The Forest Valley Traffic Study has been underway for many years now, and after multiple iterations and consultations, is in the final stage of the project.
As background, Forest Valley Drive was identified in 2014 as eligible for permanent traffic management measures, and since had several consultations, led by City staff and the previous City Councillor that presented various design options. Unfortunately, these consultations were unable to produce a plan that saw widespread support from the community, and the project was put on pause in 2016 at the request of the Councillor at that time. After hearing concerns from residents, I requested that staff reconsider the plan and see if there were measures that would be supported by the community. In 2019, the City’s Traffic Engineers reopened this study and developed new plans based on community feedback. Since then, I have jointly hosted multiple information session on this project with the City’s traffic engineers, in addition to three public consultation surveys.
The results of the latest three consultations clearly demonstrated that residents are still divided on what measures should or should not be installed on Forest Valley. Some would prefer to see speed humps installed intermittently on the full length of the street; others would prefer to see no new measures added at all. In order to see these proposed traffic calming measures implemented, there needed to be clear support from residents. That was consistently not the case for all of the proposed design plans prepared by staff. With that said, while there was opposition to many of the roadway modifications, there was consistent support for improvements to pedestrian safety and accessibility. In particular, at the existing pedestrian crossings.
As a result of the consultations, the new changes coming to Forest Valley Drive will be those that focus on pedestrian improvements. The following measures will be moving forward for installation:
- Relocation of bus stop on the west side of Forest Valley, north of Rivermill Crescent to the south of Rivermill Crescent along with required bus pad/platform. This change would be led by OC Transpo, according to its budget and service requirements.
- At the intersection of Forest Valley Drive and Rivermill Crescent is an existing all-way stop. At this location, the implementation of crossings that include “ladder” pavement marking on the north and south side of the intersection along with the required landing pads and Tactile Walking Surface Indicators (TWSIs) is recommended for implementation.
- The intersection of Forest Valley Drive and Meadowglen Drive is an all-way stop. Here, a recommendation for the relocation of the existing bus stop along with implementation of required bus platform has been made. This change would be led by OC Transpo, according to its budget and service requirements. The recommended pedestrian improvement includes the implementation of crossings that include “ladder” pavement marking on the north leg as well along with required landing pads and TWSIs.
- The upgrade of existing the Pedestrian Crossover (PXO) near Des Ravins Place by making it a raised crossing/PXO. The PXO will also include a flashing beacon and an overhead sign.
These plans will now be sent to the City’s Infrastructure Services team, who will oversee the detailed design and construction of the project. Once the final design has been confirmed and the Project Manager has shared the schedule, I will provide those updates to the community. I know that this has project has included a significant amount of community input and involvement, and while I know that there will be mixed reactions to what was included in the designs, and what was left out, I know that everyone who shared their thoughts and concerns are care deeply about the community and, while there may have been a difference of opinion on how to go about it, everyone was united in their desire to improve the safety in our community.
For a full background on this project, including the proposed designs, visit: https://ottawa.ca/en/city-hall/public-engagement/projects/forest-valley-drive-traffic-calming-study.