(An invention from Stittsville’s SmartCone Technologies is being deployed as part of a pilot project on O’Connor street in downtown Ottawa. Here’s a press release from Ottawa Police Services about the project.)
Safer Roads Ottawa and the Ottawa Police Service have launched a new cyclist detection system on the O’Connor bike lanes at the corner of Waverley.
(PHOTO: Lookout over the marsh at the head of Poole Creek, along the Trans Canada Trail just west of Stittsville. Photo by Glen Gower.)
As I sit down to write this it’s a very crisp (1°C) but bright Thanksgiving Monday. I hope you can take some time today to get outside for a run, a walk or a bike ride and enjoy one of the many trails we have close to us in Stittsville. (Bring your camera too – the fall colours are incredible.) Here are five of my favourite paths nearby. Continue reading →
(PHOTO: Thom Johnson will run Steelwool Cycleworks, the bike shop, and Kat Kosk will run Blumenstudio, the cafe-florist.)
UPDATE (AUGUST 6): They’re not quite ready to open yet. Posted to their Twitter feed yesterday: “.we still have a bit of tweaking to do .trims details bathroom & so on .please stay tuned for stittsville”
Stittsville will get a taste of trendy Hintonburg when Blumenstudio opens its doors on Saturday.
The new location will be at 1564 Stittsville Main Street, in the cinder block building that’s also home to Capital Cabinetry. Renovations have recently been underway to replace bricks with windows at the front, creating a street-side retail space.
I dropped in on Friday night and met Kat Kosk, Thom Johnson and Paul Idone, the trio who are behind the venture. They were expecting a late night ahead as they prepared for a partial opening on Saturday.
Idone was building a bar near the front for the coffee part of the business, Kosk was moving in plants (lots of cacti and big leafy greens) and Johnson was building a web site on his laptop. Kosk’s dog was there to keep them company.
Idone owns the cabinetry business, and Johnson his business partner. Johnson will run the bike part of the business, under the name Steelwool Cycleworks. Johnson’s also an owner at Talltree Cycles on Wellington Street in Hintonburg.
Kosk owns Blumenstudio on Parkdale Avenue in Hintonburg. It’s a popular high-end floral shop and cafe that’s been open since March 2011. The location in Stittsville will follow the same concept.
Kosk said they had lots of neighbours dropping by today to say hello, and they’re looking forward to meeting more Stittsville residents when they open on Saturday. Johnson’s bike shop should open a couple of weeks.
It’s great to see another interesting indie shop opening up on Stittsville Main Street. Welcome to the neighbourhood!
Jonathan Seguin sent along some photos and warning about wild parsnip along the trails south of Abbott Street and east of Shea. Colloquially known as the “Abbott Street Dog Park”, it’s a very popular area for dogwalkers, even though it’s on private property.
The yellow weed is all over the place in our area, especially near ditches, pathways and fields. The plant’s sap can cause skin and eye irritation, and make the skin prone to burning and blistering when exposed to the sun. (It’s not as big a risk for dogs, although sap could be transferred from their fur to human skin.)
Seguin knows all about the dangers of wild parsnip: he works for one of the companies the City has contracted to do the spraying. “I’ve had the rash multiple times so I’m just looking out for the Stittsville locals so they can avoid it. It is not fun and gets quite bad unless you know how to handle it,” he says.
The City of Ottawa is spending close to $200,000 to combat the weed this year, including mowing, herbicides and a public awareness campaign. If you see wild parsnip on public property, you can report it to the City by calling 3-1-1.
The Abbott Street land is private property, so the city won’t touch it. (And technically, dog walkers are trespassing.) Wear shoes, long pants and long sleeves, stay out of the weeds, and if you do come in contact, wash the contaminated area as soon as possible. See a doctor if you notice any skin irritation. More about wild parsnip here…
“They’ve told me that they can finally enjoy their backyards, eat outside and encounter no mosquitoes rising out of the grass when they’re cutting it,” she wrote in a recent email to residents.
Every household had a levy of about $20 added to their tax bill this year to pay to spray larvicide in wetland areas to prevent mosquito larvae from hatching.
I live in the north east part of Stittsville and I’ve noticed fewer mosquitos buzzing around my porch and backyard this year.
Meanwhile, the City of Ottawa, university of Ottawa and G.D.G Canada are collaborating on an ecological impact study to better understand the effects of the larvicide treatment on insects closely related to mosquitos. You can read about that research here…
Thanks to Kim Bonin for snapping this pic of Jessica Phelan while she passed through Stittsville along the Trans Canada Trail on Saturday. She’s on a 9,000km trek across Canada called Jess Bikes Canada, raising money for Gillian’s Place, a shelter for abused women. You can read more about her trip here.
KANATA CENTRAL BIA IN THE WORKS
Businesses in Kanata Centrum and the surrounding area are looking at forming a Business Improvement Area (BIA). The group would be known as the Kanata Central BIA and include shops and businesses in Kanata Centrum, Signature Centre and Kanata Commons, along with Canadian Tire and the Marriott hotel. They have a Facebook page set up here and an email address, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The verdict is in for the new lane configuration for the lights at Huntmar and Maple Grove.
Councillor Shad Qadri wrote in his weekly newsletter that he’s asking City staff reconfigure the northbound lane markings to allow for a dedicated left-turn lane plus a shared straight/right-turn. The bike lane will be removed. (Lanes in the other direction stay the same.) Continue reading →
While any number of collisions between cars and pedestrians or cyclists is too many, Stittsville has a relatively low number compared to other areas in Ottawa.
The map was created by Alex deVries, vice-president of Citizens for Safe Cycling. It’s an interactive heat map on their web site that shows car-pedestrian and car-cyclist collisions in Ottawa over ten years, from 2004 to 2013. You can check it out here…
“Over time, the absolute number of reported collisions involving pedestrians or cyclists has remained relatively flat, even though both Ottawa’s population and the popularity of cycling have increased dramatically over these years,” they note. “The number of collisions for cyclists, relative to population and the growth in cycling, is actually down.”
StittsvilleCentral.ca asked deVries about why he created the map. Here’s his reply:
I created the site to provide some information people could use to understand patterns in collisions of cyclists and pedestrians. City staff are using this tool to understand where and when collisions occur.
There were several surprises in this to me:
– the location of pedestrian and cycling collisions are not the same; in Stittsville, there’s quite a few collisions on Stittsville Main St, but the cyclist collisions are more likely to be at intersections. Pedestrian collisions are where there aren’t cross-walks.
– cycling collisions tend to be near bridges and near strip malls, and where there are no bicycle lanes.
– there’s an impression that there are more cycling collisions now more than ever. This isn’t true; the number of reported collisions is roughly flat, despite a 40% increase in cycling and crowing population.
– the worst place in the city for cycling collisions is Bank St. near Billings Bridge. It is about twice as bad as the next locations (on Rideau St. and Montreal Rd).
My neighbour Bill and I recently cycled to the Ashton Brew Pub. Ashton is just west of Stittsville and the pub is located inside the town’s old mill.
It’s easy to get to from Stittsville, just head west down the Trans Canada Trail. Before the trail passes under Highway 7, you turn off onto West End Way, then left on Ashton Station Road. The mill is on the corner roughly where Flewellyn Road intersects. Continue reading →