15.2.12

THE NEW LANSDOWNE : PROBLEM SOLVING - PART 1

Although the 3D flyby animation of the future Lansdowne was interesting, I didn't find it particularly informative. By the end of the video, I still had many unanswered questions: "How is this going to work?", "Is this the best use of space?", "What about traffic?", etc. So I did a bit of research and found a couple preliminary plans and documents with a bit more information.

Let's just say there's room for improvement. The design for the New Lansdowne may not be the most innovative or inspiring design I've seen, but  that doesn't mean it will be a total flop. It just needs some serious tweaking to become a gem in the city. So let's take a closer look at the proposed layout for the new Lansdowne.

Lansdowne Park is currently an eyesore. It hasn't been properly maintained over the years and it shows (even its website!). One major issue with the current site is that it's essentially a huge grey asphalt desert, sprinkled with a couple tired buildings, devoid of any sorts of greenery or beauty. In other words, it's depressing and ugly. 

To solve this problem, the designers created 17 areas, identified in the picture above. When we compared it to the current layout , we can see that some of the asphalt areas will be replaced with greenery and the rest with buildings. Keep in mind that the light green areas shown above are still going to be roads.

So if you highlight them in red, you get a better idea of what the place will look like below.



It looks like the designers are proposing stone covered streets for a large portion of the site : a really really bad idea in Ottawa. It might work in other cities but not in Ottawa because this type of road needs a lot of proper maintenance and from what I've seen from the city's history of road maintenance, this is just asking for trouble. It's not something that the city is currently capable of handling properly. Just look at Sparks Street. Remember my post from 2009? It still has not be repaired, almost three years later. And this is only a pedestrian Street. Imagine how much worst it would be for a road after a year of multiple cars, trucks and buses. It wouldn't take too long before it's patched up with ugly asphalt above the stone covered road just like on Sparks street. It's a waste of money.




So why not opt for something better? Something that requires little to no maintenance, that can handle heavy traffic, snow removal trucks and salt, and that can relatively easily and inexpensively be repaired or replaced? What can be done instead without resorting to the typical grey asphalt road? Colored asphalt? It's simple and it works! It's most likely less expensive than stone covered roads, easier to maintain and easier to repair. It could even be green to go with the theme. Can someone pass this one to the design team?


2 comments:

  1. You're right. The current Lansdowne Park website is horrible.

    Is the City responsible for maintaining the roadway on Sparks or is it the NCC?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. According to Ottawa.ca, "clearing snow from our roadways, sidewalks and Transitway routes, road surface repairs and maintenance, asphalt and concrete repairs, rural road resurfacing, grading of gravel roads and shoulders, on-street litter control and guide rail replacement to clear the roads" is the responsibilty of the city.

      So I guess the mediocre "repair" job on Sparks streets is theirs.

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