Today’s letters: The perils of remaking our downtown streets
Ottawa Citizen

By Michel Haddad and others, Ottawa Citizen Letters to the Editor, May 8, 2017

Plan for Elgin Street just plain wrong

Re: Two-year Elgin Street construction endorsed by city transportation committee, May 3.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Ottawa took its tramway and all trolley cars off city streets. To this day, we lament the loss of such infrastructure. Now the city is proposing to remove two travel lanes on Elgin Street, permanently. It is short-sighted to take such important and scarce North-South infrastructure and capacity out of the transportation system. We do not have enough North-South transportation infrastructure as it is.

Elgin Street currently operates in the manner recommended by city staff anyway – as a low-speed, two-way street – except for peak periods. The “complete street” concepts the city has applied to Elgin Street are meant to “support multi-modal transportation.” However, the reduction of Elgin from four to two lanes will hinder rather than enhance public transit. All vehicles – buses, autos, trucks and bicycles – will experience choking gridlock.

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