Vision Zero Motion

By Councillors McKenney and Menard

We have heard from many residents from across the city who are anxious to have a Vision Zero Policy implemented in the City of Ottawa.  As a result we have worked with staff on a revised motion to be debated at Council.  While there are revisions to the motion, if passed by Council, staff will be required to bring recommendations for a Vision Zero Policy to Committee and Council no later than Q42019. This would be a significant step forward in how we design and redesign our roadways to achieve zero deaths or catastrophic injuries.

Safety for all road users, in particular pedestrians and cyclists, is of vital importance to us.  This is not an issue that we are willing to lose on.  The City of Ottawa needs a robust Vision Zero Policy that aims to eliminate all deaths and catastrophic injuries on our roads no matter how you choose to travel.  This motion, if passed, will achieve this important policy direction.  The City also needs to take action on how we plan our traffic signals for the safety of vulnerable road users, eliminate ‘revert reds’ so that cyclists are not placed in undo danger, eliminate ‘beg buttons’ so that pedestrians and drivers are treated the same at actuated intersections, remove dangerous ‘floating’ bike lanes, convert painted cycle lanes into safe infrastructure, and reduce speeds on residential roads to 30km/hr.  This motion, if passed, will bring us much closer to these critical actions. 

In the meantime, we will continue to work with staff on changes that can happen immediately in the urban core and elsewhere to make our roadways safe for everyone.

Moved by Catherine McKenney; Seconded by Shawn Menard

WHEREAS a bicyclist was killed in the painted bike lane on Laurier Avenue outside City Hall on Thursday May 16, 2019; and,

WHEREAS this fatality occurred nine days after a bicyclist was seriously injured on Parkdale Avenue; and,

WHEREAS this most recent death occurred five months after bicyclist Jenfung Wu was killed on the Sir John A.  Macdonald Parkway: and,

WHEREAS approximately two cyclists and nearly six pedestrians are killed each year on Ottawa’s streets, and dozens more injured, many severely; and,

WHEREAS there is ample evidence of the infrastructure interventions that municipalities can implement to reduce or eliminate road deaths and serious injury in the event of collisions; and,

WHEREAS no road deaths or catastrophic injury are acceptable; and

WHEREAS municipalities worldwide have adopted Vision Zero policies that set out

a strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries for all road users thorough:

(a) a safe systems approach that has at its foundation the notion that road users make mistakes and that nobody should lose their life or be seriously injured because of that mistake; and

(b) data-driven action plan with measurable actions.

 THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the City of Ottawa adopt the Vision Zero Policy and Framework to "eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all.”;

 AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the staff recommendations for the City’s Vision Zero Policy and Framework will be brought to Transportation Committee and Council for consideration no later than Q4 2019.

AND THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that staff report back with recommendations through the Road Safety Action Plan in Q4 2019 on the following:
a)     A plan to optimize all traffic lights for the safety of vulnerable road users first, transit priority second and traffic flow third;

b)     That the City look at options to eliminate all “revert reds”;

c)     That staff develop criteria to eliminate “beg buttons” so that pedestrians and vehicles are treated the same at actuated intersections;

d)     That staff devise criteria to eliminate right-on-reds where bike lanes are present;

e)     That staff identify all floating painted bike lanes and develop criteria and a plan to convert any identified through this process to safe, segregated, protected bike lanes;

f)      That staff develop criteria and devise a plan wherein all painted bike lanes that meet the criteria  currently on arterials, arterial mainstreets and mainstreets, or that are part of the city’s current bike network, are converted to safe, segregated, protected bike lanes and intersections;

g)     That staff review the requirements and costs to accelerate and implement the entryway measures for a gateway speed limit of 30 km/hour on residential roads in the urban core.


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