Public gets chance to Rescue Bronson


This flyer is making the rounds of the west side neighborhoods abutting Bronson Avenue. The above photoshopped illustration shows just ONE potential way to improve Bronson so that it meets the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, transit users, adjacent businesses and residents, as well as motorists and commuters.

There are alternative ways to improve Bronson so that it makes more people happy. Anyone who travels on or across that blighted street knows that the 1950’s thinking that gave us the current “four lane” urban arterial didn’t work. Yet Ottawa seems on the way to fifty more years of a disfunctional road and urban blight.

There are other ways to design streets, better ways. Other cities all across North America are implementing “road diets” aimed at four lane urban arterials. They have had great success in implementing roads that make motorists and adjacent neighborhoods happier and safer places. Ottawa is late to this strategy, and has had to be dragged in kicking and screaming. Too many traffic engineers have a one size fits all solution: widen it. It has a name: commuter first planning. But why do commuters from Greely or Pointe Gatineau get catered to while whole city neighborhoods get cratered?

Local community associations and Councillor Holmes are having a public meeting on Wed. Nov 10th at McNabb on Percy Street at 7pm. There will be a brief presentation on road diets. Then discussion. There will not be a presentation by traffic engineers.

Bronson can be made better. The awful Albert/Slater/Bronson intersection can be improved. Be sure to come out to express your views.

And sign the petition at

8 thoughts on “Public gets chance to Rescue Bronson

  1. That three-lane photo illustration makes no sense. At least the lane markings don’t. According to them, someone driving in the centre lane can move into the outer lanes but not the other way around. That’s not how a centre left turn lane is marked out. It is the exact opposite – dashed lines on the outside (allowing one to enter the lane) with solid lines on the inside (restricting one from changing lanes back out of it, the only manoeuver permitted being a left turn across the oncoming lane). The left turn arrows are also missing. Take a look at Google Streetview of Robertson Road in Bells Corners (west of Moodie) for an example of a centre left turn lane (there it is five lanes, but the concept is the same).

    It might seem a small detail, but when you’re taking on traffic engineers you have to get basic things like this correct.

  2. I agree the lane markings are wacky. The illustration of the lane markings was lifted right out of a engineering article on two way left turn lanes. Go figure.

  3. Eric, Has any effort been made to get GNAG or OSCA involved? Or is the thinking that their parts of Bronson are too different from the Downtown part?

  4. Good idea. We had earlier communicated with the glebe groups but got no response. Will try again, to both groups and the new councillor. Thanks for your suggestion.

  5. David – I made the graphic with my limited Photoshop skills. As Eric said, it was lifted from a photo of a photo of a two-way left turn lane that Eric found somewhere. I removed the left-turn arrows because it distracted from the point in the printed version. If you really want to be technical, there is a tree in the middle of where a driveway should be, too.

    The point is we want more greenspace and human space on Bronson–not wider car lanes and fake trees.

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