Capital Ward Councillor Shawn Menard has proposed a redesign of the Bank Street Canal Bridge: three vehicle lanes, two northbound and one southbound, with two widened pathways on either side, thereby improving safety for pedestrians and cyclists.
The Ottawa Police Service Frontline & Traffic officers are working to address concerns about stunt drivers, street racers, along with the related obnoxious and unnecessary noise associated with this careless and dangerous behaviour. On the weekend of June 20-21, 2020, over 300 charges were laid.
Are you concerned about the increase of speeding and dangerous driving in and around the neighbourhood? The Traffic & Safety Committee reached out to our local Community Police Officer and she pledged to put in a word for increased enforcement. But did you know that OPS primarily respond to data-driven enforcement?
At the time of writing this article (April 23, 2020), traffic is calm in Old Ottawa South. There are fewer cars on the road and the Bank Street Canal Bridge has been re-configured to allow more space for pedestrians and cyclists. Isn’t it wonderful! But we are all looking forward to some degree of normalcy returning to our lives and our streets. Unfortunately some of the traffic and safety issues will return as well. In anticipation, the OSCA Traffic and Safety Committee has developed objectives for 2020/21 and on April 21, 2020, these were endorsed by the OSCA Board of Directors, so work will begin.
A Reminder About Traffic Complaints
Have you witnessed dangerous behaviour on the road such as speeding or distracted driving? Or do you know of an intersection where motorists routinely ignore the stop sign or run the red light? If so, the Ottawa Police Service would like you to make a traffic complaint using their online reporting system.
Back in December 2019, we hosted a public forum on Bank Street Transportation through Old Ottawa South and the Glebe. We know the street does not currently meet the needs of all road users. As a first step, we have released our As We Heard It report. This report includes the presentations by community groups and city staff, as well as the feedback we received before, after, and during the meeting.
Priority Objectives – Traffic and Safety 2019/20 – October 9/19
The following objectives were presented to the OSCA Board and approved at the March 2019 Meeting. This document contains an update on progress toward those objectives (in red).
Traffic and Safety Committee Meeting
Tuesday May 14, 2019 at 12:30 pm
Lounge at the Firehall
- Present: James Grant, Erik van der Torre, Kathy Krywicki, Sue Neill, Chair
Regrets: Winnie Pietrykowski, Brian Ure. Sue will write to Janet Jull.
- Minutes of the TS Meeting of Tuesday April 9, 2019 – approved as circulated. Sue to remind staff to post the April minutes.
- Business Arising from the Minutes
- OSCA AGM
Members felt that the meeting went well and that the new format was successful.
- Meeting with Phil Landry – May 7, 2019
Erik, Kathy and Sue attended the meeting. Unfortunately, Shawn’s wife became ill so he could not attend. The meeting was positive and laid the groundwork for further collaboration with City staff. See debrief email of May 8, 2019 from Sue to T&S Committee.
- Other Meetings
The first priority is to meet with Shawn. Sue to try and set up a meeting in the near future. Meetings with the GCA and OOE to follow.
James indicated that he could not take on the full responsibility for the cycling portfolio because he had just started a new job and has young children. However, he is happy to be a contact for cycling and would work on the Cameron bike lane, speed radar/red light cameras and the Bank Street bridge.
- Forms from FCA/Input to Road Safety Action Plan
Sue will follow up with Brian to determine what is needed to be done.
- Lansdowne Visioning Exercise
Sue and Winnie (with Christy) attended a meeting of OSCA, GCA and OOE reps to discuss next steps relating to community input to a report being prepared by OSEG for the City Council. The report will contain recommendations on the future of Lansdowne. Shawn and his staff have prepared some suggestions for discussion. Next meeting is probably May 22, 2019 and will involve OSEG.
- Areas of Interest and How We Work
- Much work to do, areas of interest have been agreed
- Members bring plan of attack on topics to the committee for discussion, get agreement on approach, then do it
- Keep members informed, copy Chair on correspondence
- If issues, discuss with Committee at meetings or bring to the Chair between
- Priority Business
- Intersections Update – Erik
Erik received an email from Jama today indicating that students had been hired to gather data and were being trained for the next two weeks.
- Colonel By Pedestrian Crossing at Seneca – Sue
Councillor and City have made a proposal for the Seneca crossing. It is now with the NCC for consideration and approval.
- Bike Rally – Winnie
No report from Winnie but things appear to be in hand for a great event!
- Echo Ramp – Kathy
Flex sticks are installed to discourage right-hand turns at Bank and the Echo ramp. Discussion of a counterflow bike lane from Bank to Colonel By as proposed by a resident was discussed and considered to be a good idea. This had been discussed with Phil and he is looking into it. This could be a continuation of the flex sticks and would also serve the purpose of keeping cars to the right side of the Echo ramp.
As per our request, Phil is also asking the NCC to indicate on the sign at the bottom of the ramp on Colonel By that the ramp is for Bank St south motorists.
- Cameron Bike Lane – James
Following from the discussion with Phil, James has prepared a plan showing green paint on the road at all intersections involving the Cameron Bike lane. There is also a dangerous corner at Cameron and Seneca that could benefit from a stop sign for cars turning from Seneca onto Cameron. James will prepare a written proposal for our discussion and subsequent discussion with the Councillor and then forwarded to the City.
- Gateway Speed Limit Zone – Sue
It would appear that a decision has been made to have two Gateway speed limit zones in the Capital Ward possibly at 30 km/hr. One would be west of Bank in OOS. Kathy made the case that since 40km is already the limit on the arterial streets through OOS (such as Riverdale, Sunnyside, Bank St) and some streets have specifically opted into this speed reduction from the default 50km/h, with an overall 40km limit throughout the whole neighbourhood, we'd have consistency east & west of Bank St in OOS.
This is to be discussed at the next meeting with Shawn.
- Bank Street Bridge Redesign – All
The Councillor has indicated that he has submitted several options to the City for consideration. We need to be aware of these options before we proceed. To be on the agenda for the discussion with Shawn.
- Sunnyside Rain Gardens and Traffic Calming – Brian
Brian has had a vague response from Darlene (City) on the gardening side. No contact yet on the assessment of the traffic calming measures.
- Green Dreamers – Winnie, Brian
No report but – work has begun on the Bank Street gardens.
- Ongoing – “Did You Know” columns – Kathy
A DYK has been prepared for this OSCAR on the need for residents to report traffic misdemeanors to the Police and the City. The system is complaints-based but there may be better ways ie listening to community associations about where “hot spots” are. For discussion with Shawn. The interface for reporting to the police is difficult and discourages reporting.
A future DYK could involve the new advocacy group for the betterment of public transit. Kathy to submit the link to us. https://www.ottawatransitriders.ca/
- Future OSCAR Articles – All.
Next month should be a report on the Bike Rally and Rodeo. Then possibly articles of follow-up on priority projects
- Resident Concerns
- Responses to the OSCAR article on T&S Priorities (6 letters to date)
Follow-up letters have been prepared by Sue. Erik has taken on the Hopewell suggestions and will contact the author.
- Liaison Updates
- FCA Transportation Committee – Brian
The latest meeting was cancelled. Brian to keep us informed and circulate materials.
- Hopewell Parents Council – Erik
The crossing of students on Hopewell continues to be a problem. Erik has discussed this and speed radar and red light cameras in the school zone at the last meeting. The school principal is particularly interested in resolving the crossing issue. Next meeting is tonight – May 14.
- Bike Ottawa – James
James attended the Bike Ottawa Bike to Work Week kick-off breakfast. Good opportunity to meet City officials.
- SWOOS – Sue
Sue passed on thanks to Anna for setting an example of how to get work done. Sue and Anna to meet occasionally to discuss traffic issues relating to seniors.
- OTLBC – Winnie, Sue
As the beach volleyball season is starting, Sue wrote a note to the Executive Director confirming that the measures taken last year to deal with traffic issues were to be in place again. Agreement and in addition a greater focus on cycling to the Club to be made. The OTLBC is very involved in the Bike Rally. The Club officially opened last weekend.
- Other Business
- Kathy noted that she has seen “Slow Down for Us” signs made of metal and solidly installed up high on posts. She will write to Safer Streets Ottawa to see what is involved in obtaining a few of these signs. Depending on availability and price, we could ask for some funds from the OSCA budget.
- Raven Extension – Carleton
It was agreed that, if the City went ahead with a consultation, the T&S Committee could help with promotion, primarily by posting on News Between the Bridges. The Committee could have a position on this but need to better understand the proposal. Sue to write to the project engineer.
- Next Meeting –
Tuesday, July 2, 2019, 12:30 at the Firehall.
Priority for the June meeting will be a meeting with Shawn. Sue to try to set up for the morning of Friday, May 24, 2019, at the Firehall.
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: