There is no ‘them’ and ‘us’ division when it comes to biking… most have biked once or twice in their lifetime and many continue to be serious bikers. The Ottawa Street bike lane issue is more one of SAFETY for biker and motorized traffic.

Many have pointed out the number of driveways and side streets that enter and exit Ottawa Street. It is the main thoroughfare, entry and exit to/from town for ambulance, emergency traffic plus the commuting traffic in/out of Ottawa. Ottawa Street is a busy retail destination with Tim Hortons being a major 24/7 destination for many–in other words this corridor in/out of town is busy, busy, busy.

Biking however is something enjoyed by many, young and old. It is a healthy activity to promote in the town and it might even deter hopping in a motorized vehicle and try peddling. BUT there must be a safer way to do it than up and down the sides of Ottawa Street—-make a detour onto the side streets and then enter the main streets at some other point?

If increased biking is the goal, take the bikes through a safer, more scenic route and allow the homeowners and other traffic users less distraction than already exists on Ottawa Street.

As well, decision making to disallow ANY parking is an unfair imposition upon tax paying homeowners along that street. Where are their guests to park that one doesn’t have to walk miles to arrive at the owner’s home? It is difficult enough for homeowners to enter and exit short driveways without guests trying to maneuver the same. What about one sided parking?

Finally, the loudest response should come from the homeowners or business owners on Ottawa Street as they have the most to contend with regarding this decision —I hope they will actively voice any pros or cons they feel about this issue. As for the rest of us we do have a voice of support as well as concerns regarding this major transportation route to and from our destinations.

I want to point out for those who may not be aware—biking clubs have made Almonte a destination and they do partake of beverage and rest at the Equator — I’ve witnessed their presence there. So, somebody does reap the economic benefit of having the serious biking community visit Almonte but again safety and scenic routes would probably benefit their advanced exploration of the town as well.

Thank You

Karen Hirst

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