The Traffic and Safety Committee is a committee of the Old Ottawa South Community Association. To carry out its work, the committee collaborates with a number of different entities including the Councillor’s Office, City of Ottawa traffic officials, the National Capital Commission, the Hopewell School Parents’ Council, our neighbouring communities, and various informal residents’ groups in Old Ottawa South.
Traffic and safety matters are very near and dear to everyone’s heart and there is no lack of work for this committee to undertake. Each year, priorities must be set in order to direct our efforts.
At its meeting of October 3, 2017, the T&S Committee agreed on the following as its priorities for the upcoming 6-8 months:
1. Advocating for a Safe Crossing of Colonel By Drive between Avenue Rd and Bronson
There is no place for pedestrians or cyclists to safely cross Colonel By Drive between Avenue Road and Bronson Avenue in Old Ottawa South. The Traffic and Safety Committee will continue to liaise with the City and the NCC to push for progress on this project. In 2017, because of the canal wall reconstruction and corresponding roadwork, we enjoyed a temporary traffic light at Colonel By and the Echo ramp and during Winterlude a temporary light at Avenue Road and Colonel By. Following suggestions from the Councillor’s office, the Traffic and Safety Committee will be conducting a survey of residents in late 2017 or early 2018 to establish the desire and need for a permanent safe crossing and determine which location would be best suited.
2. Safety on the Bank St Bridge and intersections
For several years, the Traffic and Safety Committee has identified increased safety on the Bank Street Bridge and its adjoining intersections as a priority. Some progress has been made in that flex stakes have been installed at the top of the Echo ramp to discourage illegal left turns and a new flashing sign indicating left turns are illegal at Wilton Crescent will soon be installed on Bank Street. Super sharrows have been installed on the road to give priority to cyclists and speed boards at both the north and south ends of the bridge indicate speeders. Although these initiatives are appreciated and may have some modest impact, danger still exists on the bridge. The Committee will continue to work with the Councillor’s office to bring about meaningful changes on this significant section of our community.
3. Obtaining and analyzing intersection data; advocating for signal consistency on Bank Street
Because of the location of Hopewell Public School, the intersections along Bank Street are used by many children and in some cases crossing guards are present to assist. There are many variations in the operation of the traffic lights at these intersections. The Committee will study these intersections to see if they can be made safer.
4. Parking issues
Old Ottawa South residents are fortunate to have a range of commercial, cultural, and recreational activities at our doorstep. However, increased activity has brought with it increased difficulties with respect to parking. To the degree that we can, we are continuing to work with the City, individuals and groups of residents to try to resolve parking issues. We are also monitoring the possible parking challenges which could emerge with the proposed development at Southminster Church.
5. Greening of Bank Street
The Traffic and Safety Committee believes that gardens, trees, and planters are indicative of a caring community and may influence drivers to be more respectful in their driving patterns. The Green Dreamers, who have done a remarkable job of greening the public gardens on Bank Street, are now under the umbrella of the Committee. As well, we are monitoring the development of the rain gardens on Sunnyside. A priority for the Green Dreamers in 2018 will be to work with the City to repair the damage to the park northbound off the Billings Bridge so that it, in fact, becomes a “gateway” to Old Ottawa South.
6. Bike Safety
In 2017, in keeping with its priority on bike safety, the Traffic and Safety Committee hosted a successful bike rally in conjunction with Old Ottawa East, the Glebe, and Heron Park neighbourhoods. We are currently working with the other participating communities to find a host for 2018 so that this new tradition can continue.