Taking pride in your work

The city likes signs. Sometimes we run out of sidewalk or curbside space to put signs on posts and so we paint them onto the roads. Or, in the case of sharrows, they are a sort of lane marking. But winter, plowing, and general wear and tear means we have to repaint most pavements annually. Why can’t the city use the same size stencil from year to year? And why can’t work crews align this year’s stencil directly over last year’s?   Continue reading Taking pride in your work

Priority parking

Taking transit for a trip isn’t usually the whole adventure. Somehow, one has to get to and from the transit stop. Transit boffins know how far people are willing to walk to a bus stop. They are willing to walk further to a train — or LRT — stop or station than to a bus stop/station. The catchment area of a BRT station or a LRT station is also extended if people find it convenient to ride their bikes to the station. That convenience requires some care and thoughtfulness in the provision of safe cycling routes. And at the station, the … Continue reading Priority parking

Chariots of Ire

Loblaws has an outlet in Westboro called the Real Canadian Superstore. And we all know Real Canadians don’t complain. But we apparently do steal shopping carts. They show up all over the neighborhood: The RCSS in Westboro recently got a fleet of new carts. The half-size carts in particular are a welcome alternative to the tractor-trailer sized ones the dominate the store and invite you to load ’em up with more stuff than you need and then clip the heels of the fatigued shopper ahead of you.. The new carts have wheel brakes on them. Once you leave the parking lot, the brakes … Continue reading Chariots of Ire

Meeting the Man with the Screwdriver

So, I was walking down the street the other day (not in Ottawa) lookin’ at the cycle track and bumped into Jeffrey Hoffmann. He is the five-time astronaut on the various space shuttles, including stint(s) as commander. He has logged over 21.5 million miles in the shuttle. Note that you get free upgrades for life on terrestrial airlines when you fly 1 million miles. He is also the guy who held the screwdriver that fixed the Hubble Space Telescope. While walking in space.  I did not ask if it was a Phillips head. He’s now a professor of engineering at … Continue reading Meeting the Man with the Screwdriver

Where east meets west

The fabled silk road ran from Europe to China, on the route blazed by Marco Polo. Charlene Lafontaine named the sculptural glass pieces of art on the recently reconstructed bit of Somerset after the silk road. Here is a nifty YouTube video that explains the title: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=VKAWVD5PkOg The Preston sculpture by cj fleury just south of the intersection of Preston / Somerset is called Marco Polo and shows his route. It celebrates the meeting of (Little)Italy and China(town), expressed by the Italian palazzo on the bottom and dragon on the column. The unfurled map at top shows his route. (There is an explanatory brochure for … Continue reading Where east meets west

853 Carling, in the news

David Reevely writes in his Ottawa Citizen blog Greater Ottawa,  that a representative of Arnon was lobbying the City about LRT in Kitchissippi Ward, but that details were lacking. What a surprise. However, we can speculate on what might be going on. Arnon owns 853 Carling avenue, immediately west of the Carling Otrain station, now a large parking lot, former home to Campbell Iron and Steel. They propose to build two large high condo towers on the site, and two lower rise condo buildings on the back sides of the site, toward Hickory St, where the city proposes to built … Continue reading 853 Carling, in the news

WestSideAction is moving

West side action is moving to www.WestSideAction.com     (note the “.wordpress.com” has been removed). Some  October posts have disappeared for some browsers. I am working on restoring them. And the wordpress-hosted site has filled up all its capacity (too many posts ! too many pictures !) Some kind readers with techno knowledge met with me on friday and we will  move the site to another host, and make numerous improvements. Stay tuned, and thank you for reading. Continue reading WestSideAction is moving