Milkface Nursingwear Inc

What's new and on my mind at milkface

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Back to School - Ottawa Parents Beware

In Ottawa, Your Child is a Speedbump

Renovations are ongoing at the property next to the milkface Westboro store at 385 Danforth Ave. The owners are converting a century home into a daycare facility. To maximize their use of the land they applied to the city of Ottawa to provide less parking than is standard for such a use in this area. The owners hope to have 25-40 kids in this building based on conversations with the owner.

Any such application allows the public to object before a decision is made. Well, Mr. Milkface wrote to the city suggesting the morning and late afternoon traffic during drop-off and pick-up would be an excessive strain on a street that is barely adequate for the existing businesses. The lack of adequate parking would only exacerbate the problem as inconsiderate parents park illegally "just for a second". After a few weeks a response was received.

Seems we were the only objection to the application. Our points were are rebuked and the application was granted. The city gets a cash in lieu of parking fee of about $8000 and likely increased tax revenues given the extra square footage of the new property.

In the justification for the decision, one sentence stood out as particularly outrageous. "Having additional parents with children (walking) in the area could have the beneficial effect of further calming driver behaviour as they navigate across an area that already has significant pedestrian flows."

A speed bump is a traffic calming feature. A speed trap fulfills the same function. A child walking on a street without sidewalks is not and should never been seen as such.

As a parent of three who make the walk to and from school more days than not, I think this view of pedestrians as traffic calming features is unacceptable and extremely dangerous. Too often we say "How many have to die or be hurt before a (specific) change is made?" In this case, we never wanted a change. We only asked that the situation for us, our customers and the users of Danforth Ave. not get worse. I guess the City of Ottawa sees the risk as acceptable and worth $8,547.

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