Ottawa adjusts traffic signals as traffic volume drops by 50% during COVID-19 pandemic
Light rush hour traffic crosses an inter-provincial bridge between Gatineau, Que. and Ottawa, Monday, March 16, 2020 in Ottawa. (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
OTTAWA -- Motorists won’t be waiting as long for red lights to change at Ottawa intersections during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The City of Ottawa tells CTV News Ottawa that traffic, pedestrian and cycling signals have been adjusted to reflect the decrease in vehicular traffic on the roads.
Traffic volume is down approximately 50 per cent on roads across the city over the past couple of weeks. OC Transpo has reported a 70 to 90 per cent drop in ridership.
Health officials have urged people to practice physical distancing, schools are closed and many people are working at home to help limit the spread of novel coronavirus.
Director of Traffic Services Phil Landry tells CTV News Ottawa that based on the current traffic volumes and to "ensure the efficient flow of traffic, including for pedestrians and cyclists, signal length has been shortened” at Ottawa intersections.
Landry says motorists will especially notice the shorter signal length times on major arterial roads.
Over the weekend, Ecology Ottawa launched a petition calling on the city to re-purpose underused roads for cyclists and pedestrians during the pandemic.