By David Brown, Rideau-Jock Councillor
Late in August, it was my pleasure to welcome Mayor Sutcliffe to Manotick. This was my first opportunity to welcome the Mayor to the Ward to take stock of some of the issues facing our community. As the issue of truck traffic in Manotick is my top priority, I made sure to use my time with the Mayor to focus our attention on this challenge. I wanted to provide the community with an update on that meeting.
After a quick stop in at 692 Coffee, I introduced Mayor Sutcliffe to representatives from the Manotick Village Community Association who showed him the problem of truck traffic firsthand. We met with the MVCA right at the corner of Bridge and Main, observing and describing the issue to him over the loud rumble of truck after truck transiting the village. Following that, we walked together to the Manotick Legion for a formal meeting to discuss the issues and propose solutions.
It was in this meeting that the Mayor affirmed that he is convinced of the problem with trucks in Manotick and that he wants to solve it. This is quite significant as Mayor Sutcliffe is the first mayor since amalgamation to put his feet on the ground at Bridge and Main, meet with the community to look for solutions to address this issue, and indicate a willingness to assist.
We shared with the Mayor the data on the volume of truck traffic through the village and how it compares to relatively lighter truck traffic on the 6-lane Vimy Bridge. We discussed options to expand infrastructure and improve connectivity elsewhere in the City’s south end to divert and absorb this traffic. Our conversation was productive, solutions-oriented, and focused on delivering results for Manotick.
I will admit that there is still a long way to go to solve this problem, but progress is being made. Later this month, we will receive City staff’s response to the inquiry that I had sent earlier this year asking what it would take to get trucks out of Manotick. And we should also hear soon as to what costs would be associated with conducting a truck route review process in the rural South end of the City to focus attention on the issue and provide an opportunity to get the heavy trucks out of the core of the village.
As we fight for a permanent solution to this problem, I am working with the Mayor and the MVCA to introduce improvements to help alleviate the issue. For instance, we should soon hear as to whether Century Road can be added to the truck network, thereby removing the need for Manotick Main south of Bridge Steet to be part of the network. While only a partial solution, it would significantly reduce truck traffic through the village core. We are also looking at the feasibility of a ‘no right on red’ indicator at the intersection, advanced pedestrian signals, intersection redesign for pedestrians, and an expansion of automated speed enforcement as these measures would help improve safety for all road users.
I believe it is important for our community that we seize every opportunity available to us to chip away at the problem while simultaneously pushing for an effective long-term solution.
I am truly grateful for the Mayor for making the time to come out, to see this issue first hand, and for indicating his interest in solving it. I am also extremely glad for the professional and dedicated advocacy of the MVCA toward advancing this issue with me. We have made substantial progress to date, and it is my expectation that we will continue to make meaningful progress. I know the pace of progress is slower than the community deserves; I promise to keep working – alongside the Mayor, City staff, the MVCA, and other partners – until the job is done.
Featured Image: Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe chats with Manotick resident Marjorie Toner at the Manotick Legion.