By Councillor Carol Anne Meehan
The proliferation of massive distribution warehouses and the increase in transport trucks on our roads can no longer be ignored. This ongoing situation, which is not new to Ottawa, will continue to worsen unless City Councillors are ready to take a stand.
Ottawa needs growth, it needs development, and it needs more jobs. What Ottawa does not need is more traffic congestion, more failing roads and longer commute times.
If Ottawa continues to approve massive distribution warehouses and truck depots in or near residential areas, that is precisely what we are going to have. Ottawa’s south end is becoming a trucking corridor. That isn’t bad if these warehouses are located close to the highways with adequate road infrastructure to support these mega truck depots, but they aren’t and this is the problem!
Ottawa is now home to several massive warehouses. Amazon has two locations, one on Boundary Road in the East end and Barrhaven in the West. At least three more are planned, one in North Gower, another in the South Merivale Business Park and one more at the corner of Conroy and Walkley.
Ottawa’s residents will pay a considerable price unless we manage how and where warehouses are located and devise a strategy to keep all those noisy, emission spewing transports out of residential areas.
Residents in Manotick are starting to speak out against the significant heavy truck traffic rolling through what was once a quiet rural village.
Residents in my ward of Gloucester-South Nepean have been doing what they can to raise awareness of the pending truck depot in the South Merivale Business Park.
There is still time to avoid something similar here. Council must delay the approval of more warehouses until we come up with a trucking strategy. We must have proper transportation routes to ensure transports stay as far away from residential communities as possible. Developers must contribute more to our road infrastructure and the cost of fighting climate change.
Everyone around the council table agreed we have a climate emergency, but we also have an infrastructure emergency. We cannot turn a blind eye to how thousands of transports and additional warehouse traffic will impact our city.