Transportation committee approves updates to improve road safety

OTTAWA – The city’s Transportation committee today approved updates to three programs that will help improve road safety for all users.

 Following a three-year pilot project that saw the city install 140 pedestrian crossovers throughout Ottawa, the committee approved permanently adopting thePedestrian Crossover Program. The number of reported collisions in areas with pedestrian crossovers has decreased since their installation.

The city’s Adult School Crossing Guard program, which helps children safely cross the road at 206 locations across Ottawa, would be updated with methods and criteria to evaluate whether a crossing guard is needed at a pedestrian crossover or roundabout crossing. The methods and criteria to evaluate whether a crossing guard is needed at a signalized, stop-controlled or uncontrolled mid-block crossing would also be revised. To ensure crossing guards are assigned where they are needed most, the program would have a data-driven method to determine whether crossing guards at existing locations should be removed and reallocated.

The committee approved changes to the pavement marking program, which ensures that markings on more than 5,500 kilometres of road and 6,500 intersections are repainted every year. Staff plan to improve the durability of markings on roads with high traffic volumes, arterial roads and major collector roads. The committee also approved using $1.1 million to purchase a second line-painting truck.

Following four rounds of public consultations and a new origin-destination survey, the Transportation Master Plan, the Ottawa Pedestrian Plan and the Ottawa Cycling Plan would come to the committee for approval in April, 2022. The committee approved the approach, scope and timing to review and update these plans, which would identify the transportation infrastructure and services the City needs to 2046.

Staff will complete a safety review of the Laurier Avenue bike lane, from Elgin Street to Nicholas Avenue, by July 2019. They will also bring forward a new Strategic Road Safety Action Plan based on Vision-Zero principles this fall. Staff will also review high-volume intersections and identify measures to improve safety for all road users, with recommendations for existing and future cycling facilities coming to the Committee in early 2020.

The committee received the 2018 Annual Report and approved the 2019 Business Plan for the City’s Parking Services. Last year, the city installed a fifth parking guidance system, posted real-time parking availability for five parking garages online and installed 57 bike racks. This year, the city will update the Municipal Parking Management Strategy, develop a Bike Parking Strategy and test technology to provide real-time data on parking availability in surface parking lots. 

Items from today’s Transportation committee meeting requiring city council approval will be considered on Wednesday, June 12.