Carling ramp closure raises councillors' ire

Provincial plans to close an on-ramp to the Queensway from Carling is getting some negative reaction at Ottawa City Hall.

As part of a plan to widen the highway through the area, the Ministry of Transportation wants to close the ramp from westbound Carling to eastbound Highway 417, behind the Westgate Shopping Centre.

Councillor Jeff Leiper says the Ministry should be keeping its options open.

"It is premature to close this ramp, pending that larger understanding of what the impacts are going to be on those tens of thousands of residents in developments like Westgate, and the relocation of the (Civic) hospital," he told the Transportation Committee.

The change would force motorists to loop around via Kirkwood Avenue and eastbound Carling to access the eastbound highway.

Councillor Catherine McKenny told representatives of the Ministry that the Carling/Kirkwood intersection is already extremely busy.

"I'm not hearing that you have a solution if and when this intersection fails, and this plan fails," she said.

Minstry officials say they don't believe traffic loads in the area will increase greatly, but they are promising to work with the city to prevent traffic from taking shortcuts through residential neighbourhoods.