Footbridge consultation was thorough

Dear Editor,

I was dismayed by the letter in the last edition of the Mainstreeter. Discussions about a footbridge across the canal have been ongoing in our community for a long time. They were formalized by establishing a committee under Sustainable Living Ottawa East (SLOE). SLOE has been meeting for about five years. In that time period, committee members have consulted with–and received confirmed support from–the community associations of Old Ottawa East, Glebe, Centretown, Riverview Park, and Sandy Hill; from city advisory committees (Roads and Cycling; Heritage and Culture; Pedestrian and Transit, Environmental); four school councils; the City Centre Coalition; and federal, provincial and municipal politicians.The committee also met with representatives from the National Capital Commission (NCC) and Parks Canada.

The proposal is now included in the City of Ottawa’s draft Pedestrian Plan, Cycling Plan and Ottawa East Community Design Plan. Local newspapers–the Ottawa Citizen, the Ottawa Sun, EMC and the Mainstreeter–wrote stories. None of these stories elicited negative responses from the public.

The writer comments that an environmental assessment (EA) has not been completed. This is true. However, the EA is underway, and further public consultation will occur during the EA process.

Like the majority of residents of Old Ottawa East, I look forward to the building of another pedestrian/cycling link across the canal. I have confidence that the EA process will determine the best location for the bridge. I have equal confidence that Parks Canada and the NCC will ensure that the design enhances our beautiful canal.

Heather Jarrett

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