By Randall Denley, Ottawa Citizen, October 3, 2023
It’s difficult to imagine a more typically Ottawa problem than the one that city councillors tried to deal with last week. Their task was seemingly straightforward, an approval of three new apartment buildings within easy walking distance of the Lincoln Fields transit station. It’s exactly the sort of transit-adjacent development the city wants and as a bonus, the project would provide a new facility for a non-profit home for severely disabled adults.
The only hitch was the walking path that connects the new development directly to the transit station. The path is owned by the National Capital Commission, which doesn’t make a habit of clearing walking paths in winter.
Councillors were told that the NCC was not opposed to the city clearing the path, but city staff were concerned. What would that cost? What about legal liability? Would it set a precedent, leading to more demands to make NCC paths useable in winter, at the city’s expense?
This seems like something two reasonable people, sitting in a room together, would be able to resolve before it was time for a coffee break.