Committee approves investments in transportation infrastructure, green fleet and winter operations

A graphic with Ottawa City Hall is in the background. A vertical grey stripe and a horizontal dark green stripe are in the foreground with " Transportation Committee update" in the centre.

The City’s Transportation Committee today approved its portion of Draft Budget 2024(link is external), which includes $454.8 million in capital funding for transportation infrastructure to improve and renew roads, sidewalks, pathways, bridges, culverts and intersections. The budget also includes a net operating budget of $295 million to support the City’s roads, parking, traffic, transportation and fleet services.

The City is committed to keeping Ottawa’s roads safe for all users and the capital budget includes $98.7 million to improve and renew roads with $76.5 million for road resurfacing alone. The City would also invest $10.9 million to renew and repair sidewalks and pathways, with an additional $3.9 million for new sidewalks.

The 2024 budget includes $31 million to replace municipal vehicles and equipment. Of those investments, $4.6 million will go toward continuing the transition of the City’s fleet to electric, hybrid and low-emission vehicles. Other highlights of capital investments include:

  • $38.7 million to renew structures and bridges
  • $2.6 million to design ByWard Market public realm projects, including the William Street revitalization, ByWard Market Square and redevelopment of the municipal parking garage at 70 Clarence Street
  • $50.4 million toward new roads and intersections
  • $10.3 million for new cycling infrastructure and multi-use pathways
  • $32.2 million in transportation network assets

The budget commits $20.5 million to fund Road Safety Action Plan initiatives such as traffic-calming measures, awareness campaigns, enforcement and engineered solutions to reduce collisions and prevent injuries and fatalities. The City would invest $4.4 million to establish a new automated speed enforcement processing centre. This centre would improve processing and increase funds generated by the program to be reinvested in road safety measures. Other investments in road safety include:

  • $2.6 million for stand-alone neighbourhood traffic-calming measures across the city
  • $75,000 per ward for additional temporary traffic calming measures
  • $2.4 million to install automated speed enforcement cameras at 20 locations to reinforce speed limits and promote greater safety – especially near school zones.

The winter operations budget would increase by $6.7 million to $92.5 million in 2024. This increase of nearly eight per cent will help the City continue to maintain Ottawa’s roads, sidewalks and pathways throughout the winter.

The Committee also received an update on the City’s winter maintenance quality standards(link is external) and ongoing work to improve the condition of roads, sidewalks and other facilities in winter. Ottawa provides a high level of winter maintenance service relative to other municipalities, and while there is no planned change to the existing standards at this time, the report highlights how the City has continued to enhance winter maintenance by:

  • Deploying resources strategically
  • Providing 24/7 sidewalk maintenance
  • Responding more proactively and aggressively to all weather events
  • Alternating start points for residential plow routes
  • Replacing sand with grit on sidewalks and most roads
  • Replacing steel plow blades with rubber blades
  • Using GPS to improve performance and reduce fuel usage
  • Setting consistent parking bans and providing more off-street parking during bans
  • Communicating proactively before, during and after weather events
  • Training staff on accessibility awareness and challenges for people with disabilities

Further improvements are planned for the current season, including providing City Councillors access to GPS tracking for winter operations equipment, increasing parking options during winter weather parking bans and piloting a project to maintain more stairways.

The Committee received the Strategic Road Safety Action Plan annual report(link is external) for 2023. The report provides a progress update on initiatives undertaken in 2023 with a budget of more than $6.3 million. The report also provides an overview of initiatives planned for 2024, with a draft budget of $20.5 million. Those initiatives include engineering-related safety improvements, the installation of 20 new automated speed enforcement cameras, the continued pilot of new technologies, and pedestrian accessibility enhancements.

Recommendations from today’s meeting will rise to Council on Wednesday, November 22, except for the budget report, which Council will consider on Wednesday, December 6.

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