Bank Street Survey Shows Desire for Improved Transportation Safety, Bike Lanes and Better Sidewalks

For Immediate Release

June 5, 2024

BANK STREET SURVEY SHOWS DESIRE FOR IMPROVED TRANSPORTATION SAFETY, BIKE LANES AND BETTER SIDEWALKS

A survey commissioned by the Office of Councillor Shawn Menard found that those shopping along Bank Street in the Glebe and Old Ottawa South want improvements to the corridor’s active transportation facilities. With 1,449 respondents, the survey targeted primarily patrons of local businesses, noting that with residents’ “concerns about safety, congestion, and livability, city planners must heed the call of residents to transform bank street into a walkable, accessible main street.”

Respondents were asked questions to gauge their current and preferred transportation methods, their spending habits, and the frequency of their visits to Bank Street in the two neighbourhoods. A clear desire for better, safer facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians emerged, with the addition of bicycle lanes being the most desired improvement by a plurality of respondents (43%), followed by wider sidewalks (26%).

“This is important feedback we’re getting,” commented Capital Ward Councillor Shawn Menard. “Residents are telling us that to get to Bank Street and support local businesses, they want more transportation options, and they want to be able to walk and bike safely to their destination.” Menard notes that the findings align with what has been seen in other cities across North America. “If you look at Vancouver and Toronto and Montreal and Portland and Minneapolis, and the list goes on, they make it safe for people to bike and walk and take transit…and businesses benefit.”

Earlier this year, the Glebe Community Association also published a report on active transportation in the Glebe. The report highlighted the above-average rate of active transportation users in the neighbourhood, with approximately 37% of trips in 2015 done as a bicyclist or pedestrian (compared to a city-wide average of 10%), demonstrating “that the neighborhood is suitable for active travel and that there is a potential to generate a higher number of trips made by walking and cycling by improving the safety and comfort for these vulnerable users.” Improved active transportation facilities would improve the experience of pedestrians and bicyclists, while promoting equity and connectivity with other communities, the report stated.

City Consultations

The city has launched the Bank Street in the Glebe Active Transportation and Transit Priority Feasibility Study and will be holding an Open House to gather more information on the transportation needs of residents living in and visiting the Glebe.

“I’m very happy to see this study underway,” said Menard. “Bank Street is growing, and the status quo is failing residents. We need to find safer, more efficient ways to travel that benefit small businesses and make the area an even better destination.”

In recent years, the Bank Street Canal Bridge was re-designed with two raised bicycle lanes and three vehicle lanes, and with similar improvements coming the Billings Bridge and new cycletracks on Bank Street from the river to Walkley, Menard sees this project as an opportunity to create better connections between communities all along Bank Street.

“It’s exciting to think how transformative this could be for the city."

The Online Public Open House will be held on Wednesday June 12 at 6:30 pm. Those interested in attending can register here. A second Open House will be held in the coming months.

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