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Councillors push for cycling network upgrades

Two city councillors want changes to the city's streets and signals, as well as the money to fund them.
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2018-12-12 catherine mckenney mv1
Ottawa City Councillor Catherine McKenney, December 2018. Mike Vlasveld/ OttawaMatters

Cycling safety is front and centre at city council, after last week's death of a cyclist just metres from city hall, resulting in two proposals that aim to increase safety and reduce the odds of more deaths.

A cyclist was fatally struck last week, just metres from City Hall, while riding in a painted bike lane that sits between two lanes for vehicles. A motion to go before city council would direct staff to install flex stakes along the edges of painted bike lanes.

"Within three weeks," said Somerset Councillor Catherine McKenney. "And, that city staff finalize plans to convert those (painted bike lanes) to safe, segregated, protected bike lanes and intersections within one year."

McKenney's motion will also call for other changes, like banning right turns at red lights where there are bike lanes, as well as installing bike lanes on all major streets as they're rebuilt and resurfaced.

Meanwhile, Kitchissippi Councillor Jeff Leiper wants the city's one-time bump in federal gas tax revenues to a reserve fund to pay for cycling infrastructure upgrades. The amount of the funding is estimated to be $57 million.

Other councillors have attempted to direct those same funds to specific areas, but those ideas have been referred to the city's treasurer and will be part of a larger budget report, which is expected in the summer.




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Jason White

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