A Transportation Plan that Respects All Commuters, and Works for All of Ottawa

Ottawa needs a balanced approach to transportation that respects all residents, regardless of how they choose to get around the city.

As mayor, Mark will:

 
  • Increase investment in road maintenance and winter clearing budgets by $100 million over 4 years so that potholes get fixed quickly, our roads will be better maintained, and the standards for road clearing during winter will be raised.
  • Implement the key recommendations from the judicial inquiry on Phase 1 of light rail to fix the system and deliver phase 2 of light rail. I will also secure funding for phase 3 to bring light rail to Kanata, Stittsville and Barrhaven.
  • Modernize the routing and scheduling of OC Transpo bus service to reflect what citizens need post-pandemic.
 

Why is this action needed?

Many residents use different modes of transportation depending on the weather, where they are travelling, and other factors. Therefore, we shouldn’t prioritize one form of transportation over another, nor pit one region of the city against another. Instead, we need a plan that will deliver better results for all residents - motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians - wherever they live and however they travel.

Sadly, that’s gotten harder to do. The state of our roads, particularly in rural and suburban areas, is poor. Public transit is unreliable, and has not been updated to reflect the post-COVID reality of commuting. And sidewalks, bike paths, and multi-use pathways must be better connected, maintained and repaired to get pedestrians and cyclists safely where they need to be.

Transportation is not just a social service - it is an economic one. We can’t let the gridlock of cities like Toronto clog up Ottawa. Good transit is linked to our quality of life - including a cleaner environment.

For employers and workers, safe and reliable transportation is key to the economic prosperity of residents, many of whom need to bring the tools of their trade with them.

For tourists, safe and reliable transportation means it’s easier to see all that Ottawa has to offer, enhancing their overall experience in the capital.

For families, safe and reliable transportation means conveniently and quickly getting children to and from school, and to recreation, arts, and other after-school activities, spending less time in traffic and more time with loved ones.

For young people and students, safe and reliable transportation means getting to school or work on time, without concern you may be late for your job or class because your bus or train did not show.

For seniors, safe and reliable transportation means getting to family events, activities, recreation, medical appointments, and completing errands in a safe and timely fashion.

For our environment, safe and reliable transportation, particularly public and active transportation, reduces greenhouse-gas emissions.

 

"No matter how you get around Ottawa, you need to trust you can get to home, work and school safely and reliably."

 

Unlike other candidates running for Mayor,
here’s what I won’t do:

  1. I won’t make public transit free as my opponent has advocated for years, which would add as much as 10 percent to your property tax bill each year.

  2. I won’t add $145 million in new spending on OC Transpo as my opponent has promised in this election, which would add another 7 percent increase in your property tax bill each year

  3. I won't pit cyclists against motorists by racking up a quarter of a billion dollars of debt to focus on one method of transportation, at the expense of a system-wide approach to improving our entire transportation system. 

  4. I won’t irresponsibly commit to bringing the burden of the LRT maintenance contract under the City of Ottawa, where there is no capacity or expertise to do so and before we hear from the judicial process. 

With an existing $85M budget deficit on public transit, residents in this city simply can’t afford to pay more at a time when inflation and rising interest rates are making life less and less affordable.

More than ever, we need fresh eyes and a new perspective on transportation in Ottawa. We can build a better, smarter and more balanced transportation network, one that integrates public transit, cycling, and vehicles and respects the diversity and size of our city and the needs of rural, suburban and urban residents.

 

What it will mean for you:

For Public Transit Users & Commuters

  • Implement lessons learned from the public inquiry about the errors made by Council, management, and the private partners to make LRT Phase 1 reliable and gain the confidence of users.

  • Apply knowledge from Phase 1 to the implementation of Phase 2 and planning for Phase 3 LRT.

  • Pursue costs from contractors where warranted for delays and malfunctions in phase 1 of LRT.

  • Modernize and optimize OC Transpo bus service to reflect the post-Covid reality and the new travel patterns for work and help people get around their community, especially in suburban areas. This will include direct consultation with bus drivers, the experts of the system, to ensure routes and schedules are designed to get the most out of our system and so we are not running empty articulated buses.

  • Fix Para Transpo by consulting with those who depend on it to get around our city.

  • Work with taxis and ride-sharing services to improve access to vehicles designed to accommodate persons with disabilities that do not require a full service vehicle.

  • Maintain the seniors' pass, Equipass, and current youth transit rates.

  • Increase transparency and strengthen communications tools to give customers better up-to-the-minute information on service status. This includes supporting app developers in providing real-time data on transit access and availability.

  • Continue the transition of the city’s diesel city bus fleet to electric buses to reduce emissions.

  • Enable the City of Gatineau to bring LRT or electric buses into Ottawa, replacing diesel-powered buses that are noisy, pollute our downtown, and emit carbon pollution.


For Drivers and Road Safety

  • Substantially improve the quality of Ottawa roads by investing $100 million over four years to upgrade our roads, sidewalks and improve road maintenance as well as enhancing service standards for winter clearing of residential roads and sidewalks.

  • Support creation of a web-based “pothole-line” that allows residents to report potholes in their communities, and provide an estimated time to repair. 

  • Provide easy access to a website listing all city road construction and maintenance projects

  • Prioritize road infrastructure that supports growth in new neighbourhoods that are currently dealing with significant traffic and congestion. That also means ensuring traffic and congestion are key considerations for new development projects. 

  • Condense construction schedules with as much work as possible at off-peak hours to enhance safety and reduce travel times.

  • Double city councillors' traffic calming budgets for targeted road safety measures from $50,000 to $100,000 per ward. 

  • Undertake a review of the current Road Safety Action Plan to reduce fatalities and major injuries. This could include reducing traffic speeds to 30KM/hour across residential neighbourhoods (where requested by community members) and increasing usage of red light cameras at high-risk intersections.

  • Support the implementation of the Brian Coburn Extension Option 7 in Ottawa’s east end.

  • 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.

  • Ensure rural road reconstruction includes more fulsome safety improvements such as safety edges to reduce fatalities.

  • Work with the residents of the Village of Manotick to address the issue of transport truck congestion and noise, which poses a safety issue in the community.

  • Where there is the construction of new subdivisions, raise the standard of road, cycling and multi-use pathways to ensure better connectivity in these communities. This is in keeping with provisions around 15-minute communities.

  • Oppose the permanent closure of the QEII Driveway and support continued closure on weekends for cyclists, runners, and other uses of the roadway, working with community partners to avoid implications on major event days. 

  • Encourage the adoption of electric vehicles in the city by enabling Hydro Ottawa to install 200 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across Ottawa, on a cost recovery basis.

  • Ensure the Ottawa Police Service has the resources required to focus on vehicle-related crimes, including theft, stunt driving and speed racing, which continue to be major problems in our suburbs.

For Taxpayers and Residents

  • Oppose the wasteful  $1 million study on “fare-free” transit that will tell us what we already know - we can’t afford it.

  • Oppose the city-wide removal of transit fares that would result in as much as a 10 percent tax increase.

  • Implement full transparency and engagement of the city’s internal audit department on all future LRT developments on a timely basis so that Information will never be held back from Council or the public.

  • Appoint experts on the Board of the Transit Commission and for the oversight of LRT phases II and III who can better hold management to account for effective delivery and performance.

  • Appoint a citizen representative to the transit advisory committee that regularly uses ParaTranspo, so that perspectives of individuals with disabilities are represented at this committee.

  • Negotiate 50-50 capital funding from the federal and provincial governments to expand light rail to Kanata, Stittsville, and Barrhaven as has been achieved in other cities.

  • Negotiate ongoing financial support from the federal and provincial governments due to current public sector employment policies that reduce transit usage. In 2021, COVID-related l funding from other governments for Ottawa’s public transit system was $144 million; that support must continue into 2023).

For a Better Cycling Network, Sidewalks, and Multi-Use Pathways

  • 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.

  • Double councillor traffic calming budgets to enable more signs to segregate bike lanes from traffic.

  • Work with the NCC and the federal government to expand and connect a system of bike lanes with increased winter access. 

  • Provide continued support for the Chief William Commanda bridge for pedestrian and cycling transportation.

  • Continue to add pedestrian countdown signals.

  • Increase the rollout of community safety zones to include all school zones, community centres, and high-pedestrian facilities. 

  • Enable Hydro Ottawa to install 100 E-Bike charging stations across Ottawa, on a cost recovery basis.

  • Work with community groups to identify areas where there are missing links in pedestrian and cycling pathway systems to promote the use of active transportation and more walkable communities for inclusion in the long-term capital plan.

  • Invest in improving pedestrian and cycling connections to existing and future transit stations, and install more secure bicycle storage systems.

  • Ensure timely repair of sidewalks and cycling infrastructure.

  • Designate additional taxi and ride-share parking in high-volume areas, such as the lot on George Street within the Byward Market, with sufficient signage to better improve the uptake of both services and bring people downtown.

On October 24th, vote Mark Sutcliffe for a plan that respects all commuters, and works for all of Ottawa.

Pledge to vote for Mark!