Last month, news of five Ottawa cyclists who were seriously injured after being struck by a vehicle on March Road was on everyone’s lips.
But even before that collision, cyclists have been hoping for changes that will make the nation’s capital safer and more bike-friendly.
Ottawa cyclists want to see comprehensive and contiguous cycling networks, improvements to infrastructure, a cycling education program and year-round maintenance for cycling paths, a report released Thursday stated.
Ottawa Centre NDP MP Paul Dewar released the report after hosting consultations with community groups and residents about the future of cycling in Ottawa.
The collision on March Road “put the issue front and centre,” said Dewar, “but people have been wanting changes for a long time.”
The recommendations are to plan for a cycling network linking all major streets and bridges from the suburbs to the core; to improve infrastructure such as repairing potholes and sewer grates; ensuring all new and newly paved roads include cycling lanes and to implement a cycling education program in safety awareness campaigns for drivers, cyclists, bus drivers and pedestrians.
The next step, said Dewar, is for groups to push for changes from all three levels of government. And he’ll be lending his support, he said.
He’s confident the city will see changes.
“This isn’t just about one level of government. This is about the will of the community to promote cycle infrastructure, tourism and safety for cyclists. So many people want it to happen that I think it will.”