The Carlington Summit

Carlington Community Association

by Frances Tanner.

The speed hump on Merivale near Westgate Shopping Centre isn't helping pedestrians, poses a risk to fire and other emergency vehicles, and isn't needed to slow traffic now that there is a light at Island Park Drive. That was the unanimous conclusion of the Carlington Community Association executive, which voted at its Nov. 15 meeting to ask the Region to remove the speed hump.

The association heard a presentation on speed humps from Jim Littlewood, acting division chief for planning and safety with the Ottawa Fire Department. In the Fire Department's view, said Littlewood, speed humps in residential areas and on collector streets may contribute to safety overall, and in any case fire vehicles are often moving slowly looking for a cross street or address by the time they reach those streets. However, the Fire Department has expressed strong concern about speed humps on regional roads such as Merivale, which is close enough to the Kirkwood fire station to be a major response route.

CCA president Jim Maclean distributed copies of a regional consultant's report assessing traffic measures, which found the Merivale hump had reduced speed somewhat, although the Ottawa Pedestrian Advisory Group thought it ineffective. Some drivers swerve towards the curb to avoid the hump, making pedestrians and cyclists feel more unsafe. “The change in the Island Park intersection.... will likely solve the speeding problem that the speed hump was meant to address,” wrote the consultant. On the positive side, it was found that the hump did not affect snow removal.

In other business at the CCA meeting, members also asked why the Merivale Road sidewalk along the Ashcroft development was still not repaved. Pedestrians and wheelchair users have been forced to walk in traffic between Carlington and the Baseline-Merivale shopping area. Neither Councillor Stewart nor outgoing City Councillor Bickford were available to respond, but the president will follow up to ensure that the sidewalk is restored before winter.