Connecting light rail transit with active transportation

In spring 2019, as Ottawa’s Light Rail Transit system readied for launch, Ecology Ottawa began an audit to assess the state of active transportation (i.e. walking and cycling) connection points to two stations (Blair and Baseline).

Follow this link to access the final findings and recommendations on opportunities to build active transportation infrastructure, in order to make walking and cycling safer, more accessible and more convenient for all users.

One major finding stemming from Ecology Ottawa’s analysis and public conversations around transit and active transportation is the critical role of the development of light rail transit in determining the way Ottawans choose to commute. This will also play a major role in shaping the future of our urban environment. By the time the second stage of the light rail is completed, 70% of Ottawans will live within a five-kilometre radius of a light rail station1. This provides a unique opportunity to ensure that active transportation connection points are built into the ever-evolving network. By identifying challenges and opportunities for pedestrians and cyclists to access to light rail stations, Ottawa can be at the forefront of the global urban movement to make ambitious strides on climate action, public health and community well-being.

If done well, light rail investments could make a meaningful contribution to a city-wide effort to tackle climate change. The City often states that investments in light rail reduce emissions from the bus network and displace car emissions as people opt to use light rail service. The drop in bus traffic along major streets such as Albert and Slater means more space for segregated bike lanes and walkways, which could then incentivize greater use of active transportation modes. Finally, with well-planned Transit Oriented Development projects, more and more Ottawans will live within close range to an LRT station and will incorporate travel by light rail into their daily commutes.

Read more here (updated December 4th, 2019).

Contact Emilie at emilie.grenier@ecologyottawa.ca for more information.

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