Why The Leiper Controversy Matters



A couple of commenters have been concerned about the amount of coverage of the Kitchissippi bike lane controversy.

The issue touches on a number of issues: cycling, the environment, taxpayer cost, the economic viability of Wellington Village, parking, quality of life and the huge number of condo units being erected in the old west end.

Photo above: Is this the kind of old west end or Ottawa you want?

My pet theory about all this is that by the time the last person buys their condo unit in the old west end, the reason that person moved to the community will be gone. The old west end will be just another neighbourhood of bland highrises. The character and community spirit will be gone.

Is there interest in the bike-lane issue? You bet. Readership on April 26 was the highest in the past few months.

It gets to the core of what a number of Ottawans have been thinking and fearing.

Kitchissippi Councillor Jeff Leiper was not elected to paint white lines on every street in the old west end for bikes. Leiper was elected to change the anything-goes development policy of former councillor Katherine Hobbs.

Development can be very good. Make buildings that are so appealing that people want them in their neighbourhood. As well locate buildings where they don’t ruin the properties of nearby homeowners.

That’s what Leiper should be striving for. Wellington Village/Westboro is one of the best-served bike-lane communities in Ottawa. More are not necessary.

The important issue is preserving the historic and architecture composition of the neighbour hood in the face of unbridled development.

Forget painting lines on streets and save the community.



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2 thoughts on “Why The Leiper Controversy Matters

  1. Ken,
    I got it from the start. You were pointing out a larger issue than bike lanes. You were showing that, perhaps, the big issues, going on in the neighbourhood, were being neglected. You were using Mr. Leiper’s flawed position on needing more bike lanes as a way to point towards the bigger picture.
    I think your readers understand the points. I wonder if Mr.Leiper gets it?


    1. P.S.
      Ottawa beat dem damn Ranger bums, good on ya. Things seem to be getting quite exciting.
      Looks like some Ottawa Senators are doing a great job. Now, if we could do something about the ones that sit in the Senate, we’d really be cooking with gas.
      Chaz :)


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