1. Street Renewals
A specific street is a key organizing opportunity that allows residents to come together and decide what a Complete Street would look like in their community. These ideas can then be presented to their city councillor with a unified voice.
The City has prepared a list of streets that are going to be renewed between 2014-2018 for each ward. The list is a valuable planning tool for deciding which street would be the best opportunity to organize and build support around.
2. Community Design Plans
A Community Design Plan maps out neighbourhood growth spatially, socially, and economically, while aiming to incorporate the fundamentals and policies in the City of Ottawa’s Official Plan to the neighbourhood scale. They evolve with the needs of the community and reflect current issues that residents may be facing. The development of Community Design Plans are a critical organizing opportunity because it allows residents to come together and be involved with the framework that will guide future road developments within their communities.
Residents can get involved with the Community Design Plans in their wards by engaging their city councillor with an email, a phone call, or attending an open house consultation meeting. With each Community Design Plan in progress there is a City staff member who can be reached for information on how to get involved as well. It is advantageous to use the development phase of the Community Design Plan’s to reach our goal of having Complete Streets in our neighbourhoods.
3. Transit Oriented Development
Transit Oriented Development encourages neighbourhood planning that is designed around facilitating transit access, movement, and appeal. This includes creating density around transit stations and designing safe streets and neighbourhood layouts to encourage transit use and active transportation over car use.
The first three Transit Oriented Development studies for the land surrounding the future Tremblay, St.Laurent and Cyrville Light Rail Transit stations were approved in 2012, and three more were approved for Lees, Hurdman, and Blair stations in January 2014. There are many streets included in the Transit-Oriented Development plans that are designated for new pedestrian and cycling infrastructure. The entire plan or a specific street in the plan can be a mobilizing opportunity to ensure the Complete Streets approach is being incorporated as the City moves forward with implementation.
4. Downtown Moves
The Downtown Moves Report includes a new street design decision-making framework, a street design toolkit with Complete Streets design solutions, and “Vital Moves” that are considered to be physical projects that will enhance the safety and mobility of the downtown streets. There are 13 “Vital Moves” that are recommended in the study, and 5 of those have been highlighted as first priority moves.
The list of “Vital Moves”, and especially the first priority moves provide opportunities to mobilize around and build support around. Residents can engage their city councillor about the importance of these projects, and the need for full investment from the City to support the transformation of the downtown core.
In an active transportation audit, a group of volunteers with a range of physical abilities and age walk around their community on a predetermined route to identify obstacles to walking, biking, and wheelchair use. Active transportation audits are a key tool that can be used in any community, whether one is organizing around the municipal election, the budget, or specific streets in your neighbourhood.
The audits that have been conducted in Lowertown and Centretown have produced a comprehensive list of positive and negative observations for specific streets and what actions should be taken to rectify problem areas. The actions can further be broken into what the community determines to be short-term and long-term recommendations for improving walkability, cycling, public transit, and wheelchair use in their area. The audit can be used to immediately engage with your city councillor and the broader community to showcase the work that needs to be done, and to begin the discussion of how it will be completed.
- Centretown East – Elgin Audit 2014
- Bank Street Audit 2014
- Centretown West Audit 2014
- Lowertown Audit 2013
Want to start an audit in your community? Click here.