Transportation committee backs new road safety plan despite calls for more ambitious goal

By Jon Willing, December 4, 2019 The city’s latest road safety plan received the transportation committee’s unanimous approval Wednesday, even after advocates called on councillors to be more bold in trying to stop traffic deaths. The plan’s goal is to reduce the average annual rate of fatal and major injury collisions by 20 per cent. The last iteration of the road safety plan achieved a reduction of 14 per cent between 2012 and 2017. In drafting the 20-per-cent goal, city staff listened to feedback during public consultations and created what they believe is an achievable target for 2020-2024. However, critics don’t understand why the city didn’t make it a goal to have zero deaths, falling more in line with a “vision zero” approach to road safety. Robb Barnes, executive director of Ecology Ottawa, said the city should have car-free zones, reduce car lanes on roads, impose bans on right turns on red lights and embrace a vision zero philosophy.

“(The city’s plan) is a vision 20-per-cent reduction and that’s not far enough for us,” Barnes said.

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