This memo was distributed by John L. Moser, Acting Deputy City Manager, Planning and Infrastructure Portfolio, to Mayor and Council.
Response to Transportation Safety Board’s Recommendation to the City of Ottawa Railway Investigation Report
The purpose of this memorandum is to update the Mayor and Members of Council on the status of the City’s response to the Transportation Safety Board’s (TSB) recommendation to the City of Ottawa in Railway Investigation Report R13T0192.
On December 2, 2015 the TSB released its report on the investigation into the September 2013 accident. The report contains five recommendations, four of which are directed to Transport Canada and one to the City of Ottawa.
TSB Recommendation R15-05 states “The Board recommends that the City of Ottawa reconsider the need for grade separation at the Woodroffe Avenue, Transitway and Fallowfield Road level crossings.” The City of Ottawa committed to provide a response to the TSB’s recommendation within 90 days and Council was advised by memorandum that the course of action would likely be brought before a joint meeting of the Transportation Committee and Transit Commission.
As set out in the attached letter from the City Manager to the TSB, the City has agreed to undertake a technical study to determine the feasibility of grade separation at these three level crossings. This study will be in partnership with VIA Rail Canada in recognition of VIA’s shared interest in public safety and service reliability at all rail crossings.
In addition, the City will study the Merivale Road and Jockvale Road level crossings in order to have a complete understanding of all remaining level crossings in this part of Ottawa. It should be noted that the level crossings at Greenbank Road, where grade separation construction is currently underway, and Strandherd Road, where grade separation is planned, will not be subject to the feasibility study.
As outlined in the attached Statement of Work, the study outcomes will include a review of all previous study work related to these crossings; an analysis of current and projected traffic data; geotechnical work where required; recommendation on whether these crossings could be improved by an underpass or overpass; financial estimates for any feasible works; and any recommendations that could enhance safety at the crossings in the interim.
Due to the need to advise the Transportation Safety Board of the City’s course of action by the end of February and the City’s legislative schedule, the Chairs of the Transportation Committee and Transit Commission have agreed that a joint meeting will not take place. Following a review of the results of the study, staff will bring forward a recommended strategy on next steps to Committee and Council in 2017.
John L. Moser