January 19, 2012
The Canadian Museum of Nature hosted a public information session about developments and plans for the west side of the property on January 19, 2012.
The museum would like to thank all those that came out to express their views and concerns about the plans.
Background information about the overall issue.
Museum president and CEO Meg Beckel presented an option for the area that will address the museum's need for surface parking, as well as provide parkland for visitors and the community. This is a preliminary proposal that still requires approval from the National Capital Commission.
A number of ideas were brought forward for consideration by the museum in an effort to minimize the parking footprint and maximize the use of the site.
Lower the number of parking spots the museum needs before jeopardizing visitorship during peak periods from 150 spots to about 120 or 110 spots.
Continue to adjust and test the current temporary parking configuration on the west side during the upcoming peak times (spring break and summer).
Consider alternatives to asphalt as the surface for the parking space.
Consider natural grasses and/or rocks to serve as the barrier to the parking space rather than concrete medians
Consider designing a natural outdoor exhibition on the west side instead of simply a grass lawn. Tell a story about Canada.
Alternative Transportation to Encourage Non-Car Visits
Install a Bixi bike station for bicycle rentals. (Update: The museum has contracted one to be installed in April 2012).
Increase the number of bike racks on the site from pre-construction days (Update: Four more bike racks will be installed on the west side in spring 2012).
Lobby sightseeing tour buses to put the Canadian Museum of Nature on the list of stops.
Lobby OC Transpo to name the nearest bus stop (at McLeod St. and Elgin St.) as the "Museum of Nature" stop.
Continue to work with the National Capital Commission and the City of Ottawa to support the Centretown Community Design Plan, which will allow for the reclamation of the Metcalfe extension that bisects the east side of the museum's site.
More updates will be provided as the plans move forward.
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