Somerset Ward mailer volume 5: Hello spring

Hello neighbour,

Well, spring has technically sprung, even though the weather doesn’t really feel like it. The emails about snow clearing are starting to give way to messages about potholes and speeding. My staff is receiving all your messages and are committed to helping, both at an individual and systemic level.

At last week’s Transportation Committee meeting, we discussed two issues that are synonymous with summer: e-scooters and patios. The committee heard a staff report detailing the accessibility and security features that were added to the e-scooters last season, dramatically decreasing the number of complaints.

Hello neighbour,

Well, spring has technically sprung, even though the weather doesn’t really feel like it. The emails about snow clearing are starting to give way to messages about potholes and speeding. My staff is receiving all your messages and are committed to helping, both at an individual and systemic level.

At last week’s Transportation Committee meeting, we discussed two issues that are synonymous with summer: e-scooters and patios. The committee heard a staff report detailing the accessibility and security features that were added to the e-scooters last season, dramatically decreasing the number of complaints.

While I used to get frustrated finding scooters on sidewalks during the summer, I noticed a vast improvement in 2022 when the city mandated specific parking areas for them. And working with accessibility advocates, Ottawa was the first city to force operators to implement a noise on scooters when in operation, to ensure that visually impaired people will be able to hear them coming.

Having a micro-mobility option is important in our downtown core and I would strongly prefer to see a bike share system designed to be a last-mile part of the public transit system. But in the meantime, the e-scooter program is the best solution we have. Our office will continue to monitor any accessibility concerns associated with e-scooters, so please feel free to write to the Somerset Ward office if you experience any problems or have suggestions.

Accessibility issues also came up at Transportation Committee in relation to patios and the right-of-way for pedestrians. City staff agreed with community delegates and councillors, that patios should not infringe on pedestrian space on sidewalks. We will continue to ensure enforcement of sidewalk access for pedestrians, and that the patios themselves are accessible to people who use wheelchairs or mobility devices. Because everyone deserves to be able to walk or roll safely, and to enjoy a cool drink outdoors on a sunny day.

I sincerely hope that by the next time I write to you, that the giant snow pile in front of my home has melted away completely. A councillor can dream.

Warmly,

Ariel

Standing up for affordable housing

After a delay that caused a minor uproar, Councillor Troster was happy to see an affordable rental housing development on United Church property in Orleans get the green light last week. She spoke out in the media when the project was initially delayed, stressing the need to remove barriers to building affordable housing and for neighbourhoods outside of the core to accept more density.

Speaking out against extremism

Responding to requests from residents, Councillor Troster spoke out against the Ottawa Police Association’s insistence on continuing to display the “thin blue line,” a symbol that has been widely adopted by white supremacists and extremists. Listen to her interview on CBC Ottawa Morning to hear her perspective on how police officers can begin to repair their relationship with the community by taking this small step to acknowledge harm.

EngageOttawa Opportunities

Community Partner Insurance Program - Consultation Survey

In 2022, the City of Ottawa's Finance and Economic Development Committee received a report outlining proposed changes to the City's Community Partners' Insurance Program. The proposed changes were intended to address the disparity between community groups whose insurance premiums were funded by the city as a result of a 2001 Council decision to grandparent some groups based on pre-amalgamation criteria, leaving other groups that have come into being since amalgamation to fund their own premiums.

Right-of-Way Patio By-law and Guideline Review

The Right-of-Way Patio By-law Review proposes permanent amendments to relevant by-laws in advance of the 2023 patio season. These amendments were based on a review of the temporary changes made through the which was first introduced in 2020. The amendments were approved by the Transportation Committee last week and will go to a full city council meeting next week.

Lansdowne 2.0

Lansdowne is a place of history and civic pride. For over 175 years, it has been a gathering place for neighbours, residents of Eastern Ontario and Western Québec, and for tourists from across Canada and around the world. It is a place of connection and celebration for sports, cultural and community events.

In 2012, City Council entered into a 30-year partnership (now a 40-year partnership) with the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) for the renewal and revitalization of Lansdowne with a new South Stadium Stands, new mixed-use retail and reimagined public realm spaces and subterranean parking.

In December 2020, City Council directed a working group made up of City and OSEG representatives to consider options to enhance the sustainability and long-term financial viability of Lansdowne’s operations and the Partnership.

Ottawa Public Health Updates

Preventing and Responding to an Overdose and Naloxone

Anything can be cut with fentanyl or carfentanil. There is no way to be sure of what is exactly in drugs obtained from anywhere other than a pharmacy or government retailer (such as an OCS). If you get them from a friend, order them online, buy them from a dealer, or anywhere similar, you don’t know how toxic they may be.

If you use opioids, you can reduce your risk of overdose death by:

  • Not using alone
  • Don’t mix drugs
  • Go slow
  • Carry Naloxone
  • Know your tolerance
  • Be aware

Learn more about Stop Overdose Ottawa and get Naloxone training here.

Seasonal respiratory infections and enteric outbreaks surveillance reports

The dashboard provides an overview of respiratory infections, respiratory outbreaks, and enteric outbreaks in the City of Ottawa during the respiratory surveillance season. For information on influenza activity across Ontario see the Ontario Respiratory Pathogen Bulletin, and for Canada see the FluWatch report. Regional syndromic surveillance data on Influenza like Illness (ILI), including hospital admissions and emergency department visits, can be accessed through the Viral Respiratory Mapper.

You can view the reports online here.

Heading back to the office? OC Transpo will get you there!

Whether you’ve used transit in the past or you’re curious to try it for the first time, OC Transpo has affordable and flexible options for travelling to your office and back, any day of the week.

Together, OC Transpo and STO provide service to all major Government of Canada workplaces and major employers within the urban boundary with fare options for everyone.

OC Transpo has lots of capacity to welcome more riders back to the system. Public transit is much more affordable than filling up your car and the price of parking. Returning to office work also brings more traffic on our roads, and transit is more convenient than being stuck in gridlock, giving you more time in your day.

OC Transpo is excited to welcome back new and returning customers. Transit habits a little rusty? Here’s some helpful tips to support your commute:

  • OC Transpo’s travel planner is a great tool to find information about your bus or train schedule. You can text 560560, call 613-560-1000 or view the next departures widget on their homepage.
  • Did you know that Presto cards are shareable? OC Transpo has fare options for frequent and occasional riders. You can find the one that fits your travel needs on OCTranspo.com
  • If you are using Para Transpo, you can book, cancel and track your trip online with My Para Transpo. If you’re heading into the office on regular days, OC Transpo also offers the convenience of recurring bookings. You can find out more information by connecting with a Customer Service representative by calling 613-560-5000 or on the website.
  • OC Transpo Park & Ride lots are located across the city, providing a free and flexible alternative to expensive parking passes. You can find more information on where to find parking here.
  • OC Transpo is also bicycle friendly, 365-days a year. Your bicycle is welcome on buses and trains. All buses are equipped with a bike rack so you can Rack & Roll, even in winter. All OC Transpo stations have bike racks. With Bikesecure, certain stations also offer sheltered parking spots for your bike at a low cost.

Latest posts

Meet the Helpers

Last week we hosted a virtual meeting with neighbours to discuss policy initiatives our office has worked on since our community safety meeting last summer and introduced neighbours to service providers from Belong Ottawa, Centre 507 and the Centretown Community Health Centre. These are the slides from our presentation during the meeting.

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