Submitted by Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi Ward Councillor
As we settle into summer and Stage 3 re-openings across the city, I want to once again thank all the residents of Kitchissippi who have stepped up to support their neighbours during the pandemic and all those who continue to follow the guidelines set out by Ottawa Public Health. Your efforts make a difference.
City Council passed the Temporary Mandatory Mask By-Law on July 15. This means that reusable cloth masks or disposable non-medical masks are now mandatory in indoor public spaces, with a few exceptions. Evidence shows that wearing any type of mask helps reduce the spread of COVID-19. Masks should still be used in concert with other precautionary measures, such as practicing physical distancing, handwashing and staying home if you feel sick. The City’s focus right now is on education for both patrons and business owners, but by-law does have the power to issue fines if necessary. For more information about the new by-law, visit the Ottawa Public Health website or call (613) 580-6744.
We’re very excited to see that the Jackie Holzman Bridge (formerly known as the Harmer Avenue pedestrian and cycling bridge) is almost ready to reopen! In a few weeks, we should be able to enjoy this newly-refurbished pedestrian and cycling connection. Although there will be an official re-opening of the bridge, I’m given to understand that as soon as the bridge is ready it will be available for use. City staff are continuing to consider whether the bike lanes on Holland Avenue can be retained once the bridge reopens.
In other bridge news, the closure of the Beech Street O-train bridge has been postponed. The closure was originally slated to begin July 20 but will now be delayed until late August. Keep an eye on the newsletter for more information on that as we receive it from the MTO.
In July, the city saw the launch of e-scooter rental services after council voted to approve a pilot period allowing e-scooters on city roads. You’re likely to see the scooters parked around the ward and concentrated in the downtown. You can find more details on the pilot at kitchissippiward.ca, but there are some rules to keep in mind when using the scooters. The scooters are not allowed on the sidewalk or on NCC pathways, and when you’re done with them, please be sure to park them considerately. Scooters can’t go on roads with a speed limit of over 50 km/h and they must use the bike lanes when they’re available. The scooters can travel a maximum of 24 km/h.
Finally, I want to remind Kitchissippi residents that myself and my staff will be taking vacation over the month of August. I will be off from July 27 to August 14 and, while my staff will take rotating vacation time during the month, someone will always be available to answer your calls and emails. Please be patient with us as we are inundated with correspondence and are working hard to keep up.
Stay cool, Kitchissippi!