Ottawa has to cycle and walk the talk starting now.

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Nancy Biggs, a long term Ecology Ottawa volunteer, has made many contributions to environmental sustainability in Ottawa. What follows is her delegation to the Transportation Committee at Ottawa City Hall October 7, 2015:

"In the Complete Streets Implementation Framework it was noted that the complete street project addresses the TCPs, Strategic Objectives TM2 and TM4. TM2 provides and promotes infrastructure to support safe mobility choices and TM4 improves safety for all road users. I would encourage council to follow through with the Strategic Initiatives goal to complete 100% of the Phase 1 Transportation Master Plan cycling projects by Q4 2018, committing $2,040,000 per year for cycling and $1,125,000 per year for pedestrians.

I live in Orleans. Councillor Monette was instrumental in having the multipurpose path paved from 10th Line to Hiawatha Park. This has greatly improved cycling and is extremely well used. Councillor Blais, has proposed a Trans Orleans Cycling and Pedestrian Pathway linking Trim Road to Navan Road, which will connect the community and act as a backbone for a larger network though Orleans and Cumberland. He said, “It will allow residents of all ages to safely travel to and from many destinations not having to use a car.”

The City has started construction, making Main Street a complete street.  It would be wonderful to have a complete street in the suburb of Orleans on Centrum Boulevard starting at the Quality Inn next to 10th Line linking Eric Czapnik Way with Centrum Boulevard, going past the Police Station, the Cumberland Seniors’ Park, the YMCA, Government Offices, the Shenkman Arts Centre, restaurants and two hotels, ending at Place D’Orleans, the future site of an LRT station.  With the current intensification that’s taken place in this area, a complete street will make it safe for all ages whether walking or cycling.

We need to make Ottawa a more environmentally sustainable city.

I felt truly inspired by Vancouver’s Deputy Mayor, Andrea Reimer. She discussed Vancouver’s goal to be the greenest city in the world by 2020 and is well on the way now ranking 4th.  Vancouver’s council has a vision of a better place to work and live sustainably and started implementing 84 environmental improvements even before they had an official greening plan and engaged thousands of Vancouverites.

What does it take? Change needs real leadership. It needs quantifiable outcomes and it needs action.

Ottawa has to cycle and walk the talk starting now.

Andrea Reimer was moved to tears at the end of her talk, when she spoke about the 22 million people who have already been displaced, not by war, but by climate change.

I agree with her that it is a moral imperative and that we must act now to make our city more sustainable.

David Chernushenko at this event said “there is no reason why we could not or should not be doing everything that Vancouver is doing.”

I agree."

-Nancy Biggs, Ecology Ottawa volunteer, resident of Orleans


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