Posts Tagged ‘maps


A satyr twin: The Transitway anagram map

A bit of fun for all you transit riders: similar to the subway\metro anagram maps that have been created for cities like London and Toronto, someone has created a Transitway anagram map. You can see it on a thread over at Skyscraper Pages. Be warned, some of the station anagrams are NSFW, so if your boss\IT department is particularly sensitive, you may not wish to click through until you get home.

Some of them are amusingly appropriate, too. My favourites are “Gasolene” at the Eagleson Park & Ride, “Rusty Senate Pun” at Tunney’s Pasture, and “Lone Mart” at Montreal. Campus is also entertaining, but I’m going to refrain from posting that particular anagram here…


Parking space

When you walk around downtown, they hardly even register in your mind. Parking lots. They’re nearly everywhere, and it’s not often that we give them so much as a second glance. The truth is, parking lots are terrible wastes of space. They don’t really have many alternate uses, they’re visually unappealing, and they’re not very efficient, either, especially when you have a bunch of single-occupant vehicles parked in a lot all day.

What I wanted to know was exactly how much space are we losing to these surface parking lots? While it could always be worse (take a look around downtown Phoenix on Google Maps), the answer is still a lot. I mapped out all of the at least moderately sized lots (skipping parking garages, since they’re a little better in their space usage) in Centretown north of Somerset, and in the ByWard Market. I don’t claim 100% accuracy on these (you can see where Google’s satellite imagery doesn’t match their map data, for one), but I think they should still give you an idea of just how much room we use in Ottawa to give us spots to leave our cars all day.

Parking lots in Centretown north of Somerset

Parking lots in Centretown north of Somerset

Parking lots in the ByWard Market

Parking lots in the ByWard Market

Maybe it’s just me, but I found both of these to be pretty astounding. In both the densest part of our city, an in one of Ottawa’s biggest pedestrian areas, huge amounts of land are given over to parking lots. Just imagine if some of these were turned into apartment buildings, parkettes or squares! I’m certain it would make for a much nicer urban environment, as well as make these areas more attractive to both visitors and residents.

What also gets me is the fact that there are so many parking lots around the Supreme Court. These are federal lands, near a national landmark, so why are they given over to parked cars? Surely they’d be much nicer as public parks?

Of course, I recognize that we can’t just up and eliminate parking. We’re still a car-dependent society, no matter how good public transit use is in this city. However, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suggest that we should build more underground parking lots or parking garages. The latter don’t even have to be ugly, as the Rideau Centre’s new parking garage shows. Maybe it’s not as cheap as simply paving over a square of land, but it’s certainly a much better way to deal with parking in our downtown core.


Light rail, supplemental

Shortly after writing that last post, I realized there’s so many proposals for light rail floating around out there, it might be a good idea to map them to see the various ideas we’re looking at. I’ll focus most specifically on the west end, since that’s where the majority of the debate seems to occuring.

First, the most basic—Transitway conversion, including the Ottawa River Parkway:


Green would be the Parkway line, red is the current O-Train, orange the Transitway LRT, and orange is the Billings Bridge to Hurdman LRT, proposed in Clive Doucet’s Light Rail Now! plan.

Now here’s the Byron Avenue option:


With the purple line representing the Byron line, you can see that it follows the Transitway up to Dominion, before it would duck south and travel between Richmond and Byron to Lincoln Fields. The biggest question mark is the final 500-or-so metres before Lincoln Fields, where I’m not sure where tracks would be able to run.

Lastly, here’s the Carling proposal:


The teal is the Carling line, which begins at Carling station and is a straight-shot down Carling Avenue until it hits Lincoln Fields. This would leave rail to Tunney’s Pasture somewhat orphaned, so it’s questionable if that would actually be built past Bayshore, or if it would remain BRT. It might be worth considering, though, due to the amount of government offices in that area.

Finally, here’s an overall view, with the Byron option chosen for the western section entirely because I thought it looked nicest. So sue me, I’m a cartographer and that’s what I do.


Again, you’ll note two aspects of Doucet’s plan I included. First, the 97’s run between Billings and Hurdman is light rail, providing a rapid transit alternative to traveling through downtown, and easily extendable to Barrhaven at some point in the future. As well, O-Train extensions to Leitrim and downtown Gatineau. While I question the logic of stopping the O-Train at Leitrim (I think the airport would be a better southern terminus), I’m very much in favour of extending our system into Gatineau. It might require a second tunnel, but integrating our two systems would be incredibly valuable, and it would save Ottawans that work in Quebec having to switch to STO buses at Mackenzie King like they currently do.

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Email: dmccl033(at)uottawa(dot)ca

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