Ottawa Magazine

Billings Bridge

A mother of two young children enjoys life near Bank Street — but traffic makes active transporta­tion difficult


What do you love about where you live? I love that we can walk to the grocery store and many other amenities. The neighbours are very friendly, and there’s a good, active community associatio­n. I also like that there is a park with a wading pool in the summer and skating rinks in the winter. It feels relatively safe. There is a nice walking path along Sawmill Creek and a community orchard at Heron Park. We like 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 is important to live in diverse communitie­s so we can support each other and build community together. As housing prices go up, I’m not sure how this will go, but I hope this will remain.

What do you dislike about your neighbourh­ood?

The main thing I dislike about the ’hood is the amount of traffic and the speed of cars on Bank Street and Heron Road. The traffic on Bank, combined with cars trying to get out of the parking lots, is insane. There are a lot of close calls, a lot of honking, and it is extremely loud. I can’t hear my kids when they try to talk to me and they can’t hear me yelling at them to get away from the road! Cars don’t seem to see the traffic light or the stop line at Bank and Randall, and cars will drive right through a red light. Kids and fast-moving traffic are not a good combinatio­n. We have had many close calls at that intersecti­on.

There could be a lot more businesses along Bank Street; there are a lot of ugly, unused parking lots. I know they are redoing that part of Bank and using the complete streets model, so I’m hoping 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 fewer parking lots.


1.2 km – Distance to nearest 3 coffee shops (vs. city average of 2.5 kilometres)

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