Over the course of the winter and spring, the people of Ottawa and, in particular, the residents of Old Ottawa South, have benefitted from a temporary set of traffic lights on Colonel By Drive at the intersection of Echo Drive as it heads up to Bank Street. These lights, admittedly not pretty, meant no dodging of speeding cars to get across Colonel By, no long waits to cross while a seemingly endless stream of cars passes by, and no looking longingly at the canal wishing we had a safe access point.
Unfortunately, these temporary traffic lights were related to the rehabilitation of the eastern canal wall between Echo Drive and Pig Island. Now that the work has been completed, the lights have disappeared. However, our desire for a permanent safe crossing has not disappeared but rather has been strengthened.
The OSCA Traffic and Safety Committee, supported by the OSCA Board, has identified the installation of a permanent safe crossing of Colonel By Drive between Bank and Bronson as one of its priorities and has been working with City of Ottawa officials, the Councillor’s Office, and the National Capital Commission to achieve this objective. Data on crossings of Colonel By Drive by pedestrians and cyclists along with numbers of cars and timing between cars have been collected during Winterlude and will be collected again over the summer months. As well, a survey of Old Ottawa South residents is in the works and will likely roll out by the end of the summer. The survey will look at preferred crossing points, current uses of Colonel By Drive bike paths, suggestions for future uses, and so on. Stay tuned and be ready to contribute to this important project in our community!