Making Ottawa safe for whom?

With the recent spate of loser attacks on civilian populations in Germany, at a Christmas Market; France on NY Eve; or Manchester’s teeny bopper concert; or New York’s Broadway; or a tour bus in Egypt … I found myself looking critically at one of the busier-with-civilians streets in downtown Ottawa.

There is nothing to discourage some loser in a car (either his/her own, or perhaps stealing this already aligned up RTG vehicle) from wreaking havoc on Sparks Street.

Now it is a different story for some of the adjacent buildings.

Our currency manipulators and inflation thieves have made sure they are safe from terrorist attacks:

and the PMO works to keep T2 safe and protect his Butt:

Hardening specific buildings is fine for the lucky? inhabitants.

What about the rest of us, trying to find a ray of sunshine:

We know Ottawa is not immune to further attacks. Nor is there any reason for us to “left alone” indefinitely. Our mere existence incites intolerance.

So, yeah, I’d like to see some more concrete planters or bollards protecting public spaces. The habit of parking service vehicles all over Sparks St might have to change. Quelle catastrophe!

And some of those bollards might have to be retractable. Other cities value their tourist revenues and tourist lives. Here’s a set protecting the ped zone in Salzberg:


These are totally different from the regular bollards employed in Ottawa. Most city ones are just plastic:

They are easily damaged or broken when touched by cars or snowplows, and then are thrown away, not replaced:

City staff tell me the bollards are mostly decorative, used instead of metal sign poles with red and yellow zebra stripes on them, and their function is warn parked motorists of the curb at the head of the parking bay. Such sweet consideration for motorists’ tires!

Functional posts are found on non-municipal properties, such as in front of most liquor stores, or electronics shops. They are steel pipe, filled with cement, set in a heavy cement base.

It suggests where our priorities are .. protect select office workers, politicians, and liquor monopoly revenues … but as for the public?

Note that while I use Sparks Street as my example, I’d like to see our transit stations secured too.

If done well, we won’t feel imprisoned in our own cities, but merely protected from rampaging vehicles, no matter who their loser drivers are. We lock our houses at night, or against thieves, and that isn’t “giving in” to crime. And as the pictures of Wellington St in front of the PMO show, those anti-bomb planters make for a pretty nice pedestrian zone too. And remember the US Embassy … without it, would we have the market area bike lanes?



4 thoughts on “Making Ottawa safe for whom?

  1. There are retractable bollards on the roads around the perimeter of the old city in Strasbourg, France. Taxi drivers have a remote control device that allows them to retract the bollard so that they can deliver tourists to their hotels. It is a marvelous system, and something that we should consider for Sparks Street, and the Byward Market.

  2. I haven’t been on Sparks St. For years but didn’t think there was enough pedestrians there to attract a terrorist attack. The Market, Landsdowne CT Centre, Bluesfest- those places have crowds.

  3. I have seen so many drivers decide that Sparks Street’s “pedestrians only” rule does not apply to them. And I don’t mean NCC or service vehicles working on Sparks with the right and need to do so, I mean jerks who just decide that they’ll park willy-nilly on Sparks for 10 minutes while they pop into the Royal Bank.

    1. Interesting thing about those service and NCC vehicles of Sparks Street.and the lack of enforcement of a pedestrian zone.

      Would not be difficult for some miscreant to purchase a used service / delivery vehicle or to mock up their own service / delivery vehicle.

      One they have a suitable vehicle, they can then load the back with ANFO, park it on the pedestrian mall, and simply walk away. In Ottawa nobody cares about nuttin apart from the perks of political power.

      Some ten minutes later Ottawa gets to experience the same shock felt in Oklahoma city.

      The cute little bollards, and the fancy flower boxes protecting T2 (love that name. First read it as “Tito” and thought “What? Why a Red reference?” Then the light-bulb went on.) would have absolutely no protective effect other than to possibly channel blast effects into the upper stories.

      Of course, after the event, all of the security mandarins will wring their hands and complain no one told them about Timothy McVeigh and if only they had known . . .

      These are the people who live happy lives off our tax payments!!

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