Correspondence concerning the 2012 Budget

4 October 2011
Jim Watson,
Mayor of Ottawa

Dear Mr. Watson,

The Hunt Club Community Organization appreciates your openness to constructive comments relevant to the City's 2012 Budget. Our primary concern is the increasing traffic on Hunt Club Road from the Airport Parkway to the Sheflin bridge and on Riverside Drive from Hunt Club Road north to Uplands Drive.

We ask that, in 2012, resources be earmarked to undertake a professional assessment of the nature of the traffic problem: what we know to date, what further analysis would help address issues, and what likely developments could be undertaken in the near term to begin to address the traffic concerns which we have to live with every day.

Monday to Friday in both the morning and afternoon the radio is full of reports on excessive traffic backups from the intersection of Hunt Club Road and Riverside Drive. These slow downs are causing cut-through traffic on Uplands Drive, blocking residents' access to the Quinterra neighbourhood, and slowing east-west traffic that serves the south of Ottawa to a crawl. With the continued expansion of residential and other developments such as the Trade Center and RCMP headquarters in the City's south, and the extension of Hunt Club Road to the 417 East, these problems are getting worse every day.

I add a small anecdote which captures a key element of our problem - slowed emergency services to our community. On Thursday Sept 8 at 7:45 am, the traffic heading west was packed solidly on Hunt Club Rd from the light at Paul Anka Drive to Prince of Wales Drive on the other side of the bridge. An ambulance came out of the station near the Keg and headed west. It was stuck in traffic with its siren blaring. Cars tried to create a narrow lane by moving to the sides of the road and several cars moved off the road. The ambulance was stuck in packed traffic for some time making very limited progress to get to Prince of Wales Drive. The ambulance was seriously delayed in its lifesaving mission.

We are working with our our Councillor Maria McRae to meet with City officials on this issue. Your help in the budget process to move forward a study of the traffic problems on Hunt Club Road and Riverside Drive would be greatly appreciated.

John Sankey
President, Hunt Club Community Organization