Not surprisingly, the Bells Corners resident who works for the Nepean-Barrhaven News (formerly the Nepean-Barrhaven EMC) has put a Rick-friendly spin on the strange March 12 public non-consultation meeting.
Since the reporter wasn’t present at the meeting, she relied on the councillor and Westcliffe “advocate” and unelected WECA board member, Catherine Gardener, for her “scoop.”
photo removed on request
Gardner made her second run for councillor in 2010, further splitting the vote and allowing Rick to easily cruise to victory in College ward. She had previously taken on Jan Harder in Barrhaven to draw attention to her advocacy causes.
The longtime community activist and respected volunteer garnered 606 votes, or 3.8% of the 2010 vote.
photo removed on request
This is a respectable showing, since she only spent $555 on her campaign (Rick burned through at least $25,000 in “official” expenses).
Note that the sidewalk to nowhere and the Robertson gauntlet will still continue to exist and the only “bike lanes” will funnel cyclists into a suddenly more dangerous expanded intersection and then dump them into a narrow lane cheek to jowl with speeding traffic.
Road improvements a good start: advocate
Construction slated for July
Jennifer McIntosh (edited)
Accessibility advocate Catherine Gardner said the improvements slated for the intersection of Moodie Drive and Robertson Road are a good start, but the city has a way to go if it wants to improve the walkability of Bells Corners.
Construction on the $2.6-million project is slated to start in July and would be completed in one construction season, residents heard during a meeting hosted by the Westcliffe Estates Community Association on March 12.
College Coun. Rick said the improvements to the turning lanes and the addition of a bus lane and bike lanes will make the area safer.
City staff reported there were 22 collisions at that intersection from Jan. 1, 2010 to Dec. 31, 2011.
“It was definitely more than what we thought, so we need to improve safety,” College Coun. Rick Chiarelli said.
Chiarelli added that the intersection was designed a long time ago and is not prepared to handle the additional capacity that will come from the 10,000 Department of National Defence Employees set to start working at the former Nortel campus on Carling Avenue.
“It was also designed before we had Scotiabank and before the explosion of residents to the south in Barrhaven,” Chiarelli said.
Chiarelli added the construction of bike lanes as well as a sidewalk on the west side of Moodie Drive from Fitzgerald to Hadley Circle is an improvement.
The bike lanes would go to the Bells Mews Plaza in one direction and Fitzgerald Drive in the other.
“Some (residents) were saying it isn’t enough, but we have nothing now, so anything is an improvement,” Chiarelli said.
Gardner said she is in favour of the project, but asked staff to make sure the signals would be timed right to allow seniors, parents with young children and those with mobility issues to get across all the extra lanes.
She also said she would like to see construction crews begin work on the north side of the intersection where there is currently no sidewalk, so as to provide the safest possible detour for pedestrians.
“I would also like to see the sidewalk extend past Fitzgerald,” Gardner said.
“That way people going to Tony Graham or the call centre have a sidewalk.”
Gardner also suggested staff look into audible signals for the renovated intersection.
“It’s a good start, but there’s still some work to do,” she said.