This post is an excerpt from a larger article about infrastructure improvements in six Ottawa neighbourhoods written by the Healthy Transportation Coalition. You an read the original article in the Summer 2019 Insider.
Since 2015, we (The Healthy Transportation Coalition) have been working with residents in six lower-income neighbourhoods to identify improvements needed to make them better places for pedestrians, cyclists and public transit riders. This has involved door-to-door outreach, sharing circles, active transportation audits, the formation of resident-led working groups, dot-mocracy to prioritize the top needed improvements, and pop-up projects intended to demonstrate how the neighbourhood would improve if the needed improvement were implemented. As a follow up to all these activities, we have then worked with the local city councillor to seek their support, and the support of the City, to make the improvements permanent.
Bayshore: residents indicated two main priorities: i) the need for a better pathway connection from the community to the nearby Trans Canada Trail; and ii) their desire for a safe pedestrian crossing on Woodridge Crescent north of the Bayshore Transitway Station. We worked with the property owner, Ferguslea, to have them pave and widen the pathway connection to the TransCanada Trail so that it avoids two large dumpsters.
And, we worked with the City, including the local City Councillor Mark Taylor, and residents to hold a pedestrian crosswalk pop-up project in September 2018. By attending consultations related to pedestrian and cycling connectivity to Phase 2 of the City’s Light Rail Transit Project, we were able to secure a commitment from the City that it will provide a safe pedestrian crossing at the location by the time Light Rail Transit starts
operating at Bayshore.
We know the pop-up project demonstrated the need for the safe pedestrian crossing to be implemented more quickly than that. The new Councillor for the area, Theresa Kavanagh, recently told us staff have indicated it could be installed as early as 2020.
Bells Corners West: working with residents and City Councillor Rick Chiarelli, we put in pop-up bike lanes on July 22, 2018. One hundred people attended the event and more than 500 people signed a petition addressed to the City asking it to add safe cycling infrastructure on Moodie Drive and to reduce the speed limit from 60km/h down to 50km/h. The event received extensive media coverage (including on CBC News, CBC Radio’s All in a Day, CTV News, CTV Ottawa, and Radio-Canada) and Councillor Chiarelli added the residents’ formal request to City Council’s meeting agenda on August 29, 2018. He also said he would speak to the Transportation Committee Chair to seek his support for the improvements. The update to the Transportation Master Plan, which will begin in 2019, is an opportunity for these needed improvements to be embedded in the City’s plans.