Ottawa

Intersection where 13-year-old cyclist died is dangerous, neighbours say

People living near the section of road where a 13-year-old boy on a bicycle was killed on Tuesday say the overpass isn't safe, and are demanding change.

Similar problems exist at other overpasses across city

A woman crosses the on-ramp to Highway 174 from Jeanne d'Arc Boulevard with her two grandchildren. (CBC)

People living near the section of road where a 13-year-old boy on a bicycle was killed on Tuesday say the overpass isn't safe, and are demanding change.

The boy died after he was struck by a car just before 5:30 p.m. near the westbound on-ramp to Highway 174 on Jeanne d'Arc Boulevard.

The highway overpass is a busy destination for pedestrians, with many trying to access major bus stops on either end.

Brittany Dugan has to cross the on-ramp to catch her bus every day.

Pedestrians say intersection where 13-year-old was struck is 'unsafe'

Ottawa

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Brittany Dugan, who crosses the on-ramp every day to catch a bus, says it's not clear whether pedestrians or drivers are supposed to yield. 0:29

"It's not clear whether the car has to stop," Dugan said.

She's complained before about how the crossing at the on-ramp is poorly marked.

It's difficult for drivers to see pedestrians, and it's not clear whether pedestrians or drivers are supposed to yield, she said.

Brittany Dugan said the pedestrian crossing at the on-ramp to Highway 174 from Jeanne d'Arc Boulevard is dangerous. (CBC)

People tend to run across the ramp, trying to outrun cars speeding up as they get on the highway.

"I just think there needs to be a change here because it's not safe," Dugan said.

The ramp from Jeanne d'Arc to the westbound Highway 174 was closed after the crash. (Reno Patry/CBC)

'The time to do it is yesterday'

Therese Bosse feels the same. The mother of two said she wouldn't let her kids cross the on-ramp, but a lot of kids do.

Some take the route to get to nearby schools, and others use it to get to the recreation centre.

The investigation into the crash is ongoing, and Orléans Coun. Matthew Luloff said it needs to take its course.

Coun. Matthew Luloff says the city needs to move decisively to make changes. (Laura Osman/CBC)

But once that's done, Luloff said the city needs to move decisively to make changes — especially since the bus stop on the overpass is the future site of an LRT Station.

"I think the time to do it is yesterday," Luloff said.

"I think we need to be doing everything that we can to make sure our vulnerable road users like our pedestrians and cyclists feel safe on our roads."

City-wide changes needed

There are similar situations on highway overpasses all over the city, said Somerset Coun. Catherine McKenney, and those need to be addressed too.

"We know that slip lanes, where a driver can take a very fast turn onto a street, onto a roadway, are dangerous and encourage you to speed up," she said. 

"We've got to look at how do we make sure pedestrians can get across, cyclists can get across. And if it means no slip lane, if it means a driver has to come to a stop and make a 90 degree turn, then so be it."

Coun. Catherine McKenney says highway overpasses all over the city needs a closer look. (Laura Osman/CBC)

City council will consider a new road safety action plan in the fall, which McKenney hopes will include a viable plan to make roads safe for everyone and prevent the "rash of deaths" Ottawa experienced this summer. 

The 13-year-old boy is the second cyclist to die on the road in Ottawa this year. 

"It's become an epidemic and I think collectively as a council we all have to take responsibility," McKenney said.

Officers are asking anyone who witnessed the crash on Jeanne d'Arc Boulvard or has any information to call the collision investigation unit at 613-236-1222, ext. 2481. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

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