Staff reject Councillor's request to deactivate beg buttons at Ottawa intersections

By Josh Pringle, CTV News Ottawa, April 10, 2020

OTTAWA -- The City of Ottawa has hit the brakes on a push to deactivate beg buttons at intersections across the city during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Councillor Shawn Menard asked staff to look at the “feasibility of reprogramming automated push buttons where safe to do so, in order to reduce the need for people to physically touch these buttons to safely cross a street.”

Automated push buttons are located at Ottawa intersections, prompting pedestrians to press the button to activate the walk signal to cross the street. According to the City of Ottawa, approximately 80 per cent of traffic signals are equipped with pedestrian push buttons and traffic sensors.

After reviewing the request, city staff do not recommend deactivating the beg buttons at intersections, citing advice from Ottawa Public Health, increased delays for pedestrians and vehicles at intersections and the possibility of public complaints.

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