● Future of cycling underpass at Billings Bridge now uncertain.

Billings Bridge has long been a problem area for cyclists (and pedestrians too). People riding on the NCC pathway along Riverside Drive have to cross Bank Street at a very busy intersection at the south end of Billings Bridge.

The large volume of traffic crossing the bridge, including a good number of vehicles turning onto Riverside Drive, makes for a very chaotic and dangerous situation for cyclists at this intersection. In 2013 Meg Dussault was struck and killed here by a truck while cycling home from a tennis lesson.

To help make things safer, last spring the NCC and the City of Ottawa agreed to split the cost of building an underpass that would allow cyclists and pedestrians to pass under Bank Street. However, Metro News is now reporting that the NCC has failed to budget for its 50% of the project, and the future of the underpass is now uncertain.

Ironically, this news comes the day after the city removed the ghost bike for Meg Dussault that had been installed at this location. The city was acting according to its new policy of removing ghost bikes after six months. Many jurisdictions leave ghost bikes up for at least a year, so Ottawa’s six month policy always struck me as an effort to sweep ghost bikes under the rug as quickly as possible (as in “out of sight, out of mind”).

Given NCC’s failure to budget for the necessary money to build the underpass, maintaining a ghost bike at this location is now needed more than ever.

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2 Comments on ● Future of cycling underpass at Billings Bridge now uncertain.

  1. good documentary on it all…
    http://tvo.org/video/documentaries/bikes-vs-cars

    what we have now are politicians that are easily bought out… look at how much money we spend on foolish crap, meanwhile, things like this (underpass at billings bridge) is put on the back burner… how many more near deaths or actual deaths do we need to prove a point in this area?

    when it comes to politics, its all about saving face.

  2. such is the city, kind of moving backwards in a way… I think a lot of the counselors and mayor are becoming complacent… money talks. Just look at mooneys bay, prime example of how money talks… gone is the respect for a olympic athlete here is a shake your money maker without any sort of formal competitive bid. Someone sitting tight with someone there…

    anyhow, getting back to the issue, I find that intersection very dangerous. For there is little room to maneuver and there is typically a lot of traffic there.

    Only one thing I can say – if the city ain’t going to do it then its time for the people to take action, just start creating a pathway under the bridge by foot/bike.

    Its all about money in this city now. When a city becomes purely a money making machine, worry for the fools will eat it up in no time (mostly narcissistic types that don’t give a damn about anyone but their own pockets.. donald trump style.. good lord who let that fool on the planet)

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