By Denise Deby –
People living in and near the Westboro Beach community stepped out to learn about sustainable transportation options. Three events organized by EnviroCentre were part of the City of Ottawa’s Westboro Beach On the Move project.
“Seniors On the Move,” held March 27 at the Churchill Seniors Centre, focused on practical options for older people to get around. “On Your Bike,” held April 5 at All Saints Anglican / First United Church, offered cycling information and workshops. People also brought their bikes for free safety checks, tried OC Transpo’s “Rack & Roll” bus-mounted bike racks, and experienced chair massages courtesy of registered massage therapist and Westboro resident Adam John Biesinger.
At “Step Into Spring” on April 12, about 20 people took a walking tour of the Westboro Beach neighbourhood, with stops at the Westboro transitway station and the VRTUCAR car-sharing post on Scott Street. Westboro Beach historian and Kitchissippi Times columnist Bob Grainger shared stories about the history of the area and its legacy as a transportation hub.
Westboro Beach On the Move is a pilot project under the city’s “Ottawa on the Move” initiative, a multi-year program of improvements to roads, cycling and transit. The pilot project provided customized transportation information directly to the community, to raise awareness of travel alternatives and encourage people to try walking, biking, car pooling and transit and to drive less. During the one-year project, which began last April, project staff assessed the community’s needs, provided cycling and transit information tailored to each household and followed up with links to additional resources, explains EnviroCentre program co-ordinator Josie Howitt.
Westboro Beach was selected for the pilot because it has clearly defined boundaries, a range of available transport options and is part of the Westboro Transportation Management Implementation Plan that’s aiming to shift residents to more sustainable travel modes and avoid the need for roadway expansion, according to Robert Grimwood, senior transportation project manager with the City of Ottawa.
Westboro Beach On the Move wraps up this spring. For information go to ottawa.ca/en/residents/transportation-and-parking/traffic/westboro-beach-move.