Glen Gower* has a write-up about a recent meeting between members of the Fairwinds community, Ottawa Police, city planners and councillor Shad Qadri to discuss matters of pedestrian safety. There’s a lot to chew on in the piece, but this one bullet point stuck out for me:
- In general, the city likes parking on both sides of wide streets like Rosehill and Maple Grove because it creates a funnel effect and slows down traffic.
This is an admission of guilt.
This affinity for a “funnel effect” demonstrates that city planners understand the very basic concept that narrow streets tend to be safer (because cars must go slower) than wide streets (because cars will tend to speed). They know that we would be safer with narrower streets but they refuse to build them.
Surely, they don’t rely on parking to make our streets safer; they make our streets dangerous to accommodate more parking.
Further, I wonder if a street lined with cars sends a message to drivers that the street and the community exist for cars. If you demonstrate that the street is high volume (by packing as many cars, moving or not, onto the street), it says to me that the street is a high volume, high traffic street. This tells me that the car is supreme and that I have to be less careful, because it is place only for cars.
City staff are telling us that they’re intentionally building a dangerous city. Now it’s a question of how many people care.
(H/T: Joe Boughner.)
*Glen writes so much. I have no idea how he does it.