City of Ottawa ramping up traffic controls to ease congestion in downtown core


High levels of construction and numerous road closures in the National Capital Region have pushed the city to take extra steps to alleviate traffic congestion for the coming two weeks before summer holidays begin in earnest.

Construction on Elgin Street and the Portage Bridge, the closure of Highways 5 and 50 in Gatineau and the closure of the Chaudière Crossing are all contributing to higher-than-usual congestion in the downtown core, according to a memo sent Friday from city transportation boss John Manconi.

Beginning Monday morning, Ottawa Police Services, city by-law officers and transportation officials will take to the streets to implement additional traffic control measures.

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Parking rules will be more tightly enforced along roads deemed critical by the city, tow trucks will be on-hand to promptly remove any vehicles parked improperly, and police officers will be positioned at key intersections to watch for violations of turning restrictions and help keep traffic flowing. Transit supervisors will also monitor Slater and Albert streets to ensure buses are running smoothly during peak periods.

An additional transit officer will be in the city’s control room to manage signal timing on critical roads. Supervisors are also being deployed to ensure construction activity doesn’t contribute to delays with additional disruptions to traffic, and the city is putting a moratorium on road encroachment permits until June 24.

Manconi noted that by the end of the two-week period, students will be finished with school for the summer and many workers will begin taking seasonal holidays, which should result in a natural reduction of congestion.

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