Author Topic: Glass in Ottawa's LRT stations could lead to more bird deaths, activist says  (Read 158 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

One Veteran One Standard

  • Administrator
  • Jr. Member
  • **********
  • Posts: 97
    • View Profile
Glass in Ottawa's LRT stations could lead to more bird deaths, activist says

The extensive amount of clear glass surrounding the city’s new Light Rail Transit stations poses a serious threat to the city’s bird population, says an Ottawa activist. Anouk Hoedeman, founder of Safe Wings Ottawa, which lobbies to make structures in the city safe for birds, says Ottawa sees more than 250,000 bird deaths annually as […]

The extensive amount of clear glass surrounding the city’s new Light Rail Transit stations poses a serious threat to the city’s bird population, says an Ottawa activist.


Anouk Hoedeman, founder of Safe Wings Ottawa, which lobbies to make structures in the city safe for birds, says Ottawa sees more than 250,000 bird deaths annually as a result of clear glass on buildings.


“What we have in these stations is an awful lot of glass,” said Hoedeman. “We already have a big issue with birds colliding with buildings. These stations will pose a huge additional hazard to birds. There is no pattern on the glass, there is nothing to make them bird-friendly.”


Hoedeman also said the bright light levels inside the buildings at night will compound the problem. The bright lights will lure birds to the area, leading many to slam into the glass.


“Birds either see reflections of habitats in glass or they see through glass,” said Hoedeman. “They just don’t understand glass. If they see a reflection of a tree, they just think that is a tree.”


Hoedeman criticized the National Arts Centre expansion, saying that it also used plain clear glass that is detrimental to birds downtown.


However she warned, after watching the construction of several LRT stations, that the stations could be even worse for bird deaths because they are located in areas where there are high populations of birds.


Some buildings, such as a second-storey overpass at City Hall, have been forced to implement additional safeguards after a rising bird death toll.


In 2016, following a large number of bird deaths, city hall staff were forced to cover the overpass glass with paper to make it more visible to birds. The city later covered the glass with stickers, increasing visibility.


Other structures, such as the Place Bell at 160 Elgin St., includes lines through the glass that birds can see and avoid the building.


The City of Ottawa said Thursday that measures were being taken at the new LRT stations to mitigate bird deaths.


“With the high number of birds killed every year in Ottawa in collisions with glass and glass-like structures, the City of Ottawa felt it was important to try and address this in its LRT planning,” the city said in an email attributed to Steve Cripps, director of O-Train construction. He is quoted as saying that builder Rideau Transit Group’s architects and planners “are well aware of the serious threat (and) took several steps to incorporate this knowledge into their designs.”


He said the stations will work to lower lighting levels, employ overhangs and limit reflective glass. Vegetation around the stations will also be limited in a bid to keep birds further away from the train stops.


But Hoedeman was not convinced.


“I have not been reassured by anything that they have told me,” said Hoedeman. “From what I’ve see in the stations downtown, they all look pretty lethal to me. I’m looking at all that glass and it is not bird-friendly glass. I’m still quite concerned that this is going to be a big problem.”





Source: Glass in Ottawa's LRT stations could lead to more bird deaths, activist says