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Cycling safety takes centre stage at Ottawa city council

One of the motions would designate all major arterial roads as part of the city's official cycling network, and have bike lanes installed as those roads are repaved or rebuilt.
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2017-11-01 Ottawa City Council Chambers MV
Ottawa city council chambers, November 2017. (Photo/ Mike Vlasveld, Village Media)

Two motions up for debate at city council, Wednesday, aim to make it safer to cycle on Ottawa's streets and prevent more deaths.

One of the motions, from two councillors in the core, includes proposals like eliminating right turns at red lights where there are bike lanes, and eliminating all so-called "beg buttons" for pedestrians when they cross the street.

The motion would also designate all major arterial roads as part of the city's official cycling network, and have cycling lanes installed as those roads are repaved or rebuilt.

"There's been discussion with staff, to refine the motion and try to seek their support," said Capital Ward Councillor Shawn Menard, who's seconded the motion from Somerset Ward Councillor Catherine McKenney. "I think we're there now, and so I'm hopeful that this passes at council."

Some of the measures, like adjusting traffic lights, have a relatively low cost but adding more cycling infrastructure comes with a price tag.

A second motion, from Kitchissippi Ward Councillor Jeff Leiper, would take a one-time transfer of gas tax revenue from the federal government and use the money to create a fund for cycling infrastructure improvements.

Both motions are scheduled to go before city council, Wednesday morning.




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Jason White

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