1. Why bother?
Ottawa’s pedestrian infrastructure is woefully underfunded. Despite walking being a priority for the City, solutions to help pedestrians move safely around the city are few and far between. We spent a whole lot of money developing a Pedestrian Plan for this city, but have no money to implement it unless it is a sidewalk attached to a major roadway renewal project.
Ottawans love to walk. I love to walk. It should be a safe and enjoyable way to get around the city.
2. What’s a problem?
Some things are problems to some, but not others. There is no single, straightforward definition.
This site considers the following issues a problem in terms of safety:
- High traffic crosswalks that focus on “traffic flow” above safety to pedestrians
- Poorly maintained sidewalks
- Obstacles on the sidewalk (hydro poles, newpaper boxes, signs)
- Sidewalks that end abruptly
- Pathways that don’t follow “desire lines” (the path people want to take when walking)
- Spacing between crossings on busy roads
- Timing of pedestrian signals
Some issues are more easily fixed by calling 311 or emailing email@example.com.
Pedestrians and drivers behaviour doesn’t constitute a problem on this site. This isn’t the right venue if your complaint is “Pedestrians are always jaywalking!” or “Drivers always block the crosswalk!” Both statements may often be true, but they’re not relevant to this site.
3. Who runs and pays for this?
This site is run and paid for by Lana Stewart. Ottawa has been my home for over 12 years.
I live centrally with my husband and young son and choose to walk as our main mode of transit. I manage this site in my spare time outside of work.
I moved to Ottawa to study heritage conservation at Carleton University in 2000. Being a student, I chose to live centrally in Centretown and bought a new bike to get to and from school. After graduating, I cycled to my job in Gatineau for many years. My husband and I bought our first house in West Centretown – choosing the benefits of a walkable community for our family over square footage. I became involved in the pedestrian cause after being disillusioned by the planning process of Bronson Avenue. I am a firm believer in the value of walkable communities.
4. Who built the mapping code?
Alex deVries is the programmer behind the mapping functionality – he created the software for his site Ottawa Biking Problems. Friend of pedestrians, Alex has been instrumental in getting this site up and running. I’ve also had help getting started from Open Data Ottawa and input from fellow pedestrians.