Traffic volumes in the City of Ottawa have increased continually over the last 10 years. Due to the pressure on the road network, any incident can quickly lead to major congestion and extensive delays.
Find out everything you need to know about street lights and signs: how to find decommissioned street name signs, how to report street lights that aren’t working and the appropriate response times, and how to find locates before digging on your property.
Transit priority measures are techniques designed to minimize delays to buses at intersections and along congested roads ensuring a faster commute time for passengers. The success of public transit requires an efficient system of mobility that can accommodate the needs of travellers.
Ottawa Nav is an official City of Ottawa mobile application currently available for free in English and French on iPhone and Android devices. The application is the first of its kind, delivering accurate and up-to-the-minute, customized traveler information when you need it the most.
Ottawa Nav provides real-time traveler information to all types of commuters…whether you are driving, cycling or walking. If there is a road closure or any type of disruption to your route, you will know about it —helping you make smart decisions while you are traveling throughout the city.
Ottawa Nav has a growing list of features that meet the needs of drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. In Driver Mode, the system provides audible instructions to avoid any driving distractions. When in Passenger Mode, the user can interact with the system to access a variety of traveler information services. In this mode, you can view real-time traffic incident information, look at live traffic camera feeds and view school and construction zones. The app also gives you access to information on OC Transpo, Bixi Bikes, OttawaRideMatch and also Pay-by-Cell.
The app is a free and convenient traffic information hub for the city, in which you can have access to all Ottawa commuting related information. Download the app and use this information to help make your commute more efficient!
Ottawa Nav was developed and is hosted by Flybits Inc. a spin-off company of Ryerson University.
Traffic Service Catalogue
The Traffic Service Catalogue outlines the services that are provided in relation to traffic safety inquiries.The Catalogue covers topics such as speed, pedestrians and cyclists, warning signs, traffic control, heavy trucks, parking and schools.
The City of Ottawa commissioned R.A. Malatest & Associates Ltd. (the Consultant) to conduct a survey with Ottawa residents to learn more about their preferred mode for commuting, their experiences with that mode during their commutes, and their perceptions of alternatives.
In total, 1245 surveys were conducted. In order to better understand the commuter experience from residents in differing parts of the city, roughly equal shares of surveys were completed by residents of the inner city, the inner suburbs (i.e., inside the Greenbelt), and the outer suburbs (i.e., outside the Greenbelt).
Most respondents (61 per cent) commuted primarily by driving. Others primarily took public transit (23 per cent), cycled (nine per cent) or walked (six per cent). Considering not only the most common mode of commuting, but also occasional (or secondary modes) as well, 83 per cent of respondents drove, 40 per cent took public transit, 16 per cent cycled and 12 per cent walked at least occasionally while commuting.
Cyclists and pedestrians are the most satisfied with their chosen mode of commuting compared to other commuters.
Walking in Ottawa
Sidewalks are important to respondents: most respondents said they should be provided on one or both sides of residential streets and even more agreed the same for busier roads.
Those who primarily commute by bike, by public transit and by car reported that they do not walk mostly due to the distance and the time it would take to get to their destination.
Most pedestrians have access to a motor vehicle; the main reason pedestrians walk is for health and exercise.
Pedestrians walk during most seasons, but less chose to walk during the winter.
Cycling in Ottawa
Roughly one in 10 respondents are comfortable cycling among city traffic. The remaining groups: those who do not cycle; those who are interested in cycling but have concerns; and those who cycle but prefer bike lanes are roughly the same size.
The majority of cyclists did report feeling more comfortable cycling on streets designated as bicycle routes.
Since almost all cyclists have access to a motor vehicle, they are not cycling for lack of choice. In fact, cyclists are more likely to come from higher income households. The main reason for cycling is for health and exercise.
Seven per cent of cyclist commuters bicycle year round.
Two thirds of cyclists have adequate facilities like showers and change rooms at their destination location and this was an important factor in their decision to cycle.
Driving in Ottawa
Those who travel by motorized vehicle (including lone drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, and carpoolers) most frequently chose this mode due to travel time, comfort and convenience.
Most drivers do not pay for parking but most of these respondents would still drive if parking was at a cost.
Most carpoolers travel with family. Including themselves, carpoolers travel with 2.4 people in the vehicle.
Riding Public Transit in Ottawa
Most Ottawa residents only have to walk five minutes or less to the nearest transit stop.
Most public transit riders chose this mode due to commuting costs and lack of affordable parking.
Public transit commuters are using available technological resources to obtain transit information: survey respondents most commonly reported that they looked up routes and schedules online or using an application on their smartphone.
More respondents have heard of Bike to Work Month or Sustainable Transportation Week than Ottawa on the Move.
Radio was most often mentioned by respondents as to how they had heard about Ottawa on the Move and Bike to Work Month or Sustainable Transportation Week. For the latter, the workplace was also often mentioned as the source of information.
Of the respondents who had heard of either Bike to Work Month or Sustainable Transportation Week, 22 per cent reported having participated in one of these programs.
New dedicated bus lanes on 417 will open June 28
The work to expand Highway 417 from Nicholas to the Split is winding down. Starting Sunday June 28, a dedicated bus lane on Highway 417 in both directions will be used so the O-Train Confederation Line project can start converting the Transitway from Hurdman to Blair to a Light Rail Transit system.
Motorists should still expect periodic lane closures until this fall to allow for the remainder of the construction and clean-up operations to occur. Until this time, the speed limit will remain 80 km/h.
As of June 28, three lanes of general traffic and a dedicated bus lane will be open in both directions. The outside lanes in both the eastbound and westbound direction will serve as the dedicated lanes for OC Transpo and emergency vehicles only until 2018, when the O-Train Confederation Line Light Rail Transit Project will start operating. This will require all vehicles to follow the rules specific to roads with both general-traffic and transit lanes, notably:
All other vehicles must not travel on marked bus-only lanes. These are reserved for OC Transpo and emergency vehicles only.
Motorists in the general-traffic lanes must move over to allow emergency vehicles with lights flashing to overtake them, whenever the emergency vehicles need to travel faster than they could in the bus lane.
Also as of June 28, the ramp from the westbound Highway 417 east of the Split, to Highway 174 eastbound, will be closed until 2018. Motorists are encouraged to use Innes Road as a detour. An additional eastbound lane on Innes Road is being constructed and will open in the fall to compensate for increased traffic during peak periods.
OC Transpo has made adjustments to east-end routes to keep travel times as fast as possible and has added trips to provide more capacity between Hurdman and Blair Stations. Approximately 84 per cent of customers will not be affected by these adjustments; however, some customers will have changes to their current routes and connection points. For more information on the new locations of stops and stations, please visit octranspo.com.
With all of the construction-related activities underway, residents are encouraged to be flexible with commuting times, stagger work hours or use alternative means for travel. The public is asked to consider options such as transit, walking, cycling or carpooling.
Roadside Memorial Sign Program
The Roadside Memorial Sign Program, established in 2015, assists families or groups who wish to have a roadside memorial sign installed along a City-owned right-of-way in remembrance of a loved one who has passed away as a result of a traffic incident.
Only residents of Ottawa may be commemorated through this program.
A request may be made by a family member or friend.
An application form must be completed and signed by an immediate family member of the nominee.
An Ontario Provincial Offences Act check is required for the nominee. The check is initiated and reviewed by the City of Ottawa. Any outstanding conviction or infraction may result in the disqualification of an application.
A sworn affidavit* must be submitted by the nominator with the application form (see page 4 of the application package).
The cost of a roadside memorial sign is $250 (plus HST), which includes the cost of fabrication and maintenance of the sign for two (2) years.
After two years, the nominator will be given the option for the sign to be removed and provided to them or to be left up without maintenance.
Nominators will be given a one-time option of having a new sign installed for $250 (plus HST).
The nominator can ask for the sign to be removed and turned over to them at any time.
*Any fees associated with a sworn affidavit are the responsibility of the nominator.
The installed sign will read: “Drive Safely, in memory of ‘name(s) of victim(s)’.”, with black lettering over a white background
The dimensions of the sign will be approximately: 24” L x 35” H
The sign will contain both English and French messaging
Should you wish to purchase a roadside memorial sign, please submit your completed Roadside Memorial Sign Application Form and supporting documentation using one of the following options:
Ottawa is on the move with major construction and renewal projects underway to ensure our city’s continued development as a global capital, and one of the best cities in Canada to live, work and invest. Projects will be posted monthly.
Pedestrian Crossovers are a type of traffic control used in Ottawa. Crossovers and their associated crosswalks are located at low speed, low-medium volume intersections, midblock and at roundabouts. Learn about the form, function and usage of pedestrian crossovers and see where in Ottawa they are installed.
On January 1st, 2016, the Highway Traffic Act was revised to include a regulation which identifies a new type of Pedestrian Crossover. As a result of the legislative framework, including the Act, new regulation (402/15), and modifications to Ontario Traffic Manual Book 15 – Pedestrian Crossing Facilities, municipalities can install pedestrian crossovers on low speed, low to medium volume roads.
What is a Pedestrian Crossover?
Pedestrian Crossovers are designated areas that allow pedestrians to safely cross roads where vehicles must yield to pedestrians when crossing. Pedestrian Crossovers are identified by specific signs and pavement markings. In some cases, but not always, they may also have pedestrian activated flashing beacons.
At Pedestrian Crossovers equipped with flashing beacons, pedestrians may push a button to make the beacon flash to enhance driver’s awareness that they will be crossing.
It is the responsibility of both drivers and pedestrians to understand and follow the rules at Pedestrian Crossovers.
The City of Ottawa will be installing up to 60 Pedestrian Crossovers each year for the next three years as part of a City Council approved pilot program. Crossovers will be situated at warranted locations throughout the city, starting in the summer of 2016. In the first year, these locations will include: new crossings where no crossing existed before, retrofitting of existing crossings, and roundabouts.
At roundabouts where Pedestrian Crossovers are being installed, pedestrians will now have the right of way over vehicles.
Currently, at roundabouts, vehicles have the right of way over pedestrians, except at roundabouts where Pedestrian Crossovers are installed. At these locations, pedestrians have the right of way over vehicles.
Many roundabouts in Ottawa will have Pedestrian Crossovers installed in 2016. Where the Pedestrian Crossover sign is installed, pedestrians have the right of way.
At roundabouts and roads with center medians, marked pedestrian crossovers are treated as two stage crossings with the median or splitter island providing a pedestrian refuge. For vehicles passing through a Pedestrian Crossover at these locations the driver may proceed once the pedestrian has fully crossed their lane of traffic (i.e. curb to median). They do not have to wait for the pedestrian to cross the whole roadway.
Pedestrian Crossovers are a type of traffic control, which are devices that regulate the movement of traffic. Other traffic control types include Stop signs, Yield signs and traffic control signals. All types of traffic controls have legal requirements for road users and are identified in the Ontario Highway Traffic Act. Where there is such a traffic control device, the term crosswalk refers to the painted markings on the road. It is typical for all controlled crossings to have a crosswalk. Forms of crosswalks are typically found at intersections, midblock locations, roundabouts and channelized right turns. In the first year of the Pedestrian Crossover pilot program the Crossovers and their associated crosswalks will be located at low speed, low-medium volume intersections, midblock and at most of the City’s single-lane roundabouts.
Drivers and cyclists will be fined $150 to $500 with 3 demerit points for failing to yield for pedestrians at pedestrian crossovers.
Cyclists can be fined $85 for failing to dismount and walk their bicycle when crossing a pedestrian crossover.
Pedestrians can be fine $35 for leaving the curb or other place of safety at a pedestrian crossover and walking, running or moving into the path of a vehicle that is so close that it is impracticable for the driver of the vehicle to stop safely.
Pedestrian Crossovers will be managed by the Public Works Department’s Traffic Services Branch. Requests for Pedestrian Crossovers should be sent to Traffic Services staff for review and consideration.
The review will consist of an assessment of the location through a warrant process established by the Ministry of Transportation.
The appropriate Pedestrian Crossover design for warranted locations will be determined and a list will be provided to Council for approval and funding.
Approved locations will for the most part be implemented in the following calendar year, provided funding availability.
Pedestrian Crossovers have a local history dating back to the early 1960s when a large number were installed across the greater Ottawa area. There are several types of crossovers which are identified as Type 1 or Type 2 crossovers. Type 1 was used in Ottawa dating back to early 1960s. This type is distinguished by the side mounted signs, overhead signs on wires and flashers. It is the most complex and was used at multi-lane crossings with higher speeds and traffic volumes.
These treatments provided a solution to pedestrian needs for a number of years, but were questioned in terms of safety in the 1970s; as a result, in the mid-1980’s, it was decided by Council that mid-block traffic control signals should be used in place of Pedestrian Crossovers and that Pedestrian Crossovers would no longer be implemented. At this time we do not intend to install the Type 1 crossovers again in Ottawa.
When the Making Ontario's Roads Safer Act, or Bill 31, was passed in June, 2015, Type 2 crossovers were created. Pedestrian Crossovers to be installed in Ottawa beginning June 2016 fall under Type 2 designation only.
Type 2 includes three formats:
B – Distinguished by overhead signs, side mounted signs, and rapid rectangular flashing beacons. These are typically used on arterial/major collector roads with higher speeds (up to 60km/h).
C – Distinguished by side mounted signs and rapid rectangular flashing beacons. These are typically used on collector roads, or lower volume multi-lane roundabouts.
D – This type is the most basic. It includes only the side mounted signs. These are typically used on local roads, or single lane roundabouts.