on October 1, 2015 by test_editor in Archive_2015, October, Print Articles, Comments Off on October 1, 2015: Sherbourne Road Audit; Safer streets a priority.

October 1, 2015: Sherbourne Road Audit; Safer streets a priority.

October 1, 2015: Sherbourne Road Audit;
Safer streets a priority.

By Nandita Bijur and Neeta McMurtry Ecology Ottawa | Écologie Ottawa.

The sun was still shining at 6:30 pm when residents of Carlingwood and McKellar Park Community Associations, and Ecology Ottawa volunteers convened at Westwood Park to conduct a walk and cycle audit of Sherbourne Road on September 14th.

The audit attracted over 50 participants ranging in age from 1 to 81. It’s goal was to gather input from people of all ages and abilities in evaluating pedestrian and cyclist safety concerns in neighbourhoods along Sherbourne Road. One of the main concerns is the level and speed of commuter traffic in this residential and school area.

Parents in the area note the increasing number of school-aged children having to cross Sherbourne twice daily without any safe pedestrian facilities. Seniors who walk to Carlingwood Mall and dog-owners who walk to off-leash Westwood Park, are also raising concerns. The wide road and unmarked lanes, coupled with the lack of pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure, encourages drivers to speed and makes crossing the road unnecessarily dangerous.

“It’s already busy and we expect it’s only going to get busier,” says Christine Barlow, a concerned Sherbourne Road homeowner. “Without appropriate traffic-calming measures, Sherbourne is an accident waiting to happen.”

Barlow is referring to the City of Ottawa’s Light Rail plans, which include stations at Dominion and Cleary. Residents worry this could turn Sherbourne into an unofficial extension of the 417 between the Maitland exit and LRT stations.

With scheduled resurfacing on the horizon from 2015 to 2018, this is an opportunity for McKellar Park and Carlingwood residents to raise traffic safety concerns with the City. The inclusion of “Complete Streets” in council priorities brings all future roadwork into the design and implementation process. This type of planning will make streets safe and accessible to people of all ages and abilities, including cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists.

Ecology Ottawa volunteers will be aiding in this process by compiling all the information collected on September 14, analyzing it, and composing an active transportation audit report. This document will include a list of immediate actions to increase pedestrian and cyclist safety, as well as long term ideas for Sherbourne Road development.

The partnership between the community and Ecology Ottawa has yielded an opportunity to address core safety issues for the community. “Having Ecology Ottawa assess traffic concerns along one of the gateways to our communities is invaluable,” says Sybil Powell of McKellar Park Community Association. “It will organize traffic concerns we have throughout both neighbourhoods.”

The three organizations are asking concerned citizens to participate in a short electronic survey at http://www.ecologyottawa.org/sherbourne_road_survey .

Alternatively, you can contact Ecology Ottawa, McKellar Park Community Association or Carlingwood Community Association to provide your own input.

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Photo Caption: Residents and volunteers gather at Westwood Park as Ecology Ottawa prepares a street audit in the Carlingwood neighbourhood. Photo by Shawn Lepage.

Visit newswest.org for a Web-extra photo gallery of the Sherbourne Rd street audit.

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