Ottawalk position papers 1990-2000

OTTAWALK POSITION PAPERS
Those adopted or at least considered by the membership as of 2000 (when Ottawalk dissolved) [drafted primarily by Chris Bradshaw, or Jim Feeley (died 1993), the two Ottawalk co-founders, and some by other members, all subject to amendment or rejection by membership].  In 2001, Chris accepted the “Golden Footprints” award as “the Father of Pedestrian Advocacy in North America,” at the inaugural meeting of America Walks, in Oakland, California.

1.   Pedestrians and Safety
2.   The “Healthy City” and the “Green Hierarchy” of
Transportation
3.   Traffic Signals and the Right to Cross the Street
3a.  Other Intersection Problems and the Right to Cross the
Street
4.   Sidewalks and Road Speed limits
5.   Reducing Dangerous Falls
6.   Remarkable Walking Environments
7.   Traffic Calming
8.   The Integrity of Sidewalks
9.   Obstructions on Sidewalks
10.  Bridges, Overpasses, Underpasses (BOUs)
11.  Transit Service and the Promotion of Walking
12.  Pedestrians and Gutters and Sewers
13.  Pedestrians and Water Flow Off Properties
14.  Pedestrians & Snow/Ice
15.  Pedestrians and Cigarette Smoking
16.  Noise
17.  Sidewalks and Pedestrians: Improving Design
18.  Reducing Distracted Driving
19.  Taking Pedestrian/Vehicle Collisions Seriously
20.  Car Ownership
21.  Urban Form & Cars
22.  Transportation Pollution
23.  Sidewalk Design
24.  Transit
25.  Parking
26.  Reducing Dangerous Falls
27.  Cyclists and Pedestrians

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PP1:  PEDESTRIANS AND SAFETY

Whereas:

*    Walkers and pedestrians are the most vulnerable road users,
not only because of the lack of protection from fast, heavy
motorized vehicles, but also because of the fact that those
people who lack  the physical or cognitive ability to cope
on roads are forced to travel on foot.

*    Pedestrian safety campaigns emphasize primarily the
obligation of pedestrians to stay out of the way of cars,
rather than for drivers to look out for pedestrians (despite
the reality of the above point).  The effect of such an
emphasis is to discourage walking; which results in a
significant reduction in walking and the inducement of many
walkers to drive reluctantly.  This is a great loss for both
those who prefer walking (and many who have no opportunity
to drive or be driven) and to society.

*    Safety campaigns tend to refer to collisions as
“accidents”, although they are all the result of intentional
acts, despite the drivers not intending the specific outcome.

*    Each road user tends to look out for him/herself first and
for the other road user next.  This results in drivers being
more  aware of other vehicles and especially very large
vehicles, before  being aware of pedestrians (and cyclists).
The faster the movement  of the road users, the less ability
the user will have to consider  any but the most threatening
road users.  Many pedestrians are hit  by drivers who say
afterwards that they were watching the road but  didn’t SEE
the pedestrian [see D-18 on distracted driving for
situations  that cause drivers NOT to watch the road
continuously].

*    Vehicle design, despite considerable intervention of
federal governments for safety reasons, does not take
into account the possibility that vehicles are designed
for city use where there is a high likelihood that they
might strike pedestrians (almost 500 pedestrians and the
same number of cyclists are hit each year in Ottawa-
Carleton).  As of May 1992, there are few design criteria
to reduce the seriousness of injuries caused by either
contact with the metal exterior or the weight of the
vehicle.  Often pedestrians experience both kinds of
injuries in the same accident (being run over after the
initial impact leaves them injured and helplessly lying
in the roadway).

*    Road accidents are not truly investigated for the root
causes, as they are in the modes of travel directly under
federal authority (trains, planes, and commercial boats).
Even in the case of death, inquests are not mandatory, as
they are for deaths in the workplace,  police custody, or in
a provincial care facility.  Also many collisions involving
motor vehicles are not reported since they occur on private
property (laneways and parking lots) or on public property
not covered by the Highway Traffic Act, e.g. parks and
trails.  Police reports only seek to record factual
information and determine blame under highway and criminal
legislation.

*    No studies are underway in Ontario or at the federal level
that seek to reduce collisions with pedestrians or reduce
the seriousness of the ensuing injuries.

Therefore:

1.   Ontario should require inquests for all pedestrian deaths
where a vehicle of any type was involved.

2.   The federal government immediately set up a task force on
pedestrian safety and motor vehicle design.  This should
focus on reducing impact to the body by the front of the
vehicle and eliminating pedestrians from being run over at
low-speeds or dragged by vehicles.  Further, the federal
government launch R&D activity to develop a true urban
vehicle (not to be used outside cities) that is smaller,
slower, and easier to handle.

3.   The provincial government immediately place the onus for
preventing collisions with pedestrians completely on the
shoulders of drivers and to recognize “the right to cross
the street”.  It must recognize the walking is a right (and
very good for the collective and personal environment) and
that driving is a privilege.  Also, that urban speed limits
be reduced considerably, especially along residential
streets and those with high pedestrian volumes.

4.   The federal government develop a “black box” for vehicles to
record driver activity and attention and vehicle condition
during the period just prior to collisions.

5.   That the authorities and the motor vehicle and insurance
industry refrain from using the word “accident” for motor
vehicles collisions.  Further, the goal of these authorities
must be “zero pedestrian deaths”.

6.   The province should immediately give consideration to the
following measures to improve pedestrian safety: a) cutting
speed limits on all urban streets to half their present
level, b) ban distracting activities for motorists while
driving [see D-18 on distractions], c) phasing out street
parking for any vehicle that creates blind spots for even
the smallest pedestrian, and d) putting the burden of proof
in the case of a vehicle-pedestrian collision on the driver
by refusing to accept as “excuses”: “The pedestrian darted
in front of me”, “It was dark/snowing/raining”, “The
pedestrian wore  dark clothing”, etc.

7.   Finally, penalties for hitting a pedestrian must be
increased.  For instance, striking a pedestrian with
sufficient force to cause any injury to the latter will be
given an automatic one-year driving suspension; serious
injury, a five- year ban; and death, a life suspension.
[None of these preclude further civil remedies].  If the
driver is guilty of being impaired or distracted by
activities initiated inside the vehicle, a higher penalty
will apply.  No fault will any longer accrue to the
pedestrian, nor, in the case of minors or those under
supervisory care, to those “in charge”.

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PP2: THE “HEALTHY CITY” OR “GREEN” HIERARCHY OF URBAN
TRANSPORTATION

Whereas:

*    Walking enhances the physical and mental health of the
person walking and is beneficial to the health of the
communities and physical environments through which they
walk;

*    The people who walk, pedestrians, are vulnerable to injury
from moving vehicles and from dangerous surfaces on or
adjacent to where they walk;

*    Many people who walk are more vulnerable because they have
limitations in their ability to move, to sense the world
around them, and to comprehend the complexity of their
surroundings; for some, these limitations are sufficient to
make it difficult, dangerous, and/or illegal to pilot a
vehicle;

*    Walking is accessible by almost everyone, while automobiles
are inaccessible to large segments of the population:  for
example, the young, some of the old and many of the poor.
Enhancing walking benefits everyone; enhancing driving
benefits far fewer;

*    Speed reduction is the major factor in preventing
collisions, thereby reducing their severity and the injuries
caused by them;

Therefore, be it resolved that:

1.   Municipalities accept the following “green hierarchy of
urban transportation” [a paper on this, developed with
Greenprint, is available from the editor on request]:
Walking is to be considered the most valued way of getting
around, cycling next, transit third, shared-occupancy
automobile next, trucks next, and finally single-occupant
automobile at the bottom.  Further, that within each
category, short trips will be given precedence over long
trips; slower travellers over faster ones; small vehicles
over larger vehicles; vehicles using human power and
renewable, non-polluting fuels will be more valued than
other vehicles; and vehicles not blocking visibility will be
more valued than those that do.

2.   All forms of transportation deserve to be recogized as such.
They deserve rights and privileges in proportion to how
environmentally friendly and harmless to others they are.
They should receive tax incentives and direct and indirect
subsidies, only in proportion to how environmentally
friendly they are, harmless to the user and others, quiet,
pleasant to others and healthful.  Government expenditure
and road design for their benefit should be done only in
proportion to the aforementioned features, plus amount of
use and accessibility by the general population.  Amount of
use should be measured in proportion to the time spent in
the mode of transportation, not distance traveled.

3.   When considering the expenditure of funds and the use of
measures to tax, limit, or encourage/discourage use of any
mode or vehicle, the impacts of such measures always will
enhance the higher status travelers over the lower status
ones.

4.   In long-range planning, motor vehicles be excluded from the
urban area.  However, a truly urban vehicle should be
developed that will be much smaller, slower, with open
frame, and be adaptable for short-haul goods movement.
Longer, faster urban trips will be relegated to underground
public transit (for people and goods) and depots will be
developed for transfers between the two segregated systems.

PP3:      TRAFFIC SIGNALS AND THE RIGHT TO CROSS THE STREET

Whereas:

*    Traffic signals have been invented to mediate movements  of
motor vehicles; in a totally walking world, they would not
be necessary.

*    The rights of walkers have eroded over the years.  In the
early days of the automobile, those walking – now given the
formal status of “pedestrians” – always were to be given the
right of way by motorists; the mere gesture of intention to
cross a road, however brief, was to be heeded by the
motorist, who would come to a complete and respectful stop.
Where sidewalks didn’t exist, motorists would  stop until it
was safe to pass.

*    Over time, as the number and average speed of motorists
increased, instances of non-observance of this principle
grew, along with injuries and deaths of pedestrians.  Now,
in the name of safety  and the efficiency of the roadway to
move vehicles, pedestrians are not to cross a road unless
given “permission” by a traffic control device or, if far
from such a device, where there are no vehicles approaching
within over 1,000 feet.

*    Pedestrian crossings – away from regular intersections with
full, red-amber-green signals – have been very dangerous.
They depended on the driver seeing the pedestrian and then
stopping.  First simple parallel painted lines were used;
then signs were added; then  extra street lighting; then
flashing lights.  Each improvement was  overwhelmed by
drivers driving too fast and impatiently.  Ambiguity  was a
culprit: if drivers were supposed to stop, why not install a
regular red-green-amber signal, the reasoning went.

*    Now the Region has agreed to replace all these
flashing-yellow crossings with the full-phase signals.
However, it has designed all these signals to require
pedestrians to push a button to activate the light _and_ to
wait up to 40 seconds until the central computer  deems that
vehicular cross-traffic will be inconvenienced the least.
These pedestrian-activated devices are being added to many
existing signals.  They are poorly located and do not change
with the green signals caused by vehicles, unless pushed
several seconds early.

*    The current situation is neither safer nor efficient for
pedestrians, and thus is leading to a further decline in
walking, at least by those who can afford to increase their
reliance on automobiles, at a time when the many advantages
of walking – and disadvantages of motor vehicle use – are
becoming so apparent.

Therefore, we recommend:

1.   Provincial law should recognize the right of all persons on
foot  to have the right-of-way over motor vehicles and
bicycles.

2.   At controlled intersections, a) no right turns on red lights
– nor left turns, where the two roads are one-way – will be
permitted, 2) no pedestrian signals will be timed to give
advantage of vehicles over pedestrians moving in the same
direction, c) pedestrians will be barred from crossing in a
given direction for at most 45 seconds at a time, and need
not push a button for this privilege (although a button
should be available to make the signal change sooner under
certain circumstances, or to cause a pedestrian-only phase,
or for very slow walkers, a special button to allow extra-
long cycles), and d) the pedestrian signals will show “don’t
walk” early enough to allow a slow walker to completely
cross the street (never to be  stranded on the street or on
a “refuge”).

3.   That intersections with left-turn phases, be equipped with
“pedestrian phases”, periods when all vehicles are stopped
to allow pedestrians to cross.  If such intersections
require one, they naturally require the other.

4.   At signalized intersections where a minor street intersects
with a major street and the signal changes only if there is
traffic on the minor street, sensors for pedestrians must be
as automatic as for vehicles, and where vehicles have caused
the change, the pedestrian light will change as well,
regardless of whether a pedestrian has  been “sensed”
simultaneously.

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PP3a:      OTHER INTERSECTION PROBLEMS AND THE RIGHT TO  CROSS
THE ROAD

Whereas:

*    Despite all the deterioration of pedestrian prerogatives,
drivers must still yield to pedestrians when the former is
turning.

*    However, the many years of intersection “improvements”
(recently renamed “modifications” in recognition that they
were not improvements for pedestrians) to increase vehicular
traffic have produced a traffic engineers’ invention called
“channelization”.  These result in severe rounding of
corners and the construction of triangular “islands”.
Vehicles turning right are no longer required to even stop
before turning right on red lights.  A separate crosswalk is
designated at the mid-point in the turning lane and
pedestrians are required to use this, even though it
lengthens their route.  Although drivers are legally
required to stop for pedestrians using these crosswalks, few
do.  And pedestrians have learned not to tempt fate, since
the geometry of the channels has allowed much higher turning
speeds and created the illusion that the pedestrian is
crossing the vehicle’s path, not vice versa.  These are very
common at major intersections in suburban areas where land
“triangles” are reserved in advance, but are added wherever
possible in older areas (example: Nicholas and Laurier
Avenue East).: These further abridge the right and
convenience to cross the street by: a) making the street
wider at the corner, b) increasing the speed of turning
vehicles, c) exempting right-turning motorists from the
control of the traffic light, d) forcing pedestrians to
cross the street in three to four sections, and e)
effectively taking away the obligation of turning motorists
to yield to pedestrians.

*    The increase in the number of four-way stops as measures to
reduce through traffic in residential areas has resulted in
increasing use by drivers of the “rolling stop” with the
driver looking out for vehicles approaching from either
direction, not pedestrians who have the right-of-way.

*    At many intersections, pedestrians have been barred from
crossing on one side of the road, forcing them to make three
crossings just to continue along that side of the road.
This has been done where many vehicle turning movements
occur.

Therefore:

1.   The “improvement” of intersections that include corner-
rounding, barring of pedestrians, and channelization be
stopped and, in the case of intersections already so
altered, reversed.  As an immediate measure, nailed-down
pylons and striped, painted areas to extend the pedestrian-
only areas at intersections such that corners are sharp
turns with turning radii no more than half a metre.  Later,
sidewalks will be moved to make the sharp turns permanent.

2.   At all-way stops, pedestrians will always have the right-
of-way.

3.   At all other locations more than 50 feet from a signalized
intersection pedestrians will have the right to cross by
merely facing the roadway.  Persons listed as owners of
vehicles reported for not stopping will be fined, with no
requirement to prove they were behind the wheel at the time.
The fine should be $500.

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PP4:      SIDEWALKS AND ROAD SPEED LIMITS

Whereas:

*    There are serious conflicts between sidewalks and roadways
when they are located adjacent to each other: the splashing
of water and slush, the noise of traffic, the stopping of
vehicles on sidewalks, and the fear by pedestrians that
vehicles will “jump” the curb inadvertently and strike them.

*    The significance of these problems increases with the speed
of the motor traffic and the lack of separation – distance
or intervening structure – between vehicles and pedestrians.

*    Cyclists have no space of their own on the street and must
either cope with the narrow buffer area adjacent to the curb
or ride sidewalks to the detriment of pedestrians.

Therefore:

1.   Eventually, speed limits on all streets be reduced in
keeping with traffic calming (see D-7).  All streets will
have a boulevard strip between vehicles and pedestrians, or
cement or metal protectors.

2.   The higher the speed of vehicles, the wider the boulevard or
higher/stouter  the barrier.

3.   Consideration should be given to converting the curb lane of
all  four-lane – and wider – arterials to slower moving and
slow accelerating traffic – buses, cycles, and especially
cautious (usually older) drivers or those who prefer the
safety and environmental advantages of slower speeds.  This
lane should be made a bit wider (as is the present practice
in the Region) to allow for a mix of slower speed movements,
such as turning and stopping, although it would be illegal
to open doors on the side of the vehicle away from the curb.

4.   These measures should be considered at the same time as
traffic calming.

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PP5:      TAKING PEDESTRIAN/VEHICLE COLLISIONS SERIOUSLY

Problem:

*    Often pedestrian injury or death is described as an
unfortunate accident for which no one has responsibility.
Not infrequently, it is implied that the collision resulted
from the negligence of the pedestrian.  The driver “admitted
seeing the victim in advance by assumed that she would yield
to him” (OWN 18)

*    We don’t have much analysis that sheds light on causes and
remedies for collisions between pedestrians and motor
vehicles.

*    “The RMOC statistical report of pedestrian injuries and
deaths on roads in the region shows that there was the
typical number of both – 220 injuries and 7 deaths – during
the first six months of 1991;  All pedestrian fatalities
were people under nine years of age or over 55 years of age
… although blame isn’t specifically assigned, 44 injured
pedestrians were crossing at an intersection and had the
right-of-way  (vs. 27 hit while not having the right-of-
way), 37 were ‘running into the roadway’, 37 were ‘crossing
through traffic’, and 22 were hit on the sidewalks or road
shoulders.  All but one of the seven fatalities were women”.
(OWN 14)

What Needs To Be Done:

1.   The RMOC to provide site-specific statistics and analysis
for pedestrian traffic “accidents” as a regular component of
future reports.

2.   Research and pilot projects dealing with “green
intersections” proposed by the RMOC’s Transportation
Environment Action Plan (TEAP) to be implemented
immediately.

3.   Police reports of such collisions to include the
investigating officer’s assessment of contributing factors,
and the police department to prepare and make public
periodic consolidation and analysis of this and other data
on pedestrian/vehicle collisions.

4.   Inquests to be held on all pedestrian fatalities to increase
understanding of contributing factors and corrective
measures needed.

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PP6:      REMARKABLE WALKING ENVIRONMENTS AND PEDESTRIANS

Background:

*    Walking is a natural, healthy human activity.  It is good
for the individual and society.  It should be encouraged.

*    Most ordinary urban walking environments are
stress-inducing, involving battles with vehicles, including
bicycles, and the breathing of polluted air and the
tolerance of loud noises.

Problem:

*    It is difficult or impossible to find exceptionally good
walking environments in a city, especially those that can be
used in the course of one’s normal daily activities.

*    The so-called “recreational pathways” are dominated by
fast-riding cyclists whose attitudes and behaviours upset
and frighten the ordinary walker.  Even after the cyclists
have been removed, this pathway is not always healthy – as,
for example, a good part of the section along the east side
of the Canal south from Clegg is too narrow, and walkers end
up breathing the pollution caused by the dangerously near
and heavy traffic.

*    The Sparks Street Mall, which could be an exceptionally
good walking environment, is always under attack from
vehicular traffic, legitimate and not, and hence is not as
healthy and pleasurable as it could be.

Solution:

*    Identify, designate, and protect existing remarkable
walking environments.

*    Create, designate, and protect new remarkable walking
environments.

Recommendations:

1.   Define what contributes to a remarkable walking environment
(RWE).

2.   Search for RWEs by, among other things, having a contest
using  all the media to stimulate the public to provide
their suggestions.

3.   Legislate to protect them.

4.   Actively create them.

Examples of Remarkable Walking Environments:

1.   The foot path on the east side of the depressed CPR tracks
running from Carling Avenue north to Somerset.

What makes it remarkable?  It is removed from constant
traffic, it is tree-shaded, it is lightly used.  It is a
delight to wander along this short path in the spring and
fall.  And once in a blue moon, you may see a train
proceeding along beside.

But, it is muddy when it rains, too many people let their
dogs defecate there, and it is not plowed during the winter.

2.   Echo Drive, from Clegg to Bank Street.

Why? There is a great view of the Canal, the Ex, and the
beautiful arched spans of the Bank Street Bridge; it is
blocked at intervals to motor traffic (while allowing
walkers and cyclists through), so there are almost no motor
vehicles, and there are many joggers, real runners, old
people, and parents with toddlers and strollers, often
using the middle of the road, which gives everyone a great
feeling; from Riverdale to Bank, there is no sidewalk, which
means drivers must be careful (most of them are); you look
down on the traffic on Colonel By Drive and thereby feel
superior and “above it all”, less affected by the pollution
and noise.

However, where there is a sidewalk, it is too narrow and
often in need of repair or is too sloped.  Sometimes, a
visiting driver, angered because of the dead-ends, drives
like a mad person.  With the impending conversion of the
Convent near Bank Street, the ambience of that end of the
road may be destroyed.  The National Capital Commission
still thinks Echo is a major artery and thus in winter dumps
tonnes of salt on it and plows and clears it like mad, which
is completely unnecessary.  There is an unnecessary fence at
the top of the embankment which does nothing except remind
one of a barnyard.

And yet: walking in the soft snow away from the splashy,
polluting traffic below on Colonel By Drive; catching the
sun bouncing off the waves on the Canal; noticing the leaves
change along the section from Riverdale to Bank makes it all
a remarkable walking environment.

Make and describe your own remarkable walking environments
… and  we’ll have a contest with the _Citizen_, and ?
maybe Ottawalk  will contribute to a prize.  Is that
positive or what?

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PP7:      TRAFFIC CALMING

Whereas:

*    Streets are for people, for moving people and goods between
properties and for mixing socially.  Their use also for
vehicles often creates conflicts between these purposes.

*    The general safety philosophy on urban streets has become a
“law of the jungle”, where vulnerable travelers are to take
a “lion’s  share” of responsibility for their well-being,
rather than that responsibility falling primarily on the
shoulders of those wielding the greatest threat.

*    The measures that have been introduced during the last 75
years since motor vehicles have become common have been
motivated by two basic misconceptions: a) that everyone
either moved by motor vehicle or wished they did, and b)
measures that are designed to improve safety often do the
opposite.  Concern with the environment and health have
changed these two assumptions: a) walking is being
encouraged and driving discouraged, and b) traffic-related
deaths and injuries, plus the stress of being threatened by
both, has become part of the “healthy cities” movement.

*    The measures that have been introduced to accommodate
driving and to increase safety have created a downward
spiral.  Drivers respond to the reduction of risks by taking
additional risks (e.g., by speeding, being less attentive,
or engaging in distracting activities).  This has brought
more a lower level of safety for pedestrians.  The greater
speed, for instance, has brought greater noise, wider roads,
fewer trees and plants.

*    The gradual “vehicularization” of streets has meant that
people on foot no longer feel welcome on them.  Disuse has
allowed crime to increase.

*    The same people who drive cars also live and want to spend
time on streets.

*    “Traffic Calming” is an innovative way to design streets
to meet the above problems. It is being used in many
cities in Europe and Australia.  It involves taking space,
physical and visual, back from cars, by designing new
streets to enhanced standards and rebuilding existing
streets, especially streets used primarily for residential
and office/commercial purposes.  The main measures are:
narrower lanes, tighter turning circles at corners and
driveways, greater number of trees, more pedestrian
amenities (and fewer vehicular ones, like signs, parking
meters, and parking spaces), the addition of boulevards
between sidewalks and the curb, and of course better
enforcement.  Where it has been tried, the numbers of
pedestrians (and cyclists) has increased.  The developing
literature is showing which measures are the most successful.

Therefore:

1.   The RMOC and local municipalities jointly sponsor a local
conference on the subject of traffic calming with the focus
on how to implement this idea in Ottawa-Carleton, eventually
on _all_ roads that allow walking adjacent to them.

2.   The RMOC and local municipalities immediately reduce road
widths in new residential subdivisions and require sidewalks
on both sides of all roads.  No sidewalks will be tilted to
accommodate car movements and turning radii should be no
greater than three feet (although designed to periodically
allow tires of large moving vans and fire trucks to “jump
the curb”).

3.   No streets or bridges shall be rebuilt without including
traffic calming measures in consultation with the people
using (living and working along) the street.  [The
requirements of those driving along the street should be
channelled through committees dealing with the growth of
community-based transportation solutions that reduce the
amount of vehicles and vehicle movements – see paper D-2 on
the “green transportation hierarchy”.]

4.   Municipal transportation and street departments should be
renamed “departments of living spaces” and have landscape
architects, sociologists, community relations specialists,
and planners substituted for some of the staff with
engineering expertise.

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PP8:      THE INTEGRITY OF SIDEWALKS

Whereas:

*    Walking is beneficial to those walking and to the
communities and physical environments through which they
walk;

*    Sidewalks are intended for people who walk (pedestrians),
those pushed by pedestrians, people using wheelchairs;

*    Baby strollers are an important means of transportation
because they are very commonly used.  Baby strollers and
wheelchairs are both important because they are the only
means of transportation for some people.  Shopping carts are
an important means of transporting groceries.  Grooves in
the sidewalk every two metres are a nuisance for wheeled
pedestrian modes.  Going up and down curbs is an
inconvenience and can make travel impossible or contribute
to back strain.  When curbs are ramped, travel is easier but
still inconvenient and can still contribute to back strain.
Rounded corners at intersections force pedestrians with
wheeled vehicles either to change direction frequently or to
cross the curb at oblique angles, either of which can
contribute to back strain.

*    The people who use sidewalks are vulnerable to injury from
moving vehicles and from dangerous surfaces on or adjacent
to the sidewalk;

*    Many people who use sidewalks are more vulnerable because
they have limitations in their ability to move, to sense the
world  around them, and to comprehend the complexity of
their surroundings;  some have limitations sufficient to
make it difficult, dangerous, or even illegal to pilot a
vehicle.

*    Present sidewalk design at points where pedestrians and
vehicles intersect favours the vehicle, resulting in higher
speeds  for the vehicle than is safe, and implies to the
driver that he/she  has the right of way, (although this is
not so);

Therefore, be it resolved that:

1.   Sidewalks be constructed and rebuilt without depressions for
vehicle access to adjacent property;

2.   Sidewalks should extend through the intersections, with
ramps on either side for vehicles, forcing them to reduce
speed;

3.   Bollards or barriers be placed along the edges of sidewalks
exposed to vehicular traffic to physically bar access by
vehicles at all times;

4.   Sidewalks be flat and horizontal (except for minor grade for
drainage), smooth and free of grooves or other unevenness,
and have a surface that reduces slipping.

5.   The edges of sidewalks be straight and continuous to avoid
forcing pedestrians to move laterally to avoid obstructions
or discontinuities;

6.   Sidewalks be wide enough for two people walking beside each
other to be able to pass another pair of people walking
side-by- side without either pair having to leave the
sidewalk or go single-file;

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PP9:      OBSTRUCTIONS ON SIDEWALKS

Problem:

*    There are too many permanent and temporary obstructions on
sidewalks.

Examples:

*    Fixed Obstructions:

*    Utility poles (telephones, street lights, traffic
signals), hydrants, parking meters, bus shelters, trees
and fences around them, fixed seating, and traffic
control, bus stops and information signs.

*    Moving Obstructions:

*    Newspaper boxes, trash containers, vendor stands and
carts, A- frame (“sandwich”) signs, bikes (parked and
moving), motor vehicles (parked or stopped and moving
across), snow, and portable seating.

Whereas:

*    The number of such obstructions is very high: from a few
each block on residential streets to over 100 per block in
the central area, where, ironically, pedestrian traffic is
the heaviest.

*    The above list includes many items that do not serve
pedestrians at all.  This is in contrast to the street
between the curbs where no items are located at all.  The
reasoning used by those designing streets is that motor
vehicles damage any objects in their way, and such
collisions often result in damage not only to vehicles but
to occupants, other road users, and even pedestrians, if the
vehicles cross the curb as a result.

*    The traditional location for these objects – a 60-cm strip
adjacent to the curb – is being widened or moved to the
other side of the sidewalk, due to snow clearance
activities, easier access to parked and stopped vehicles,
and to avoid damage to the objects themselves caused by
vehicles (and parts thereof) which cross the curb.

*    Many people who use sidewalks have special difficulties:
lack of sight, must manoeuver wheelchairs, strollers or
grocery wagons, are carrying parcels or have poorly
controlled movement.  Many times these obstructions result
in injuries or force some pedestrians into the street.
Also, they are problematic for snow-removal and sweeping
equipment.

*    There are no design standards for these objects, partly
because they are publicly owned or are deemed to be
“temporary” (e.g. newsboxes are allowed well past the time
they have rusted out).  The objects are hard, have sharp
edges and corners, are dirty, are of varying heights and
shapes, and are located in an inconsistent manner.  People
often collide with them and receive injuries, sometimes
serious.  Sometimes, their clothes are ripped or stained.

*    These obstructions restrict sidewalk width and cause
pedestrians to slow their walking pace temporarily if not
altogether.

*    Many objects could be located on adjacent private property
that is usually created by site plan control to enhance the
pedestrian right-of-way, but the owners do not permit them.

*    There is no rental for the use of this space, even though
many of the users are private parties (license fees for
vending activities are for the activity and administrative
costs in monitoring – not the use of the space).

Therefore:

1.   The long-term objective is to return sidewalks to
pedestrians.

2.   All obstructions should be moved _off_ sidewalks, whether
onto private property, the roadway, or boulevards, or
buried.

3.   As part of its proposed Pedestrian/Walking System Plan, the
City of Ottawa should study these obstacles, along with the
conditions of building edges.  Ottawalk, pedestrians and the
general public must be involved extensively.  A review of
other cities should be undertaken.

4.   The present jurisdictional overlaps for sidewalks along
Regional roads (local municipalities, NCC, private owners)
must be addressed and resolved.

5.   Location of these objects should be done only with reference
to design standards that are based on pedestrian
requirements and traffic volumes.  Also, the space that is
provided must be charged for, based on market values, even
in the case of public agencies.

6.   Studies should be done on ways to use technology and designs
for burying services in buildings and under the street so
that many obstructions can be removed.  Until that time,
posts located on sidewalks should be repaired to remove
splinters and other sharp objects, creosote and grease, and
that surfaces be padded.

7.   All cities must establish active enforcement (not relying
primarily on complaints, as occurs on road portions with
motor vehicles) to maintain standards and agreements as they
are developed.

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PP10:     BRIDGES, OVERPASSES, UNDERPASSES (BOUs)

1.   The Problem:

Most Bridges, Overpasses, Underpasses (BOUs) are poorly
designed for pedestrians.  Six examples are listed,

1.   Sidewalks are too narrow.

Example:  The bridge/overpass over the sunken train tracks
on Carling avenue between Preston and Champagne.
The sidewalk on Carling is not wide enough as it
is.  Yet the sidewalk on the bridge is even
narrower.

2.   Pedestrians are not protected from splashing of rain and
snow/water/salt combination sprayed by buses, cars, and
trucks passing too close.

Examples: The two underpasses on Elgin and Bank under the
Queensway and the Bank street bridge over the
canal.

3.   Sidewalks are dangerous when wet, whether with rain or snow,
because of slippery pieces of metal.

Examples: The bridge/overpass over the sunken train tracks
on Beach  avenue between Preston and Champagne.

4.   Cyclists, for good reasons of their own (they want to live),
ride on the sidewalks of bridges.

Examples: The Pretoria street bridge over the canal.

5.   Sidewalks have unnecessary obstacles.

Examples: Colonel By south of Rideau Street to the Westin
Hotel.

6.   When one street goes over another street it is difficult to
impossible for pedestrians to get from one level to the
other.  Cars can drive  around, the long way,
and pedestrians are usually forced to walk extra kilometres
just to change levels when a stairway would solve the
problem for many (new construction should incorporate
ramps).

Example:  Laurier over Colonel By.

We are not all negative — there are some bridges which almost
have it right.

For example:   The Bank street bridge over the Rideau River, and
the TransitWay bridge over the Rideau river (off
Lees Avenue)

2.   The Longer Term Solution

Revise present standards, and draft new standards keeping in
mind  the needs of pedestrians, not just automotive traffic.

This can be accomplished by:

1.   Setting up a committee involving all jurisdictions
which own/design/build/maintain/pay for] bridges.

2.   Consult with pedestrians and cyclists.

3.   Do analyses and make improvements.

3.   Recommendations:

1.   Bicycle lanes will be provided so that cyclists will
stay off the sidewalks.

2.   Sidewalks on bridges will be wider than ordinary
sidewalks, and free of obstacles.

3.   Barriers will be constructed to protect pedestrians
from splashing and from collisions.

4.   Assign a staff member to investigate this issue and to
write a report describing the problem in more detail
with examples,  making sure Ottawalk and cyclists
groups are consulted and receive copies of the draft
report.

5.   Give the report to politicians with recommendations for
next steps.

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PP11:     TRANSIT SERVICES AND THE PROMOTION OF WALKING

Whereas:

*    Walking is the highest form of transportation in the city,
and transit is the form of transportation most complementary
to it, and vice-versa.  [Cycling, although not
complementary, is much more compatible than motor vehicles].
Thus, improvements for one mode enhance utilization of the
other, but, likewise, improvements to one mode and not to
the other will be somewhat wasted.  Also, the influence of
transit interests are much stronger than those of walkers.

*    The allocation of more money, land, maintenance and
planning to roads rather than to sidewalks wrongly favours
the more dangerous and environmentally harmful modes of
transportation.  Snow storage along curb lanes, use of
laybys and shifting of bus stops away from corners wrongly
favours automobiles over transit.

*    The most significant improvement that can be made to
transit is increased frequency, followed by more convenient
bus stops, fares, and comfort and safety of ride.

*    By far, the best bus service in Ottawa-Carleton is that
which is provided: 1) during rush hour, 2) to downtown and
stations  along the transitway.  Some people will not give
up their cars unless they can rely on frequent (every 10
minutes) “off- peak” service to all areas.  Also, bus
service to downtown is inefficient, causing bus congestion
and also sidewalk congestion at “stations”.

Therefore, we recommend:

1.   OC Transpo develop a system plan that aggressively positions
transit service to compete with automobile ownership.  This
includes at least 20-minute frequency on minor lines (three-
digit routes) and 10-minute service on main routes (1- and
2- digit routes).

2.   Rather than increase the number of stops or add more loops
to routes (to reduce walking distance), OC Transpo should
make a clear commitment to work to improve the walking
environment.

3.   OC Transpo reverse recent trends and 1) move bus stops back
to corners where routes intersect, and 2) drop use of large,
articulated buses on non-transitway routes.  Further, that
it indicate to RMOC Transportation that 1) it no longer will
use bus laybys, 2) that snow storage should be moved to the
centre lanes of roads, and 3) it wants traffic control
measures that give preference to walking over vehicle
movement, including that of buses in road design and traffic
control practices.

4.   Downtown service improvements are not as important as
service improvements elsewhere (since downtown already has
the highest service and has saturated the market during rush
hour induced by high parking rates).  Thus, rather than
build a bus tunnel – which will make only minor improvements
in travel times and will degrade the users’ waiting
environment and air quality – minor improvements  should be
made downtown, and the major funds, instead, be targeted  to
improvements to cross-town routes and general route
frequency.

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PP12:     GUTTERS AND SEWERS AND PEDESTRIANS

Background:

*    In the old days, so it goes, a thousand years ago, more or
less, some brilliant wagon driver, frustrated because his
wagon was always getting stuck in the muddy ruts of what
were called “roads” discovered that if he (sorry feminists,
it was a he) got the road built with a slight hump in the
middle, the rain would run off into what became ditches and
his wagon didn’t get stuck any more.  Thus he moved his
produce and passengers more quickly and he consequently made
more money (yes, it was tied into the capitalist system).

*    It wasn’t until 1816 or 1819 when John McAdam wrote his two
treatises that things really got moving.  He recommended
raising the road above the adjacent ground for better
drainage.  So drivers got “macadamization”, and concrete and
speed, and the pedestrians got the drainage, and  sewers,
and splashed ever since.

The Problem:

*    To catch the drainage, the traffic engineers put the sewers
at the side of the road.  Great for vehicles; hell for
walkers.  Walkers get splashed with water for three seasons,
and for the fourth, they get splashed by a super-saturated
salt/chemical/water solution which destroys all natural and
most man-made fibres.  Walkers get the privilege of trying
to walk on a surface covered with that solution and they get
the unwanted chance to slip and fall on icy surfaces created
by the frozen drainage water and eventually _frozen_
solution.

The Solution:

*    Put sewers in the middle of the road.

Therefore:

1.   Try it.  Don’t listen to all the arguments from the
status-quo-loving traffic engineers who all-too-quickly
recognize and try to kill any idea which means they might
have to do something differently.  Just order them to do it.
Sure, it won’t get done right the first four or five times,
but eventually they’ll get it right.  They’ll all get
promotions, and even like it.  And walkers will love it (not
to mention cyclists and bus drivers).

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PP13:     WATER FLOW OFF PROPERTIES AND PEDESTRIANS

Background:

*    In the old days, when water collected in stagnant pools,
disease followed.  So, for the last one hundred years,
cities have taken all kinds of action to eliminate stagnant
pools.

*    One such action was to pave anything that didn’t move.
Another was  to make sure laneways drained toward the road
and the sewers.  Another was to ensure that sidewalks were
slanted toward the road and the sewers.

The Problem:

*    Now there is too much pavement.  The rain goes into the
sewers and  then into the rivers, much too quickly.  Then we
pay mightily to clean such water, pump it back to the houses
so that homeowners  can spend more money to sprinkle their
grass.  There is a better way.

*    In the late fall and early spring when water is running off
residential laneways, it freezes on the sidewalks.
Pedestrians slip and fall, break their legs and arms, and do
other damage to themselves.  There is a better way.

The Solution:

*    Let the water drain into the ground where it is needed,
which means:  1) you don’t have driveways to shovel, and 2)
ice won’t form on sidewalks.

Recommendations:

1.   City crews should lower the edges of all lawns adjacent to
sidewalks, so that the lawns are 5cm below the sidewalk
through a strip 30cm wide along the sidewalk.  All private
and public laneway construction and modification should
conform to the standard that the laneway be 5cm below the
sidewalk, at all points 30cm from the sidewalk.  From there,
it can slope up to the sidewalk.

2.   Do some studies.

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PP14:     PEDESTRIANS AND SNOW/ICE

Whereas:

*    Mobility during winter is important to all citizens;
walking is part of every trip made in the city; the most
disadvantaged citizens rely on walking the most.

*    Although most municipalities clear most sidewalks and
paths, there are important shortcomings, including with the
timing,  the priorities, and the gaps.  Windrows (linear
piles of snow left  by plows) are a serious problem to
pedestrians.

*    The resources now committed to snow clearance give too
little importance to walking areas, considering that
vehicles are motorized and can more easily move in snow up
to six inches, although not as fast as on bare pavement.
Also, more efforts are made on main portions of roads than
sidewalks and gutters.  Snow and slush build-ups in gutters
affect pedestrians more than motor vehicles, since the
latter use their speed and weight to simply spray the
material onto the sidewalks and onto any pedestrians walking
on them.> to tackle the special problems of ice build-up and
blockages in drainage.

*    Walking is not only as important during winter as  during
the rest of the year, but, due to the reduced availability
of physical activity during the winter, _more_ important.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT municipalities adhere to the
following  standards:

1.   All sidewalks and paths be cleared of snow following each
snow fall as soon as roadways.  This must include all
stairways, which should have wooden boards added for safety.

2.   When intersections are cleared, the windrows blocking
sidewalks will be cleared during the same operation.

3.   Salt and sand will be applied more carefully: salt will be
applied only by hand to areas where ice has remained
persistent, after applications of sand has failed to resolve
the problem; other areas – clear pavement and well-packed
and level snow – will be left alone.

4.   The city will vigorously enforce its by-laws prohibiting the
placement of snow from private property onto the sidewalk
portion of the public right-of-way.  City crews will cite
offenders without waiting for complaints.

5.   Until a plow can be invented that will allow windrows to be
selectively placed where they are not a hazard, plows should
push snow to the centre of roads, where the windrows don’t
block gutters, are easier to remove, are not pushed onto
cleared sidewalks by motor vehicles entering a laneway, and
don’t block pedestrians from crossing streets and entering
buses.

6.   Salt use on roads should be phased out over a year.  Half of
the money saved should be used for a campaign to get drivers
to drive more slowly and carefully; one-quarter be used to
improve snow removal on the road; and one-quarter to improve
clearance of walking surfaces, stairs, and paths in parks.

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PP15:     PEDESTRIANS AND CIGARETTE SMOKING

Whereas:

*    The smoking of tobacco products is now deemed to be both
hazardous to the health of the smoker and persons breathing
his/her  smoke (not to mention, addictive) without any
particular positive  benefit to society.

*    With the recent restrictions on indoor smoking, more
smoking is occurring in public places, indoor and outdoor.
These spaces lack necessary amenities and they often bring
people into closer contact than workplaces.

*    The impacts of smoking in public and semi-public places
include: annoyance of breathing in smoke that either
irritates the  eyes and other sensory organs or is simply
foul [either exhaled by  a person who is much closer than
would occur in a workplace, etc.  or emitted from a burning
cigarette abandoned by the smoker (also  not likely in
structured environments)], litter discarded by smokers
<Note: Even though cars usually have two different
receptacles for this trash, drivers often ignore them and
discard trash out the window or intermittently simply empty
the full receptacles on the street.>, exposure to burning
cigarettes or matches, and the hazard of the smoking
activity when engaged in by a person simultaneously
responsible for a moving vehicle  (see #23).

*    These impacts reduce the interest people have in walking
and otherwise enjoying these spaces.  Littering by-laws are
neither enforced nor observed.

Therefore, be it resolved that:

1.   Smokers be instructed to go to the rear of buildings to
smoke.  Those not doing so would be liable to fines.
Building owners would be required to provide smokers with
receptacles for smoking in these locations.

2.   Local municipalities research the litter that is collected
from the public rights-of-way and from lobbies and malls as
the percentage contributed by smokers.

3.   Local municipalities will undertake public education
campaigns about the annoyances and hazards of smoking in
malls, crowded outdoor areas, and while driving.

4.   Municipalities will require employers and institutions to
plan for the impact of banning smoking on their premises, to
ensure that the smoking problem isn’t simply pushed into
other areas.

5.   The RMOC Health Department petition the province to do
research on the number of injuries (and damage done to
clothing and other personal objects) caused by contact with
burning cigarettes. etc.  Also to research the impacts of
allowing people to smoke while driving.

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PP16:     NOISE

Whereas:

*    Walking is done outdoors and is not done solely for
transportation or exercise.

*    The reception of sound by the ear is an integral part of
the walking experience.  These sounds represent part of the
reality  that walkers are seeking to observe and interact
with.

*    In cities and near roadways, the sounds being sought by
walkers are being masked by noises that have no particular
meaning to the individual, at least for the duration or
intensity they are being received.  In small amounts or for
short duration they are useful for information; but become
painful and dangerous in excessive amounts.

*    Walking itself produces no noise, although some sound, as
all movement should.  Walkers who mask these noises by
wearing a Walkman are dangerously masking out safety
information at the same time; those who simply avoid using
public areas create danger and reduce the expectation of
public conviviality for others.

*    Almost all of the most objectionable noises in cities are
caused directly and indirectly by the combustion of fossil
fuels related to transportation and construction.

Therefore:

1.   “Quiet enjoyment” needs to be recognized for public areas as
well as private residences.  Local government should set
standards for noise levels, durations, and pitch along all
public areas.  Traffic calming measures will be applied to
all streets that have exceeded noise standards.  All
citizens must have the right to an aurally balanced
environment;  sounds which dominate must be eliminated.  The
right to carry on a conversation along a street with several
other people without shouting or standing unsociably close
must be protected.

2.   Drivers of noisy vehicles should be fined.

3.   Senior levels of government should undertake research into
understanding the impacts of noise on people, plant and
animal life, and our heritage buildings, as well as on the
sources of noises that create the greatest harm,
disorientation, and displeasure.  Innovative compliance
measures need to be developed.

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PP17:     SIDEWALKS AND PEDESTRIANS: IMPROVING DESIGN

Problems:

*    Many sidewalks are poorly designed for pedestrians:

1.   Sidewalks are too narrow:  Examples: mid block Albert
Street between Elgin and Metcalfe (both sides); east
side of Elgin, Lisgar to Lewis:

2.   On streets with  faster speed limits, the sidewalks are
too close to the road: Examples: Carling Avenue, west
from Bronson; Main Street, south from Lees Avenue:

3.   In residential areas especially, sidewalks are designed
more for cars exiting and entering laneways than they
are for walking.  Many sidewalks have dangerous slants
to them which in the winter time are very dangerous,
causing many accidents.: Example: Fifth Avenue, from
the Driveway to Bronson.

Solution:

*    Design sidewalks for walking

Recommendations:

1.   Have staff write a short report (5-10 pages) outlining the
state of sidewalks according to the historical changes in
sidewalk design estimating how many sidewalks fit into each
category, and if possible, identifying what areas have what
kinds of sidewalks.

2.   Have staff investigate how other cities handle this problem,
producing a report outlining options to the present design,
indicating where each option is used.

3.   Supply these two reports to Ottawalk and others interested,
so  they may make comments.

4.   Have staff recommend some designs which could be tested and
then use them in a test program.

PP18:     REDUCING DISTRACTED DRIVING

Whereas:

*    The driver of a vehicle is responsible for piloting a
potentially lethal mechanical device of more than a tonne at
speeds at least 10 times the speed of walking; very few
people have the skills and the attention required; the
driver’s moral responsibility increases with the mass and
speed of the vehicle.

*    The act of driving is an intrusion in a community and a
threat to its inhabitants and their health.

*    Any activity not directly related to piloting the vehicle
which causes the driver to disengage him/herself from
continually controlling the vehicle, monitoring the external
environment, or anticipating possible collisions is to be
avoided.  These distractions reduce the driver’s
effectiveness, just as drugs and alcohol do.  Examples of
such distractions are: smoking, eating or drinking, using an
audio system or a cell phone, shaving or putting on make-up,
participating in deep discussions or arguments, disciplining
a child, and reading a map.  Also to be considered is
driving while under stress; examples include rushing to meet
a deadline, while very angry, or while competing with other
drivers.

*    Unlike impairment due to alcohol or a drug, which can be
detected in the blood stream soon after an accident,
distractions leave no clear evidence.  Drivers who were
distracted rarely admit it openly, and often cannot actually
recall it. There is a dearth of research showing the effects
of distracted driving.

Therefore, be it resolved that the Province of Ontario:

1.   initiate a public education campaign aimed at reducing
distracted  driving.

2.   stimulate research into the impacts and extent of distracted
driving.  One approach might consider the use of new
technologies to monitor the movements of the driver’s eyes
and record this information in “black  boxes” installed in
several thousand cars, as are included in common carrier
vehicles not used on public roadways.

3.   begin considering other ways of reducing specific driver
activities and in-car equipment considered distracting,
including possible bans.

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PP19:     REDUCING DANGEROUS FALLS

Problem:

*    Falls – from slipping on ice, from tripping on broken
pavement or litter, and so on – injure pedestrians

*    Injuries from falls can be especially dangerous to elderly
people.

*    The risk of falls contributes to the “cocooning” and
isolation of numbers of people or the switch to less
desirable modes when walking conditions are bad.

What Needs to be Done:

*    Decision makers and the public need information as to:

*    the extent, location, and cause of injuries from falls
on sidewalks and roads,

*    the resulting costs – health, lost-time from work, and
so on.

*    Regional and local authorities responsible for roads and
sidewalks must:

*    review and revise standards for the design and
maintenance of sidewalks and intersections,

*    review and revise standards for the control of snow
and ice on sidewalks, at bus stops, and at
intersections; and

*    correct other contributing conditions identified, such
as slippery expansion plates in bridges and overpasses
(see OW position paper #10)

Recommendations:

1.   To begin with, RMOC’s Health Department to take leadership
in working with hospital emergency services to document the
extent, location, and causes of injuries due to falls; and
to analyze and make public this data.

2.   RMOC and local municipal officials consult with community
associations, Ottawalk, and other interested publics to
identify specific dangers (locations and conditions) and
plan corrective measures.

3.   Begin the review and revision of standards.

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PP20:     CAR OWNERSHIP

Whereas:

*    Car use is dangerous to people and the environment.

*    Car use is excessive, both in terms of its impacts on
people and in terms of its frivilousness.

*    Cars are used most by owners, rather than professional
drivers  (cabbies or couriers) and treated as simply a
necessary monthly expense.  The  per-trip out-of-pocket
expense virtually zero, compared with $1 to  $4 for transit
vs. the actual cost of $10 to $50, depending on vehicle
size and number of trips per month.

*    Many households cannot afford the monthly car-ownership
costs and thus have no choice but to walk, rely on
deteriorating bus service, or use expensive taxis.

*    This perceived imbalance between car and transit use –
coupled with the perception of superior safety and
convenience for the car – has led to continued decline in
transit service and commensurate increase in fares, leading
to expectations of further declines in transit ridership.

*    The costs of car use are subsidized greatly by the general
taxpayer (Pollution probe estimates that subsidy in Ontario
to be over $3 billion annually).  Also, there are enormous
environmental and health costs which are not charged because
they are simply not paid by anyone, but rather showing up as
declines in the quality of life and future sustainability.
These costs are far lower for transit, especially where it
is well used.

*    The average car is actually used only five hours a week
(not very pleasant hours, either), needing to be parked the
rest of the time at a number of different locations (home,
work, church, school, numerous stores, doctor’s offices).
It is estimated that a city needs four parking spots for
each car, plus roads and driveways.  There no schemes –
except taxis and car rental – for people to share their
cars (see next).

*    Car rental and taxi service are neither reasonable priced
nor convenient.  Both are oriented to business users willing
to pay rates which have become out of line for personal use
by all but the  rich.  Both concentrate their services in
business areas, turning their backs on those not living
downtown.

Therefore:

1.   Generally, those using cars should pay the full cost,
including environmental, health and noise costs.  These
costs should be assessed more on a per-trip and per-
kilometre basis.  This can be done through “road pricing”
and mandatory cost-recovery parking policies using emerging
electronic technology that can account for vehicle weight,
fuel type, and road congestion, or simply by taxing car
sales and fuel.

2.   Government take initiatives to: a) improve transit service
and  reduce costs, b) improve walking and cycling
facilities, c) promote and provide start-up grants for
neighbourhood and work centre car-sharing schemes and
short-term car rental services based in residential areas
and at work areas.

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PP21:     URBAN FORM AND CARS

Whereas:

*    The automobile was designed for rural use and is
incompatible with compact, gregarious city life.

*    The present over-dependence on car use in cities has create
urban sprawl and overly segregated land uses that has
created a number of problems: loss of agricultural land, air
and water pollution, loss of sociability and a fear of use
of public areas, reduced personal fitness and increased
traffic-related health costs, high taxed for physical
infrastructure.

*    The primary and most suitable modes of transportation in
cities – walking, transit, cycling – have atrophied and
become expensive, inconvenient, and/or dangerous.  This
continues as people reluctantly choose the car.  Car
ownership costs impose a monopolistic influence by requiring
the owner to use his/her car as much as possible – even
were unsuitable – in order to spread fixed costs as widely
as possible.

Therefore:

1.   Urban planning must be overhauled to reverse the trend
toward automobile-induced  sprawl that further make
alternatives modes impractical.  It should require most new
development to “infill” in existing areas to increase
density and to add land uses that each area now lacks.  The
emphasis must be on rebuilding the urban form that provide
high demand for transit and that provide the high quality
walking environment that is complimentary to transit.
Neighbourhood shopping should be revived.

2.   Since average trip length is shortest when commercial and
residential uses are mixed, there will be no restrictions
against commercial activity in any area where the purpose of
such restrictions is solely to reduce traffic.  There should
be zoning restrictions against specific types of commercial
activity to control noise, pollution or hazards caused
directly by the activity.

3.   Where new lands are urbanized, they should not be
agricultural or forest areas or sensitive wetlands.  Their
form should adhere to the principles mentioned in (1), now
referred to as “neo-traditional planning”.  This provides
for: a) return to small blocks and grid street patterns, b)
short turning radii and sidewalks on both sides of each
street, c) homes with generous front porches and reduced
rear-yard parking, d) shopping at the centre of
neighbourhoods along streets that have one lane of through
traffic in each direction and on-street parking all day, e)
no large-scale land uses which require large parking lots
and congested building entrances, and f) comfortable walking
access to frequent transit service.

4.   Action research must be carried out to “invent” the ways to
introduce intensification and infilling to existing areas
and to educate the public general and adjacent homeowners
specifically, of the costs of continuing with the present
car- based development.  For example, merchants must stop
demanding to locate on six-lane roads and demand lots of
parking; and home owners must stop demanding excessive
parking requirements for new housing that is located on good
transit routes.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

PP22:     Transportation Pollution
[There is no record of this having been formally adopted]

Whereas:

If you ride or drive a horse in Ottawa and the horse does what a
horse does – deposits some dung pollution – by law, you either
clean it up or you can be fined.

If you walk a dog in Ottawa and the dog does what a dog normally
does – deposits some dung pollution   by law, you either pick it
up or you can be fined.

If you walk in Ottawa and make pollution – by littering – you
either clean/pick it up or you can be fined.

However, if you drive a motor vehicle in Ottawa and burn three
litres of gasoline, you ‘deposit’ about 10 kilograms of carbon
dioxide in the atmosphere.  There are no laws or bylaws requiring
you to clean it up.  And yet, by all accounts motor vehicle
pollution is the world’s biggest threat to global health (_Ottawa
Citizen_, January 12, 1992, p. D-10). [Other deposits, which do
reach the ground, are: oil from engine and transmission and
brakes, grit from tires and brake linings; particulates from
fuels, and salt used to melt snow and ice.]

This is discrimination!

Therefore:

Horses and dogs should protect and demand equal treatment with
cars.  Horse owners and dog owners should protest and demand
equal treatment with those who own cars, trucks, and buses.
Either impose the same obligations on ‘deposits’ from motor
vehicles, or let horses, dogs, and even people defecate wherever
they choose.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

PP. 23:   SIDEWALK DESIGN
[Adopted by membership at Annual General Meeting, June 9, 1998]

Whereas:

*    Walking is the mode to be encouraged the most and which
accommodates the largest percentage of the population.  This
population comes closer to representing the diversity in
society as a whole, including as it does not only active
working-age adults, but also children, elderly people, and
people with disabilities.

*    Sufficiency of the width is one of the most significant
features of sidewalks, although sidewalks that are too wide
can attract illegal parking and stopping by drivers and
reduce the feeling of intimacy.

*    Walking is a very social activity in which people talk while
they walk, side-by-side, with others.  People often meet
others going by to another destination and will stop for a
chat.

*    Many people walking need extra width for: parcels, canes,
strollers, wheelchairs, or their larger body.

*    At certain locations, such as corners and building
entrances,  extra width is necessary for “storage” (people
waiting for lights, buttoning coats, fumbling with an
umbrella, waiting for a ride or a friend, or for sidewalk
restaurant seating)

Therefore, Ottawalk supports the following:

*    That sidewalks consist of four types of areas: the through
path, a strip on the edge nearest the street for street
furniture, a boulevard (a setback) between the curb and the
sidewalk , and areas for “storage” (standing to talk or to
wait for a ride or arrival of a friend).

*    The width of the through path of sidewalks should be related
to demand that is determined by the kind of adjacent street
uses and can be simplified by the following rule of thumb:
* three persons of width minimum (residential areas in
built-up areas);
* four persons of width for streets served with transit;
* five persons of width for main streets (with
street-oriented
commercial and institutional uses); and
* six persons of width in the central area.

*    Other uses (street furniture, utilities, storage and so on)
must not reduce the through path.

*    The space for street furniture on the last two categories of
streets be 70 centimeters plus 50 centimeters of setback
from the curb.  All street furniture, permanent and
temporary, must be located only in this corridor, rather
than being located on the other side of the sidewalk next to
the building or anywhere between.  Streets of the first two
categories usually have little street furniture, so a
dedicated space needs to be provided.  However, what street
furniture there is must be adjacent to the curb, on the
buffer strip or on a building setback.  Pedestrian push
buttons should be located consistently on the street side of
the sidewalk, close to the corner.

*  The boulevard area between the street edge of the sidewalk and
the curb provides:
a)  a space for greenery,
b)  a buffer between motor traffic and the walking area,
c)  an area for car doors to open without interfering with
walking or hitting people,
d)  an alternative location for street furniture, as long as
it is minimal and sited properly (with a well designed
concrete pad).  The boulevard is also important for the
storage of snow during winter.  The width of the boulevard
should vary with the speed of the traffic on the adjacent
section of road and the amount of street furniture to be
located there.  Where no boulevard is provided (usually
due to space limitation), either the sidewalk should be
relocated away from the curb (if city property is
available on the non-street-side of the sidewalk) or the
adjacent road space should be used for parking.  Some of
this parking space could be converted to sections of
boulevards for adding greenery, bicycle parking, transit
and mid-block crossing waiting areas, seating, and other
street furniture.

*  Storage areas at busier corners should be greater to
accommodate
a)  waiting for DON’T WALK traffic signals,
b)  movements created by adjacent building entrances,
c)  snow storage (unless snow ploughing is improved so
that this is not necessary) and
d)  short conversations between people who bump into each
other there.  The size should be determined by models
based on the nearby built structure or slow-motion videos.
Where this space is not now provided, it should be created
by either required set-backs at ground level for new
buildings (and where possible in existing buildings) or on
“bulb-outs” extending into the nearest lanes on
traffic-calmed streets.

*  Where neither of these designs is practicable, stop lines
painted on the sidewalk could encourage pedestrians
approaching a red light to allow free passage to through
pedestrian traffic.  Outdoor restaurant seating  should never
be permitted to encroach on storage areas or on the through
width area specified above.

*  Similar prohibitions should cover above-ground encroachments
(perimeter guard rails and umbrellas the bottom of which is
less than the minimum permissible height above the sidewalk).

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

OTTAWALK POSITION PAPER #24
TRANSIT
(adopted by membership, December 1, 1998)

WHEREAS:

*  Of all vehicular modes, transit is most dependent on walking.
Likewise, those preferring walking will also be the most
dependent on transit.  Also, both walking and transit reduce
the waste of land for parking, a major source of sprawl.
Transit companies need to promote walking, just as newspapers
and book stores promote literacy and reading.

*  Use of both walking and transit is in decline, partly because
of growing automobile use and partly because walking and
transit are relied upon by the sectors of society whose
dependence on others for rides is growing.  The Regional
Official Plan and federal commitments to reduce global warming
both call for declines in automobile use.

*  Transit in North America is provided by governments primarily
to reduce peak-hour use of cars, thus saving money on road
widening.  Providers cater to “choice” riders who travel only
at rush hour, and offer reduced service at other times to
“captive” riders whom it claims are “subsidized.”  This
mission/philosophy colours the entire operation of transit,
keeping it from being responsive to its best customers or from
providing a true alternative to car ownership (since “choice”
customers must own a car).  This mission works against social
equity and ignores growing congestion at other times (which
will soon be equal to rush-hour demand).  Once a person owns a
car, they will use it except when they face high parking
charges.

*  The outcomes of this “mission” are: 1) rush-hour service is
very good, while service at other times is poor, 2) fares are
set for fairly long rides, making shorter rides too expensive,
3) peak-hour service is good only for those commuting to jobs
in the central area or at locations on the transitway where
parking is not free, which represent a declining percentage of
all jobs.  The result is a mission that discourages short,
off-peak transit use and encourages car-ownership.

*  Transit is the sole means of making longer trips in the city
for many people and is now not accessible to them, requiring
segregated systems, each of which are less convenient than a
single combined system.

*  The tax laws: 1) under-value and under-tax land used for
parking, and 2) grant concessions for employer assistance for
driving commutes, but not for commutes by other modes.

*  The Transitway poorly serves utilitarian (vs. commuting) uses
of transit, due to 1) widely separated stations, 2) isolation
from main streets, 3) poor design of stations that ignore
Ottawa weather and hurt convenience and security, 4) lack of
access to washrooms, and 5) poor design of stations (which, in
turn, would stimulate nearby high-density development).

*  OC Transpo seems not able to serve all transit needs, for
example school boards, car-repair businesses, parents, and the
tourist industry provide separate services to their own
clients.  Also, OC Transpo runs three separate services: for
disabled, for rush-hour, and for the transitway and all-day
“feeder” service.  Integration is needed.

*  OC Transpo’s accounting system seems to improperly attribute
losses to non-peak travel, despite the fact that rush-hour
trips: 1) are longer than non-rush hour, 2) fill buses in only
the dominant direction (leaving the buses empty more than half
of distance they are driven), 3) require mostly buses that are
not used except at rush-hour, 4) require duplicate routes to
most areas (to allow most rush-hour travelers to avoid
transferring), 5) do little to build off-peak loyalty, since
“choice riders,” by definition, all own cars, and 6) are paid
for mostly with monthly passes.  These passes are priced too
low for unlimited use and motivate OC Transpo to degrade off-
peak service to discourage car-owners from passes during off-
peak.  The unlimited-use passes also deny OC Transpo a way to
count evening/weekend use (or attribute revenue to costs.)

*  OC Transpo opposes any support for ride-sharing, seeing that
practice as being competitive, when in fact, ridesharing can
attract people out of their own car and reduce the inefficient
transit peak loads.

*  Rail vehicles give superior ride and loading convenience and
attract more intense development to station areas (and require
smaller rights of way and noise/vibration buffers).

*  By charging customers without POP (proof of payment) or those
walking on or near the routes with trespassing (fining them
$75-90) and forcefully removing them from its property.  OC
Transpo acts like a industrial concern producing secret
military hardware, rather than a public transit provider.

THEREFORE:

A. The Regional Municipality will:

*  Direct OC Transpo to serve a much broader range of Regional
goals (planning, social services, health, environment) rather
than the narrow goal of avoiding road widenings.  Also, it
will direct OC Transpo to actively support walking initiatives
in the community, especially crucial linkages for access to
transit.

*  Lobby the federal government to change the tax laws to end tax
breaks for commuting by car and to give breaks for commuting
by other means.

*  Study light rail and street cars (trolleys) as vehicles that
give superior ride and better support main-street and
community-node development.  Street cars also “calm” motor
traffic by taking the centre lanes.  Also it will study the
need for new cross-town, non-downtown for the transitway
system.

*  Provide support for all other alternatives to car-use and
ownership, provide leadership in integrating them, so that the
official plan policies   to reduce the modal share for cars by
7.3 percentage points and to promote communities in which one
does not need a car can be met.

*  Study the value of taxing all parking spaces and request the
Province of Ontario to assess ancillary parking land at a
higher rate than at present, and raise the assessment rate for
parking businesses to force increases in rates and earlier
construction of infill buildings.  Also, end requirements for
businesses and residential developers to provide on-site
parking and set maximums for those who do.  Further, give
main- street businesses a lower tax rate than parking-
surrounded businesses in suburban malls, to recognize their
lower reliance on car travel by customers/clients and
employees.

*  Build more convenient, secure, accessible, bike-friendly, and
all-weather stops and stations along the transitway.  This
includes proper drainage of waiting areas and roofs, better
signage, washroom access, better view from adjacent properties
and public areas, and paths from all directions.

*  Hire a TDM (transportation demand management) coordinator for
its own employees, and require major employers and clusters of
minor ones (in business parks) to hire one.

B. OC Transpo will:

*  Champion walking as a complementary mode to transit and as a
mode that will allow more people to live without cars-
ownership, as the official plan promotes.

*  Change its accounting system to properly attribute revenues
and costs for different services and routes, apportioning
capital and staff costs to only the routes causing them.

*  Institute distance-sensitive and time-sensitive fares.  It
will probably need to introduce automated fare cards, which
will also end unlimited/uncounted use that accompanies monthly
passes without ending volume discounts, will give a break for
those traveling shorter distances, and will eliminate the need
for a fleet of POP inspectors (see below).

*  Integrate its three services (regular, express, and para-
transit, except for the profoundly disabled) into a single
service and adjust services and marketing to serve other
“private” markets.  Low-floor buses and introduction of rail-
service will make it more accessible.  And adding shelving and
open areas to buses/trains will make it easier for those with
groceries, young children, and mobility/developmental/sensory
challenges to use transit conveniently.  Air-conditioning is
needed for riders and especially drivers.

*  Bus stops and transit stations and all transit information
will be accessible to those with sensory challenges.

*  End its draconian use of trespassing laws for enforcing POP
service (compare with parking enforcement) and keeping the
public off the transitway (including even its shoulders).
Existing paths should not be cut off by the transitway.

*  Actively support ride-sharing as a way to reduce expensive
rush-hour staff and rolling stock that are not used at any
other times and to meet the demand for transit for those
working in remote locations and who previously received free
parking.  Also, ride-sharing can help those working shifts.
Many peak-hour ride-sharers will use transit at other times.

*  Improve the customer service by: 1) increasing hours,
2) taking criticism better, 3) encouraging the formation of a
transit- users association, 4) guaranteeing drivers their
breaks even when they get behind schedule (but not allowing
them to smoke in the bus at the end of the line or ejecting
passengers seeking weather protection).

*  Provide assistance to municipalities, neighbourhood
associations, and business owners to improve the walking (and
waiting) environment for customers.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

OTTAWALK POSITION PAPER #25
PARKING
[adopted by the members on December 1, 1998)

Whereas:

*  Parking is a significant amenity for driving and its
location and quantity and access must be carefully
scrutinized for any negative impacts on walking and the
walking environment, while recognizing that walking is part
of every trip made by any mode.

*  The use of automobiles is being discouraged by governments
for many reasons (and is at the bottom of the Green
Transportation Hierarchy).  Car parking is one of the most
important facilities that accommodates and encourages
driving of a private motor vehicle, and like many amenities
for driving, is over-supplied and, partly as a result, is
too often free to users even though the organizations
providing it recover the costs from all customers and
clients, regardless of whether they use the parking.  Car
parking should be a business that pays its own way and uses
resources efficiently.

*  Parking for bicycles, a mode that is favoured by society, is
too often provided in places previously reserved for walking
and other walking related activities, contrary to the Green
Transportation Hierarchy, rather than in spaces converted
from automobile parking.

*  On-site Car parking is a requirement in zoning bylaws for
all land uses today (although parking is not required for
uses that pre-existed before zoning required the parking)
and is considered as an “ancillary use.”  Zoning does not
distinguish between businesses of the same size and type in
different settings, e.g., dense, mixed use neighbourhoods
and suburban mall locations, where the percent of customers
that come by car is very different.  Until the 1980s, there
were no requirements for ancillary parking in the central
area.

*  Equal amounts of driving and walking occur in parking lots,
but they are not governed by the rules of the road nor are
collisions on them recorded with highway statistics, since
they are deemed private property, even if owned by a public
authority.  The only enforcement of pedestrian-first
civility is through litigation (after injury or death
occurs).

*  On-street parallel parking has several advantages over
parking in off-street lots and laneways: a) it requires no
need to drive over sidewalks, b) it provides a buffer
between moving traffic and the segregated walking
environment, c) the parking spots are better utilized over
the course of the day, week, and year by patrons for several
businesses whose traffic distributions are complementary,
and d) passengers are provided a safe area for access to
automobiles (parking in parking lots and driveways cause
many deaths and injuries to vulnerable persons, such as the
elderly and young children, studies show).  On street non-
parallel parking, often chosen over parallel parking to
accommodate more cars per unit of curb, does not provide
this safety element to passengers and provides poor
visibility to drivers during the access process.

*  Parking is provided partly as recognition that customers, by
owning and driving a car, are subsidizing the commercial or
public service provider in its efforts to reduce the number
of locations, compared to the time, decades ago, when
outlets were provided within each walking-scale
neighbourhood and in transit-dependent central areas.  This
is also the case for employee parking, as employers choose
to locate their businesses at locations that are cheaper and
more car-dependent.

*  Street safety is jeopardized by the accommodation of off-
street car parking.  Garages extending from the fronts of
houses and those sitting below the raised living area reduce
“eyes on the street” surveillance (Jacobs, Jane, 1961).
Even street parking blocks the drivers’ visual awareness of
pedestrians approaching the roadway and should be
accompanied by lower speed limits.  The surface car parking
for most commercial and government operations is located
between the facility and the entrance, providing greater
distances for access by the other modes.  Finally, car
parking that is provided in garages, and in lots that are
not viewable from the street, attract those who assault and
rob others.

*  Off-street parking for low-density residential purposes
requires the loss of approximately one potential on-street
parking spot for each off-street parking spot, due to the
width of the driveway entrance that must include a turning
radius on each side.  Such parking spaces, however, are not
available to others, thus representing a net decrease in
parking capacity.

*  Parking bans during “rush hour” convert lanes used for a
range of uses, including car-parking, into through lanes.
This increases both through capacity and speed of vehicles,
which are now nearer to the sidewalks and more of a threat
to pedestrians.  This practice also mitigates against the
permanent installation of curb extensions near corners and
at bus stops and for bicycle parking, which enhances the
amenities for all “alternative” modes.

*  Although the amount of car parking closely reflects car use,
it is more closely related to car ownership.  For example,
it is estimated that in the Los Angeles area, there are
seven parking spots for each car registered.  However, if
car-sharing were widespread, car parking space could be
dramatically reduced (by more than 75%) for the same amount
of use, and with the added benefit that congestion would
disappear since there would be too few vehicles available to
drive at any one time (the “congestion” would occur at the
booking desk).  With lower parking standards, those using
cars would be induced to participate in car-sharing (which
would also induce more ride-sharing).

*  Winter conditions increase the costs of providing for both
parking and driving (as well as imposing additional
environmental and safety-for-people costs).  The space
needed to store snow must come from other uses, or else the
much higher cost of picking up and moving the snow must be
undertaken.  Consistent with GTH, it would be better to
reduce the space for driving and parking to allow for snow
storage, just as a house holds its snow on its roof).
Further, the use of salt to control ice formation
contaminates snow and stains and erodes pedestrians’
footwear and clothing (as well as vehicle bodies),
especially when it pollutes water that is splashed onto
pedestrians.

*  Parking and stopping of trucks and non-transit buses is a
problem.  Even where parking is valuable and charged for,
commercial drivers are provided free parking/stopping
facilities in the most choice spots along streets.  In
addition, infractions are too often not cited, even where
the driver is not engaged in delivery work.  Stops at
buildings for deliveries and pick-up are often very long,
due to the failure of building owners to provide for a
central, ground-floor depot.  Also, the buses that transport
tourists also require parking, often with their motors
running to power the air-conditioning.

Therefore:

*  Car parking should not be a requirement in zoning bylaws in
non-residential areas, leaving it to be a separate land use,
appropriately priced and a resource to be maximized through
the encouragement of the co-location of complementary land
uses.

*  Off-street, on-site parking should be taxed at a flat rate,
with excess spots being taxed at an even higher rate.  All
such parking will be required to be charged for at a rate
that fully covers its provision, including the taxes.

*  Off-street residential parking will not be required, and
that which is provided will be located in the rear yard and
an annual charge be levied for the loss of street parking as
a result, and no such access will result in a sacrifice to
the integrity of the walking surface on the sidewalk i.e.,
no more curb cuts, and those that exist will be removed when
a street or sidewalk is reconstructed.  Parking of cars
forward of the building front will be an infraction that is
liable to a fine by parking officials.  Conversion of garage
space that is located in front of and under homes to
accessory apartments will be facilitated.  To reduce access
points for access to off-street parking in residential
areas, existing laneways will be preserved and new side-
lanes permitted, especially if they serve to create new
walking routes to connect adjacent streets by cutting the
block along the longer axis.

*  Rush-hour parking bans will be discontinued, to recognize
the importance of parking at such hours and the accompanying
high pedestrian traffic that accompanies street parking.
This will permit the permanent conversion of these curb
lanes for car parking, for bicycle parking, for waiting
areas at transit stops, for shortening crossing distances at
corners (and end the use of the lane for drivers passing
drivers waiting to make left turns), and for other
pedestrian amenities, such as vending, seating, trash
containers, and finally plants.

*  Bicycle parking should be provided on streets on raised curb
extensions in place of a car-parking spot.  Long-term
bicycle parking can be provided in basements and in off-
street parking lots.  Bicycle parking can be charged for,
but at a rate than cannot exceed a level set by the local
government.

*  Even though municipalities do not have jurisdiction over the
use of motor vehicles in parking lots, they will develop a
program of rules and signage and other design guidelines
that will ensure walking is safe and convenient.  This will
include providing every parking space with a passenger-side
refuge and those arriving on foot a segregated walkway
accessible from nearby transit stops.  Emergency-vehicle
access across such pathways will not jeopardize the walking
environment and will not allow access by general motor
traffic.  Also, parking lot operators should no longer be
allowed to post signs denying responsibility for injuries
and assaults occurring in their facilities.  Unless they
accept responsibility, the poor design and the excessive
amount of parking will continue to occur.

*  Municipalities should support the formation of car-sharing
coops, clubs, and businesses so that car-ownership will be
reduced overall and thus demand for both driving lanes and
parking spaces will be greatly reduced. [This will also
stimulate ride-sharing at peak periods, further reducing
economically hard-to-satisfy peak transit demands].

*  Automobile use should be both discouraged and monitored
closely.  Electronic tracking can allow store owners to be
aware of the mode used by customers, for instance.

*  In winter, driving should be discouraged and the cost of
maintaining parking spaces, street and off-street, should be
absorbed only by those using them.

*  Motor idling of vehicles should be banned.  Local government
should ensure that a special parking lot is provided tour
buses to prevent them parking in hotel parking lots and
sitting in public areas with engines running for hours to
maintain air-conditioned interiors.  This parking should
provide the amenities needed by the bus and by the driver.

*  Use of curb lanes by delivery drivers should be charged for,
perhaps by way of an annual permit for each vehicle, with a
higher rate for deliveries in the central area, which would
induce both more use of bicycle and walking modes and better
rationalization of movements (increasing the use of area
depots to provide one driver with all deliveries for a
particular building for a half-day).  The present annual fee
charged by the City of Ottawa for delivery vehicles is too
low (averaging out to about $5 a month) and should be
established at a market rate for street parking in the area,
moderated for the average amount of the day each spends
parked or stopped.  In the central area, the municipalities
should support the establishment of depots shared by
delivery firms to allow pick-up and delivery by small
electric-powered vehicles, linked to destinations outside by
regular trucks and cars, similar to the use of bicycles and
cars by some courier companies.

*  Surface lots in the central area should not be permitted
unless a proper parking study can justify the need for
spaces being provided, taking into consideration the modal
split targets of the city and regional official plans.
Further, such decisions must be preceded by consultation
with the transit authority and the municipal advisory
committees for cycling and walking.

*  Where parking spaces are not used for a minimal amount of
time each year, the city should require that they be
converted to other uses: landscaped areas and additional
development that will complement nearby uses and reduce the
need for parking (by stimulating walking-scale trips
instead).

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

OTTAWALK POSITION PAPER #26 (original #D52)
PEDESTRIANS AND STREET CRIMES
[Second draft appeared in OWN #24, Spring 1994, may not have been
formally adopted]

Whereas:

*  Street Crimes, e.g., purse snatching, assault, rape, etc, are
increasing day by day.

*  This increase tends to intimidate pedestrians, so that they
remain at home (especially after dusk), or feel the need to
drive a car as protection.

*  It is a proven fact that the absence of informal surveillance
such as that afforded by pedestrians on sidewalks and other
public spaces removes restraints on street crimes and allows
crime in increase still further.

*  Recently a unit of bicycle police officers has been organized
to carry out general policing duties and to police the
recreation paths in Ottawa.

*  In countries where police officers on foot have been
reinstated, there has been a remarkable decrease in street
crimes.  In certain areas of Ottawa, community policing,
including foot patrols, has been introduced.

Therefore:

*  To encourage pedestrians to return to the streets, more
protection from criminal activities for pedestrians is
urgently required, particularly for the safety of the more
vulnerable – women, disabled persons, and the elderly.

*  The proportion of police officers on foot patrolling the
streets should be increased as a crime-prevention strategy,
since it is almost impossible for police officers to have a
‘feel for the street,’ while driving around in police cars.

*  Ottawalk supports the continuation of police bicycle patrols
by the Ottawa Police.  We recommend the reinstatement of
bicycle patrols by the RCMP, e.g,. Along the Parkway, and the
adoption of police patrols by other forces.

*  A model of community involvement is the success of NCC two-
person citizen volunteer bike patrol of the pathways.  This
model should be adopted by local and regional government as a
further support to maintaining a hospitable environment for
the users of sidewalks, parks, pathways, and other public
spaces.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

OTTAWALK POSITION PAPER #27
PEDESTRIANS AND CYCLISTS
[Appeared as PP D-5 in OWN #24, Spring 1994,
may not have been formally adopted]

Whereas:

*  Pedestrian are increasingly worried about being injured by
cyclists sharing sidewalks and pathways and at intersections
and crosswalks where cyclists either do not stop, or stop in
a way to block the pedestrian right-of-way.  The increased
worry is related both to the increase in popularity of
cycling generally and the decrease in respect for the needs
of pedestrians to have a non-threatening environment.

*  The Highway Traffic Act has recognized that bicycles are
vehicles.  Cyclists – those riding bicycles, not those
walking them – must follow the rules of the road.  Area
municipalities have by-laws making it illegal for cyclists of
any age to use sidewalks.  Enforcement of the HTA regulations
and city by-laws on errant cyclists is very lax.

*  The HTA, however, does not apply to pathways, where
guidelines by the National Capital Commission apply: a)
maintain moderate speed, b) yield to slower traffic ahead, c)
both pedestrians and cyclists keep to the right.  Not only
are these guidelines not followed by a large number of
pathway users, but the amount of traffic has created serious
conditions of congestion at certain hours.  Enforcement or
even monitoring of the guidelines is non-existent.

*  Bicycle parking has increasingly become a problem to
pedestrians.  The vast majority of parking occurs on
sidewalks and other pedestrian places, despite the claims by
promoters of cycling that the use and parking of cars is
reduced by it.  With the growing cyclists’ concern about
theft, most bikes are locked to street furniture, leaving
them often in locations that are not the least intrusive
and pedestrians are not free to move them to better
locations.

*  The enjoyment of walking is dependent on the presence of
other pedestrians, and the absence of threats.  The presence
of cyclists in places where walking is permitted and encour-
aged forces pedestrians to develop a wariness and defensive
posture, reducing significantly the joy of walking.  For the
large number of pedestrians with limited mobility, agility, or
sensory acuity, the presence of cyclists represents a very
serious threat of being struck.  There are no statistics
readily available on the number and seriousness of injuries,
nor the number of heart-stopping near-misses.

*  Many pedestrians recognize that one of the reasons cyclists
prefer using sidewalks is their sense of danger when using
the motor-vehicle sections of road rights-of-way.  But the
solution is not in transferring their problem to even more
vulnerable road users.

Recommendations:

1. Bicycles should be permitted on sidewalks only when walked or
parked only on specially located street-furniture locations
that do not reduce the minimum clear widths for pedestrians.
Bicycle parking on sidewalks will be provided for only the
short-term (less than one hour) and only at racks approved by
the municipality in consultation with pedestrians.  The mid-
and long-term bicycle parking should be accommodated
exclusively in existing motor-vehicle parking spaces, since
it is the latter vehicles that bicycles are supposed to
replace.  Prototype street parking for bicycles in a way
that bicycles can be protected from motor traffic should
be tested .

2. Local municipalities, in consultation with cyclists, develop
immediately road design and traffic control measures
(including bike lanes and advanced green for cyclists) to
provide safe and efficient routes for cyclists.

3. Local municipalities, in consultation with organizations of
pedestrians and cyclists, should undertake immediately major
education campaigns dealing with the interaction between
cyclist and pedestrian traffic; and law enforcement
authorities should undertake vigorous measures to ensure that
bicycles are not ridden on sidewalks, in crosswalks, nor
parked improperly.

4. Bicycle use on pathways should be subject to the following
policies: a) recreational cycling only (defined as being done
at less than 15 km/h), b) no commuter cycling routes will run
lengthwise through green corridors or parks, and where they
run across them, they will be on segregated paved sections,
c) enforcement, education, and monitoring of pathway use will
be increased, and d) the authorities will meet regularly with
pedestrian, cyclist, and other pathway user groups to discuss
issues and determine solutions.

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