OTTAWA - Mayor Jim Watson and Transportation Committee Chair, Stephen Blais, announced the third Road Safety Action Plan on Monday.

Watson says this is the biggest single investment in road safety in the city’s history..

According to a new road safety plan from the City of Ottawa, new and rebuilt residential streets in the capital will be designed for 30 kilometres per hour.

Coun. Stephen Blais, chair of the city's transportation committee says, “We will also develop guidelines for implementing leading pedestrians intervals and will review 300 locations in 2020. These will give pedestrians an ‘advance walk signal’ before motorists are given green light so pedestrians have a head start to get safely across the crosswalk. “

The proposed plan for 2020-2024 has four main emphasis areas:

  • Vulnerable road users
  • Rural areas
  • Intersections
  • High risk drivers

Phil Landry, the city's director of traffic services says “People will make mistakes when they are walking, cycling, driving... but it shouldn’t result in people dying and that is what we are trying to do with this plan.”

Landry says the city will be looking at lost-cost solutions to ten intersections in the city as well as a detail design work to the intersection of Elgin Street and Laurier Avenue W.

If the plan is approved, the city will invest $31.5 million in road safety measures and initiatives in 2020. The plan also aims to bring down the number of fatal and major injury collision by 20 per cent by 2024.

Erinn Cunningham, a board member of the cyclist advocacy group Bike Ottawa says the plan doesn’t go far enough. “A 20 percent reduction is not acceptable. We need to start talking about achieving a zero death on our roads. How do you choose the 20 percent that get saved and the 80 percent that don’t?”

Cunningham wants to see a “zero vision approach.” He says, “I would like to see meaningful funding attached to that. At the end of the day, if you don’t spend the money on it, it doesn’t matter what your goal is.”

The plan will be put before the transportation committee on Dec. 4 and at city council on Dec. 11