As a result of many complaints and concerns about the lack of line painting on Alta Vista Drive, RPCA President Bryan Orendorff sent the email below to Councillor Cloutier, to be forwarded to the City of Ottawa for their reply.

“Hi Jean. Subsequent to our board meeting Wednesday, the board followed up with City roads staff on the status of the Alta Vista line painting and the expected schedule for completion. Their answer was that the lane marking division is in transition and were supposed to complete the work before the cold set in but didn’t. Given the weather challenges, they are not planning on completing the work until spring. This new information caused a stir with the board and a motion was passed to communicate the concern. More specific and formally:

The Riverview Park Community Association is very concerned about the continued absence of sufficient line markings on the newly paved section of Alta Vista Drive between Industrial Avenue and Smyth Road Line markings are a fundamental road safety requirement.  In addition to vehicle lanes, this section of Alta Vista Drive is configured for bicycle lanes, turning lanes and parking bays. Several bends within this stretch of road add further complexity which can prove hazardous without the clarity offered by line markings. Compounding the problem is that the temporary markings currently in place are incorrectly marking lanes resulting in sub-standard traffic movements and significant additional risk of collisions. Residents have already been commenting about a sharp increase in near-miss incidents on Alta Vista.

Councillor Deans was widely quoted this past summer remarking that “I think we can all agree that our roadways will be a safer place if we can all see the lines on the road.” This followed a steady increase in complaints City-wide about line markings not being sufficiently visible on city streets. The RPCA could not agree more. Line painting = safety. This is especially critical on a road like Alta Vista which is the busiest collector road in the City of Ottawa and therefore one of the most dangerous. Some people don’t even know how many lanes there are supposed to be in some locations.

The failure of the City, to date, to meet its responsibility to make reasonable line markings is certainly disappointing. Moreover, it does not release the City from that responsibility.  While we realize the City’s failure to have the work finished expeditiously has complicated the line marking task, such complications cannot serve as justification for further delays in making the road appropriately safe. Something needs to be done to help keep road users (be they cars, trucks, cyclists, or pedestrians) safe. This will only get worse as winter sets in.

We therefore strongly request the City lay sufficient line markings, or some reasonable equivalent, immediately so as to mitigate the risk of unnecessary road incidents or injury. We do not feel the current situation is safe.

 November 22 response from Stephen Forestell, Program Manager, City of Ottawa

“Mr. Orendorff:

I have been asked to follow up on this matter and I would offer the following. We have reviewed the conditions on site and below is a summary of where we are at this point.  

       All stop bars pavement markings showing motorists where to stop and pedestrian crossing pavement markings at intersections have been applied to show pedestrians where to cross throughout the project limits.  

       Yellow spotting throughout the project limit provides separation of traffic travelling in the opposite direction where concrete median separation does not exist.  

       White spotting has been applied to the road identifying turn lanes and merge lanes. Designation of turns lanes at Industrial Ave. can also be determined via overhead signs in advance of the intersection. At the Hospital Link, lane channelization signs are mounted to the street lighting post in advance of the intersection. At Smyth Rd., There is signage indicating the left turn to the Hospital and Bike route signs direct cyclist to connecting routes.   

       The asphalt pavement platform width varies from 11.5m to the south of the hospital to link to 13.5m + to the north of the hospital link providing more than enough platform width for motorist and cyclist to share the road.     

       As a temporary measure we will look at installing a “share the road sign” at either end of the project limit. This will assist motorists and cyclists until pavement marking can be applied in the spring. These signs would complement the existing bike route signs.  

       Parking on the pavement platform remains the same as before as signage still clearly designates where on street parking may take place.

Unfortunately, given the earlier than anticipated setting in of winter conditions, we were not able to complete the line painting as planned.  While we understand the concerns you have expressed, I am sure you can appreciate, it is not possible to put down the paint in the type of weather conditions we are currently experiencing.  For proper placement of the lines, we would require the road to be dry and temperatures to be above freezing.  I can assure you that we will be undertaking this work as soon as is physically possible in the spring. “