City stepping up efforts to ease downtown congestion

Stu Mills/CBC
Ottawa police are also involved in the plan, looking for vehicles making illegal turns or blocking intersections.

Ottawa bylaw officers were out in force Monday on the first day of a two-week blitz meant to ensure traffic keeps moving downtown.

Alison Sandor, a spokesperson for Ottawa bylaw, said they want to keep traffic moving by making sure people aren’t stopping in bike lanes or no-stopping zones.

“We have two trucks on the ready and we will tow. There are no warnings,” she said.

Since March 1, they have given out more than 4,000 tickets in the downtown core mostly for vehicles in no-stopping zones and other parking violations, Sandor said.

On Monday morning, Sandor said six vehicles were towed and officers handed out 50 tickets, which come with a $120 price tag.

Larger plan

The enforcement blitz is part of the city’s mobility plan to ease congestion in the core.

Police are also looking for illegal turns and people blocking intersections. Sandor said vehicles stopping where they shouldn’t can be a major hindrance to a good commute.

“We do see vehicles that are constantly stopping in no-stopping zones,” she said.

“Someone might just be stopping for coffee and they don’t realize they are in a no-stopping zone.”

They’re also giving special attention to bike lanes and will clamp down on any drivers who block them, she said.

“Those reserved bicycle lanes are there for a reason. They are there to keep bicycles safe.”

The additional officers will be brought in for the two-week blitz, but they may be extended depending on how the initiative goes, she said. The city has said it expects the traffic situation to improve in July.

Source: CBC News