When people are defending the proposed Wellington St. Extension, they often invoke traffic on Rideau St. as a major problem it would solve. As a home-owner on Rideau St. for the past six years, I want to make it clear that I am firmly against the Wellington St. Extension.
Rideau St has always been a route into and out of the city; you can see this in old maps. No one who has moved onto Rideau in the past century should expect to be living on a quiet suburban cul-de-sac. But Rideau St. is not unduly busy. Every day I leave my house to walk, bike and/or drive along Rideau St. I back out of my driveway into traffic, or, if on my bicycle, merge into traffic. In over six years I’ve never had to wait more than a moment for a break in the traffic. Every day I also cross Rideau St to visit Douglas Fluhrer Park; again, I never have to wait long at all, no matter the time of day.
Rideau is a lively and diverse street. In addition to cars, there are always plenty of pedestrians, as well as bikes, strollers, dog walkers, skateboarders, wheelchairs and scooters. For many of us living on Rideau, this activity is what makes it a vital and interesting place to live. Could it be made better? Sure. But the Wellington St. Extension won’t solve any of the issues that may be of concern to Rideau St. residents.
The traffic on Rideau St. is not a problem for many of us who live here. What IS a problem is the threat of a large noisy expressway cutting Rideau St. residents (and the rest of the city) off from one of the last pieces of green waterfront left in the city.
— Susan Belyea