Thanks to the actions of grassroots activists and supporters like you, Holland Ave. will be getting a safer detour for cyclists installed this summer.
The last few weeks have seen renewed debate surrounding cycling and pedestrian infrastructure in Ottawa. When Mayor Jim Watson announced earlier this year that plans to build bi-directional bike paths had been scrapped in favour of preserving parking along Holland Ave., the cycling community in Ottawa sprung into action.
The detour, which up until now had been limited to poorly designed “sharrows” and instructions to ride on the sidewalk, was put in place for the duration of the two-year Harmer Avenue Bridge reconstruction. Though Mayor Watson had conceded initially that the detour would be revisited in the summer of 2019, it was clear from the start that community members weren’t going to be satisfied with unclear and unsafe bike infrastructure.
The opposition came to a head last Friday when over 100 cyclists gathered on Holland Ave. to stage a “critical mass” style bike ride, where activists and organizers took to the streets with their bicycles, following the detour sharrows, and in doing so, restricted traffic during rush hour.
In response to the critical mass protest, mounting bad press, and a deluge of incoming emails from supporters like you, Mayor Watson announced on Thursday, July 26th that in the coming weeks Hintonburg community members should expect a renewed detour, complete with segregated bike lanes on either side of the road, and identified by paint and flexi-posts.
Congratulations to all those who worked so hard to hold our municipal leaders accountable for pedestrian and cyclist safety. Thanks also to the City of Ottawa and to the political leaders who responded to community concerns.