Editorial: Exercise in the time of COVID-19 – let's open more roads to pedestrians

By the Editor, Ottawa Citizen, May 11, 2020

The decision by various levels of government, including the City of Ottawa, to release COVID-19 modelling “projections” just before Easter weekend was clever. The models suggest that large numbers of deaths are possible if we don’t closely follow physical distancing guidelines. Many fewer deaths are likely if we stay home or keep a safe distance when outside. On a “long” weekend, the temptation to go out – or perhaps bend the distancing rules a bit by mingling with dinner guests – may be strong. These stark new numbers may dissuade us.

But fear only accomplishes so much. Our desire to be active or go outdoors will only grow as the weather improves. How to keep people behaving as they must when the sun starts to warm us, the cycling season moves into high gear and people yearn for their cottages?

(...)In Kitchissippi Ward, for instance, Coun. Jeff Leiper has already closed a section of Byron Avenue to all but local traffic. On Friday, raw as the weather was, some pedestrians were already taking advantage of the added space. The city needs more areas like this, where families can spread out a bit without risking fines.


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