Huntmar Drive overpass unfriendly to bikes, pedestrians, residents say
Huntmar Drive overpass too narrow, lacks sidewalks, community association says
Residents who live near the Tanger Outlets mall and the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa are calling for better pedestrian access across Highway 417.
The Huntmar Drive overpass connects the two Kanata landmarks but it was designed and built before thousands of people moved into homes nearby.
The narrow thoroughfare lacks sidewalks and is dangerous to bike across, said Joe Boughner of the Fairwinds Community Association.
Ginger Newman, who lives in the Fairwinds neighbourhood just south of the arena, said people do try to walk across the overpass anyway but she won't.
"If somebody gets hurt crossing it, it affects everybody," said Newman.
Could affect traffic patterns
Coun. Shad Qadri, whose Stittsville ward includes the area, said city staff are looking into some of the residents' ideas.
There are concerns, however, about whether a major alteration to the bridge could affect traffic patterns, Qadri added.
"Whatever we do has to be safe, not just for pedestrians but everyone who uses that bridge — the vehicles and the cyclists and so forth," said Qadri.
A new bridge is too expensive right now and likely couldn't be built until 2026, he said.