The City’s Transportation Committee today recommended approving a set of policies as part of the ongoing update to the Transportation Master Plan (TMP) – the City’s blueprint for pedestrian, cycling, transit and vehicle networks across Ottawa.
The new policies aim to guide decision-making on Ottawa’s transportation system over the next two decades by responding to key issues, including:
- Growth and intensification: By 2046, Ottawa’s population will grow by 400,000, with just over half this growth occurring on the edges of the urban area. Proposed policies would encourage walking, cycling and transit, leverage Ottawa’s investments in LRT and advance the goal of developing 15-minute neighbourhoods.
- Climate change: Action to reduce transportation sector greenhouse gas emissions is needed to achieve targets outlined in the City’s Climate Change Master Plan. Proposed policies would help reduce emissions from transportation and increase the transportation system’s resilience to extreme weather.
- Technology and new mobility: The City will need flexibility to respond to new transportation technology and mobility trends. Proposed policies would help the City leverage new technology while also considering impacts on equity, sustainability and safety for all users.
- Road safety and complete streets: Road safety initiatives and complete street projects are critical to a transportation system that is designed to prevent death or serious injury resulting from human error. Proposed policies would explore opportunities to fund more such initiatives.
- Healthy streets and communities: The TMP supports public health objectives by encouraging sustainable modes of travel and improving road safety. Proposed policies would ensure public health impacts are considered explicitly as part of project planning and design.
- Affordability: Transportation infrastructure requires operating, maintenance and rehabilitation costs on top of initial capital investments, all impacting affordability. Proposed policies acknowledge full lifecycle costs for infrastructure to prioritize Ottawa’s finite financial resources and competing demands.
- The pandemic: COVID-19 significantly altered travel behaviour in Ottawa and travel patterns are still evolving. Proposed policies would emphasize the need to monitor and respond to evolving travel patterns.
As part of the report, the Committee also recommended approving a list of 244 walking and cycling projects, as well as frameworks for prioritizing transit and road projects for implementation.
Approval would allow the City to develop a realistic capital infrastructure plan and to identify the transit and road projects needed to accommodate future travel demand. That work is anticipated to come before Committee and Council in 2025 as part two of the TMP update. Residents will have several opportunities to provide input on that forthcoming report, including public engagement opportunities in 2023 and 2024.
Recommendations from today’s meeting will rise to Council on Wednesday, April 26.
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