This evening, pedestrian advocates from across the city will meet at City Hall to get a group for Ottawa pedestrians on its feet. In recent years, frustrations about walkability have grown in the absence of a common venue for people across the city to come together to draw attention to pedestrian issues or push for the implementation of the Ottawa Pedestrian Plan.
Somerset Ward Councillor Diane Holmes (note: I work in her office) has decided it's time to bring these people together so they can organize themselves into a group that will speak out in unison about the barriers to walkability across the city.
There are big problems and little problems all across the city, and systemic problems that transcend individual communities. One problem is illustrated above at the Corktown Footbridge (my favourite bridge): even though it was built specifically for pedestrian use, the steps are blocked off to actively prevent pedestrian use in the winter. Both functionally and aesthetically, the barricades--which clearly weren't part of the original concept--detract from the award-winning design of the bridge.
Following on the recent successes of the cycling community (including Citizens for Safe Cycling and the Ottawa Biking Problems website), Ottawa walking advocates have started a twitter account, @OttWalk, and a website for Ottawa Walking Problems, where you can submit reports of problems spots around the city and pin them to a map.
[Look for more one-photo posts under the label Singles]