I am the founder of Unpublished Media Inc., a company I started in 2012. I am also a communications professional and community activist, living in Nepean, Ontario. And, I am a hockey goaltender, political hack and most importantly, an advocate for grassroots, participatory democracy at all levels of government.
This letter was published in the Ottawa Citizen on July 12, 2011.
I am happy to see segregated bike lanes come to Ottawa. Segregated lanes have made a big difference to cycling safety in many cities around the world including Montreal and Toronto closer to home. As Mayor Watson said, "Ottawa is far behind other cities" and "a little late to the parade".
One of the reasons it has taken so long to bring segregated lanes to Ottawa is the division that exists within Ottawa's cycling community on this issue. With a number deaths and serious injuries occurring over the last few years, it should be painfully obvious that cycling on Ottawa's streets has become quite dangerous for the average person, especially youth. A danger that has discouraged, not encouraged recreational cycling in Ottawa.
Cycling safety is as important for regular commuters as it is for recreational cyclists. Unfortunately, the'share-the-road' approach hasn't worked. Its time to look at all our options.
I am confident this pilot project will prove to be successful and I look forward to this program being expanded across the City, especially here in Nepean where we take our lives into our hands every time we venture outside of our neighborhoods on a bike.