I would like to take a moment to discuss the changes presently occurring around Ottawa regarding the City’s new Pedestrian Crossovers or PXOs.
On January 1st, 2016, Rideau Vanier Councillor, Mathieu Fleury, proposed a revision to the Highway Traffic Act that would allow mid-block crossing as a pilot project for the next three years in our city.
The motion passed and over the last month, you have probably seen some of these PXOs show up in the Stittsville community at Springbrook Drive in Amberwood Village and at Delamere and Westridge, a reinstatement of the original crosswalk will be taking effect sometime in August. PXOs will also be adapted into the five traffic circles in our ward (Huntmar and Rosehill, Shea and Fernbank, and three on Robert Grant Way).
Before getting into the details of what this means for residents, I would like to emphasize that it is now the responsibility of all road users to follow the new PXO requirements including pedestrians and cyclists and not just drivers. A video aide can also be found here.
So what does this mean for road users? For drivers and cyclists, it means to always watch for pedestrians, ensuring to stop behind the yield line, allowing them the right of way. Once pedestrians have completely crossed the roadway, drivers may proceed with caution.
However, it should be said that the right-of-way does not absolve a pedestrian of his/her responsibilities. Particularly in the early stages of this pilot project, it is the duty of a pedestrian wishing to cross to indicate their intention to do so and make eye contact with a driver, ensuring they have reached a full stop and it is completely safe to cross before stepping onto the roadway.
When crossing with pedestrians, cyclists must dismount and follow rules for pedestrians, walking the bike across the road.
Drivers and cyclists caught ignoring PXO rules will be fined $150-500 with 3 demerit points.
Please note that not all PXOs will look the same. Some, as mentioned will be appearing at single-lane roundabouts, some as mid-block crossings, and both may or may not be equipped with flashing beacons to enhance driver awareness. All PXOs will consist of painted road lines and they will only be occurring on low speed, low to medium volume roads for the first year. As such, they should not adversely affect the flow of traffic in roundabouts or affected streets.
Each year for the next three years, up to 60 PXOs will be installed for the pilot. The locations of the currently planned 2016 PXOs in Ottawa are available at Ottawa.ca.
I hope that all residents will take to these new PXOs with an open mind as the City’s priority above all else will always be safety – safety for our residents, our families, and our children.
As always, if you have any questions, comments or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me either by calling my office at 613-580-2476 or emailing me at Shad.Qadri@ottawa.ca. More information on Pedestrian Crossovers is also available on the City’s website or by calling 3-1-1.