The ease of travelling safely to, from, and within a community by any mode of transportation is a major factor in its livability. Traffic concerns are not new to Barrhaven, with every mode of transportation underserved, especially through the Greenbelt. Continued growth south of the Jock River in Ward 3 will only increase the traffic that travels through Ward 24.
My transportation platform addresses longstanding traffic concerns, the estimated 13,000 new residents Barrhaven will welcome this decade, safety on our neighbourhood collectors, the South Merivale Business Park warehouse, and some shared concerns with Ward 3.
Other than Woodroffe Avenue, we are served only by two-lane roads with design capacities below current demands and poor walking and cycling connections. Highway 416’s location on Barrhaven’s western edge makes it an impractical alternative for most of our community.
Working with neighbouring councillors, I aim to upgrade (or secure funding and timelines to upgrade) the roads listed below to four lanes plus adjacent pathways. The existing two-lane sections include paved and gravel shoulders, so adding lanes will not require large increases to overall road width, preserving their existing footprint through the Greenbelt.
Fifteen kilometres of new multi-use pathways plus upgrades to four-kilometres of existing pathway will address large gaps in the walking and cycling network through the Greenbelt, providing several new and safe connections for commuters and recreational users.
Neighbourhood collector streets connect neighbourhoods with arterial roads. These streets usually have local bus routes, schools, and community parks, effectively serving as local main streets. Examples in Ward 24 include Beatrice, Cresthaven, Foxfield, and Stoneway.
For their intended purpose, collectors are wider than side streets, but the wider roadway design and farther property setback often encourages vehicles to exceed posted speed limits, risking their own safety and that of other road users, including children.
Neighbours have shared with me their concerns about the limited efficacy of temporary flex-posts and extra signage to calm traffic. Police and speed camera enforcement is also limited in reach and effectiveness. I will introduce proven and effective traffic calming solutions such as raised crosswalks and intersections, and improved street design to key areas along collector streets in our community.
I share the frustration of our neighbours over the approval of the warehouse in the South Merivale Business Park. Expected to operate 24/7 with 262,000 square feet of warehouse space, 313 tractor trailer parking spaces, and 100 loading bays, the building will generate up to 1,000 truck and passenger vehicle trips per day.
These facilities are important, given the employment opportunities they create and the prominence of online shopping. However, this warehouse’s nearest major highway is eight kilometres away and requires heavy trucks to pass by residential areas to reach the site.
Despite 4,000 signatures opposing the project and pleas from local residents, the project is anticipated to be operational by 2026. As your councillor, I will ensure traffic and noise impacts from the site are reasonable and directed away from residential areas, and fight to block future similar developments from happening at sites not suited for warehouses.
Rapid growth south of the Jock River in Ward 3 has already outgrown the existing transportation infrastructure in that community, before adding the estimated 13,000 new residents they will welcome by 2030.
Working with Ward 3’s councillor, I will fast track the Greenbank Road realignment (currently unfunded, construction tentatively scheduled to start in 2031) and the Barnsdale interchange (also unfunded) to better distribute the traffic generated by that growth that would otherwise flow through our ward.
Oh, and let’s see if we can work with Ward 3 to do something about those four-way stops at the RioCan shopping centre along Marketplace Avenue.
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