The partial closure of Gatineau Park to cars makes people sad

On Saturday, the summer schedule on the Gatineau Park parkway will take effect. They are therefore reserved for bicycles, scooters and other skates, as well as for walkers all day, every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, while on weekends, access will be shared with the shuttle, until 1 pm, then the vehicles.

Only vehicles can access the afternoon and evening walks, from 1 pm to 30 minutes after sunset, every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.

One way to reduce vehicle use at Gatineau Park, as already suggested by NCC with a pilot project set up in 2020.

[…] C’est clair que la volonté est de réduire l’utilisation des voitures dans le parc et de promouvoir le transport actif”,”text”:”Nous avons profité de la pandémie qui imposait de nouvelles restrictions pour permettre un meilleur accès et plus d’occasions aux gens de profiter du plein air et du parc. Cela fait aussi partie des objectifs de notre récent plan directeur du parc de la Gatineau.[…] C’est clair que la volonté est de réduire l’utilisation des voitures dans le parc et de promouvoir le transport actif”}}”>We took advantage of the pandemic that imposed new restrictions to allow greater access and more opportunities for people to enjoy the outdoors and in the park. This is also one of the goals of our recent Gatineau Park master plan. […] Clearly the desire is to reduce the use of park vehicles and promote active transportationexplained Catherine Verreault, Senior Manager Lands and Natural Resources at NCC.

The NCC wants to favor active transportation in the park (archives).

Photo: Richere David

The pilot project was well received by users, Ms. assured. Verreault, offering them a new road to discover this and the beneficial effects can be observed in the fauna, he says.

The main benefit of having fewer vehicles is for wildlife. We see more animalssaid Ms. Verreault, stating that the NCC will collect more data on this issue, specifically on frogs, to document the impact of this initiative.

A petition is calling for parkways to be reopened to vehicles

But this announcement did not please all residents of the National Capital Region. One of them, Ala Kaddy, recently started a petition on the online platform, change.org. Friday, it collected 3146 signatures.

Its author requests that access to the park be restored as it was during its pre-pandemic period.

He invites signatories to send an email to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Filomena Tassi, who believes CCN visant la fermeture des routes d’accès au parc provenant des fonds fédéraux pour les transformer en installations sportives de performance sont inacceptables”,”text”:”les récentes initiatives menées par la CCN visant la fermeture des routes d’accès au parc provenant des fonds fédéraux pour les transformer en installations sportives de performance sont inacceptables”}}”>recent initiatives led by NCC it is unacceptable to close roads to the park from federal funds to make functional sports facilities.

CCN ni par l’utilisation prévue du parc. Le changement d’orientation de la CCN éloignant les usagers actifs de l’espace vert pour favoriser les usagers actifs des promenades n’est pas en ligne avec l’utilisation initiale de l’argent des contribuables pour créer cet atout financé par le gouvernement fédéral”,”text”:”La vision radicale de l’intention initiale en tant que corridors d’accès n’est pas soutenue par le mandat de la CCN ni par l’utilisation prévue du parc. Le changement d’orientation de la CCN éloignant les usagers actifs de l’espace vert pour favoriser les usagers actifs des promenades n’est pas en ligne avec l’utilisation initiale de l’argent des contribuables pour créer cet atout financé par le gouvernement fédéral”}}”>The radical view of the original purpose as access corridors is not supported by the mandate of NCC or by the intended use of the park. The change in the direction of NCC moving active users from green space in favor of active users from parkways is inconsistent with the original use of taxpayer dollars to create this federally funded assetcan we read in the suggested email template, which estimates that the new schedule for the walks is very discriminatory towards people with low mobility, the elderly and families with young children.

But according to Ms. Verreault, the decision of NCC is in line with the objectives of its new master plan which was the subject of meetings, consultations and surveys before being approved in January 2021.

Consultations discussed by Mr. Kaddy.

CCN et réservés exclusivement aux abonnés existants du site web de la CCN peuvent être considérés non biaisés et inclusifs. Je connais très peu de gens qui sont conscients des changements prévus”,”text”:”Je me demande si ces sondages et séances d’information annoncés par le moyen des réseaux sociaux de communication de la CCN et réservés exclusivement aux abonnés existants du site web de la CCN peuvent être considérés non biaisés et inclusifs. Je connais très peu de gens qui sont conscients des changements prévus”}}”>I wonder if these polls and information sessions are advertised through social communication networks of NCC and exclusively reserved for current subscribers of the website NCC can be considered impartial and inclusive. I know very few people who are aware of the planned changeshe wrote.

A new free shuttle

Although improvements are expected and possible changes, a complete return is not expected, Ms. warned. Verreault, however, is recalling the vocation of Gatineau Park conservation.

[…] Cette pétition, nous en tenons compte.[…] Mais on suggère aussi aux gens d’essayer ce qui a été mis en place cet été et de nous faire part de leurs commentaires ensuite”,”text”:”Nous prenons toutes les remarques du public très au sérieux.[…] Cette pétition, nous en tenons compte.[…] Mais on suggère aussi aux gens d’essayer ce qui a été mis en place cet été et de nous faire part de leurs commentaires ensuite”}}”>We take all feedback from the public very seriously. […] This petition, we will consider. […] But we also suggest that people try out what was put out this summer and give us their feedback afterwards.he says.

Access to the various sites in Gatineau Park can be done in many ways, continued the senior manager of land and natural resources.

A free shuttle accessible to people with limited mobility (New window) will be available from June 25 to August 28 and will offer a round-trip service between Ottawa-Gatineau and the Gatineau Park Visitor Center in Chelsea, stopping at popular destinations along the parkways.

It is also possible to rent electric bikes, he added, at the outdoor relay and at Chelsea. Ang NCC will also offer free rental of electric scooters for people with poor mobility.

Furthermore, the NCC announced that, from May 14 to October 10, every weekend, the Sir-John-A.-Macdonald and Sir-George-Étienne-Cartier parkways will also be closed to cars, from 8 am to 4 pm, and the Queen Elizabeth Driveway is reserved for active transportation from 8 am to 8 pm

From 1eh July through September 5, the closure of Queen Elizabeth Driveway to cars will take place at least seven days a week.

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