Today, with the support of my Council colleagues, Ottawa is sending the message that living a healthier, more active lifestyle is a priority. As outlined in the Official Plan, the City’s Cycling and Pedestrian plans have many shovel or design ready active transportation projects ready to go, they simply lack funding support.
As all levels of government work to kick start the economy, we are asking our Federal partners to support stimulus funding that targets ready-to-go, green: cycling, pedestrian, and transit infrastructure projects that will help Canadians from coast to coast to coast experience more of their local communities, get active, and spend more time outdoors.
Committee / Commission: City Council
Report / Agenda:
Rapport / Ordre du jour:
Item / Article: Active Transportation
Moved by / Motion de: Councillor Dudas
Seconded by / appuyée par: Councillor
That the Rules of Procedure be suspended to consider the following motion in order to engage with the federal government without delay in response to the City’s evolving needs during COVID-19 recovery.
WHEREAS the COVID-19 pandemic has in many respects been a transformative event for the City of Ottawa, has shined a light on our existing travel patterns, and led to a serious self-examination on how we want to move as a city; and
WHEREAS over the past few weeks, Ottawa has seen a strong rise in the number of residents walking or cycling to get around; a trend that is anticipated to continue; and
WHEREAS as we begin to move into COVID-19 recovery, it is imperative that we seize this opportunity to look towards smarter, greener planning strategies that build up the necessary infrastructure to expand our cycling, pedestrian and multi-modal networks; and
WHEREAS we know that expanding our green infrastructure, and in particular active transportation networks – especially connectivity to transit – will allow residents to move around in an easier, healthier, and safer way; and
WHEREAS the City has been preparing the Ottawa Cycling Plan and the Ottawa Pedestrian Plan, as components of the Transportation Master Plan, itself part of the updated Official Plan; and
WHEREAS in 2019, the population of Ottawa passed the 1 million mark and over the next 25 years, we are expected to add another 400,000 residents. All of whom will require improved and strategic transportation infrastructure to meet this growth and our future mobility needs; and
WHEREAS due to the financial impact of the pandemic, the City of Ottawa is losing roughly $1 million every day and is calling on our federal and provincial partners to provide emergency operational funding. However, recognizing the possibility of federal infrastructure stimulus funding separate from that operational ask, while the City still needs to fund green, active transportation infrastructure and networks as identified in the Transportation Master Plan; and
WHEREAS the Mayor and several City Councillors, including the Council representatives on the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, co-signed a letter recognizing that with the support of our Provincial and Federal partners, along with a unified support from Council, we can prioritize the expansion of our active transportation infrastructure, improving integration into our expanding transit system, make a long-term investment in Ottawa residents’ health and well-being, all while addressing our city’s current and future mobility needs.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the City send a letter to the federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, The Honourable Catherine McKenna, as well as the Minister of Finance, The Honourable Bill Morneau, calling for any pandemic recovery infrastructure stimulus funding to prioritize and accelerate active transportation and transit infrastructure projects; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Council direct City staff to identify, with the input of Members of Council, the prioritized shovel-ready or high-priority projects where expedited design and construction timelines are feasible. Projects to be identified include cycling, pedestrian, multi-use networks and transit infrastructure, in communities across the city – especially those with connectivity to transit – so that such projects may be fast-tracked and delivered, should our federal partners develop infrastructure stimulus programs.