Billings Bridge offers hope despite traffic

This interview originally appeared in the Spring/Summer 2022 issue of Ottawa magazine as part of a series on neighborhood planning called “15 Minutes to the Future”. Find more items in this package here.

Claire Sales is the mother of two young children who love life near Bank Street. She says traffic makes active transportation difficult.

What do you like in your neighborhood?
Love that we can walk to the grocery store and many other amenities. The neighbors are very friendly and there is a good active community association. I also like that there is a park with a paddling pool in the summer and skating rinks in the winter. He feels relatively safe. There is a beautiful walking trail along Sawmill Creek and a community orchard in Heron Park. We love biking to Mooney’s Bay, Hog’s Back Falls and even downtown. I also appreciate the cultural and socio-economic diversity. There are a few social housing buildings, seniors’ buildings and a supportive housing building. I think it’s important to live in diverse communities so we can support each other and build community together. As house prices go up, I don’t know how it will go, but I hope it stays.

Claire Sales has lived in the Billings Bridge area for nine years.

What don’t you like about your neighborhood?
The main thing I don’t like about the neighborhood is the amount of traffic and the speed of cars on Bank Street and Heron Road. Traffic on Bank, combined with cars trying to get out of the parking lot to get away from the road! Cars do not appear to see the light or the stop line at Bank and Randall, and cars will go through a red light. Children and fast-paced traffic don’t mix. We had many close calls at this intersection. There could be many more businesses along Bank Street; there are lots of ugly and unused parking lots. I know they are redoing that part of Bank and using the full streets model, so hopefully it will be better when that happens.

What changes would you like to see, short and long term?
I would like to see safe bike lanes on Bank, lower speed limits on Bank and Heron, safer parking lot exits, more businesses on Bank, and less parking lots.

About Richard Chandler

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