Five years after a cyclist was killed on Bronson Avenue, the city has put the final touches on a pedestrian and cycling crosswalk on the busy road just north of Sunnyside Avenue.

Twenty-seven-year-old Krista Johnson, an avid runner and city cyclist, was struck by a car and killed on Bronson Avenue in October 2012.

The Carleton University student was cycling home at the time.

While speed was not deemed a factor in the crash, Johnson's death triggered a safety review of that stretch of the road.

David Chernushenko ottawa bike crossing

David Chernushenko, the councillor for the ward, said the crosswalk took five years to reach this point due to a number of factors. (CBC)

According to the councillor for the ward, David Chernushenko, it was determined that section of Bronson was a very confusing and busy area. 

And, the lack of a pedestrian crossing with traffic lights there meant people were dashing across in busy traffic.

Green thermoplast marks bike lane

"This crossing addressed a need to be able to cross a very high speed busy road in a safe manner. It's only triggered when the need is there. So, while it does have the traffic calming effect of slowing down traffic by having another intersection, it's not going to be activated if no one wants to cross so you won't have frustrated drivers," said Chernushenko.

The crossing has been in operation for 18 months, but the city recently added signs, and in the spring, put down green thermoplast paint on the road to mark the bike lane.

Chernushenko said the process took five years to reach this final stage due to a number of factors. It took a year to do a traffic safety review and hold public consultations. And then there was a municipal election before the contracting process began.

"The usual, I guess process to do a public infrastructure project of tendering and design, sure it did take longer," said Chernushenko. 

'It's bittersweet'

Krista's mother, Laurie Johnson, said Krista would have been happy to know the crossing is fully operational now.

Johnson says Krista was fit and passionate about running and healthy eating. Her mantra was to keep moving. 


27-year-old Krista Johnson was cycling on Bronson Avenue when she was struck by a car and killed in 2012.

In Krista's memory, Laurie and her family have been marking her legacy in her hometown of Pembroke. There is a scholarship for Krista at the high school, a free drop-in fitness studio for youth, a homework and fitness cafe, and a permanent outdoor fitness grove with equipment.

And, now in Ottawa, another legacy in Krista's memory: the Bronson Avenue crosswalk in the area where she died.

Johnson says she's pleased even though it took five years. 

"It's bittersweet right. I mean it's unfortunate that it wasn't there before but if that's what it took to make it happen, then obviously we're pleased," said Johnson.