A while ago, the Glebe Community Association (GCA) undertook a neighbourhood survey gathering residents’ thoughts on street safety in the community (it was probably open to all Ottawa residents, but I can’t remember the specifics). It was a good, thorough survey, I thought.
So in the most recent issue of the Glebe Report, they’ve released their findings, and they’re pretty interesting. Here are some thoughts on what was reported:
Speeding: Residents think speeding is a problem. This isn’t really a surprise. What’s interesting is the streets they picked out as being the most problematic…well, no, it’s more the street they didn’t pick out, Bank Street. Don’t get me wrong, there’s speeding on all streets, but I doubt any other streets regularly have people going 80-100 km/hr as Bank does. But here’s the thing, I think it’d be tough to address neighbourhood-wide speeding issues, without addressing Bank Street. When the community’s main street is built to be–and allowed to be–a bit of a drag strip, I imagine there’d be a spillover effect.
Speed Limit: 81% of respondents said they’d support making the speed limit in the neighbourhood 30 km/h. That’s huge. It’s great that lowering the speed limit would have such support. Now, of course, it’s not good enough to simply say the speed limit is 30; you’ve actually got to do the work to slow the cars down. Still, this is a positive development.
Safe School Routes: Basically, we don’t have them. And Corpus Christi was called out for having drop-off zones all around their school. That really is unconscionable.
Bike Infrastructure: I really hope the shade in this sentence was intentional: “Almost half of the people expressed concern about the continuing lack of an interconnected cycling network, even following development of the Glebe Neighbourhood Cycling Plan.” Because, as you may recall, the cycling plan is absolute garbage.
This is similarly interesting: “Many respondents are similarly concerned about the lack of a single north–south bike lane in the Glebe”, since the city planned to have one, promised it over and over again, and then killed it at the last minute…with the support of the local councillor.
And in terms of their own streets, 69% would support a painted bike lane, 50% would support flexiposts and 45% are ok with a segregated bike lane. To be clear, not every street in the Glebe necessarily requires a bike lane, and certainly not a segregated bike lane. In that context, this seems like tremendous support.
(And, so, if residents in Orleans can kill a sidewalk, can residents in the Glebe get some bike infrastructure? What’s that? No? Oh.)
Bronson Sucks: Bronson is a horrible pedestrian experience. Everyone knows that. Residents would probably like that fixed, but the city values speeding more.
The Bank Street Bridge Sucks, Too: Again, we all know this. Residents from far off suburbs demand their right to endanger every other road user and resident on their way to work, so the city isn’t inclined to do anything. People who have to live with this horrible infrastructure, day-in-day-out, would like the city to fix it. The numbers aren’t too clear from the article, but it seems like twinning it with a bike/ped bridge, or reducing the number of car lanes would be popular. Again, the city won’t do anything, because fuck these people, amirite?
Okay, so the devils in the details and I haven’t seen the actual report…and there’s selection bias and sampling questions and all that, so this isn’t some really scientific study, but, still, these are interesting results. And one thing it should demonstrate is that there people living in the community who want to improve it. They want it safe. They want it livable.
Now we just need politicians who’ll listen to residents.