(ABOVE: Walking down Stittsville Main Street during Jane’s Walk 2016. Photo by Barry Gray.)
The Ottawa Neighbourhood Study gives Stittsville a walkability score for of 54% for pedestrian infrastructure. That’s slightly above the city average of 50%, but it suggests there are a lot of places where we can do better. Here’s a list of 10 spots in need of an upgrade for pedestrians.
Hazeldean, between West Ridge and Carp. There’s an OC Transpo bus stop along here, but to get to it you have to walk on the shoulder or the bike lane. That might work in the summer but it’s rather unsafe after a big snowfall. There’s no sidewalk to be found on either side of the road, despite being adjacent to homes and businesses. This would also be a handy route to walk to the Sobeys grocery store for people in West Ridge or Timbermere.
Maple Grove Road, between Huntmar and Terry Fox. It’s time for an upgrade from the current gravel shoulders. A proper sidewalk on this road would make it a convenient (and safe) link for people in Fairwinds to reach two major recreation facilities: Bell Sensplex and Walter Baker Park / Kanata Rec Centre.
Fringewood Drive, south of Hazeldean. There are sidewalks on both sides of the road along Granite Ridge, but they stop abruptly when the street turns into the older part of Fringewood. Given the proximity to Stittsville Public School, sidewalks along this route should be a no-brainer.
The Huntmar Bridge over the Queensway. We’ve written about this one before. The bridge links a major shopping centre (Tanger Outlets) and a major entertainment facility (Canadian Tire Centre) and yet the bridge has been deemed off-limits to pedestrians. That leaves the Arcadia neighbourhood north of the Queensway completely isolated unless you own a car.
West Ridge Drive. Most of West Ridge has sidewalks on both sides of the road, but there are a few sections where the sidewalk meanders from side to side, forcing pedestrians to cross over the busy street. One of the most inconvenient – and incomprehensible – examples is just north of Sable Run, where Canada Post put the community mailboxes on the side without the sidewalk! Residents have also been asking for more pedestrian crosswalks at various points along the street, including at Deer Run Park.
Carp Road, north of Timbermere. Not a super-busy area for pedestrians yet but now that there are more homes and businesses in the area it would be a useful link to have. Sure you can walk on the shoulder but look out for vehicles using it as a passing lane!
Iber Road. The city tends not to build sidewalks in industrial areas, but this street might count as a special situation. Many of the businesses stray from “industrial” and include dance studios, fitness studios, a craft brewer and a daycare. Commuters walk on the shoulders – or snow banks – to get to the bus stop on Hazeldean Road. It’s close to a high school and it’s adjacent to the Trans Canada Trail.
The west side of Huntmar Road, across from Food Basics / Shoppers Drug Mart. The sidewalk is curiously missing between Coriolis and Hazeldean. There was a sidewalk there previously (I remember walking my dog there when I first moved into the neighbourhood – I even tweeted about it, see below) but it was ripped up circa 2011 or 2012, never to be seen again.
Dog's eye view on the way there, sidewalk overgrown. pic.twitter.com/UfEz26b
— Glen Gower (@glengower) August 13, 2011
Park pathways. Add to this list the many pathways that cut through parks that don’t get plowed in the winter, reducing mobility for people on foot. These are important connections to get around in our community and should be maintained year-round.
Crosswalk on Stittsville Main at Elm. Crossing the street at the north end of Elm, around where Jo-Jo’s Pizza is located, is like playing a game of Frogger. It’s the longest stretch of Stittsville Main without a crosswalk.
WHERE ELSE? Tell us what other streets need better pedestrian infrastructure. Add a comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org