Complete streets for people, NOT just cars

Complete streets for people, NOT just cars
Posted on July 16, 2013 | Ecology Ottawa | Written on July 14, 2013
Letter type:

A Main Street built for cars or for all people? That’s the question before Ottawa city council. The “Complete Street” proposal for Main Street will be voted on by Ottawa city council this July 17, 2013. Call or write your councillor. Let them know that you want streets for people, not just cars.

A Complete Street is designed for all ages, abilities, and modes of travel. Main Street would be transformed by the Complete Street plan with elevated bike lanes, widened sidewalks, trees planted and bus shelters added.

The Complete Street plan for Main Street, recently before the Transportation Committee, was narrowly passed by a 6 to 4 vote. Councillors David Chernushenko (representing Main Street’s ward), Keith Egli, Mathieu Fleury, Rainer Bloess, Marianne Wilkinson and Peter Clark voted for the plan. Councillors Tim Tierny, Diane Deans, Allan Hubley and Scott Moffat voted against the Complete Street plan.

Now, the plan goes to city council.

The plan’s narrow victory in the Transportation Committee does not mean that the plan will pass when it’s before the full city council. Councillors from some suburban and rural areas have made it clear that they want a Main Street that moves cars. A Main Street for traffic.

Despite widespread support from the Main Street community and local councillors, a handful of councillors are lining up to block the Complete Street plan.

Help ensure that Main Street is a people street. Join Ecology Ottawa in demanding Complete Streets for Ottawa.

Councillors value hearing from their constituents, so please focus on your representative. You can find the phone number and email address for your councillor here.

Thank you,

Graham Saul, Executive Director
Ecology Ottawa

P.S. If you have not already done so, please sign Ecology Ottawa’s petition urging Mayor Jim Watson and all Ottawa City Councillors to support the passage and implementation of a comprehensive Complete Streets policy for the City of Ottawa as part of the ongoing review of Ottawa’s Official Plan. You can find the petition here.

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Founded in 2006, Ecology Ottawa has grown to become the largest organization in the city focused on local environmental issues. The organization was created based on the belief that the City of Ottawa needs to become... More


Bob Lyman

Anyone who supports the idea of reducing the use of Main St. for cars clearly does not live in the southern part of Ottawa and has no idea of the limitations faced by motorists who wish to commute bck and forth to the centre of simply drive back and forth to the centre in non-rush hour periods. Most people in Ottawa have the benefit of four-lane or more than four-lane highways to allow them to drive quickly to the centre. People who live in the central south regions have no such access and must rely upon routes like the Airport parkway and Bronson which are congested. The City Council in its lack of wisdom even allows parking on Bronson! Main St. is a very important alternate route. as it stands now it usually offers only one lane that motorists can use and one lane for cars to park. It would hardly make Main St. "complete" or helpful to the people of Ottawa to reduce even that access. We want a Main St. that moves people in cars!

Yes, that may be true but why should the interests of people in the south of Ottawa override the interests of the people most affected by the traffic? The traffic makes their community less walkable, interactive and therefore less community-like. The answer to solving the problem of traffic heading south, which affects my community along Greenbank Rd. as well, was LRT. But Bob Chiarelli's LRT initiative was thrown out the window during the 2006 municipal election campaign.

I agree that the traffic issues to the south of the City need to be addressed ASAP, but I don't believe they should be done at the expense of the people living in the communities that are most affected.