Cunningham: Why Ottawa badly needs Vision Zero

By Erinn Cunningham, Ottawa Citizen, June 3, 2019

Since the death of a cyclist in a hit and run on Laurier Avenue in May, safe streets have been widely discussed in Ottawa. The section of Laurier Avenue where this happened — in front of city hall — has an unsafe painted bike lane that runs between two traffic lanes, and exemplifies how our streets prioritize traffic flow over safe movement for all.

For decades, we have accepted that this is how we design streets, but this model is dangerous. There are better solutions, where we can enjoy mobility, but also safe travels.

Vision Zero is a road safety model that has been adopted in many cities around the world. The defining principle of Vision Zero is that no traffic-related death is acceptable and that safety-based design is key to reaching the goal of zero deaths on our roads. Since Sweden implemented this approach in 1997, it has cut the number of deaths on its roads in half.

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