Mayor's intervention blocks plan to open Bank Street to pedestrians

By Joanne Chianello, CBC News Ottawa, May 14, 2020

A surprise intervention by Mayor Jim Watson near the end of Wednesday's marathon council meeting has stifled a city councillor's plan to partially close a few blocks of Bank Street in the Glebe to make more space for foot traffic.

Capital Coun. Shawn Menard had been working with city staff for weeks to give three blocks of the west curbside lane of Bank Street between Glebe and Third avenues to pedestrians and cyclists for more room to physically distance in the COVID-19 era.

But the mayor's 11th-hour motion means any street closures must first have the approval of any businesses that are affected. Watson gave no prior notice of his motion.

Some local businesses had opposed Menard's plan because it would narrow the road, as has been done on the Bank Street Bridge farther south, take up 19 street parking spots and offer less space for curbside pickups of food and retail goods.

Connect with us