Last week we published a list of ten spots in Stittsville in need of sidewalk or pedestrian upgrades. We asked readers for your suggestions and heard from a lot of you. Here’s a sampling:
“I live in Traditions area. Why is there not a sidewalk from Fernbank to Elm Street along Stittsville Main Street? Where the church is. Children who want to walk from Traditions to where the gas station is, have to cross at Fernbank, go across a busy street, then go past the library, and cross at the light there. We need a sidewalk on the west side of the road there.” -Lori ClaringboldContinue reading →
(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.
(PHOTO: The City will be adding even more signage to roundabouts as part of their new PXO or “Pedestrian Crossover” program. The signs are up at Huntmar-Rosehill, waiting to be unveiled later this month.)
Ottawa drivers are just too polite for roundabouts.
In most jurisdictions, cars have the right of way over pedestrians at a roundabout. But City of Ottawa studies suggest that 50-70% of vehicles are currently yielding to pedestrians as a courtesy, even though they’re not supposed to.
By the end of this month, the city will soon be lifting the veil at the Huntmar-Rosehill roundabout on what they’re calling “PXOs” or “pedestrian crossovers”. It’s part of a bid to make roundabouts and other road crossings safer for pedestrians. (UPDATE: The roundabout at Fernbank and Shea, as well as Robert Grant Ave. will also be converted to include PXOs.) Continue reading →
As a former political staffer to Bob Chiarelli from 1987 – 1990 and again in 1999, I have seen some great work down by bureaucrats at the provincial level and at the former Region of Ottawa-Carleton (ROC). I went out of my way to thank staff when they were of assistance to the MPP and then Regional Chair as well as helping me in my role. Continue reading →
POTTER’S KEY ZONING APPROVED This week City Council approved a zoning change for 6111 and 6141 Hazeldean Road, site of Minto’s future Potter’s Key development. Attached to that zoning change was a condition that “only single detached units are to back onto existing single detached units in the Echowoods and Jackson Trails subdivisions”. Continue reading →
TRAFFIC’S KEY FOR MINTO PLAN
City planner Patricia McCann-MacMillan sent out an atypically frank email to residents who submitted comments on Minto’s proposed Potter’s Key development. The email summarized what’s next for Minto and the City. Continue reading →
Every week we get lots of comments from our readers on our web site, via email, and social media. Here’s a sample of what we heard this week. Add your thoughts to the comments at the bottom of this article or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The “Please Stop For Us” signs are sprouting up like wild parsnip all over Stittsville and other parts of the city. The sign pictured above is on a lamp post across the street from Par-La-Ville Park in Fairwinds, right under a stop sign that nearby residents say is routinely ignored by motorists.
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).
City of Ottawa staff acknowledge that a section of West Ridge Drive isn’t up to current pedestrian safety standards, but there are no plans to fix it.
Most of West Ridge has sidewalks on both sides of the road, but one section that doesn’t is a stretch of about 160 metres on the west side between Sable Run Drive and Steggall Crescent. That sidewalk-free stretch is also home neighbourhood’s community mailbox. Continue reading →
City officials and staff from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) think they have a solution to the sidewalk problem on the Eagleson overpass, but it won’t be safe for pedestrians until at least next fall.
The sidewalk is about five centimetres too narrow for city snowplows to safely clear, and there are issues with the design of the bridge and approaches to it that make it a hazard for pedestrians.
Wilkinson attended a meeting with city staff, along with a manager of highway engineering and senior project engineer from the MTO.
“MTO is looking at how to make modifications to make the sidewalk accessible by a ramp, wide enough for a snow plow and without the drainage channel cutting across it. [We] will put together a design and discuss it with the City for implementation this year (before next winter),” says Wilkinson.
“Snow removal this year will not be to sidewalk standards but snow will be removed when the bridge is cleared leaving a packed snow area – we prefer pedestrians to not use it and may sign it that way as it will still not be safe due to the drainage cut and lack of adding grit or salt,” she says.
She also said the City is looking at fully connecting the sidewalk approach to the overpass sidewalk when it’s in place.
Brandy Duhaime, a spokesperson for the MTO, said action items coming out of the meeting include widening the paved approaches and changing the drainage on the bridge.
“We’ll work on getting this work added to another contract this summer,” said Duhaime.
Why can’t snow be cleared from the sidewalk on the Eagleson Road overpass?
The Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) and the City of Ottawa are both blaming each other for what’s become a very dangerous situation for pedestrians who use the bridge that connects Kanata North and Kanata South.
We asked city councillor Marianne Wilkinson and the MTO about a few of the issues. Their responses are collected below.
The sidewalk on the Eagleson Queensway overpass in Kanata is closed for the rest of winter because it’s too narrow for sidewalks to plow the snow.
That’s right, the same bridge that just re-opened after months of repairs, the same bridge that is right next to the Eagleson OC Transpo Transitway stop, is now closed to pedestrians until the snow melts. Continue reading →