I wanted to take a moment to discuss some of the valuable traffic calming measures that the City of Ottawa has been implementing in our residential neighbourhoods in conjunction with my office.
As I have expressed in the past, speeding is a major concern for both Ottawa Police Services and myself as your City Councillor. It is something that endangers the lives and safety of all residents whether they be pedestrians, cyclists, or other drivers. Unfortunately, speeding is not a problem that can be solved overnight but with proper education and deterrents, we can begin to make the change.
The “Slow Down for Us” campaign initiated by Safer Roads Ottawa is just one of these educational proponents. It encourages and reminds drivers to be aware of the risks they take when they choose to speed, particularly on residential streets where many of our parks are located in which our children play. The initiative also provides the opportunity for neighbours to chat with each other about the issue, to promote their support by placing a sign on their property and encourages them to act as role models when it comes to speeding on their own streets.
Traffic calming flex stakes are another example of an educational resource meant to bring awareness to speeding on residential streets. Implemented as a means to narrow roads, measures such as these demonstrate to drivers how easily vehicular control is diminished at such high speeds and, as such, encourages drivers to slow down to ensure they are avoided.
Last evening, there was some discussion on Twitter from concerned residents who expressed dissatisfaction with these types of measures being implemented in areas such as Rosehill. I would like to spend a moment examining the measures implemented in this area as an example of traffic calming measures at work.
As with all transportation concerns brought to the attention of my office, I have been working closely with Transportation staff with the City to discuss the feasibility of traffic calming measures at this location. First, while flex stakes were initially considered as an option, due to the multiple property laneways close by, staff decided it best not to restrict the residents of the street by putting posts between them. We did paint a centre yellow line to try to keep traffic within their identified lanes. Furthermore, on the west side on Rosehill, parking is supported on both sides of the street to encourage a similar result of calming known as “side friction”.
Additionally, staff implemented speed monitoring signs at one end of Rosehill as requested by residents which will remain for the duration of this season. While it was considered to implement an additional sign in the opposite direction, due to a lack of steady infrastructure to attach the sign to, this was not possible.
Speedbumps and speed humps are other traffic calming measures which have mixed results in other areas of the City. Unfortunately, in smaller areas such as those in Fairwinds, these measures inhibit the accessibility of a street to Emergency Medical Vehicles. They also obstruct the way for snow plows, making it difficult to navigate roads and properly clear streets with parked vehicles. Alternatively, these measures are semi-permanent and very expensive to remove should the need arise. As such, in recent years, staff is very considerate before adding speedbumps and speed humps unless it is to be an absolute last-case scenario. Another new tool that the City is employing are speed cushions which can be used on wider streets for both large and small vehicles to navigate.
Working with City staff, I am continuing to work on traffic calming measures yet to come on Rosehill as Johnwoods begins transition to a linear park. The City’s new Building Better Smarter Suburbs project currently underway will also help to ensure that new roads are designed based on efficiency.
I would like to be very clear that I will always welcome any discussion or concerns in regards to speeding or other community issues you may observe. My door is always open and residents can phone my office at any time to set up an appointment and sit down with me. It is also important to note that Ottawa Police Service (OPS) enforces speed monitoring in residential areas based on the reports they receive. If you are concerned about speeding on your street, please use the OPS online reporting system with the time of occurrence and details of vehicles you witness and encourage your neighbours to do the same. OPS responds to traffic concerns according to the 4 E’s of Traffic safety: Education, Engineering, Enforcement, and Emergency Response.
Please remember that social media is a great tool for communication but the best means to ensure your thoughts are heard is and always will be to email me directly at Shad.Qadri@ottawa.ca or phone my office at 613-580-2476. Thank you.