Send the traffic south demands Cumberland GREGGCHAMBERLAIN said Elizabeth Shulty. “You cannot expect people to come out of their driveways onto four lanes.”

erty and the potential environmental risk to the Ottawa River during any actual con- struction of an expanded highway system. Valerie McGirr of AECOM, lead consul- tant and project manager for the 174-17 EAP, said that a bypass route south is one of the alternatives still under consideration to solve the traffic congestion situation for the highway. She assured residents that there are no plans to divert traffic back along the

old Montréal Road route through the vil- lage itself. The February public information sessions in Cumberland, Orléans and Rockland are the first of several that will take place dur- ing the two-year EAP on the Highway 174- 17 expansion project. More will take place later this year after consultants have reviewed findings from further studies.

Shulty and several other Cumberland village residents told representatives for the City of Ottawa, the United Counties of Prescott-Russell and the engineering con- sultant firms doing the EAP that instead of trying to widen the present two-lane highway route along the Ottawa River, they should look at diverting traffic south of the village along either Innes Road or some other connector more suitable for expan- sion. “You need to build south,” said Glen Rob- erts. “It’s a no-brainer. The most sensible thing to do is build the route along Innes.” Cumberland homeowners believe that solution would avoid both the need for ex- pensive expropriation of residential prop-

CUMBERLAND | Many homeowners in the village of Cumberland have a solution to the traffic congestion problem with High- way 174. Send it all south along another route. That was the main suggestion from the audience during question period follow- ing an evening presentation Feb. 5 at the Maple Hall on the results so far of the envi- ronmental assessment process (EAP) for the proposed four-laning of Highway 174 and County Road 17 between Rockland and Or- léans. “The whole village of Cumberland would be devastated with widening the highway,”

Rockland wants faster bus traffic to Ottawa

highway congestion situation on the way to Ottawa. There were very few questions from the audience in council chambers Thursday night in Rockland when consultants hosted their third public information session on the proposed expansion of the Highway 174-County Road 17 connection between Rockland and Orléans. “We found in Rockland there is over-ca- pacity which leads to congestion,” said Val- erie McGirr, AECOM project manager on the 174-17 project. “Though I think that comes as no surprise to anyone in this room.” Her opening remark earned a few chuck- les from the audience of about 50 seated in council chamber at City Hall on Feb. 7. Her followup remark earned some applause. “No one is going to suggest we widen Laurier Street,” she said. The main concern that came up during question period that followed was how to improve the public transit link between the two communities. Clarence-Rockland Coun. Guy Félio and retired MPP Jean-Marc Lalonde each of- fered suggestions for speeding up com- muter transit service between Rockland and Orléans-Ottawa to help reduce conges- tion on the highway. Both presented briefs of their ideas to consultants at the end of the formal open house. “We’ve got to eliminate as many traffic lights as possible,” said Lalonde during a later interview. His proposal for helping speed up com- muter traffic and reduce congestion along County Road 17 and Highway 174 calls for modifications to the highway setup at five key points along the route from Rockland to Orléans. It starts with closing the existing eastern exit from County Road 17 onto Lau- rier Street and re-aligning the highway for smoother traffic flow. Next is resurrecting an old idea for a pe- destrian underpass at Edwards Street. At the west entry into Rockland from the high- way, a roundabout setup would replace the present traffic-controlled intersection. At the Canaan Road intersection where County Road 17 becomes Highway 174 there would be an overpass for highway traffic. The last modification would be an underpass at the Trim Road intersection of the 174 to allow Trim Road traffic to pass through without interfering with the main highway flow. Two of the main points of Félio’s proposal calls for negotiations with OCTranspo on expanded route service between Rockland and Orléans. That could include extending service as far as Canaan Road intersection with a turnaround and parc-o-bus there .

ROCKLAND | Fewer stop lights and faster commuter buses are the two main solu- tions coming out of Rockland to solve the



AU COEUR DE VOTRE RÉALITÉ /ottawa-gatineau


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