In addition to serving on the Transportation and Environment committees, I am a member of the Board of Health and Crime Prevention Ottawa. I see firsthand how a preventive approach is more effective and less expensive than responding to problems that have already occurred.
This applies equally to traffic accidents, environmental damage, emerging diseases or local crime. In that vein, I want to share important information on several fronts.
First, an update on safety at Billings Bridge and Riverside, where a cyclist was hit by a cement truck on July 30. Many people want to know what we can do to prevent future accidents in the notoriously complicated and dangerous area around that intersection.
The City began by examining the condition of the road surface, with the goal of repairing potholes and cracks as soon as possible. This will allow cyclists to keep a straighter line, and remove the need for sudden veering out further into the roadway. We also launched an Operation Safety Review, standard procedure after a fatal accident of any kind.
I’ve asked City staff to evaluate whether advanced signals for cyclists and pedestrians might reduce the risks from motor vehicles turning right. I’m also calling for increased funding from all levels of government for the education of cyclists and motorists alike.
Finally, I’m looking at the timetable for major road reconstruction and bridge repairs to see if we can advance some critical infrastructure work. This might include widening the waiting area for pedestrians and cyclists at several corners, improving sight lines for all road users, and ultimately redesigning the Billings Bridge area with proper, separate sidewalks and bike lanes.