Mayoral Candidate will invest in safer roads for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians, make public transportation more reliable and respect all commuters, no matter where they live or how they choose to get around
Ottawa, Ontario - Mayoral Candidate Mark Sutcliffe announced his plan today to fix public transit and improve the state and quality of Ottawa’s roads for all commuters.
Sutcliffe’s plan will increase investment in road maintenance and winter clearing budgets by $100 million over 4 years. He also committed to demanding accountability for the bungled Phase I of light rail and implement the key recommendations from the judicial inquiry to fix the system and deliver phase 2 of light rail, while securing funding for phase 3 that would bring LRT to Kanata, Stittsville and Barrhaven. He also promised to modernize the routing and scheduling of OC Transpo bus service to reflect what residents need post-pandemic.
“Some people view transportation through an ideological lens,” said Sutcliffe. “They want you to walk or ride a bike, no matter where you live, no matter where you’re going, no matter what month of the year. That might be easy if you live downtown and can get around on a bicycle, but there’s so much more to Ottawa than just downtown. I respect the fact that if you live in the suburbs or rural Ottawa, you’re not going to take your kid to ringette practice in February on a bike.”
Getting around Ottawa safely and reliably, on any mode of transportation, has become much harder in Ottawa. Roads and sidewalks are in disrepair. Public transit is unreliable, and has become an embarrassment. And there are empty buses running through the city because we haven’t adapted to post-pandemic commuter travel needs and updated routes.
“We need a system that works for everyone, whether you’re walking, riding a bike, or driving a vehicle,” said Sutcliffe. “I’ll bring a balanced approach: I’ll repair our crumbling roads and bike lanes. I’ll fix our bus service and light rail, and most importantly, I will respect how people choose to get around Ottawa.”
Sutcliffe made the important link between a strong transportation system and a healthy economy in our city, and the ability to connect all parts of Ottawa with one another. “More than ever, transportation and roads in our city need a fresh perspective and a new approach,” stated Sutcliffe.
Other highlights from Sutcliffe’s plan include:
Support the creation of a web-based “pothole-line” that allows residents to report potholes in their communities, and get them filled quickly.
Double city councillors' traffic calming budgets from $50,000 to $100,000 per ward.
Support the implementation of the Brian Coburn Extension Option 7 in Ottawa’s east end, and accelerate the timing of the Greenbank Road Realignment Project for inclusion in the Transportation Master Plan from 2032 to 2024 in the City’s west end.
Improve ParaTranspo and consult with those who depend on this service to fix it.
Maintain the seniors’ pass, Equipass and current youth transit rates.
Focus on the missing gaps in the cycling network (where bike lanes abruptly end and are picked up some distance away).
Initiate resurfacing and road widening projects across the city to include better safety markings, paved shoulders and bike lanes where feasible.
Sutcliffe also took the opportunity to recommit to actions he would not take as Mayor. Unlike his opponents, Mark would not recklessly commit to:
Implementing taxpayer-funded fare free transit
Spending $145M on expanding the OC Transpo network without a thorough review of how the system can be improved to meet commuters’ needs
Borrowing and spending a quarter of a billion dollars that focuses on one mode of transportation, cycling, at the expense of improving the entire transportation system
Add cost to taxpayers by bringing the burden of the LRT maintenance contract under the CIty of Ottawa where there is no capacity or expertise to do so
“We have to get transportation right. We need a fresh set of eyes looking at the problems and leading changing. Like so many people in Ottawa, I am deeply disappointed in how Phase 1 of light rail was planned and executed. The process wasn’t transparent and Council did not provide enough oversight or due diligence. This approach can never be repeated,” argued Sutcliffe.
“But we cannot have the city take over the entire project along with all the costs and obligations shouldered by taxpayers as Catherine McKenney is suggesting. The answer is to demand that the contractors pay up and take responsibility for this entire project. We need a solid, realistic 'turnaround' plan put in place before ramping up other phases.”
Mark Sutcliffe Campaign