Ottawa is abuzz with anticipation for further light rail transit to become operational. The hope is for faster, easier, more accessible public transit that cuts down on car traffic. We discuss some of the ongoing issues with transit accessibility, and how affordable housing is related to transit development, in our current edition of the PEN (in partnership with the Healthy Transportation Coalition & Ottawa ACORN), and would like to refer you to a case study prepared by our office-mates at Sustainable Eastern Ontario on the LRT for a good primer.
Today, July 13, there was some news around the LRT developments (adapted from a City of Ottawa Press release): Mayor Jim Watson was joined by the Honourable David McGuinty, Member of Parliament for Ottawa South, on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and Jeremy Roberts, Member of Provincial Parliament for Ottawa West-Nepean, for a sneak peek tour of the O-Train Confederation Line’s newly constructed Blair Station.
When the O-Train Confederation Line opens later in 2018, Blair Station will be the easternmost point of the system and one of its busiest transit hubs. It will offer easy transfers between trains and buses, as well as access to local commercial and residential areas.
City staff led a tour highlighting the features of Blair Station, which is designed to facilitate a high flow of customers and buses. The centre platform is built within the footprint of the previous Blair Transitway station, and a dedicated bus loop in a fare-paid zone will make transferring between buses and the Confederation Line trains quick, efficient and easy. The station also provides an accessible transit gateway to the surrounding community. Within the station, customers will have direct access to both the pedestrian overpass above, the bus loop area below, and the surrounding multi-use pathways. Connections will also make it easier and safer for cyclists to access the new covered bicycle parking facilities. Blair Station offers 64 bicycle parking spaces in a well-lit facility just outside the station.
“The excitement continues to build as we get closer to launching LRT, which will truly transform our city. Blair Station’s innovative design features demonstrate that we can look forward to an efficient and accessible transit experience when the O-Train Confederation Line comes into service.” – Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa
Blair Station’s highlights & safety features include:
- Ticket machines with an audiovisual help feature and transit information panels, and fare gates conveniently located near the station entrance on the upper concourse.
- Stairs have bike runnels, which allow cyclists to easily walk their bikes up and down the stairs.
- Accessibility features include accessible benches, dual elevators, tactile wayfinding strips, braille and tactile signage, and audible and visual announcements.
- Links to new, planned and existing multi-use pathways will connect Blair Station with the City’s existing cycling network.
- Clear and consistent wayfinding and signage, public areas with an open-concept concourse that uses glass and skylights to create transparency, and unobstructed sightlines to eliminate blind spots.
- Dual elevators in highly visible areas along primary paths of travel, along with a wide concourse and pathways for safe and comfortable pedestrian use.
- Lighting in the station to create high visibility.
- Transecure waiting areas on bus and train platforms with enhanced safety and security features.
- Activity will be monitored through closed-circuit television coverage.
- Seven emergency phones located along the platform and throughout the station.