PRELIMINARY EVALUATION OF THE NCC WOODLOT IMMEDIATELY WEST OF PROPOSED LRT DOMINION STATION

The current proposed location of the LRT Dominion Station, on the north side of the Berkeley-Dominion Ave loop, would involve the destruction of a woodlot, now owned the NCC. This woodlot is directly north of the Barkley Condo and the Plaza Towers Apartments and provides a visual as well as a partial sound barrier to the present transit-way. More importantly this small forest has well-used unpaved paths that provides a pleasant walk for many people as well as well as cover for several species of small mammals and birds. If the station were moved north into the current trench at least some of this woods could be saved.

At the June 14 meeting of City Hall a member of the city’s forestry section stated that the forest would die anyway as it was mostly composed of ash and elm, both of which were threatened by insect and fungus attack. While this may be true for other sections of the forest, this is not true for the portion of forest several hundred metres west of the proposed Dominion Station. Our assessment of this section showed that, at most, only 20% were ash and/or elm, mostly ash, while the remainder (>70%) was composed of many other species, including five species of maple (Sugar, Red, Norway, Manitoba, and Amur Maples, Acer saccharum, rubrum, platanoides, negundo, ginnala), Cottonwood (Populus, deltoides), White Spruce (Picea glauca), two species of pine (White and Scotch, Pinus strobes, sylvestris) and several specimens of Bur Oak (Quercus macocarpa) which is at the northern edge of its range. The understory consists largely of buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula), which although an introduced invasive species, offers an esthetically pleasing appearance.

Grace C. Wood, B.Sc., M.Sc. (Biology)

D. Monty Wood, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. (Biology)

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7 Responses to PRELIMINARY EVALUATION OF THE NCC WOODLOT IMMEDIATELY WEST OF PROPOSED LRT DOMINION STATION

  1. Thank you Grace and Monty for taking the time and effort to investigate this. We have walked the described area and offer photographic evidence of your observation – (http://web.ncf.ca/carpe.machinam/Barclay/Building-Photos/Evening-Bunnies-0001x.jpeg)

  2. David James says:

    How can the rail station be moved “north into the current trench” when that’s exactly where the station is being proposed to go? Take a look at the maps again: it will go into the trench north of the loop between Dominion and Berkley and extending east to the pedestrian crossing at Roosevelt (that’s why other NIMBYs want the station moved WEST!).

    The wooded area north of the Barclay and south of the current Dominion would be affected – but by the line itself, not the station. Since only the line is going through the wood and not a station, and since the line will hug the north side of the former CPR corridor (just as the transitway trench does), most of that woodlot would be missed.

    While it will take a few decades to grow up, the location of the current station would also be available for reforesting, connecting it with the woodlot on the north side of the transitway, east of the current station. On a net basis, over the long term, the plan would probably result in an increase in tree cover east of Rochester Field due to the removal of the large asphalted area of the current station and its replacement by the narrower RoW of light rail.

  3. Bob Thomson says:

    You obviously haven’t looked at the City’s drawings closely, if at all. They clearly show the station 40-50 metres south of the existing trench on the grassy strip SOUTH of the existing trench. An official at the June 17th open house told one person that the station would require excavation of some 50 metres south of the existing trench and that the trench would be filled. Your implication that we’re NIMBYs is ridiculous. We’re YIMBYs. We want the station in the existing trench, at the end of Berkley and Dominion, NOT on top of the water main with an alignment that will destroy all of the woodlot. Please look at the City drawings in my posting. The new trench is right on top of the woodlot, not on the edge of it as you believe. Do you honestly believe that the line itself as opposed to the station will not destroy the woodlot? If so, you clearly know nothing about construction! I’d like to be respectful of your opinions, but it’s hard when you obviously don’t appear able to read a map.

    • David James says:

      This is the second post in which you’ve rudely accused me of “obviously” or “clearly” not looking at the City’s drawings and maps. To make such a comment to someone who quite obviously is able to read a map is all the more insulting and just goes to show your own ignorance and inabilities. Not only can I read maps, I have even drawn them. So quite frankly you owe me an apology or two for your rudeness.

      Far from me not having looked at anything, it’s quite “obvious” to me that you don’t know what you’re talking about.

      The official’s claim of needing to excavate about 50 m of rock south of the existing trench is indeed correct – but you’ve just grossly misunderstood why and where it will take place, which, frankly, given all your other incoherent nonsense is hardly surprising. Do you even have any idea how large a distance 40-50 m is? Road allowances are generally 20 m. If your claim of “[the City’s drawings] clearly show the station 40-50 metres south of the existing trench on the grassy strip SOUTH of the existing trench” were actually true, the station would be on the other side of Berkley and Dominion loop and the line would be headed through the foundations of the Barclay.

      The transitway immediately north of the loop between Berkley and Dominion does not run parallel to that loop; the transitway in that segment turns west to rise up to the Parkway intersection and the current station. The excavation of 50 m is IN LINE with the transitway extending east past the Roosevelt footbridge; the end result will be that the trench will run parallel to the loop. The easiest way to see this for yourself is to go the Roosevelt footbridge, stand at the southwest edge above the edge of the trench and follow and extend that line. You’ll also see that that line does go through the woodlot, but at its northern side.

      You can measure it off on the image I linked to in the other post… the 50 m “obviously” refers to 50 m of distance to be excavated, not 50 m of width off to the side. Plus if you actually had the map and drawing reading abilities that you accuse me of not having, you would have realized what I did, namely that the loop as drawn has been shifted north towards the trench. If you were to extend that loop east along and parallel to the transitway, in reality you would hit the last house on the west side of Roosevelt, and then the Fendor site on the east side, but in the drawing such an imaginary extension would pass to the north of both of them. Go look at a map and the drawing again. The drawing is “obviously” a distortion of the “facts on the ground”. It also has the pedestrian bridge at the end of Roosevelt in the wrong place, which was so “obvious” to me that it caused me to start searching for other problems with the drawing.

      Here again is that image:

      And from that small “obvious” distortion, you’ve gone and generated an entire narrative with little if any basis in reality.

      The part of the trench to be filled, then, is naturally where it turns away from the rest of the trench to the east.

  4. Bob Thomson says:

    OK let’s calm this down a bit. I created this site to encourage dialogue, not diatribe. I apologize if I have offended you, just as you have offended me by putting me into the category of NIMBYs and calling my assertions “incoherent nonsense”.

    If you look at the City drawing in my post “Relocate the Dominion Station” (https://westernlrt.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/alternative-dominion-station.jpg?w=700), you will see that the City’s proposed Dominion station location is on the very edge of the curve between Berkley and Dominion. The City drawing at (https://westernlrt.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/dominion_station_bt2.jpg?w=700) shows the same, as does this City drawing of the station (https://westernlrt.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/citys-view-of-dominion-station-2.jpg). These drawings are pretty clear and are available on the City web site at http://ottawa.ca/sites/ottawa.ca/files/june_13_wlrtc_technical_briefing.pdf. They are clear enough to have caused me to assume you hadn’t looked at them.

    With respect to my assertion that the City drawings show the Dominion station at the base of Berkley and Dominion, you have said: “you’ve just grossly misunderstood why and where it will take place, which, frankly, given all your other incoherent nonsense is hardly surprising”. I admit I did exaggerate the distance from the existing trench to the edge of the city road/curve. It is 30-40 metres, not 40-50 metres. I find it hard to see how an estimate which is 1/3 out qualifies as “incoherent nonsense”. I think the City drawings linked above make my point clear, their proposed location is where I said it was, on the immediate north edge of the Dominion and Berkley curve.

    My photo taken at this location (https://westernlrt.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/img1812.jpg) shows that the alignment of the line, if the station is built on this grassy strip on top of the trunk water main, will plough straight through the woodlot that we want to protect. While the line by itself might theoretically permit about half of the woodlot to remain, as your helpful image shows, it is unlikely that the construction of the line there will not damage the other half of the woodlot. In addition, access to the woodlot (and to 495 Richmond from the station) will be prevented by the elimination of the existing unnpaved path in the middle of the woodlot. The entirety of the woodlot is essential to it’s quality as both a sound barrier, a connecting space to parts of the Parkway further west and a well used “recreational” green space.

    You note: ” The easiest way to see this for yourself is to go the Roosevelt footbridge, stand at the southwest edge above the edge of the trench and follow and extend that line” This photo from the footbridge is helpful. (https://westernlrt.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/img1811.jpg)

    Your image suggests a move to the north of the City drawing’s proposed location of the station, but not as far as I am suggesting. I’ve shown my suggested alignment superimposed in yellow on a portion of your image here. (https://westernlrt.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/wlrt-dominion-skead-d_james_bt.jpg) The curves required for this diversion to save the woodlot have a radius of about 190 metres according to the scale showing 50 metres on your image. This is almost 10 times the Alstom Citadis minimum turning radius specification and 3.8 times the 50 metre radius curves that will be used on parts of the Confederation line currently under construction. In addition, it might require the east end of the station to be a bit further east toward Roosevelt.

    I note that the City staff in their recommendation to the Transportation Committee for their meeting of July 10 have said on page 12:

    “Additional mitigation measures were requested at the [June 27, 2013 NCC Public Board] meeting, and, to this end,, the study team will investigate [amongst other things] the following during functional design:
    • modifying Dominion Station by moving it to the north and reducing impact on the residential and adjacent wooded area south of the station;
    • revisiting the design of Dominion, Cleary and New Orchard Stations to find ways to reduce the size of the station houses;”

    Needless to say, I’m pleased our representations to the City have been heard.

  5. Bob Thomson says:

    Mr. James has made another comment at another place on this site. My (last) response to him can be found at https://westernlrt.wordpress.com/dominion-station/comment-page-1/#comment-15

  6. Bob, David, I’ve cringed a bit at your spirited exchanges, but I have drilled down to http://david.jamesnet.ca/ where I found the “Master’s Degree Project: Ottawa’s Transitway: From Busway to Light Rail (2008)”.
    I find it fascinating reading. Was it a Labour of Love, or did it lead to employment with the LRT project?
    I’m not sure what the yellow lines represent on the “big picture” – http://david.jamesnet.ca/LRT/WLRT-dominion-skead.jpg – particularly with reference to the north end of the Berkeley-Dominion loop.
    The City has recently sold off four building lots from this presently grassed area, apparently destined to be subdivided into two three-storey semi-detached dwellings.
    That makes me wonder how the construction of these (essentially four) new dwellings, and “reshaping” of the Berkley-Dominion loop, will play against the proposed Dominion Station location(s).
    BTW, David appears to have answered my query about the traffic lights (both elsewhere), as logically they should disappear with the buses, with the introduction of LRT.

    Thank you both for your contributions to my education on the LRT project.

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