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Ottawa council eyes future of Wellington Street nearly a year after ‘Freedom Convoy’

Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe says the city’s transportation committee will vote on whether to extend the closure of Wellington Street next week. 

The street in front of Parliament Hill was a major east-west artery in Ottawa’s downtown but has remained largely closed to traffic since last year’s “Freedom Convoy” demonstration.

Sutcliffe told the National Capital Commission today that the motion to close Wellington Street to vehicles expired at the end of 2022, and an interim decision will be made next week as the council considers a longer-term plan.  

A memo from the city’s director of traffic services, Phil Landry, says the closure has resulted in increased traffic on other major streets in the downtown core. 

Landry says a transportation study will be conducted to see how downtown road networks are performing as more people return to the area. 

Landry said a final recommendation on the future operation of Wellington Street won’t come until later this year or early 2024. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 19, 2023. 

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press