A 24,000 seat stadium needs an adequate public transportation network. The existing street network, the mature urban fabric and the geographic restrictions of the Rideau Canal on two sides make a reasonable public transportation system for Lansdowne Park impossible. Lansdowne Park is served by only two arterials. Increasing daily vehicular traffic including heavy trucks to accommodate both the new residential units and a shopping mall and other enterprises built on a very small footprint will lead to gridlock most afternoons on Bank Street. This will impede the adequacy of transit throughout the entire core area of the City of Ottawa.
No large development can function properly without being served by an adequate public transportation network that includes subway, light rail, or bus rapid transit service. This is particularly true of a development as large as that being proposed for Lansdowne Park, which will include a 24,000 seat stadium, an 11,000 seat civic center, shopping facilities, office space, residential units, and a hotel.
Lansdowne Park is not served by any public transportation network that would support the large number of people this development can attract. Moreover, the existing street network, the mature surrounding urban fabric, and the geographic restrictions posed by the presence of the Rideau Canal along two sides of the site, make it impossible to develop such a network.
Lansdowne Park is served by two arteries: Bank Street and the Queen Elizabeth Driveway (QED). QED is a two-lane parkway that is incapable of handling large traffic volumes. Since it has one lane in each direction, it cannot even accommodate a bus line, as there is no space for bus stops along its route.
Bank Street is a four-lane artery, but primarily functions as a two-lane artery since one lane in each direction is taken up by curb-side parking. Street parking is essential for Bank Street to serve the lively retail and office facilities located along both its sides in the city center area, the Glebe, and Old Ottawa South. It has a significant number of traffic lights, and also has a large number of intersections, making the length of its blocks very short. All this greatly limits the street’s passenger carrying capacity. Moreover, Bank Street already is functioning at full capacity. It cannot even handle more than the two bus lines that currently pass through it (nos. 1 & 7). It simply cannot accommodate the additional traffic that the proposed Lansdowne development will generate, whether during normal hours or for special events such as sports games.
Another challenge that the proposed development will bring relates to deliveries to the site. Most deliveries take place between 9 AM and 4 PM, when traffic volumes are high. A development such as that proposed for Lansdowne will require considerable deliveries on a daily basis. As heavy trucking is not allowed on the QED, most deliveries will take place via Bank Street. Being already congested, it cannot handle the additional traffic brought about by delivery trucks. Moreover, some of the deliveries will need to be carried out by heavy trucks. These will make an already very difficult traffic situation much worse, and will result in complete traffic gridlock.
Special events at the proposed development also will bring about traffic gridlock. Most people attending events such as sports games arrive within an hour before the event begins and leave within an hour after it ends. Accommodating tens of thousands of people trying to reach or leave Lansdowne Park within the confines of one hour will be a nearly impossible task.
Unless you live close enough to walk or bike, the clogged streets leading to Lansdowne Park and the shortage of 4,000 or more parking spaces will affect you when you try to get to or from a football game or when you try to get to other places in the city on game day.
The stadium will have close to 24,000 seats. However, there exists no rapid transit system to get people from the suburbs and rural areas of our far-flung city to and from the stadium. Apart from those in the core who may walk, people will have to access Lansdowne by bus or car. These buses and cars will clog up the few roads (Bank Street, the Queen Elizabeth Driveway, even the Queensway). This will ripple and affect residents from many parts of Ottawa.
Stadiums are normally built either in the city on transit lines (subway, light rail, rail) or in the suburbs with lots of parking and good highway access. Rapid urban transit is in the City of Ottawa Master Plan. There is no plan for rapid transit for Lansdowne Park.