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  #61  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2012, 1:27 PM
kevinbottawa kevinbottawa is offline
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The NCC is doing too much to be effective at anything. Interprovincial transit strategy, bike/car infrastructure, approving designs for building renovations in the parliamentary precinct, managing commercial/retail space, national celebrations, commemorations (i.e. monuments), park management, waterfront development. I'm sure I can go on. How many of these things are they actually doing well? And they want to add to their mandate? I'd rather see them do a few things exceptionally well than do a so-so job on a lot of things.
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  #62  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2012, 5:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uhuniau View Post
The NCC shouldn't have ANY role. They already have a good 40-year record of obstructing transit development in Ottawa, and a 50+ year record of other steps that have acted against building a transit-oriented city. Or a city, for that matter.
And that makes them different from the City itself, how, exactly?

It was the City that ripped out the streetcar lines. The City cheered on the removal of the railway lines. The RMOC proposed the creation of the Transitway where the NCC had proposed a rail system in the 1970s. The City has been sitting on an interprovincial rail bridge for years without doing anything with it, whether for transit or for overnight rail freight.

Oh, and let's not forget that both cities have continually ignored the existence of the other to the maximum extent possible in their respective transportation and transit planning while pre-amalgamation planning was far from conducive for transit-oriented planning (it's slightly better now, which isn't saying much).

Point being, no one has a particularly stellar record for transportation planning in recent decades in the NCR.

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They are still obstructing things like planning for the western LRT extension and even modest, crappy, busways across their precious, precious, Greenbelt.
Perhaps... just perhaps... the NCC doesn't think the Ottawa River Parkway is the best place for an LRT line, which it probably isn't. If the NCC hadn't bought out all those properties and extended the shoreline, the ORP wouldn't even exist as a viable rapid transit option, whether for BRT today or LRT tomorrow.

As for opposing busways across the Greenbelt, do you actually have any evidence for that? The Southwest Transitway was built across the Greenbelt to Barrhaven and a corridor has been secured for the Cumberland Transitway past Blackburn Hamlet, and they have apparently agreed to widening of the Blair Rd corridor for the City's inadvisable Blair Transitway. Older transitways were built in NCC land, including both the Southwest Transitway (Lincoln Fields to Baseline) and the Southeast Transitway (most of it). The only place they have offered any kind of opposition was with respect to the plans for the West Transitway around Moodie, and that was more than understandable: the City's consultants, who most of the rest of the time work for the MTO, came up with an option that preserved the MTO's precious A4 Parclo interchange and would have forced the West Transitway to take a wide-arcing semi-circular path on NCC lands well to the north of the interchange as well as forcing yet another relocation of Corkstown Road. Sorry, but the NCC's opposition to that kind of nonsense is more than well-placed.

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They have no place in transit. Or in anything else.
Exactly who do you propose take on the tasks associated with being a capital city? Ottawa and Gatineau are clearly not up to the task. The City of Ottawa is busy engaging in an idiotic rearguard action against adding a third downtown station to its tunnel. And at least the NCC appears to have heard of the concept of landscape architecture: if the City were in charge of Wellington or Confederation Square or Sussex Drive you can bet it would look as insipid as everything else the City does.

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And how have they exercised that "mandate"?
They're kind of damned if they do, damned if they don't, aren't they?

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By bitching about buses using their precious car paths, preventing buses from using other car paths altogether, and obstructing every alternative to buses using their car paths.
Look at it from the NCC's perspective: the City tends to treat the NCC as a reserve of land for its own purposes because it is too short-sighted to acquire and reserve land itself - even including land that the NCC puts on the market. In effect, it uses the NCC as a crutch to its own failures. Every time the NCC objects to this way of operating, the City puts up a squawk and a stink about how the NCC is "interfering" and "obstructing", so most of the time the NCC just lets it go. Other cities elsewhere have to plan and pay big bucks to acquire land for transportation infrastructure, but here in Ottawa the City just relies on taking it from the NCC.

Letting buses use the NCC's driveways is not costless, either. Those roads have not been built to take the weight of buses, something that is just going to get worse with the double-deckers. Anywhere that buses stop frequently is particularly at risk of damage. The City had to pay to upgrade the ORP (rebuild the sub-base, base and increase the asphalt thickness) because of the damage the buses do but would they be as willing to do that on the Queen Elizabeth Driveway to Lansdowne?

You mentioned earlier the West LRT and the Parkway. Well guess what? Part of the former rail corridor between Cleary to Woodroffe was put on sale by the NCC in the 1990s. Did the RMOC do anything to acquire that land for the West Transitway? Well of course not: that would be good planning, and we can't have that, especially since the NCC was loaning them use of the nearby Parkway. Never mind that the plan was supposedly to convert to light rail someday. The thought was probably that they would be able to get Parkway land from the NCC if need be, so no need to grab that land.

We had another example of this City attitude in the middle of the last decade when the N-S LRT was being planned. The NCC used to own the triangle of land at Bayview between the City Centre building, Scott Street and the O-Train corridor as it was once railway yards. That land would make for a nice, gentle 200m radius curve on the level coming from the O-Train line onto Lebreton Flats, so the NCC put it up for sale with the expectation that the City would jump at the chance to grab such a useful piece of land. And what did our illustrious City do? Why, nothing of course. They let the opportunity pass them by and eventually it was acquired by a developer (whom the City has since been messing around with) while the City went on to plan for much sharper 70 m radius turns at Bayview on a 5% gradient - nothing like planning for guaranteed rail squeal and permanently higher maintenance and operating costs.


You can blame the NCC all you like for the Gréber Plan and its consequences, but in the last few decades since then it is the RMOC and then the City and even the MTO that are responsible for most of the transit-related messes we find ourselves in while the NCC has been, on balance, more accommodating than not.
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  #63  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2012, 3:17 AM
Uhuniau Uhuniau is offline
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Originally Posted by Dado View Post
And that makes them different from the City itself, how, exactly?
The city would have no gumption about running transit lines - bus, rail, magic jitneys - across the Greenbelt. That's a non-starter for the NCC.

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It was the City that ripped out the streetcar lines. The City cheered on the removal of the railway lines. The RMOC proposed the creation of the Transitway where the NCC had proposed a rail system in the 1970s. The City has been sitting on an interprovincial rail bridge for years without doing anything with it, whether for transit or for overnight rail freight.
All true. But the city "cheered on" an NCC initiative in the case of the rail removal.

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Oh, and let's not forget that both cities have continually ignored the existence of the other to the maximum extent possible in their respective transportation and transit planning while pre-amalgamation planning was far from conducive for transit-oriented planning (it's slightly better now, which isn't saying much).
And the NCC did sweet fanny adams to act as the co-ordinator they now aspire to be. Hell, they even got in on the transit planning game a decade too late. So to hell with them.

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Perhaps... just perhaps... the NCC doesn't think the Ottawa River Parkway is the best place for an LRT line, which it probably isn't.
I agree, it isn't. But the NCC isn't opposing it on those grounds; it's opposing them because it's an interference with its stupid precious green space fixation, going back decades.

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If the NCC hadn't bought out all those properties and extended the shoreline, the ORP wouldn't even exist as a viable rapid transit option, whether for BRT today or LRT tomorrow.
The old CPR alignment would also probably still exist in that case.

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As for opposing busways across the Greenbelt, do you actually have any evidence for that?
Yip. Old news articles from the 80s and 90s. The NCC made it as difficult as possible. They were obstructionist. They have never been fans of public transit, even as the federal government pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into transit projects into other cities.

The NCC is a useless featherbed that has harmed more than it has helped.

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The Southwest Transitway was built across the Greenbelt to Barrhaven and a corridor has been secured for the Cumberland Transitway past Blackburn Hamlet, and they have apparently agreed to widening of the Blair Rd corridor for the City's inadvisable Blair Transitway. Older transitways were built in NCC land, including both the Southwest Transitway (Lincoln Fields to Baseline) and the Southeast Transitway (most of it). The only place they have offered any kind of opposition was with respect to the plans for the West Transitway around Moodie
Wrong. The NCC was a roadblock on the southeast transitway project, the southwest, one of the park-and-rides (can't recall which one right off hand; Eagleson?)...

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Exactly who do you propose take on the tasks associated with being a capital city?
What are those tasks? When it comes to land use and planning and such, let the city do it. Let the RCMP block of streets for presidential motorcades. Canadian Heritage can keep putting up the flags and banners. Give Gatineau Park and Mer Bleue to Parks Canada. Pave the rest of the goddamn "green belt".

I fail to see what these "tasks" are that only the secretive, unaccountable, uncontrolled NCC is up to doing.

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Ottawa and Gatineau are clearly not up to the task.
In large measure because the NCC has usurped many of there roles in large swathes of the city. If the NCC didn't exist, those roles would be assumed, properly, by local government. And you wouldn't have thousands of hectares of land tied up in pointless "green" and "ceremonial" and other useless uses "for all Canadians".

Put up fourteen more flagpoles in a cornfield as a memorial to the NCC. There. You've brought the capital to Canadians. Now go abolish yourselves.

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The City of Ottawa is busy engaging in an idiotic rearguard action against adding a third downtown station to its tunnel. And at least the NCC appears to have heard of the concept of landscape architecture
Yes: MOAR GRASS. Ottawa could use less landscape architecture, and more architecture. The green fixation is a nasty, horrible by-product of the NCC's existence.

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if the City were in charge of Wellington or Confederation Square or Sussex Drive you can bet it would look as insipid as everything else the City does.
Newsflash: Wellington and Sussex Drive, thanks to the NCC, are already more insipid than what would have been developed in city that was allowed to grow more organically, instead of according to some pointless "national interest" master plan. Confederation Boulevard is a joke.

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They're kind of damned if they do, damned if they don't, aren't they?
Then they might as well not.

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Look at it from the NCC's perspective: the City tends to treat the NCC as a reserve of land for its own purposes because it is too short-sighted to acquire and reserve land itself
Cities don't have the same revenue stream; it was dead easy for the NCC to acquire land in the expropriation-and-spend-happy 1960s and 1970s.

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Other cities elsewhere have to plan and pay big bucks to acquire land for transportation infrastructure, but here in Ottawa the City just relies on taking it from the NCC.
In large measure because the NCC took it and has squatted on it for decades. If the NCC didn't exist, there wouldn't be those vast empires to begin with.

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Letting buses use the NCC's driveways is not costless, either. Those roads have not been built to take the weight of buses, something that is just going to get worse with the double-deckers.
Why is the rest of Canada in the Ottawa road business to begin with?

Quote:
Anywhere that buses stop frequently is particularly at risk of damage. The City had to pay to upgrade the ORP (rebuild the sub-base, base and increase the asphalt thickness) because of the damage the buses do but would they be as willing to do that on the Queen Elizabeth Driveway to Lansdowne?
Probably, and definitely if they owned that street, instead of, for some reason, "all Canadians".

Quote:
You mentioned earlier the West LRT and the Parkway. Well guess what? Part of the former rail corridor between Cleary to Woodroffe was put on sale by the NCC in the 1990s.
How did the NCC acquire it, and when? And why didn't the NCC consider building a rail transit system worthy of a national capital to be in the interest of "all Canadians"? If they did, we wouldn't have the problem of buying land from the NCC, speculative investor.

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You can blame the NCC all you like for the Gréber Plan and its consequences, but in the last few decades since then it is the RMOC and then the City and even the MTO that are responsible for most of the transit-related messes we find ourselves in while the NCC has been, on balance, more accommodating than not.
Short-sightedness, and active undermining, are two very different things. The NCC has been doing the latter.

The NCC needs to be abolished.
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  #64  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2012, 1:12 PM
Ottawan Ottawan is offline
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There are a plethora of issues with the NCC, but I still firmly believe that we are better off with them then without them.

In terms of the NCC being anti-transit on their own lands - this has definitely been the case. However, I get the sense that a large part of that has to do with the fact that the NCC has no transit role in their mandate. If they suddenly were involved in improving transit in Ottawa and Gatineau, I'd bet my last dollar that you'd start seeing a heck of a lot more transit lines crossing or using NCC lands and rights-of-way.
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  #65  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2012, 2:05 PM
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Many good points raised here both ways; it will be interesting to see how the NCC plays this out.
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  #66  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2012, 9:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Uhuniau View Post
The city would have no gumption about running transit lines - bus, rail, magic jitneys - across the Greenbelt. That's a non-starter for the NCC.
There are four-and-a-half such rail corridors they can use for those purposes, two-and-a-half of which they own (the O-Train corridor extension and the former Carleton Place Sub through Kanata South along with the Renfrew Sub to Carp & Arnprior which starts half way through the Greenbelt) and don't use.

I'd be willing to bet good money that the City would not have the gumption to use the Carleton Place Sub for transit - any kind - despite having bought it for that purpose.

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And the NCC did sweet fanny adams to act as the co-ordinator they now aspire to be. Hell, they even got in on the transit planning game a decade too late. So to hell with them.
They tried in the 1970s. They were rebuffed by municipalities on both sides of the river who thought they were better equipped to do transit planning. Look at how well that turned out.

Yes, they're a bit late, but it's understandable, too: one would have thought that the turn-of-the-millennium amalgamations on both sides of the river would have led to better transit planning, but instead we just got more of the same BRT-focused transit planning with some LRT bobbles on the side.

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I agree, it isn't. But the NCC isn't opposing [the West LRT] on those [planning] grounds; it's opposing them because it's an interference with its stupid precious green space fixation, going back decades.
There are locals opposing it on those grounds, but not so sure the NCC is. As it happens, I've spoken with the NCC's representative on transit in other circumstances and I just do not get the impression that they are being obstructive in the way you're claiming.

We also haven't even had a single open house for the West LRT yet

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The old CPR alignment would also probably still exist in that case.
It might, but given that the rest of the line got ripped out in the 1990s and the line to which it meets is being ripped out now too, it might not, either. Its only value would really have been for passenger service, and CP got out of that in the late 1970s with the introduction of VIA. That line would have value so long as VIA continued to operate through the Ottawa Valley to western Canada, but again that ceased in the 1990s, so the track quite possibly would have been lifted with the rest of it in the 1990s.

All we do know is that in our history, the City didn't acquire it. It doesn't matter particularly that it was the NCC that held it: the point is the City didn't seize the opportunity to acquire it and that fact cannot be blamed on the NCC.

Quote:
Yip. Old news articles from the 80s and 90s. The NCC made it as difficult as possible. They were obstructionist. They have never been fans of public transit, even as the federal government pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into transit projects into other cities.
That's not possible: there were no plans for busways across the Greenbelt in the 1980s. The RMOC at that time was quite content to use shoulder bus lanes on provincial highways.

In the 1990s the RMOC carried out studies for both the Southwest Transitway to Barrhaven and the West Transitway to Kanata. The latter was slated to use a combination of road allowance from the Hwy 417 corridor and from Corkstown Rd, so the NCC never even entered into it. The latter did call for NCC land, but they don't seem to have had much trouble getting it in the end.

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Wrong. The NCC was a roadblock on the southeast transitway project, the southwest, one of the park-and-rides (can't recall which one right off hand; Eagleson?)...
The Southwest Transitway starts at Lincoln Fields and goes south from there to Baseline Station, whereupon it uses bus lanes on Woodroffe to just south of Hunt Club, after which it re-enters a transitway built in the early 2000s to the west of Woodroffe crossing the Greenbelt to Fallowfield and which has recently been extended to the hopelessly optimistically-named Barrhaven Town Centre. There are only two P&Rs along the SW Twy: a small one at Baseline and a large one at Strandherd.

The NCC may have roadblocked the Lincoln Fields - Baseline portion long ago, but they did not do anything much to oppose the segment built across the Greenbelt... heck, it's even separated from Woodroffe by an unnecessarily wide expanse of grass and ditch which the NCC could have been usefully obstructionist about.

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What are those tasks? When it comes to land use and planning and such, let the city do it. Let the RCMP block of streets for presidential motorcades. Canadian Heritage can keep putting up the flags and banners. Give Gatineau Park and Mer Bleue to Parks Canada. Pave the rest of the goddamn "green belt".

I fail to see what these "tasks" are that only the secretive, unaccountable, uncontrolled NCC is up to doing.
Most capital cities have some sort of central government agency with a mandate to coordinate capital city functions, including acquiring land for state use.

In some respects, the NCC has been kicked out of these functions with PWGSC taking them over, which has not at all been to the improvement of the urban realm in Ottawa.

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In large measure because the NCC has usurped many of there roles in large swathes of the city. If the NCC didn't exist, those roles would be assumed, properly, by local government.
Being a capital city is not a role for local government. How various institutions and manifestations of the state relate to each other in the capital is quite properly a role for the central government. That includes things like the national war memorial, for instance.

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Yes: MOAR GRASS. Ottawa could use less landscape architecture, and more architecture. The green fixation is a nasty, horrible by-product of the NCC's existence.

Newsflash: Wellington and Sussex Drive, thanks to the NCC, are already more insipid than what would have been developed in city that was allowed to grow more organically, instead of according to some pointless "national interest" master plan. Confederation Boulevard is a joke.
I'm not talking about the NCC's grass fixation, which the City itself has in spades too. The quality of materials used along Confederation Boulevard's sidewalks is far higher than what we would get with the City in charge. The NCC - today - shows far greater originality in how it landscapes even things like boulevard medians (granite cobbles, hedges, shrubs, raised planters) than does the City. The area in front of the new convention centre would probably have ended up being filled with concrete had the City been put in charge. The NCC maintains gardens that the City probably is incapable of maintaining.

The City of Ottawa is way too suburban (i.e. like Andy Haydon's Nepean) in its thinking due to its roots in the heavily suburban-oriented RMOC (where Andy Haydon also ran the show for years). The NCC's thinking is different in that regard - it harkens more back to Garden City and City Beautiful. It's not exactly what one would regard as truly urban, but it's not suburban, either.

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How did the NCC acquire it, and when? And why didn't the NCC consider building a rail transit system worthy of a national capital to be in the interest of "all Canadians"? If they did, we wouldn't have the problem of buying land from the NCC, speculative investor.
The NCC acquired that bit of railway in the 1960s. Neither City nor NCC were thinking of rail transit systems at that time, unfortunately. In the 1970s, the NCC did in fact come up a plan to build a rail transit system.

If the land had remained in CP's hands until the 1990s you can bet that they would have charged far more for it than would the NCC (see what problems Vancouver has getting its hands on CP corridors).

Quote:
Short-sightedness, and active undermining, are two very different things. The NCC has been doing the latter.

The NCC needs to be abolished.
The City has been actively undermining effective rail transit at least as much as the NCC and arguably a lot more. It wasn't the NCC that came up with the Transitway concept; they came up with a region-wide rail transit plan that was panned by the RMOC in the 1970s in favour of the BRT system the RMOC came up with. It's not the NCC who got in the way of the first attempt in the 1990s to use the rail corridor the O-Train now uses: the RMOC did that. And it's not the NCC that is hell-bent on not using the Prince of Wales Bridge for rail: that's the City, again.

Abolishing the NCC won't change has happened in the past and there is no reason to believe that the City will suddenly become saner if the NCC is abolished, either.


You seem to mention a lot of "old news" in regards to the NCC, i.e. what the NCC did in the 1960s when it pulled out the railways, built grassy parkways for cars and established the Greenbelt, which you then use to support the call to abolish the NCC. The NCC hasn't done anything like that for decades now and about the only thing that comes even close is the proposed Kettle Island bridge route, which for some reason seems to be fairly widely supported anyway.

As things stand today, given the immediate past of the last decade, I find the Cities of Ottawa and Gatineau to be far more of a problem to getting a decent transit system than the NCC. I'd put the MTO and the MTQ higher up the list right now.


As far as I'm concerned, all transit and major transportation planning in the region (including the provincial highways as well planning for VIA, the airport, future HSR) should be handed over to an agency operating under the auspices of the NCC with representation from the two cities and the two provinces. If, by some miracle, the national capital region can finally become its own province/territory/district outside provincial oversight, that transportation agency can be absorbed into the new government.
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  #67  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2012, 9:52 PM
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A good example to look at is the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority which operates transit in three jurisdictions — Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia. It works with but is at arms length of other levels of government.

For people harping on about abolishing the NCC or creating a separate capital district, it is interesting to note that the Americans have a National Capital Planning Commission that has a reach beyond the borders of the District of Columbia. If indeed a National Capital district/territory was carved out of Ontario and Quebec, it will merely create a new local government which will not equate to the NCC — the feds will still need a means to apply authority on a higher level that reflects national interest.
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  #68  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2012, 4:45 AM
Uhuniau Uhuniau is offline
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And the g.d. study is still not released?
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  #69  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2012, 1:02 AM
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NCC to release vision for streamlined Gatineau-Ottawa transit system 0
http://www.ottawasun.com/2012/04/18/...ansit-system-2
BY MIKE AUBRY ,OTTAWA SUN
FIRST POSTED: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18, 2012 07:38 PM EDT | UPDATED: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18, 2012 08:34 PM EDT

Ottawa and Gatineau are one step closer to having a streamlined transit system catering to both cities.

The NCC is putting the final touches on a study that proposes "sustainable, seamless and interconnected transit" serving all of the National Capital Region.

The study, co-funded by the NCC, the STO (Societe de transport de l'Outaouais) and the City of Ottawa, hopes to find ways to promote ridership by increasing connections and transfers, and mingling the services of OC Transpo and STO.

The area in question is about 10 square kilometers and serves 60,000 commuters on a daily basis, according to the study's website.

The final report should be released by June and recommends long-term transit solutions up to 2031.

"I think the study was well done and there'll be some great long-term recommendations," said NCC CEO Marie Lemay.

The report has been delayed slightly, but Lemay said it's due to the complexity of the situation, where they're examining two different cities with divergent jurisdictions.

"By better integrating interprovincial transit services, riders will be better served and ridership will increase," the report indicates.

However, the goal isn't simply to find transit solutions. It's about improving the quality of life of both commuters and non-commuters.

"An integrated transit service will have a beneficial ripple effect on the downtown cores' character, leading to a more vibrant and prosperous core area," the report states.

Mike.aubry@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @ottawasunmaubry
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  #70  
Old Posted Aug 9, 2012, 4:58 AM
Uhuniau Uhuniau is offline
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Is it "June" yet?
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  #71  
Old Posted Aug 9, 2012, 5:30 AM
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June, 2021.
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  #72  
Old Posted Aug 9, 2012, 4:11 PM
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So what, now that Marie Lemay is gone, they have to start over; is that going to be their reason to be a bunch of jack ass idiots!?
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  #73  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2012, 3:40 AM
Uhuniau Uhuniau is offline
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How about now? Is it June now, I wonder?
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  #74  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2012, 1:23 PM
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silly rabbit... June's 9 months away!
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  #75  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2012, 1:23 PM
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Or 21... is 2013 a LeapJune year?
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  #76  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2012, 4:31 PM
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Or 21... is 2013 a LeapJune year?
It could be. 2012 was.
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  #77  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2012, 5:30 PM
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I'm wondering...could additional water-based transportation be in Ottawa's future? That could be either passenger ferries or vehicle ferries.

The problem with passenger ferries is that there isn't really a good place connected well by transit on both sides immediately available and new transit routes or stations would need to be built. In the downtown core, it might provide relief on the bridges, but would be only really useful for tourists unless a condo boom begins on the island of Hull. In theory, Kanata to Aylmer would be a great place for such (provide a connection that does not exist today) but there is no development on the Kanata shoreline (mostly DND territory).
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  #78  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2012, 9:02 PM
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Water based transit won't work when the river is frozen.
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  #79  
Old Posted Sep 22, 2012, 1:21 AM
lrt's friend lrt's friend is offline
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It doesn't seem to be a problem for the Masson-Cumberland ferry that operates year round.
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  #80  
Old Posted Sep 22, 2012, 2:15 AM
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jeremy_haak jeremy_haak is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrt's friend View Post
It doesn't seem to be a problem for the Masson-Cumberland ferry that operates year round.
I know that the ferry to Howe Island near Kingston, which I think is basically the same design, uses an air line laid below the river to release air bubbles which prevents ice formation in winter. This works well for cable-drawn ferries, but I'm not sure that you could feasibly have a water-taxi system rely on that as well.
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