Letter re O-train Expansion & Little Italy Station


755 Somerset Street West, Ottawa, Ontario, K1R 6R1
Eric Darwin, President

To: Councilor Diane Holmes & Councilor Katherine Hobbs;

cc: Mayor Jim Watson, Alain Mercier, Diane Deans, Marianne Wilkinson

Re: O-Train expansion

The Dalhousie Community Association is delighted at the recent decision of Transportation Committee, and subsequently City Council, to expand the O-Train service and increase its frequency of operation.

The current proposal is to install a passing track north of Gladstone Avenue. We recognize the economy of installing the track in an area where the cut is already wide enough.

However, immediately south of the passing track is the proposed location of the Little Italy station running from a point under Gladstone Avenue south to Young Street. There are good planning and transit operations reasons for constructing the station now.

Good planning: Installing a station there now would encourage transit-oriented infill intensification around the station; and the station would be at the closest point to the office and commercial developments already along Preston. It would also be good planning to build the access paths to the Station in conjunction with the already-planned O-train corridor multi-user pathway construction.

Transit operations: as proposed now, trains will “pause” in the cut while they pass each other. This “pause” in each journey, while short, is not an attractive user feature of the service, but could be disguised by positioning the passing point at a station, just as is done at Carleton University now.

Due to the disruption to service and inconvenience to passengers likely to be caused by constructing a station after more frequent O-train service has commenced, we fear that if the Little Italy station is not built now it may be many decades before another opportunity arises.

Given that there are significant benefits to users and the neighborhood, we suggest that Councilors ask the planning agencies to evaluate the benefits of a Little Italy station and conduct a preliminary engineering and costing exercise for opening the station by 2014 in conjunction with the well-warranted O-train expansion.

signed Eric Darwin, and Charles Akben-Marchand of CCA.


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