Transportation committee receives safety review of key intersections

CITY HALL – The city’s Transportation committee received the results of a safety review of intersections with lots of cyclists and turning vehicles, high speed limits and a trend in collisions involving cyclists in recent years. 

During today’s (Oct. 7) committee meeting staff and stakeholders identified a list of 74 priority intersections, and a consultant reviewed 29 of them and provided design concepts for separated cycling facilities and protected intersections at each.

The remainder of the intersections already have design work underway and will be constructed over the next few years, or do not fall within the city’s jurisdiction. The preliminary estimate to upgrade all 29 is approximately $32 million, plus costs for property, hydro burial and utilities.

“Residents and stakeholders will have opportunities to provide feedback on each intersection as design funding becomes available,” city staff released in a statement.

 Staff began design work for one of the intersections, at Smyth Road and The Ottawa Hospital Riverside Campus entrance. The city has $810,000 in 2020 to design and make improvements to address collisions and community concerns and to improve cycling connectivity.

The consultant also identified interim, low-cost safety measures for the intersections that could be implemented through the city’s Cycling Safety Improvement Program.

“To make intersections safer for all road users, the committee approved new points-based criteria to determine if an intersection warrants an all-way stop,” staff said. “The proposed criteria are more flexible than the current system and address the main reasons communities request all-way stops – pedestrian exposure and proximity to areas with lots of pedestrians.”

 The city’s contract with Precise ParkLink, which manages Pay and Display machines across Ottawa and the parking systems at the city hall and ByWard Market garages, could be extended to 2026. The committee recommended council authorize the city to extend the contract under revised terms. This would protect the city against unexpected drops in parking revenue and only require the city to pay 15 per cent of equipment costs.

Last year, Parking Services updated the Municipal Parking Management Strategy and guidelines for parking rates, completed a governance review and increased the number of car-sharing spaces and bike parking spaces. The committee received the service area’s annual report, which also noted a $2.7 million surplus that went to reserves.

Recommendations from today’s Transportation committee meeting will rise to council on Wednesday, Oct. 14.

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