Patrons of Ottawa’s Bank Street want better transportation options for navigating one of Ottawa’s busiest streets, according to a survey commissioned by the office of Capital Ward Coun. Shawn Menard. 

The findings are based on a 2023 Glebe and Old Ottawa Transportation Survey that sought to gauge how patrons find infrastructure on the street that runs from Parliament well into the city’s south end. According to the report, the 1,449 respondents of the survey are “local frequenters of Bank Street and are mostly visiting businesses on a daily to weekly basis.” 

Two major desires for improvement emerged: 46 per cent of respondents seek the addition of bicycle lanes and 26 per cent want wider sidewalks.

“This is important feedback we’re getting,” said Menard. “Residents are telling us that to get to Bank Street and support local businesses, they want more transportation options, and they want to be able to walk and bike safely to their destination.”

One key factor underpinning the findings is that across all ages, walking was the most common form of getting around. Respondents 18 to 34, driving is the least common way of getting around.

The report also found that individuals were 41 per cent more likely to frequent businesses as pedestrians compared to when they get around in a vehicle. 

Earlier this year, the Glebe Community Association published a report which highlighted the amount of foot traffic and alternative forms of transportation taken by patrons on Bank Street. Said report found that 37 per cent of trips in the area in 2015 were done on foot or cycling compared to a city-wide average of 10 per cent. 

Respondents in the new survey also raised concerns regarding possible measures to increase pedestrian safety in the area with such a high amount of foot traffic. Respondents suggested: 

  • Ban right turns on red 
  • Advanced Pedestrian and Cyclist crossings with dedicated traffic lights 
  • Longer crosswalk times 
  • Visual separation and traffic calming design such as sidewalk bump outs, increased tree canopy, parkettes, bike stands, and benches. 
  • Enforcement of rules of the road (for those travelling by bikes, cars, and scooters) 
  • Lower speed limits 
  • Red light cameras and speed traps

The report comes as the city is finalizing plans for the renewal of Lansdowne Park, which is expected to increase traffic in the area.