic and slow things down and increase potential for accidents.

passwordisnt123
Feb 14, 2018, 5:31 PM
I sent in a suggestion for the road realignment:

https://s5.postimg.org/4ityz9h7r/Suggestion.jpg

It is similar to the City’s plan – except that it removes the section of Bronson between Slater and Albert and aligns the ‘Albert-Slater intersection’ with the existing Commissioner-Albert intersection. The City’s plan removed Commissioner and has the ‘Albert-Slater intersection’ in the middle of the block.

My plan was devised to simplify the ‘spaghetti-bowl’ of roads and maximize the areas of future development. Using Commissioner as the primary intersection also allows for much easier access to the future Central Library. There is room for a MUP on the northeast side of Commissioner, between Slater and Albert, next to the Future Lot that would likely be residential.

Another ‘feature’ of my plan was that the residential portion of Bronson, the northern end, was disconnected from the busier part of Bronson. Yes, the north part would have only Right-in-Right-out access to Albert, but I didn’t think that that would be a deal-breaker, since there is also Queen and Sparks for access. It turned out that the City said that it had suggested something like that during the Bronson rebuild and that it had been poorly received by the residents. I have not seen what was presented at that time.

[On a completely unrelated side note: The City is planning to convert intersections along Baseline Road into Right-in-Right-out, but it is, apparently, not a deal-breaker there.]

I like this proposal a lot better than what the city's talking about.

A slight variant if for whatever reason that proposal is going to get everybody's knickers in a knot could be this:

https://i.imgur.com/zCCCWxb.jpg

hwy418
Feb 14, 2018, 6:03 PM
I like this proposal a lot better than what the city's talking about.

A slight variant if for whatever reason that proposal is going to get everybody's knickers in a knot could be this:

https://i.imgur.com/zCCCWxb.jpg

Interesting proposal, but the road grade of Commissioner from Albert to Bronson is about 8-9%, so not good for any vehicle (let alone buses climbing the hill in the winter) or people.

roger1818
Feb 14, 2018, 6:20 PM
Interesting proposal, but the road grade of Commissioner from Albert to Bronson is about 8-9%, so not good for any vehicle (let alone buses climbing the hill in the winter) or people.

Good point. Hills in winter are a challenge at the best of times. Putting a traffic light or requiring a sharp turn in the middle of a hill is a recipe for disaster.

Richard Eade
Feb 14, 2018, 9:51 PM
Interesting proposal, but the road grade of Commissioner from Albert to Bronson is about 8-9%, so not good for any vehicle (let alone buses climbing the hill in the winter) or people.
Well, it isn't flat at the present, but according to GeoOttawa, the distance from Albert to Slater along Commissioner is 60 metres and the rise is just under 4 metres - so about 6.6% grade.

That said, I see no reason that the intersection of Albert-Commissioner could not be raised a bit either. Before any building is done in the local area, little would be affected. The section of Commissioner north-west of the intersection would get re-graded, as would the section of Albert/Slater west of the intersection to Empress. It's not like the City doesn't have thousands of cubic metres of fill available that could be used for road bed.