Riocan artist impression

Ottawa Input for Minimum Parking Standards

In a previous post, I wrote about the eventual redevelopment of the South Keys mall. This week, there was a first meeting on the redevelopment of another mall, Westgate, which is much older than South Keys. I once had to pick up medication at Westgate around midnight. It is quite a desolate place. A woman jumped out of a car, kicking the car and swearing to the others in the car, then jumped into the car and they all drove away again.

Riocan artist impression
While it looks like a town in Holland surrounded by polders, the reality is that Westgate is in the middle of the city along an 8 lane highway. Those neatly lined white high rises on the left are actually not there, one is.
Gouda in Holland
The town of Gouda in Holland lies in a polder below sea level, hence the many ditches to control the water levels.
Westgate Mall 2015
Screen grap from the current area from Bing.

While all is still very conceptual, as councillor Jeff Leiper writes on his blog, this is the time to get involved, not when the back hoes start to tear up the parking lot. So if you commute or live in this area, think of the possible consequences of increased traffic, options to build connections for cycling and walking, wide sidewalks, terraced buildings, green space etc.

Westgate from above
The highway cuts the area in two pretty badly, as highways always do (worse, the highway will be widened to solve traffic woes once and for all, lol)

If done right, this could be a great addition and perhaps even a hub of activities in that area; if done wrong, it will be an urban wasteland, where the wind howls around the towers and people drive from one side of the place to the other.

I sure hope that the Westgate Mall takes this into consideration when redesigning the space:


One thought on “Ottawa Input for Minimum Parking Standards

  1. Wholeheartedly agree. To echo what I wrote to Jeff Leiper, my main concern is that Carling and Merivale, as they now stand, encourage driving as the primary means to access the new development, meaning that any attempts at a future road diet will be met with resistance. So I question how this plan fits within the proposed “main streeting” of Merivale?

    If there is sufficient vision, the potential is there for this development to serve as a northern “anchor” to a revitalized Merivale.

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