River Ward City Councillor Maria McRae's Report to Hunt Club Community Organization 3 March 2008

Downtown Rapid Transit Network

On March 3, 2008, the City of Ottawa unveiled four options for the Downtown Rapid Transit Network as part of the update to the City's Transportation Master Plan.

This long-term plan speaks to Council's four transit priorities, as outlined in the November 21, 2007 motion that I tabled at the joint Transportation and Transit Committee, of building a downtown transit tunnel, completing the Transitway, implementing rapid transit using the Cumberland Transitway alignment and implementing light rail transit to the southeastern growth area.

In a public consultation launched in Fall 2007, residents were asked to provide their input on transportation issues through a variety of mediums. Participants expressed a number of priorities including a transit system that is more efficient, convenient, reliable and comfortable. A strong interest was also expressed in the use of a downtown tunnel to reduce congestion.

In an effort to ensure residents have the opportunity to be involved in this process, the City will be accepting comments on the four options through a variety of venues, including public open houses and online at ottawa.ca.

I encourage you to attend one of the following meetings to review the draft rapid transit network, and provide your feedback.

Tuesday, March 4
City Hall, Jean Pigott Rotunda, 110 Laurier Avenue West
Open House: 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Registered Discussion Group: 7 p.m.
Wednesday, March 5
Earl March High School, Cafeteria, 4 The Parkway, Kanata
Open House: 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Registered Discussion Group: 7 p.m.
Thursday, March 6
John McCrae High School, Cafeteria, 103 Malvern Drive, Barrhaven
Open House: 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Registered Discussion Group: 7 p.m.
If you are interested in attending one of these meeting, please call my office to receive more information on how to register for one of these meetings. Feedback generated form these meeting and online commentaries will be included in an April 16 report where staff will table the recommended transit network and the approach for phasing of the projects to a joint meeting of the Transit and Transportation Committee. Another round of consultations will then take place on this recommendation. The final report will be discussed at the May 21 joint meeting of the Transit and Transportation Committee, and will rise to Council on May 28 for a final decision.

Integrated Road Safety Program (IRSP)

January Results: Last month, the City of Ottawa's Integrated Road Safety Program (IRSP), through its Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP), laid 389 charges for tailgating and stop sign running. Specifically, the tailgating initiative resulted in the laying of 61 charges for following too close and 328 tickets were issued to drivers failing to stop at stop signs.

February Initiative: The City of Ottawa's Integrated Road Safety Program (IRSP) took aggressive driving to heart this February by focussing on drivers who change lanes unsafely and speed as part of its monthly Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP).

In 2006, 843 reportable collisions occurred on Ottawa roads due to drivers changing lanes unsafely. These collisions resulted in two deaths and 119 injuries - seven of them serious.

Speeding is also a serious issue on Ottawa roads. In 2006, 2,882 reportable collisions occurred on Ottawa roads as a result of drivers exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast for conditions. These collisions resulted in 13 deaths and 901 injuries - 66 of them life-threatening.

I will provide you with the results of this initiative at your next Board meeting.

Design Lansdowne Competition

The City of Ottawa took a big step forward on November 28, 2007 with City Council approving the "Design Lansdowne" competition set to kick off this month. Through this competition, the City plans to tap into the insights of design professionals to develop a new vision for the site that balances both public and private interests. At the end of the 12-month process that will include extensive public consultation will be a new, bold vision for the 40-acre site adjacent to the historic Rideau Canal.

I am pleased to inform you that the City of Ottawa launched Phase II of the online consultation in support of "Design Lansdowne" on February 26, 2008. This second round of consultation deals with the Guiding Principles for Design. The suggested Principles will be posted for comment from February 26l to March 9l .

Green Partnership Program

The City of Ottawa is calling on community groups and residents for their help to make our city even cleaner, greener and more beautiful. The City has committed $1 million to the Green Partnership Program and is looking for innovative and sustainable projects that will take place during the coming spring, summer and fall months throughout Ottawa.

Green Partnership Program grants are available to local community associations, service clubs, non-profit groups, local Business Improvement Areas and community groups to improve and beautify their communities and environment through greening and cleaning projects.

Two funding levels are available. For projects on City-owned property, applicants may receive up to $20,000. For publicly-owned and accessible property, up to $10,000 is available. Funding must be matched by the applicant in either financial or in-kind contributions. Major Hallmark projects that take a highly innovative approach to cleaning and greening city property may be eligible for increased funding.

The funding application deadline is April 15, 2008. Applications are reviewed as received with funding awarded on an ongoing basis. Approved projects must be completed by December 31,2008. Green Partnership Program application forms are available at ottawa.ca/green and at all City Client Service Centres. For more information on the Green Partnership Program, please contact my office at 613-580-2486.

Wild Wings

In December of 2007, issues regarding loiterers in the vicinity of the new Wild Wings restaurant located in the Hunt Club Plaza were brought to my attention. In response to these issues, over the past couple of months I have worked closely with the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) and the owner of Wild Wings to address these concerns. In response to this collaborative effort, the OPS and the owner have reported that these issues have significantly decreased with no new incidents arising to date.

Applications for 2008 Non-Renewable Community Project Funding and Crime Prevention Ottawa Project Funding

Non-profit community organizations in Ottawa are invited to submit applications for new projects that address Community Project Funding Priorities and Community Initiatives in Crime Prevention.

Community Funding is available for projects that promote:

Crime Prevention Ottawa Funding is available for projects that:

Program guidelines and applications for 2008 Community Project Funding and Crime Prevention Ottawa Project Funding are available at municipal Client Service Centres and online at Ottawa, ca/funding. Applications must be postmarked or received by 4 p.m. Friday, March 14,2008.

Tell Us About a Volunteer in Your Community

It's time to stop and say thank you to that special volunteer who has touched your life in your community. So take a few minutes to nominate that special person or organization for a City of Ottawa Civic Appreciation Award.

Volunteers have a direct impact on many aspects of our day-to-day life, including health, heritage, education, social services, arts and culture, sports and recreation, literacy services and the environment. Let me know about that special person in your community whose volunteer efforts should be recognized. You can also submit the nomination form online at ottawa.ca/volunteering, or you can pick up a brochure at one of the Client Service Centres, Ottawa Public Library branches or community centres. The deadline for nominations is Friday, March 28 2008. For more information, please feel free to contact my office at 613-580-2486.

City of Ottawa Parking Meter Rate Change

On February 13, 2008, City Council deferred its decision to implement paid on-street parking during evenings and on weekends. Council directed staff to consult with the business community to develop workable solutions and potential revenues. Staff will report back to Council on March 26, 2008 with the results of this consultation.

Council voted to move forward with an increase to on-street parking rates city-wide to $3 per hour from current $2.50 per hour on March 1, 2008, which is consistent with an inflationary increase from the most recent fee increase in 2004. In addition, Council decided to delay a decision on the implementation of paid parking in Hintonburg until the completion of the community's Neighbourhood Planning Initiative.

City staff will also develop for public and Council consideration a new city-wide, comprehensive, consolidated parking charges policy. The terms of reference for this review will be presented to Transportation Committee in Spring 2008.

Earth Hour - March 29th, 2008

The City of Ottawa, led by World Wildlife Fund-Canada, is partnering with Hydro Ottawa and The Ottawa Sun, as well as many other worthwhile partners in shutting off all non-essential lighting and encouraging businesses, other levels of government and all residents to do the same. Please consider joining this initiative by turning off all non-essential lighting in your home on Saturday, March 29, 2008 from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Ottawa Rated Canada's Most Sustainable Large City

I am pleased to report that Ottawa tops the list as the most sustainable large Canadian city, according to the second-annual Corporate Knights Sustainable Cities Ranking list, unveiled by Corporate Knights Magazine. The comprehensive ranking identifies Canadian cities whose practices leave the smallest environmental footprint possible and create a healthy, thriving population.

Corporate Knights, an independent Canadian-based media company focussed on promoting and reinforcing sustainable development in Canada, examined 18 cities, including Canada's top ten cities by population and the largest city in each province and territory. This year's ranking added more indicators that are under municipal jurisdiction, and grouped the cities into three categories based on population to ensure proper comparison.

Cities were assessed based on five broad categories: Ecological Integrity, Green Mobility, Economic Security, Empowerment, and Social Well-Being. Publicly available information, including Statistics Canada data, as well as city surveys was used to determine city scores.

The corporation of the City of Ottawa topped the large city category with a score of 7.70 out often. Ottawa has the highest score in the Empowerment category, due mostly to the highest municipal voter turnout in the last election of any city, and in the Green Mobility category. Ottawa boasts the lowest violent crime rate of all cities and its citizens are healthy, with only one in five people being obese. Exceeding its greenhouse gas emission reduction target of 20 per cent below 1990 levels by 2007, by achieving a 24 per cent reduction in 2004, also bolstered Ottawa's score.

The full results of the ranking are available on www.corporateknights.ca.