by Dr. Rouba Fattal
As Ottawa readies for the municipal election campaign in September, friends and neighbours have been reaching out to let me know what’s on their mind.
One consistent issue is traffic control and speeding in residential areas, school zones, young family neighborhoods. Poor turn signals at busy intersections is also a concern. Kanata-South residents are interested in how updated traffic control mechanisms can be utilized to improve their life.
Digital speed signs are not favourable and are only effective for as long as people can see the speed being displayed. Speedbumps are viewed as an effective way to reduce speed in neighborhoods but often present a hindrance for snow removal and emergency services.
After hearing some ideas, I suggest that a combined approach to speed limit signage be adopted. Rather than relying on digital speed signs alone or painted speed limits, one approach to speed reduction could be ‘children at play’ signs posted directly under digital speed signs. The Traffic Control Unit could be reinstated to enforce the rules of the road.
These simple measures can be adopted rather than more extreme alternatives such as more school crossing guards, speed cameras in school zones or increasing police presence. Councillors should work with local community associations to identify pain-points and determine the best approach.
Education and awareness must form a critical part in the city’s plan to make traffic safe for everyone. Dialogue between the city, school staff and parents during drop off/pick up times to help raise awareness of speeding during rush hour.
As the city moves toward more bike-friendly communities by installing proper infrastructure, we would all benefit from a refresher on biker-vehicle etiquette to ensure safety and to foster a more sustainable road system in Ottawa.
The new city council must examine all options and use the data available to determine the best approach to traffic problems. Investigating traffic patterns must take place during peak hours of the day.
Public consultation and engagement is a priority to me and I invite you to reach out with any concerns or ideas you’d like to share. I can be contacted at info@RoubaFattal.ca