Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Bronson deja vu all over again
It wasn't all bad at the meeting though. Staff and consultants were eager to be nicer than they were at the first meeting. They agreed to ped lighting along Bronson, with the posts located on the curb line (this is important as it restricts the apparent lane width, promotes subjective ped safety, and goes against the engineering view that the street and sidwalk should be one large open space for the safety of motorists and convenience of winter snow removal).
They proposed coloured concrete paving in the major intersections (easy to do! economical! they do it all the time!) even though that idea went down in cost and maintenance flames when studied for four years on Preston. Sidewalks will be made of concrete, perhaps stamped with a pattern, because interlock pavers like used on West Wellie, Richmond, Preston and other west side sidewalks "just won't stand up to our climate and heavy sidewalk plows and will look awful in ten years" (on this I share some sympathy: the city frequently demonstrates it is unable to maintain interlock pavers, whereas poured concrete is pretty simple stuff).
Summary: Car commuters to Pointe Gatineau win big. Peds get some lighting and fake trees. Adjacent land owers might get their front properties relandscaped provided they are willing to give up the space. Cyclists get nothing. PAC gets to hear more "mights" and "where feasibles" than normally treated to. Sidewalks get rebuilt, sometimes narrower, a few times a bit wider provided the room can be appropriated from green space. Decorative overhead wiring will stay on this "scenic entry route" to Ottawa.
C'est la vie in Ottawa.