Of all days since the bus strike, this one was probably the quietest I’ve seen downtown. How quiet was it? At Place du Portage one Tim Horton’s was closed the entire day, and another closed at noon. That’s how low productivity was in the government on Friday.

When a holiday falls on a Tuesday or Thursday, a lot of people take the imbetween day off. It seems to me like it’s the calm before the storm on Monday. That’s literally (if the snow appears as predicted) and figuratively.

Rob tried to get monthly parking over on the Quebec side and was told he’d have to wait until Monday to give the regulars a chance first. Apparently there are only so many monthly passes sold. It will work out nicely if he can get it, but if he can’t it will cost a bit more than taking the OC Transpo bus would have, but less than if we both took the STO bus both ways. Hopefully on Monday he’ll be able to get it.

We’ll give my walking buddy a ride in, then see what the weather is like after work. We can always walk back to PDP and drive from there. At least it should be faster than waiting for Rob to pick me up downtown. If it’s nice out, I’ll keep up with the walking as much as I can.

Today was a bitterly cold day, and I felt for people with no options but to keep walking to get to weekend work. We only walked as far as Defalco’s on Gladstone and you could really feel the biting wind on the return trip.

The city is bracing for a traffic apocalypse on Monday. And to help deal with it, the city has negotiated with the union for some yellow buses to help out the school boards. There are also some changes to bus only lanes and parking restrictoins. From the city’s web site, the following is of interest:

To promote more carpooling, the City, is opening up more than 3,000 additional off-street parking spots just outside the city core, designating – and installing signage, at selected bus stops on Albert Street and Slater Street for carpool meeting areas during the afternoon peak period. The City recommends that residents working downtown meet at OC Transpo Park & Ride lots or other carpool parking lots across the City to share a vehicle into the downtown.

The City will also be limiting on-street parking on some downtown streets in order to free up lanes and improve traffic flow during peak commuting times. Temporary signage will indicate the weekday restrictions: “No stopping / Tow-away zone” from 7-10 a.m. and 3-7 p.m.

Also, a short portion of the bus-lane on Road 174 at the Montreal Road exit on the westbound Road 174 is going to be opened to allow commuters to use the Ogilvie / Coventry corridor.

The City recognizes that this transit service disruption is hard on everyone, especially seniors and families with children, and is offering the following information to help residents:

  • Green light times have been extended and parking restrictions added to improve traffic flow into the city along the Montreal road, Ogilvie Road, Coventry Road corridor
  • City bus-only lanes will be open to regular traffic, with the exception of Rideau Street, between King Edward Avenue and Sussex Drive.
  • The use of Highway 417 bus lanes for general traffic is not permitted.
  • Transitway and the bus lanes on Road 174 will not be open to regular traffic but the Montreal Road exit from Road 174 is open to commuters heading west along Montreal Road.
  • Para Transpo service will continue as usual but there may be delays.
  • During a transit service disruption, parking will be permitted all day where one-, two- and three-hour unmetered parking is currently permitted. Note that this does not apply to parking meters.
  • OC Transpo Park & Ride lots will be available as carpooling points.
  • Information on carpooling and ride sharing is available on octranspo.com, ottawa.ca and ottawaridematch.com.
  • The City encourages telecommuting and flexible work hours.

I guess by next Friday we’ll know the results of the vote. Too bad Sunday’s storm wasn’t going to be a whopper and cause a snow day. Haven’t had one of those in AGES!