‘Ottawa’ Buses not Welcome on Bayswater, Councillor Says
Kitchissippi Coun. Jeff Leiper says he doesn’t want OC Transpo buses detoured down Bayswater Avenue for months while the Trillium line is closed as part of its $535-million expansion.
The eight-kilometre O-Train line between Bayview and Greenboro stations would be shut down for 16 months between May 2020 and September 2021 while the city adds new stations at Gladstone, Walkley and South Keys, and extends the line south to the Ottawa airport and Bowesville Road.
The replacement Route 107 bus, which typically goes into service whenever the Trillium line is closed, currently uses Preston, Carling, Bronson and Heron. But Preston can get pretty congested, so city officials want the option of running buses down Carling, Sherwood Drive and Bayswater instead.
Leiper says the suggestion stokes a long-standing concern among Bayswater residents about how the city considers the street. Several years ago, there was some discussion, later abandoned, about officially designating it a collector street.
“It is a residential road and the residents are very keen to ensure the city sees it as a residential road,” he said.
Allowing buses on Bayswater would “normalize this thinking about Bayswater as something other than a residential street,” Leiper said.
It would also go against recent efforts to slow traffic down by installing five speed humps on Bayswater between Highway 417 and Carling Avenue.
“Proposing it as a bus detour represents a significant reversal of what we’ve been trying to do with that street,” Leiper said.
Chris Swail, the director of O-Train planning, says the city will consult residents later this spring — a promise Leiper welcomes.
“We’re just leaving it as an option for now, so we’ll talk to residents, get community feedback, work with the councillor and see if that’s feasible. If not, we would probably return to Preston Street,” he said.
Elsewhere, buses that currently use the Transitway trench between Tunney’s Pasture and Dominion station would be detoured onto Scott Street for two years.
The city is working on an assessment of air quality, noise and vibration impacts, and is also developing a plan, to be presented in the spring, for getting buses from Scott Street to the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway, where they would continue west to Lincoln Fields.
In the east end, OC Tranpso will continue to use existing bus-only lanes on Highway 174 between Blair and Trim stations.