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If you don't drive, you're nothing in this town
Holbein, Derich
auriaephiala wrote in octranspo
As a regular transit user, I've been ... less than happy at the timing and length of this strike. It's been really stressful trying to figure out how to meet my basic obligations, and there's been a lot of events I've simply been forced to miss because they were too far away and I couldn't afford that expensive a taxi ride.

I've been walking a lot, which is OK -- I like walking and can always use extra exercise. But this Saturday was the last straw.

The sidewalks had previously been covered with lovely walkable snow. But then that got soaked with rain overnight, then it froze, and then we woke up to freezing rain.

By the afternoon, when I went out, there had been several layers of freezing rain deposited on everything.

The sidewalks were impassible: wavy, solid ice that no one could walk more than a few inches unless you had ice-spikes on. And even with spikes I found the only way to manage was (maybe) 4cm at a time -- tiny baby steps that barely kept me upright. And there was no damn way I was going to even try to do those on a downslope.

I gave up real fast and walked on the road, even on major streets.

Now I don't blame the city for bad weather: it happens, and they had prepared a bit by getting rid of many of the snowbanks. But I noticed that, while the streets were well-salted, the sidewalks had not been touched. On all the arterials and major shopping streets I walked on (or on the sidewalk in front of my library), there was not a speck of grit applied, and, as far as I could tell, no salt.

So the drivers get a nice, safe road, and the walkers get -- extreme danger of a broken bone if they actually stuck to the supposedly safe sidewalks.

And did I mention the monster pools in several of the intersections?

(I did see some grit being applied to one sidewalk on Sunday afternoon. As they say, a day late and a dollar short.)

The city has this attitude that, if it's cleared the streets for cars, it's done its full duty to the citizens of Ottawa. Who cares about those pesky walkers or transit riders? They're the scum we can ignore. So what if they can't get to the store to buy groceries for dinner or return their library books on time?

I am so sick of this attitude, that has so far let the City of Ottawa think it can get away with allowing the strike to drag on and on and not negotiate seriously and constructively.

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yup. yet they want you to use transit because there are too many cars on the roads and they want to save the auto industry as well....circle jerk.

politics synonym for hypocritics.

by the way, bus drivers in other cities feel real bad for us [citizens of ottawa] because they KNOW that we are in for a long time without any transit because of what the mayor is doing NOT the ATU; and i'm not even talking big cities like toronto. just small town drivers are feeling our pain over this strike and support the drivers because its all shit.

This city is absolutely terrible at clearing sidewalks for pedestrians. It's ridiculous and I'm not sure how they get away with it.

no one listens to you if you don't have a car. the sidewalks aren't for cars. duhh.

on the other hand, downtown the sidewalks are relatively ALWAYS clear. no one wants to get sued for falling and the gov't workers HAS to have clear walk ways to starfucks.

Even the Market, which should be a prime pedestrian area and tourist area is pretty bad I find. It annoys me.

thats the MARKET, not gov't worker traffic area. again of no concern to the self important 9-5'ers

Again: Prime Tourism Zone. Major worksite of several government organizations, galleries, and whatnot. At least one healthcare facility, hundreds of private firms supporting the government infrastructure.

The Market should be getting the same attention level as Centretown for street care.

Oh I know. But one would think that the city would want to put up a good front for tourists. I guess that's a little too much to hope for, though.

if they did the buses would be running right now wouldn't they and lex luthor would have been thrown out of office as SOON as he started fucking thing up as bad as he did for tourism when he got into office.

the market is prime tourist area in the summer not the winter. the rideau centre is more prime right now. again politicans look at the NOW not the whole picture and repucssions of actions.

Trust me, they're not. I live in Centretown, and had to resort to walking on the road (even with spikes) on Saturday. A very fun activity to do on streets like Laurier and Bronson, let me tell you!

Well, we're going to make ourselves heard on that front. Even if we're seen as "nobodies"...

It's funny: I totally agree with you, but my father, who is visiting from out of town, is blown away by how quickly and efficiently the sidewalks are ploughed here. And he's a walker, so he knows sidewalks.

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Time for back-to-work legislation. Sorry guys, but enough is enough. Unfortunately, OC Transpo falls under federal jurisdiction, not provincial, and the federal parliament is prorogued until late January.

I've rented a car for the month of January for $700+. Ottawa shouldn't even be thinking of compensating businesses for the strike.

The paths and sidewalks were icy on Friday from the freeze-thaw cycle and were 10x worse on Saturday after all the freezing rain. Bank Street was okay, but everything else? Ugh. Walking up the Hill on Somerset was fun. lol.

I finally saw sidewalk salters running around at about 4 pm on Saturday. Kinda late, if you ask me, given that it was just regular rain at that point.

We've still got enough icy patches on the sidewalks of Orléans to make a walk to the corner grocer a bit of a misadventure as well. Add to that the road traffic generated by our latest international hockey tournament to and from the Ray Friel Centre...

My sidewalks in Sandy Hill are a nightmare of ice and massive puddles. Pedestrians have taken to holding up traffic and walking down the roads, because it's the only way to get around.

Emphatically agreed.

Time to March and present the Mayor with Lumps of Coal, no?

Perhaps we the Voters of this City should ask for an injunction to force the Mayor to "step aside" while awaiting judgement on his court case -- which did, after all, involvement malfeasance w.r.to his election.

Saying that the drivers get a "nice, safe road" is a load of crap. I saw at least four accidents within a half-hour span on Saturday.

And I don't understand what road conditions have to do with the strike...

thats probably because the drivers are self important assholes who couldn't be bothered to drive properly.

Or sometimes, despite driving 10km/h on what's usually a 60-80 km/h roadway, shit happens. Black ice, snow pile ups, tires slipping, other drivers cutting you off or hitting some of the above conditions and losing control of the car, even temporarily...

Find yourself walking more due to the strike, you find out how unsafe the sidewalks consistently are.

Quite a bit.

Specifically, bus drivers are trained professionals, who have to undergo extra training and hold a higher class of drivers licence as a result. None of this training is given to the average (read "amateur") motorist or car driver. It's the amateurs who are the worst dangers on the road -- always.

Maybe a law should be passed requiring all motorists (i.e. car drivers) to pass as many checks, medical exams and the like as bus drivers (or, better yet, airline pilots) must do before being allowed to drive? It just might make the roads safer.

Hunt Club is unnavigable on foot

They haven't cleared out anything on Hunt Club west of Uplands. The snow that is now frozen into ice is the same snow that fell the day before the strike. They've never cleared it. I've walked down the middle of Hunt Club twice now, simply because there is no other choice.

"Walk," Lex tells you, but does not give you a means to do so.

Re: Hunt Club is unnavigable on foot

They also have not cleared some key stretches of Bank Street's sidewalks, such as on the bridge at Greenboro over the railway tracks. I estimate that adds an extra 40 minutes to walking from S. Keys to Billings Bridge.

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The death toll from car accidents would go up too. :-(

There's a reason why I refer to car drivers as "lemmings" ... and that happens to be it. Getting the amateur motorists off the road would save a lot of lives ... but any suggestion of this would probably be fought tooth and nail by the CAA and other such groups.

Completely agree. As an avid walker I know how hard it is to get by in this town, maybe with a slight exception of downtown.
But having a car was probably even more awful- nowhere to park or terribly expensive to park, narrow congested streets, half-mad half-asleep minivan drivers all around, useless and outright dangerous all-season tires everywhere, etc. Not to mention the insurance rates, but that's pointless to complain about really. In the end I was quite happy to get rid of the car, but this winter again clearly shows that there is no compromising solution possible. If you (try to) walk or if you drive- either way it sucks.

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