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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Tonight: last chance to stop wider/faster Bronson


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If you can spare 30 or 40 seconds, watch the behaviour of the rushing vehicles in this video, and then compare the numbers of cars and trucks with how many pedestrians are using the sidewalks at this major intersection — it’s the corner of Somerset and Bronson.

Somehow the City’s traffic engineers would have us believe that widening this road even further will be the best way to achieve a safer street – a street already notorious for its unfriendly pedestrian environment.

If you think the City’s plans for a wider faster Bronson — coming next spring, unless it is stopped by community pressure –are misguided and dangerous, there is a way to have your views heard on the issue. And it may well be the last time the City will take the time to listen. As Eric Darwin from the Dalhousie Community Association put it in his West Side Action blog:

“The City’s ONLY public consultation event for the Bronson road widening and neighborhood massacre is at 6.30 Thursday, Nov 24th; at Centennial PS in the gym”.

For those of you that are not familiar with the school, its coordinates are here.

Spacing Ottawa will be at the meeting where we hope to live-tweet the event as it happens; we’ll be using the hashtag #rescuebronson

Meanwhile, some more images of just how damaging the Bronson arterial  is to the urban fabric around it, even at its current “pre-widened” state.



  1. I wish I could be there (working) because this road is awful, incredibly unwalkable, and generally a menace to the community.

  2. I’ve passed word along of Eric’s original posting to National Capital Freenet’s general discussion forum for anyone sharing the worries over this.

  3. And to think that the City is going to spend $30 million, only for the Somerset-Laurier stretch, to make our city less livable and less sustainable. Put that money into public transit, where it is desperately needed! Seriously, it’s worth contacting our local councillors to try and stop further scarring right in the middle of the city.

  4. What you need to suggest is to reduce the road to one lane each way and add a dedicated left lane at intersections. The video clearly shows that left turning traffic is causing most of the problems. Once this is done there will also be enough room for a bicycle lane each way. This was done on Dundas Street East in Toronto about 10 years ago. Dundas looked exactly like this street as it is now.

    There was the typical worry about traffic infiltration on neighbouring streets. But guess what? The traffic now flows more smoothly except during a short window in the evening rush hour when some of the left turn lanes get backed up. But there was no infiltration and we got a great bike route.