A city councillor is applauding the City of Ottawa's transportation committee's unanimous decision to re-open Wellington Street, which has been closed to vehicle traffic due to the events of last winter's 'Freedom Convoy' occupation which took over the city's downtown core for nearly one month.
After last year's 'Freedom Convoy' occupation, Ottawa city council moved to keep Wellington Street closed to public vehicles between Bank Street and Elgin Street for the rest of the year to prevent similar incidents from happening again.
A motion by Ottawa city council to keep Wellington Street closed expired on Dec. 31, 2022.
On Thursday, Jan. 26, the City's transportation committee unanimously voted to re-open the street to traffic as soon as it is feasible, but no sooner than March 1, 2023. The vote still has to go to council for approval.
While the mayor and a few city councillors have expressed their desire to re-open Wellington as the study on what to do with the street in the future is being conducted, the federal government wants to keep it closed.
"A lot went into this decision," said Beacon Hill-Cyrville Coun. Tim Tierney on The Sam Laprade Show on Jan. 27. "When you have a unanimous decision, that is a pretty big telling that we have to do something with Wellington Street."
Tierney noted now that federal government employees are going back to the office a few days a week, the traffic patterns have started to shift in the city's downtown core.
The councillor said it's an opportunity to help with the traffic flow downtown.
"We have seen in the last two weeks, the traffic patterns have increased dramatically," he said. "This gives a chance to see those traffic patterns improve."
Coun. Tierney said he hopes this recent decision speeds up the process and talks with the federal government as a study is being conducted on the long-term future of Wellington Street.
Listen to the full interview with Coun. Tim Tierney below: