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A 20 year-old woman was seriously injured on Elgin Street last week. She was a cyclist, her assailant was a pick-up truck.
Elgin Street was closed for the past year on a $36 million dollar refurbishment, designed to slow traffic and create bike lanes. But when it opened — the bike lanes were simply painted on the pavement and the slower speeds were only in small patches.
As Somerset Ward Councillor Catherine McKenney said on Twitter, “This is exactly what was predicted would happen when this section of Elgin was reconstructed. This City doesn’t build safe streets for vulnerable users unless forced to. Usually following a death or critical injury. Furious.”
Ottawa is not taking cyclists seriously. From refusing to remove parking unless nearby businesses request it, to its network of paint, the City looks at cyclists as an annoyance, not transport.
But what to do? For you: let your councillor know that bicycles are a priority. Get involved with Bike Ottawa, the regions cycling advocate.
For us, this is just the beginning. We're new, but safe cycling throughout Ottawa and Gatineau is one of the top issues we'll be covering over the next year.
We'll see you Monday – Martha and Darren