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Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee: Road Safety in Rural Areas

The Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee today received a presentation about improving road safety in rural areas, one of the main areas of focus for the City’s Road Safety Action Plan.

The presentation highlighted that more fatal injury collisions happen on Ottawa’s rural roads than anywhere else in the city. Over the last reported five-year period, 23 per cent of all fatal and major injury collisions in Ottawa occurred in rural areas. That figure rises to 38 per cent when considering only fatal injury collisions.

About one quarter of the $20.5-million Road Safety Action Plan budget for 2024 is focused on improving safety in rural areas, and the Committee heard about engineered solutions, education and enforcement efforts undertaken in 2023 and planned this year. Engineered solutions for 2024 include: 

  • Continuing design work for the intersection of Dunrobin and Constance Bay roads

  • Redesigning two rural skewed intersections, including one at Leitrim and Russell roads and another at Canon Smith Drive and Fitzroy Street

  • Implementing safety edges and rumble strips on rural roads as part of resurfacing

  • Upgrading gravel shoulders

  • Identifying up to 10 rural stop locations for enhanced signage and pavement marking

Additional work in 2024 includes conducting awareness programs in schools about the safe operation of motorized recreational vehicles and studying the use of automated speed enforcement cameras in Ottawa’s rural villages.

The Committee also heard about road safety projects recently completed in the rural area under the Safety Improvement Program, including fully protected left-turn phasing at Albion and Mitch Owens roads, all way stops at 8th Line and Parkway roads, and road safety reviews along two rural corridors.

The presentation also offered information about the warrant criteria used to assess the need for traffic control signals, intersection pedestrian signals, and all-way stop control measures.

The committee approved site-specific amendments to the Official Plan and secondary plans to facilitate active development proposals that were affected when the previous Official Plan was repealed, and the current one adopted in 2022. In each case, there were unforeseen and unintended effects of implementing the new OP.

The proposed amendments either re-establish relevant policies of the former plans or add site-specific policies to re-align current OP policies for the affected properties. The Planning and Housing Committee will also consider this matter on Wednesday, March 27 before it rises to Council on Wednesday, April 3.



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