FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
All-Candidates Debate on Transportation in Rideau-Vanier
Candidates for city council challenged to prevent traffic deaths and revitalize downtown streets.
OTTAWA (September 15, 2014) – Downtown Ottawa residents will ask aspiring city councillors how they will prevent tragedies such as those of a 26-year old woman killed by a transport truck on Waller Street earlier this year as part of an all candidates debate on transportation this Monday September 15th.
“We need local leaders who will take our safety seriously and work to make our streets safe and accessible for all users, ages and abilities. This Council has a huge opportunity to make our streets, and community, vibrant and bustling for Ottawa 2017, when we celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.” Liz Bernstein, Acting President of the Lowertown Community Association (LCA) says.
The Future of Transportation in Rideau-Vanier (Ward 12) elections debate will be held at the Guigues Centre, 159 Murray Street, from 7-9 pm on Monday September 15. Ginette Gratton, host of Ginette Gratton reçoit, TV Rogers, will moderate the debate.
“Cities that prioritize people over cars end up spending less on expensive road infrastructure and maintenance, they cut greenhouse gas emissions and have active and healthier citizens,” Graham Saul, Executive Director of Ecology Ottawa. Ecology Ottawa is one of the organizers of the debate.
Ten pedestrians have been killed in the Rideau and King Edward area over the last decade and more than 60 have been injured. It’s an issue that Bernstein, Ecology Ottawa and other Rideau-Vanier community organizations want to see front and centre in the October 27th municipal elections.
Safety is the most dramatic issue on the table, but by no means the only one. When the Lowertown Community Association and Ecology Ottawa conducted a street audit of Lowertown last summer, they identified poorly maintained and cluttered sidewalks, dead trees, unsafe intersections and lack of bicycle access. The appearance of a massive sink-hole on Waller Street shortly after the hit-and-run death this February reinforced these findings. Many residents are wondering why wheelchair users have to use the cleared street rather than the snow covered sidewalks and why illegal A-frame signs are cluttering the sidewalks.
Ecology Ottawa also released today a survey of almost 50 candidates across the city on transportation issues. You can find the report here.
Incumbent Rideau-Vanier councillor Mathieu Fleury, who has called for more concerted action towards improved cycling and walking infrastructure, is being challenged by five other candidates including former transportation analyst Marc Aubin, who served as Chair of the King Edward Avenue Task Force and promises to work for ‘human scale development, safer streets, and better, more reliable services.’
Local organizations hosting the Rideau-Vanier all candidates transportation debate include the Vanier Community Association, Action Sandy Hill, Lowertown Community Association, Vanier Community Service Centre, Lowertown Community Resource Centre, Sandy Hill Community Health Centre, Citizens for Safe Cycling, Walk Ottawa and Ecology Ottawa.
For more information or to arrange interviews please contact:
Acting President, Lowertown Community Association