Lansdowne goers won’t use bus: Store owner

A small business owner isn’t convinced limited parking near the new Lansdowne Park will force Ottawans to embrace the bus.

“Nobody’s going to go park off site and take a bus, and then go to a game, and then come back on a bus, and then get to their parking site, and take off, because that would be — that’s like reinventing the wheel,” said Stephane Sauve, Glebe Meat Market manager and co-owner.

The city is planning for events with various attendance levels.

“This is a city. Cities do not provide parking for everybody, everywhere,” said transportation committee chairwoman Marianne Wilkinson.

“There’s not even enough parking for everybody at Scotiabank Place, and there’s a lot of parking. Downtown, there’s some parking, and you pay.”

At Lansdowne the cost of transit, off-site parking, shuttle service or temporary bicycle parking would be included in the ticket price, as outlined in a preliminary report.

Satellite parking will be available, primarily at Carleton University, when 10,000 to 15,000 people are attending events such as concerts or sold-out Ottawa 67’s hockey games.

Special shuttles will be warranted for events with crowds of 15,000 or more, much like Transpo’s 400 series, which takes riders across the city to Scotiabank Place for Senators games.

“So they should be able to go to the park-and-ride in Barrhaven, for example, and get on a 400-level bus that would take you all the way to Lansdowne Park and return,” said Wilkinson.

Canadian Football League games average 18,000 attendees.

“I think the 400 series ones, for certain events, will become a regular feature,” said Wilkinson.

She sees that as one way of handling a fair chunk of traffic.

On a day-to-day basis, “obviously, there’s going to be more general traffic in the area because (of) the types of stores and the movie theatres and things like that,” said Wilkinson.

“But it won’t be any more than what they had when they had trade shows going on there and everything else, which they’ve been having on a regular basis at Lansdowne.”

Routes 1 and 7 will see minor increases in daily service.

But Sauve says drivers won’t buckle so easily.

“Obviously, people are going to roam around the neighbourhood trying to find whatever parking spot,” he said.

“I’m sure you’re going to have some difficulties with people blocking laneways and fire lanes.”

He says it all comes down to logic.

“I mean, I could take the bus to the Senators game, but I drive there…it’s just easier,” said Sauve.

Wilkinson, on the other hand, rides transit to Scotiabank, “and I don’t have a hassle getting out of the parking lot,” she said.

Events with attendance of up to 25,000 are expected to regularly take place at the new Lansdowne.

Capital Coun. David Chernushenko is concerned with overall congestion.

“This past Saturday, every Saturday, Bank St. is clogged, and that’s with nothing happening at Lansdowne,” said Chernushenko.

More than 883,000 people live in Ottawa; OC Transpo boasts an estimated 370,000 riders daily.

“Parking is something that’s going to be tied to the bus routes,” said Wilkinson.

@ottawasunkroche

http://www.ottawasun.com/2012/02/16/lansdowne-goers-wont-use-bus-store-owner

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