City taking measures to ease downtown gridlock

News source from CTV News

The City of Ottawa is taking steps to ease traffic gridlock in the downtown core, as residents face a heavy construction season this summer.

According to memo from John Manconi, the city’s general manager of transportation, a downtown mobility plan will start on June 10 and will be implemented for two weeks.

As part of the plan, tow trucks will be posted near no-stopping zones to move cars blocking traffic and Ottawa Police officers will enforce turn restrictions at key intersection during the afternoon peak period.

Other measures include:

  • Officers stationed in the afternoon peak period at Laurier Avenue and Nicholas Street, and at Waller Street and the Mackenzie King Bridge.
  • Additional transit supervisors along the Albert and Slater Street bus corridors, as well as in the city’s transit operations control centre during morning and afternoon peak periods.
  • Parking enforcement officers on bicycles will be out ticketing people in congested areas.
  • New traffic signs, including “tow-away” signs on Albert, Slater and Queen streets, as well as a no-right-turn-on-red sign for drivers turning east from Bank onto Queen.

Amid complaints from residents, Mayor Jim Watson had asked city staff to come up with a plan to ease downtown congestion.

City officials say the closure of the Chaudière Bridge, construction on Highway 5 and 50 ramps in Gatineau and construction projects in downtown Ottawa are contributing to the increased traffic congestion. The city expects traffic volumes to reduce by the end of June when the summer holiday season begins.

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